Saturday, January 7, 2012

Four Signs You're Ready to Rebrand

It’s January,  the time of year to take stock of your business and goals for the year. 

Besides upgrading your software or buying a new printer, you also should look at your branding. Whether you want to redesign your website, extend your brand into social media, or align your internal communications with your consumer advertising, January is a great time to launch a rebranding effort.
Are you ready to rebrand? There are four signs that you might be. Do any of these match your company’s situation?
Your focus has changed.
This often happens to small businesses. Sometimes the mission you had when you started the company no longer matches what you’re currently doing. Maybe you opened a deli but found that only cupcakes were selling, so you transitioned into a cupcake shop. Any of your previous branding that mentions, say, breakfast, no longer works…unless you invent a breakfast cupcake, for which I’d be the first in line!

Image via

You have a new market or audience.
Perhaps you’re speaking to a new demographic now, which isn’t responding to your previous messaging. Both Farmers and State Farm insurance were known as solid, reliable – and boring. Both have launched new ad campaigns that add humor to the usual dire insurance company warnings. Both firms were founded in the 1920s, but realized that 90-year-old branding wasn’t speaking to consumers in 2012’s competitive marketplace.

There's been a merger, acquisition, or expansion.
Circumstances might be forcing you to rebrand. If your company merged with another, or was acquired, or launched a new division that modifies your core mission, you’ll need a new brand to reflect the change. Or perhaps your brand is too close to another’s, and you’re pre-emptively changing to avoid legal issues. Or maybe you need to shed some baggage, which is why Philip Morris became Altria or GMAC became Ally Bank.

It's been a while.
Sometimes branding just becomes stale. Some fonts and logos can become dated; maybe yours fell victim to what Marty Neumeier called the Great Swoosh Epidemic, when every company wanted a curved or circular icon. You may find that your logo doesn’t fit well in the icon space allowed by Twitter, or looks good onscreen but not on paper. These missteps are relatively easy to fix.
Image via Concept Genius

If you answered yes to any of these questions, get ready to rebrand.
If youve never been through a corporate or employer rebranding effort, you may be asking yourself these questions:

  • How do I create a plan to rebrand?
  • How long will it take to rebrand?
  • How much will it cost to rebrand?
  • What is the ROI of a rebrand? 
Unique goals and objectives make these questions hard to answer in general terms, but future blog articles will endeavor to add clarity to your quest. In the meantime, if rebranding is on your New Year's resolution list, get in touch with your friends in BRANDEland.

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