Stay Connected & Up-to-Date: 4 Reasons to Refresh/Rebrand Your Brand

Is your brand still relevant? Does it continue to reinforce your company’s value (and values!), tell your story, represent your corporate culture, and capture your firm’s personality? It is helping or hindering your sales efforts? Does it still reflect your company’s positioning and messaging?

If your brand is no longer supporting your corporate goals, it may be time for a makeover. Don’t panic—I’m not telling you to toss everything out the window. In fact, some of the world’s largest companies stumbled by totally rebranding themselves—including a name change—as a way to capture (or regain) market share. Or as a result of a merger/acquisition. In my opinion, many sacrificed valuable name recognition and goodwill. A few examples that come to mind are United Airlines, who changed their corporate name-UAL—to Allegis; Cingular Wireless, who lost its name and famous “Jack” icon after AT&T acquired the company; and ING US, which changed its name to Voya Financial when it was spun off after the 2008 global financial crisis.

More often than not, you don’t have to go to that extreme. Assess your brand: if you believe it’s as relevant today as it needs to be without altering the corporate ‘persona,’ you may just need a little visual updating and a brand ‘refresh’ A brand refresh updates the current design elements to contemporize and fine-tune your identity.

Rebranding, on the other hand, is a deeper dive to develop a new and differentiated identity in the minds of your targeted audiences. A rebranding typically involves more radical changes to your company’s personality, the brand’s logo, name and image based on a new positioning and new messaging. Companies usually turn to rebranding as a way to more accurately represent a new or changing corporate culture and reflect a different persona.

Whether your brand just needs a quick makeover or a total overhaul, the process is an opportunity to reinforce your value, tell your story in a new way, cement relationships and gain new recognition. It can unify your team around the organization’s values, purpose and future.

With that in mind, here are four reasons to consider refreshing or rebranding

  1. The marketplace is changing. . . which means your competitors are changing too. Where does that leave you? Are you becoming indistinguishable from the competition? Or is the perception of your brand stale, irrelevant, or worse . . . unknown?
  1. You haven’t changed or updated your “look and feel” for several years – business today moves at the speed of sound, and customers’ savvy and expectations are rising just as rapidly. Styles change. And it’s likely the organization itself has changed. We live in a visual culture. When a logo, brochure, ad, or website is out of date and doesn’t measure up to the level of competition or to customers’ expectations, it affects perceptions . . . and the bottom line.
  1. You’re planning for growth – do you have new products and services? Are you going after different markets than you have in the past? Have you undergone a merger or acquisition? If so, a rebranding may be in order. When supported by new positioning and messaging, rebranding will help you clarify your direction to the marketplace and help your own employees align around a common focus.
  1. Your “connection” to your customers and targeted audience is waning – while there may be a lot of reasons for this, the biggest cause I’ve seen is that your promotions and messaging the content of your promotions and messaging are on auto-pilot. Messaging should speak to your audiences—align with their expectations and needs, in a way that says, “they get me!”

Whether you simply want to update your logo, tweak your website, or embark on a complete rebranding, be sure that whatever you do clearly defines your company and gives customers a reason to choose you over your competition.

Have you refreshed or rebranded? Was it a successful effort? Did the outcome meet your goals? Please share your experience!

How do you perfect your company’s brand story? How has the digital age changed your story? Share your experiences!