How to know when it's time to rebrand

Many business owners struggle to determine if it's time to change. It's important to ask the right questions and understand your motivation before you make moves.

How to know when it's time to rebrand

When businesses come to us wanting to activate some kind of change, there is sometimes uncertainty as to whether they should change, or not. The desire to change may be driven by an outside force that is out of their control, or there may be a new player in the market that has turned the industry on its head, often a business discovers their brand no longer represents what the business actually provides.

But what happens when you can't articulate what's wrong? You just have a feeling, an instinct or voice that is telling you that something needs to change but what exactly, you're unsure of. To help you we start with the fundamentals.

Change for the sake of change

The biggest challenge to overcome is to understand and explain why you want to change. If it's simply a case of Shiny Object Syndrome, when we go after the next bright thing that grabs our eye, then you'll need to be sure and identify this quickly. But if you have the feeling that your current brand doesn't fit anymore, even if you're unable to articulate why, both paths lead to the same result. You need to seek council on if it's a good idea or not before you spend time and energy making a big move.

What's changed in your business?

Having an external business to bounce ideas off is invaluable in making a rebrand decision. Discuss with them what's changed, and what hasn't, in what your business delivers. Maybe what's changed is how you deliver that product or who you want to deliver it to. Find a company that doesn't jump straight into the design, but challenges you to figure out why you want to rebrand.

Can you afford to change?

You'll have the expected expenses of changing your marketing collateral. A new website, stationery and emails. But, in the case of many business rebrands, you're not actually changing your company, you're just telling your story in a better way. This will need to be updated in your website and marketing anyway, so it's not too painful a process, once we came to terms with the fact we needed to grow.

But the real investment is in going through the 'who are we really' process. Can you also afford the time that you need to go through a rebrand process. Unless you are rebranding to new ownership, it's not a process that you can delegate to another person. The only time we've had an ineffective brand process is when the actual decision-maker has not made the time to be present.

Can you afford not to change?

One of the biggest drivers for change is this question "can we afford not to change?" Can you afford to carry on attracting customers that are less than ideal? Can you continue to successfully attract the right customers with the wrong messaging?

Without managing your client's expectations right from the get-go with an effective brand message, you may well be either setting them up to fail by using your services, or promising them things you actually can't deliver.

You may even be delivering things at too cheap a price, because of the way you're perceived, thereby missing out on your deserved earnings because of these mismanaged expectations.

Do you only need a facelift or realignment?

It might be all that you need is a facelift. A regroup on what your business values are. A fresh look at what you mean to your customers. Doing a regroup on the fundamentals of your business should be an annual event, and you can adjust and nudge your brand in the right direction without needing a major overhaul on your brand. You then have the opportunity to adjust your course, instead of changing course altogether.

Where to start once you've decided to rebrand

With any business decision, you need to start with your goals. There is a difference between having a vision for your business and having a business plan. Resist your first instinct is to jump straight to the creative process, instead start with the fundamentals. Reach out to a strategic brand consultant who will consider your goals and be willing to understand where you want to take your business, and will help guide you through to the design activation.

The key with any rebrand, is to make sure that when you are ready to be a part of the process. Consider the design objectives and help provide clear instruction for your creative and remember not to underestimate the importance of brand messaging (if you can't articulate this, then ask for help with this process as well) it will save you a lot of time and business drift, and provide the focus your brand will need to grow your business. So now, knowing all this, ask it time?

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