Your brand is a strategic asset, and its an asset that gets more valuable with time and exposure. Making big changes to this is not without risk and there needs to be a solid reason behind a rebrand. All too often though, it’s done because:
Every brand is fighting for attention, and consistency and longevity are key to winning this fight. If you don’t have a clear strategic reason behind your rebrand, it won’t have the impact you hope for. Yes, its important to update your look and feel, but completely changing your brand every few years can seriously damage your business.
It’s very easy to mistake branding as being all about visuals. Everything you create and put out into the world is a little representation of you. It says something about your core values. Changing the way you look or talk will not change those values, but it might undermine them. A rebranding exercise shouldn’t be about choosing which new colours you’ll have on your walls. It’s an opportunity to dig deeper into who you are as a company and what you want to stand for. Sometimes the best starting place for this is by understanding today’s picture by conducting research around implicit brand associations, this will help you understand the core values that your brand is portraying today.
If you have taken the time to assess and evaluate your brand today, then its important that you keep doing it as you rebrand! Some metrics you should be tracking are; brand awareness, brand associations, Net Promoter Score, consideration and preferences, churn rate, website and social media metrics. This is a lot of information to keep on top of but can help you to identify patterns and problems easier where you can tweak an element of your brand instead of needing a complete overhaul.
"People love creating something new. But using your brand as a creative outlet can be very dangerous indeed!" Oliver Gwynne, Marketing Insights Manager
Defining your brand in a crowded market is difficult. All too often companies are guilty of trying to ‘keep up with the joneses’ when it comes to branding. Either following design trends or doing the complete opposite to stand out. While it can be useful to keep an eye on your competition, it is better to understand in detail your own unique value proposition and leverage customers (both current and future) to unlock your real position in the market. In this way you can be more proactive in doing what is uniquely ‘you’ and less reactive to what your competition are up to.
One of the most common reasons that companies look to change their brand positioning is so they can be better placed to win business with certain customers. For most businesses, the pareto principle applies whereby 80% of their profit will come from 20% of their customers. With this in mind, it would seem to make good business sense to target this section of customers, rebrand accordingly and grow this section. But this can often be a mistake. While it’s true that a segmentation strategy does mean focusing on a few sets of customers, it does not mean ignoring the bulk of your customer base. High spending customers are typically prime targets for multiple brands and may require more time and resources. Without this investment, your company may simply have achieved the expected level of market share, and rebranding will have minimal effect, except for potentially alienating the bulk of your audience.
It takes a lot longer than most businesses appreciate for your brand to be seen, recognised and understood. Ripping this up to start again, whilst sometimes necessary, is a huge risk. In the short term, your customers may simply not recognise your products/messages. In the long-term a rebrand may actually alienate customers further and heighten the disconnect with your brand. Any rebrand needs to be accompanied by a big marketing push to minimise this risk.