The world around us is continuously changing: Markets change, competition changes, technology changes, customer expectations change, buyer behaviour changes. The current Coronavirus crisis has shown us how quickly organisations have had to pivot and reinvent themselves to adapt to the situation.
Over the last few months, we’ve been asked by a number of brands who have had to suddenly adapt, whether it’s time for a rebrand. And our answer has always been: “Well, it depends.” There is no definitive answer to this question. Every brand is different. Every brand’s goals and objectives are different. Every brand has different challenges and customer expectations, and so are the motivations for considering a rebrand.
Rebrand or Brand refresh?
The desire for a rebrand is usually born from a change within your business or a challenge it faces. These can be manifold. It may be that your company has changed its very purpose and structure, or you may feel that your organisation’s branding feels visually boring or dated.
What matters most is that your brand stays relevant and familiar to your customers. Find out what their perceptions of your brand are. If they don’t fully align with what you stand for, you have a much clearer picture of what needs to be changed and improved. This process can either be a brand refresh or an entire company rebrand. But, what’s the difference?
A full rebrand is a substantial and complex change to an organisation’s brand. This deep reaching process starts with a shift in brand strategy and core messaging. A rebranding process can be triggered by a multitude of reasons; these are the most common ones:
- The structure and size of your organisation changes: Due to mergers, acquisitions and integrations a brand’s structure and size has changed. A full rebrand enables the newly re-structured organisation to align internally and externally through a shared brand strategy and culture which reflects the expansion and scale of the newly formed brand.
- The range of products and services changes and/or expands: Your capabilities change or expand from your original offering. This may be due to merging with another business or through the invention or development of new disruptive products and services. A rebrand will help position you accordingly in the marketplace.
- Your company name changes: Brands may change name due to mergers, corporate or political change, or because they have fallen into disrepute. For example, in light of the current racism debate, large American sports teams, who use Native American terms, are changing their name for ethical reasons. This forces them to undertake an entire rebrand.
- Competition and/or lack of awareness forces you to level up: In highly competitive markets it’s important to stay ahead of your competitors. If a brand’s framework is weak and not memorable or strong enough, a rebrand may be on the cards. This is common in the fiercely competitive charity sector, where organisations are drowned out by each other. A rebrand can help to put a charity back on the map.
Even though the structure or set up of your company hasn’t changed, brands keep evolving over time. A brand refresh offers the opportunity to make small updates, tweaks and adjustments to a visual identity and marketing collateral to reflect this. A brand refresh keeps the familiar look and feel of your branding intact to retain your audience’s trust. It helps you to:
- Assess if your brand identity is still relevant: Your logos, fonts, colours, imagery and taglines should be evaluated to find out if they are still fulfilling their purpose and if they work in digital environments. For example, a logo may need to be simplified to work well as a social media profile image or as a website favicon.
- Re-establish consistency in your brand identity assets: Over time assets can lose their effect because they have been subject to too many little changes or because they haven’t been used frequently enough. A refresh can help inject new life and consistency in the use of your assets.
- Find new creative ways to liven up your brand: A refresh also gives you the opportunity to create new layouts and styles for your marketing collateral and advertising to liven up the brand. This could be a different style of imagery or an adjustment to current your leaflet designs.
Always undertake a brand refresh with your audience in mind and don’t make assumptions from internal assessments only. What appears boring and dated to you may be perceived as familiar and timeless by your clients.
If you are considering a brand refresh or full rebrand due to changes in your organisation, we’d be happy to help you get some clarity. We follow a detailed research and discovery process that will uncover the right path for your business.