Brands are like people: they are born, go through the difficult stages of the early days and growing process, and then they mature. Some of them die out before they can become established. Others develop and expand internationally, becoming instantly recognisable in any corner of the world.
As a brand grows, it undergoes various changes. If you want to understand this in a few minutes, just do a Google search for the evolution of iconic brands, such as Pepsi, Nike, or Ford. However, rebranding is more than just the visual changes of the logo. Rebranding is like rewriting a person’s CV once they have reached the professional level when they no longer need to mention the volunteering work they did during college or their first job at a small local business.
The question is: when should you rebrand your business? There are some signs which indicate that you should dress up your company in new clothes. And today we will show you some of the most important ones:
1. “We Are Doing More Than…”
If your business is still primarily known for the first line of products you have developed, although you have already diversified your offering well beyond that, it is time to rebrand. If you have the name “soap” in your brand image, although you are offering a full and comprehensive range or personal care products, then you should think of a new brand name to reflect this wide range of products.
In fact, it is never a good idea to name your business or brand name on only one product – no matter how popular it is. If you did, make the change before you start diversifying your range of products. Apple dropped the “computers” from their name as soon as they realised that they wanted to expand the business towards a fresh market, that of mobile devices, and they did this rebranding before they launched their first iPhone.
2. Your Target Market Has Changed
Your target customers grow together with your company. At one point, they grow beyond your brand’s capability of attracting them and being meaningful to them. If you serve a specific local area, you should understand the demographic dynamics of your target customers. At one point they are young graduates, then they form a young family, become young parents and then they grow into established professionals with a busy job and personal life. If your brand image does not keep up with your customers’ shifting values, needs and interests, your company will become outdated and slowly but surely lose its customer base.
3. Your Business Values Have Changed
Companies need to learn when to make the leap from a small start-up to an established and growing business. One of the ways in which you do this is through rebranding. The funny logo and website design of your small business was attractive in a hippie, boho-chic way to your first customers. But, as your business grows and addresses a larger number of customers and offers a more diverse range of products and services, that kind of brand image is no longer appropriate. You need to embrace more family-oriented and professional values and reflect them in your branding. So give up that funny-looking logo, it is no longer representative of your business.
4. “You Can Find Us In Other Locations, Too”
If you have started out your business in your local town and proudly included its name in your brand, as your business grows you may find it hard to market to other locations. Even an iconic worldwide-known brand such as KFC has cleverly promoted the acronym as a brand name – not everyone is aware that the full name is Kentucky Fried Chicken and almost no one associates the business with the US state it originated from.
It is important to allow your company to grow beyond its initial geographic boundaries by not associating it with a specific place in its brand name. As soon as you make plans to expand your company, rebrand it by removing the localisation from the business name.
5. You Have to Explain Your Brand
This is perhaps the most serious reason for rebranding your business. If its name is so unclear, or generic, or if your business philosophy is so murky that you need to explain to every potential partner, employee or supplier what you are actually doing, it is high time to clear up the mess.
Focus on the core reasons for opening your business, on what motivates you to stay in business and on what differentiates your company from the competition. Hire a professional firm to design a logo, create a motto and a brand name for you and bring clarity to your company brand.
That being said, rebranding must never be the result of a whim, and needs to be carefully planned and enacted if you want your customers to continue to recognise your brand, relate to it and find it representative of your company.