By Roger Franklin, President and CEO, Crystal
In every company there comes the day when the shiny luster has worn off its branding and a company starts to wonder if the brand is doing more harm than good. Even industry giants rethink their brand: Pepsi has rebranded 11 times, Apple has done it three, and Starbucks, four. Here are five reasons why a rebranding might be a good strategy for your company:
- Leadership Changes Hands. Brands are commonly linked to a company’s leader, particularly in privately held organizations when the brand takes on a founder’s personality. When the company changes hands, from one generation to another or to an outside owner, a new identity is a way to reflect the transition. The shift is usually about more than the brand; it affects change in other parts of the organization and branding can help bring about and enforce this change.
- When A Brand Needs A Makeover. It’s challenging to stay contemporary and fresh. Even the biggest companies in the world have evolved their brand identity to keep up with the changes in their respective markets. Without rebranding and repositioning, competitors would encroach on their market share. Target is an excellent example of a brand that moved up in its market position through a calculated and strategic approach to its branding. Rejuvenating the basic elements — such as colors, typeface, or logo treatment — can honor your past and embrace the future.
- Mergers And Acquisitions. When a company merges, what happens to the legacy brands? An acquisition marks the time to evaluate any overlaps in audiences, product set, or geography. It’s also important to revisit key messages and brand focus. Mergers can warrant the need to create an entirely new brand, or merely a “touch up” to the message and visual identity.
- Your Customer Evolves. As consumer behavior evolves, so should your brand. With so many choices available for your audience, your company must stay relevant and noticed. Today’s speed of business results in changes to the things that are important to a target audience (e.g., technology, pricing, convenience). A proactive, new brand is more powerful than fighting for client retention, or reacquiring your audience after they switch.
- Repositioning Your Brand. As a company grows, its brand changes and stands for something different than in it did in the beginning. Brands evolve to reach new audiences; the challenge is to introduce a position that connects with them. As a company matures, the initial identity can become a liability and hold a company back from reaching its full potential.
Your brand is an asset that should work for you. A rebrand is certainly not something company leadership should take lightly. After all, the only thing more expensive than a rebrand is an unnecessary rebrand. Embracing change and recognizing the need to evolve is the first step. From there, building a lasting brand requires a commitment to your culture, clients and bottom line.