Businesses invest a lot of time and effort into branding to connect with their target audience and successfully advertise their products/services. However, most of them think that branding is a one-time exercise ideally carried out at the initial stage. This line of thinking means there is a lack of clarity about rebranding, which can be difficult, when missed. But, what is the right time to rebrand and when should you consider it? These questions will be answered in this article.
What is Rebranding?
There are multiple ways to define rebranding. In the simplest of ways, it is a strategy to change a company’s brand image. Rebranding efforts are carried out to mostly bring about a shift in a company’s marketing strategy and related visual material. Businesses usually change their logo, slogan/tagline and sometimes their name as a part of this process, which leads to a change in the overall design of the company’s marketing proposition.
Rebranding can help a business create a new and differentiated brand identity in the minds of people. As the world around us is constantly changing, it is extremely important for businesses to stay in sync with these changes. Rebranding is one way for them to show how they can adapt to these changes, and also build a competitive position. Most times, rebranding is focused on the experience customers have with the brand and make the entire process favourable.
Almost all businesses have rebranded at some point in their journey, from start-ups to even Fortune 500 companies. Apple has undergone extensive rebranding efforts to project a completely different perception today by focusing on highlighting the quality and exclusivity of its products. It has come a long way from its initial logo to its current look. Removing the colors from the logo gave the company a clean, fresh look and added sophistication. By removing “Computer” from the name it removed the limit that the company only specialized in computers. It empowered Apple to develop new and innovative products in other areas, such as the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. This along with its modern, minimalistic and simple design has made it stand out in the hyper-competitive personal electronics space.
Another example is of the fast-food giant Burger King, which recently rebranded to go back to its original, retro look. This approach reflects the fast-food chain’s decision to make its food free of colours, preservatives and flavours from artificial sources. It also looks to eliminate any associated negative perceptions, make the brand more realistic and focus on the food, which is reflected in the colour choice for the logo, its merchandise, packaging, menu, signs and social media.
Burger King’s Current Logo
When and Why to Rebrand?
We understand that rebranding can be an exhausting and time-consuming process, which makes it important to get the timing right. Rebranding, when done correctly, can create a positive impact for the business. Here are some of the main factors that make businesses lean towards a rebrand-
- Differentiate your Brand- Do you feel that your brand is getting lost in the sea of other, similar brands? Are your customers unable to recognise your brand easily? Do potential employees often confuse you with your competitor? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s time for you to consider a rebrand. It’s very important for a brand and its messaging to stand out and reach the right people, which can be achieved through rebranding. This can also assist in connecting better with potential employees.
- Reach out to a new Audience – An expansion of the target audience is usually associated with business expansion to new geographical locations. Here, a rebrand can help announce your entry as well as focus on better association with the new customers. Changes in product lines or pricing are also used for audience expansion. Twitter’s emergence from Odeo, originally a podcasting platform, is a classic case.
- Expand your business through Mergers or Acquisitions- One way a business expands is through mergers and acquisitions, which usually leads to shake-ups in culture and values. A new brand identity for the overall organisation helps build trust and establishes confidence in all stakeholders. Idea Cellular, one of India’s mobile networks, merged with Vodafone India in 2018, rebranding to Vi in 2020 as a consolidated entity.
- Outgrow Brand’s Reputation- Over the course of business, brands build a certain reputation which can adversely impact their business. This can be due to privacy breaches, (common issue with most tech companies these days), quality issues or failure to adapt to changing lifestyle trends. Rebranding can help rebuild the brand’s reputation, regain public trust and bolster the brand’s image. Many fast food companies are under the heat for promoting unhealthy eating habits. McDonalds has displayed its ability to adapt to this by rebranding to include healthier options at lower prices.
- Reflect your Brand’s Values- If the brand does not showcase the business values, mission and vision, it is time for a rebrand. People always associate better with brands whose values they can relate to, which can help in long-term engagement. In case there is a change in the company’s core principles due to business decisions, branding should also reflect the same.
Check before you Rebrand
Now that you have an idea about when and why to rebrand, hold your brakes! Before you jump into a rebranding effort, there are a few aspects to keep in mind to make it effective. We’ll list them below so that you can remember:
- Examine why to rebrand. Dive into details of the logic behind your rebranding decision. It can prove time-consuming and expensive, so you need to be able to justify your decision to see the desired results.If you cannot find the reason, don’t do it! Another common error is for businesses to rebrand because it is trending and others are doing it. Again, if it doesn’t make sense to you now, it’s best to revisit it later.
- Engage the services of a specialist. They will be able to help you out with a defined strategy, timeline and a detailed plan, which makes the process more structured. Considering that this is a huge investment, it’s best to get expert help rather than doing it yourself and making a muddle of things. They will guide you towards the best choice of logo, name, colours and fonts.
- Carry out extensive research to understand other rebranding stories, especially that of your competitors. You can pick up tips on what to focus on and what mistakes to avoid. As a part of this, carry out a brand audit with your employees and customers to know what they think of your brand. Check out Column Five’s unique rebranding stories to get into the heart of a rebrand.
- Make a list of all marketing collaterals that need to be changed as part of the process- logo, tagline, advertisements, social media handles and other associated items. It’ll also define whether you are undertaking a full rebrand or a partial one. Remember, consistency of the brand across all your platforms is important to get the right message out. If your messaging is different, it is bound to confuse your audience.
- With social media being an integral part of every brand, remember to keep a watch on ensuing trends and update regularly. Enhancing your brand’s social media experience is extremely important as it shows your adaptability and attention to detail.
To sum it all up, rebranding can help bring a new lease of life to your brand. Once you have entered this process, you can discover a lot about what makes your brand tick and resonate with your audience. Ensure that you rebrand for the right reasons, and you’ll be able to write an extraordinary and fresh brand story!
You can always get in touch with Pixels and A Pen to successfully guide you on your rebranding journey and to enhance your overall branding experience!