A time comes when a business image isn’t up to scratch. Although recognising when to rebrand might seem difficult, several moments will lend themselves to change or necessitate one.
On average, businesses rebrand once every 7-10 years, a process that often involves restyling the colour palettes, logos, photographic style and visual language. In some cases, changing the name might be necessary.
While there’s often one main reason, a combination of factors can motivate a rebrand. Here’s an overview of the most important grounds for rebranding.
To reach a new audience
It’s possible that your current brand is not attracting the right demographic. You might be looking to attract a younger audience, but you’re only attracting seniors.
If you are offering cutting-edge products yet your brand looks outdated, you’re not likely to attract the desired audience. If this is the case, you’d want to gauge what the target audience is looking for and rebrand your business accordingly.
To keep moving forward, tapping into a new demographic might be necessary. Taking the time to research, identify and target a new market is known to impact business growth significantly. For instance, having identified that Melbourne and Brisbane present a great business opportunity, Chesterton International rebranded to CI Australia Pty Limited to position themselves better for expansion and take advantage of the strong client demand.
To reposition your brand
When starting your business, you probably established a set of values to provide a foundation and guide you through the first few years. A company’s philosophy is often founded on these initial core values. But as the business grows, the original identity might become a liability that keeps the company from reaching its full potential.
As such, companies can evolve and stand for something different with growth or change in leadership. A new leadership often means a new look and way of conducting business, and this usually results in organisational changes that can influence the course taken.
If implemented properly, changing a company’s position and brand promise often has a significant impact. Your business needs to adapt everything including its HR policy, customers, products, and identity in line with the new philosophy. Whether the company has moved away from the original vision or merely expanded on it, your brand needs to reflect these changes. Rebranding makes this change visible and helps reflect the current policy.
When the market evolves
Changes in the market situation can threaten your company’s existence. For instance, you may have to reinvent your business to digitise or because of market shifts. For a company to stay relevant and noticed, its brand needs to evolve with consumer behaviour.
With the availability of so many choices, staying relevant and noticed often means the difference between success and failure. In today’s business environment, pricing, convenience, and speed are some of the most important things to a target audience.
As such, a proactive, new brand works much better than fighting for customer retention or trying to reacquire an audience that has switched. For example, AVA developed a new visual identity to provide users with a totally new online engagement experience and look more like a leader.
Mergers, acquisitions and demergers
Changes in business ownership due to mergers, acquisitions or demergers will usually make rebranding necessary. In such cases, making the change visible isn’t the only objective.
Apart from providing the opportunity to evaluate for overlaps or changes in product sets and target audiences, mergers, acquisitions and demergers can warrant the need to rebrand a company’s key message and visual identity. As an example, CSC rebranded to DXC Technology after merging with HP’s Enterprise Services Group.
To further develop your business identity
Some years ago, all a corporate identity consisted of was a logo, typography and primary colour palette. Back then, branding elements like a secondary colour palette, photographic style, and visual language had not yet been defined. Because of the resulting level of freedom in applying the corporate identity, the brand’s visual image eventually became a mess.
Such cases call for rebranding to ensure you end up having a consistent and recognisable brand. For instance, RSM Bird Cameron rebranded to RSM after seeing the need to adopt a single, more recognisable global brand.
Without a doubt, staying contemporary and fresh is a challenge. Even so, modernisation is probably the most common reason for rebranding today. Because of trends, brands that have not been updated will often come across as old-fashioned over time.
As a result, even the big global companies have had to evolve their corporate brand to keep up with market changes. If these organisations had not taken the time to rebrand and reposition, their competitors would have encroached on their market share.
Businesses can honour their past and embrace the future by upgrading their logo treatment, colour, and typeface, all basic elements of branding. The need to internationalise might call for rebranding in some cases, like when the name seems specific to a particular country or conjures the wrong associations. As an example, ISIS Group Australia, a leading company in the fit-out and refurbishment industry, re-branded as Shape Australia after enduring a tough year on the back of a terror group named ISIS.
Once you’ve established why you need to rebrand, you can create solutions via your new brand. But since rebranding is not cheap, it should provide tangible benefits to your business and clients. Aside from allowing entrepreneurs to refocus on business operation, rebranding offers you a new opportunity to set your business apart from the competitors and showcase the company’s unique strengths.
Milenka Osen works at La La Land shop, an Australia-based ONLINE GREETING CARDS SHOP. She specialises in design & marketing, and runs the online store. She formerly was the creative behind the TMOD, which is now one of La La Land’s unique stationery brands.