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How to Know When It’s Time to Rebrand

Behind The Scenes
For many business owners and entrepreneurs, the launch phase of their business can be pretty lean; you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on thorough branding. It works well enough, but it may not reflect the truest parts of your business or audience once you’ve established yourself in the market.
Author Jessica Comingore

For others, there may be more focus on branding before launch, with proper foundations and brand expression (aesthetics) put into place. But a shift may still show up despite all that work beforehand.

Whichever category your brand falls into, after a few years working within your business or industry, you may begin to wonder if it’s time for a fresh rebrand.

What can a rebrand do for your business?

As most modern business owners know, a brand differentiates you from your competition. Not only does it use the right aesthetics to speak to your ideal audience, but it helps identify the foundation of your entire business. When those foundations change or your business is not performing as you were hoping, a rebrand may be able to help you gain more traction with:

• A stronger “why”
Better aesthetics
A better understanding of your audience

Unfortunately, many business owners think a rebrand is a cure-all for low sales, poor audience engagement and/or a lack of investors. But in reality, a rebrand can only do so much. That’s why it’s important to know when you should plan for rebranding—and when you should not.

Signs you need (and would benefit from) a rebrand

Your business will change; that is inevitable. As it does, you may notice shifts in your branding or positioning that do not feel as true to the business as they once did. If that’s the case for you, it may be time for a rebrand.

Times that you may need a rebrand include when:

• Your business name has changed
You’ve started serving in a different area or to a different audience
The pillars of your brand have shifted

The pillars of your brand are the foundation and, especially for brand new launches, these pillars can shift pretty dramatically in the first few years of operation.

If any of the following “foundational elements” change within your business, it can signal time for a rebrand.

Brand Purpose: Maybe your brand’s purpose (your “why”) has changed altogether. You’re no longer looking to offer X but instead sell Y, or maybe you’re realizing that there’s a different driving force behind what you do.

Brand Positioning: The audience you’re speaking to (or deliberately pursuing) has changed. You may also notice that your product/service differs drastically from the competition, and it’s time to highlight that more.

Brand Promise: The values you’re guaranteeing to your audience have shifted or are not being reflected properly.

Brand Personality: Your tone of voice and the way you want to engage with your audience has changed.

Brand Expression: These are the aesthetics that most people associate with branding (i.e. logo, fonts, colors, etc.), which you may feel no longer express any of the above properly.

In my experience with businesses seeking a rebrand, if there is a major shift in at least 2 of the 5 brand pillars, a rebrand is usually necessary.

When a rebrand isn’t necessary

Many people believe that rebranding can help them fix more problems than it is actually capable of, which can lead to disappointment and frustration. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, make sure you get very clear on why you need a rebrand, and how it will benefit your business and its customers.

You do not need a rebrand if you simply want:

• A better logo
Different colors on your website
To pitch to one specific customer or investor
To follow the latest trends

A rebrand takes just as much work, if not more, than an initial branding. Why? Because it’s a time to dive deep into the “why” of your business, how it’s currently interacting with its audience, and how you want it to be portrayed in the world. It’s making sure that each facet of your brand is cohesive, even when it’s seen in different places. That’s why it’s so important to not rebrand on a whim, as you likely won’t get the results your business or audience deserve if you do.

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