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Is It Time for a Rebrand? Knowing When to Refresh Your Brand Identity

Think of a brand as a company’s unique personality that tells their story. It’s a mix of things like their logo, slogan, values, audience, and reputation. Every aspect of your brand and the choices you make for it has an impact in one way or another. No matter how successful your business is, one of those things – if not multiple – can experience a noticeable and purposeful change. These transformations are known as a rebrand. Though they can have many benefits, knowing when and why to hit the ground running with a rebrand can sometimes be tricky to determine.

Some of your favorite businesses have experienced a rebrand. Dunkin’ Donuts recently became Dunkin,’ and Coca-Cola changed their slogan from “Taste the Feeling” to “Open Happiness.” Logos are the faces of brands and often the first step of a rebrand. A logo redesign shows that a business can evolve and adapt no matter how long they’ve been around. Starbucks, Adidas, Burger King, Volvo, Netflix – the list goes on. Today’s brands that have taken up a logo redesign tend to go for a simpler look.

Being a common part of a business’s life cycle, companies are motivated to rebrand for different reasons. In some cases, it’s a process that’s initiated on their own, whereas for others, rebranding becomes a must to save face when an issue arises.

Whether you find your brand to be outdated, needing to adjust to industry changes, or faced with a crisis, there are so many elements to consider. Understanding the reasoning behind your rebranding is one thing, but how to effectively implement it is an entirely different ball game.

Your age is showing!

Sometimes businesses can face problems with their branding when it becomes outdated. Outdating branding typically happens when your brand needs to freshen up its style or it’s not current with consumer trends. When a brand loses its ability to accurately reflect their current state of business, it’s time to reevaluate.

There are a few different indicators that your brand needs to be updated. From visual aspects to messaging, the techniques you use must be relevant. Just like nobody wants to be seen in last year’s fashion trends, out of style branding methods are given the cold shoulder. Look at some aspects to assess when you’re thinking about updating your brand:

  • Visual Identity – Is your brand still priding itself on logos or ads with over-the-top shadowing effects, extravagant fonts, and too bold of color choices? A+ if you’re existing in the 90s.Not to say that these aspects of design are all bad, but today’s consumers find minimalism more appealing. Brands are using simpler and more authentic visuals to connect more with the audience and tend to be more versatile. Since digital marketing and mobile devices are so influential right now, it’s essential for visuals to be able to adapt.
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  • Technology – Because of how fast technology moves, it can be difficult to stay on top of what’s new. If your brand isn’t up to speed with the latest and greatest, it can render your image. Whether it be websites, social media, email marketing services, or design applications, knowledge on how to navigate them is power.Especially for social platforms and websites, sites or profiles that don’t adapt well to modern technology, such as mobile devices and tablets, load slowly or lack innovative features can cause potential customers to lose interest.
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  • Messaging – Creating messages that resonate with your audience’s values, needs, and concerns is essential. The words and phrases you use and how you express them have a significant impact on what people think of your brand. Use language and themes that strike a chord and are relevant. Doing so makes potential consumers feel more compelled to interact with and invest time in your brand.Updated messaging also requires your business to recognize changes in culture and society. Addressing topics related to cultural and societal happenings resonates with your audience. Neglecting to acknowledge certain things or addressing it with the wrong message is a missed opportunity to connect with consumers.

 

Stay ahead of the curve.

Industries and their target audiences are constantly changing. When these changes pose a threat to a brand’s position in the market, rebranding is your golden ticket to holding your ground.

Such a proactive response to industry shifts allows businesses to reposition themselves for the better. Think of your brand as your industry’s benchwarmer. Once you make that right shot or score the winning goal, everybody recognizes you and wants you on their team.

  • Market Perception – Shifts in consumer expectations and market trends can make a brand appear out of touch with reality if they aren’t noted. Say a brand that was once considered innovative and cutting-edge fails to keep up with what’s trending in or new insights; it’s likely it will lose its competitive edge and lose customer loyalty.
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  • Product or Service Offerings – Your brand must mirror any changes you make with your products or services. If what you’re offering has had any modifications, your branding needs to be modernized too. Failure to communicate this through your brand’s identity may influence consumers to turn away.
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  • Competitive Landscape – When competitors freshen up their branding and present their business as modernized and appealing, it can make outdated brands have a lower place on the totem pole. Even though every brand has its differences, take note of what’s working for others and give it a unique flair.

 

So, you’re dealing with a crisis?

If your business lands itself in hot water, it can be detrimental for your brand. In this case, rebranding can help your business resurface and move forward. Whether it be running into a legal or ethical issue, getting caught for questionable business practices, or continuously receiving negative reviews, a rebrand may be the only way to save your business.

When a crisis poses a threat to your business, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the brand you’ve spent time and energy building needs to be thrown out the window. There are ways to repair your brand without having to start from scratch.

  • Develop New Strategy – Though it’s not ideal, being during a crisis can be a prime time to reevaluate your brand’s mission, values, and goals. Considering you’re dealing with a problem, it’s likely they aren’t up to par.The aspects of your brand strategy must be compelling and communicate your commitment to righting the wrongs and prevent future incidents. Remember, renewing your strategy is one thing, holding up to its new standards is what makes the difference.
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  • Renew Consumer Trust – Reestablishing trust through a rebrand can be an effective and thoughtful approach if it’s done right. Rebranding after a crisis is about renewing a company mission and its values to align with consumer needs.Messaging also plays a part in rebranding after a crisis. Your messaging should be consistent with your actions and maintain transparency to solidify renewed customer trust and loyalty.
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  • Reform Your Brand – Shifts in technology, emerging competitors, changes in consumer preferences, among other market forces, can sometimes cause a brand’s products or services to go out of style. In this case, there’s no need to fear that your business will become obsolete. There are many alternatives to get back in the game.Take a deep dive into your industry’s market to understand why what you’re offering is no longer desired. Look into emerging trends, consumer opinions, and competitive factors. Brainstorm new offerings that align with the current market. This may involve expanding your business’s niche. Though it may take some trial and error, take this as an opportunity to grow professionally and optimize success.  After all, it’s never too late to try something new.
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  • Measure and Adapt – Measuring and adapting are like your compass and steering wheel during a post-crisis rebrand. You need to stay on top of checking if you’re headed in the right direction and be ready to adjust the course if progress isn’t being made. This means analyze what’s working vs what isn’t, take the advice of others, especially consumers, and willingly improve along the way.Analytics tracking programs such as LinkedIn analytics and Hootsuite are services that collect data and analyze your brand’s performance. You’re able to see the effectiveness of your posts, updates, and how your new and improved rebrand strategy is doing.



Teamwork makes the dream work…we know – it’s cliché.

Employees and stakeholders must collectively embrace the rebrand and work together. The faces that make up a business and work behind the scenes play the biggest role in portraying and selling a rebrand.

Just like many decisions in life, there’s no guarantee that they’ll always be full-proof. No matter if you rebrand stems from being outdated, changes in your industry, or a crisis, it takes time. Creating and adapting to a new identity involves a bit of trial and error. Have fun experimenting with new designs, trends, and strategies as you roll out of the old and in with the new.

If you’re looking to give your brand the boost that it needs, Inertia’s team of experts will be your compass on your rebrand journey. Give us a call at (267) 470-4070 or email us idea@inertia.marketing.

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