Rebranding is a big step for any business – and it can come with big rewards. But should you rebrand your company? In this post, we’ll review 5 basic questions every business must answer before building a rebrand strategy.
There comes a time when just about every business that sticks around long enough needs a brand refresh. This isn’t a bad thing. Rebranding your company helps by blending what’s already working with a fresh take on:
- Positioning: How you want to be known in the market
- Messaging: How you bring the positioning to life in words and phrases
- Visual identity: Your logo, wordmark, colors, fonts, typography and imagery
Rebranding your company helps by blending what’s already working with a fresh take on positioning, messaging and visual identity.
Still, rebranding can be intimidating. It forces leadership to think strategically. It means process and checklists. It requires team members to pull up from putting out day-to-day fires. And finally, it can be risky.
But it could also be risky if you don’t. If your business is prime for a brand refresh and decides against it, your increasingly stale brand could cost you prospects, customers and even credibility.
So, should you rebrand your company? Start by asking yourself these five questions.
Has the competitive landscape changed?
Few industries stay the same. Technology can level the playing field and lower barriers to entry. It can give upstarts a fighting chance to develop competitive products, gain mindshare (and customers), make location irrelevant, and in a very real sense, redefine an industry.
From the customer’s perspective, many competitors seem similar. That’s why the key to success is differentiation. If you’re experiencing a glut of new competitors in your space, if you’re in a space that’s seen significant change over the past few years, and/or if you can differentiate now in a markedly different way than you did in the past, it may be time for a brand refresh.
Do you look like you are stuck in the 1970s?
While vinyl is making a comeback, I sure hope disco and bellbottoms never do. Much like fashion, design trends and visual identities evolve with time. Fonts, colors, graphics, typography styles and imagery all tell a story – and sometimes the story is that you are stuck in the past.
In an evolving industry, this could lead to a disconnect with prospects. This is because your product or solution won’t look current enough or up to the task of solving their problem. So, if you look like you’re stuck in the past, it may be time for a brand refresh.
Have customer expectations changed?
People never stop searching for ways to make life easier. That’s why you hear questions like:
- “Why isn’t there an app for that?”
- “Do they really expect me to fax my information?”
- “So stupid that it doesn’t sync up with my watch!”
- “They want to charge for that? It should be free!”
Companies that succeed long-term have their pulse firmly on their customers and the market.
Companies that succeed long-term have their pulse firmly on their customers and the market. They know what their best customer and ideal prospects want. And they find a way to monetize and deliver it. If technology, customer tastes, market pressures and hungry competitors have significantly changed customer expectations in your space, and you haven’t adjusted your product or service accordingly, it may be time for a brand refresh.
Have your product/service offerings changed?
Should you rebrand your company? If you’ve evolved quite a bit, yes!
I was chatting with a prospect the other day. His industry has become so competitive that he was forced to diversify his offering. By doing this, he became a much more vertically-integrated solution for his customers. This was in stark contrast to his point-solution focused competitors. The dramatic change called for a brand refresh to tell the new story, which meant a different value proposition and visual identity.
Has your target audience/ideal customer changed?
Sometimes after years in business, the economic buyers, influencers and vertical markets you target change. For example, one of our clients got their start providing an on-premise, enterprise software solution. When we first brought them on board, they were targeting CIOs and CTOs. Their brand foundation – positioning, messaging and visual appeal – needed to strike a chord with this very specific audience.
Cut to today, the product has evolved into a SaaS offering, shifting the balance of power in decision-making from the technology office to the departments using the software. Before the change, messaging was geared to the things CIOs and CTOs care about, like security or deployment. Now, the message reflects what matters to the users of the SaaS product.
Or, maybe you recognized a real need to adopt a vertical or industry-specific focus. A former client had her sights set on growing her IT consulting business three-fold and then selling the company. After a deep strategic planning process, we all agreed the best path forward was to leverage the success the company had in one specific vertical. This narrowing was significant enough that website positioning and B2B content needed to be updated, sales support materials redeveloped, and imagery modified to better appeal to the specific vertical.
Should You Rebrand Your Company? It Depends.
Your brand is not (just) your logo. It’s your promise to your customers. It’s the combination of visual, verbal and emotional attributes that define your company and distinguish it from the competition. If these factors aren’t clicking, your business will suffer. If all you need to do is tweak some messaging, that’s not a rebrand. But if you are stuck in the 70’s or if you answered “yes” to at least 3 of the above questions, then it might be time to explore rebranding your company.
Need direction on a B2B rebranding project? We can help. Contact us online or call 610-421-8601 x122 to get started.