It’s a changing world and your business has changed along with it. But is your brand still relevant? When you’ve been working under the same branding strategy for years, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to usher in some changes. However, doing so could make the difference between your customers knowing what you’re about at a glance and utter confusion, or worse yet, total obscurity. Look for these signs that indicate it’s time you took your brand back to the drawing board.
1. Your Logo Looks Clunky and Outdated
Did you know that the FedEx brand logo was once the long-form “Federal Express?” It certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily, and it may not have become the household name it is today without a logo revision. Playing around with new ideas doesn’t require a team of graphic designers.
Brainstorm your options and get customer input. In the end, it’s your customers who will decide whether your new logo works for them. And a word of warning: your logo is only one element of your brand. Use create.vista.com to generate as many concepts as you like for free. If you have something that already works for everyone and you aren’t planning any changes to the way you work, sticking with what you have may be the better option.
2. Your Brand Doesn’t Set You Apart From the Competition
If you want to dominate your area of the market, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition. This isn’t just a visual issue. It’s about your brand’s purpose and the way you work. Think about the voice you use to communicate with your customers, the identity you project, the promise you make to your customers, the values you represent, the customers you target and your positioning within your target market. These are big issues that will either make you blend in or stand out.
All too many people think that branding just about looks. It’s much more than that. Rebranding could mean completely re-strategizing and then changing your look to suit your new approach to doing business.
3. You’ve Diversified
Over the years, you’ve spotted several different market niches to target, and have diversified across a broader range of activities. Does your brand speak to each of these market offerings and segments? It may be time to develop sub-brands so that customers don’t become confused about what you’re offering and to appeal to the different segments you serve.
As an easy example, think of Miller, and you think of beer. But Miller doesn’t only produce beer, and not all its products carry the Miller brand. Did you know that Redd’s is also a Miller brand? This brings us to the brand audience. People who drink fruit beer have a different consumer profile to those who enjoy a lager. By recognizing the differences between its products and the markets they target and branding accordingly, Miller has enabled better targeting and the development of two distinctive brand presences and personas.
4. You Aren’t Attracting the Type of Customers You Intended
When you first developed a brand, you had a reasonably clear idea of the buyer personas you wanted to target. But, somehow, you seem to have missed the mark. Could your brand image be part of the problem? It’s time to strategize. Remember, a brand exists to serve its market. Are you offering what your market wants at a price they’re willing to pay? Is your messaging missing the mark? Have you misidentified who will buy your products and their reasons for doing business with you? Is your idea great but your presentation wrong?
5. Your Regional Business Has Expanded its Reach
Even if your business name doesn’t include words with regional associations, expanding your reach might signal a need for a change in your branding. This could be an overall change or a tweak to your brand promise and messaging in order to match the markets you’re breaking into.
To illustrate this, American fast-food chains are seen as an easy way to get a cheap, quick, and convenient meal at home. In China, they’re patronised for the sake of the American experience and a chance to taste “exotic” cuisine. The logos and colours may remain the same, but the focus of the message the brand delivers to consumers is completely different.
Always Know Why You’re Rebranding
Rebranding is never done simply for its own sake. There’s always a reason. To make your rebranding exercise a success, you need to be very clear about why you’re rebranding. And since your brand and your loyal customers may have a special relationship, be sure that they’ll welcome the changes before you go ahead with implementation. The alternative could be a costly change that alienates the market you already won over.