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Branding is the cornerstone of any successful business and there are many reasons to prove it.
First, a strong brand can help nudge a customer to choose your product or service over other alternatives. Second, by telling your story and showing your identity, your brand can make customers feel closer to you and be willing to pay more and buy more. Third, branding helps your company retain one of its most cherished assets: its team.
However, times change and even the biggest brands can’t go unchanged forever. Global events, shifting customer demands, and a wide range of other forces can impact a market at any second.
Rebranding is a natural cycle of every business, but sometimes companies miss the red flags because they’re so lost in the everyday madness. It is important to recognize these changes and act quickly to move your company in a new direction.
We’ve gathered a list of warning signs to show you when it’s time to consider changing your brand.
When most people hear the word brand, they immediately think of a company’s name and logo. While these two elements are vital, a brand is so much more. Your company’s brand makes up the entire experience people and employees have with your business.
A good brand clearly shows others what you do and how you do it. It also helps companies develop trust and improve their credibility in the market.
Here’s a pretty exhaustive list of all the reasons and signs that show you it’s probably time to make some changes to your brand.
Almost in every case, your business may start its journey by targeting a very specific market. However, you may soon find out that the market isn’t responding to your product. Maybe they like your products and services, but the price point is not right for them. Maybe your branding is not clear enough or targeting a broad market.
You can adjust the target by changing your brand to increase your business’s appeal to the new target market. If you think that you’ve defined the wrong identity for your brand, you can create an entirely new one by rebranding.
Simply changing the website layout, picking a new name and font, and adjusting the internal processes can help you portray a new image that resonates with your new audience.
Change is an inevitable aspect of every market and customer base. To cope with that, businesses have no choice but to change their strategies, and sometimes, they end up in a place that’s wildly different from where they began. In other words, they’re almost a new business that needs a new brand.
Sometimes it’s a change of culture, not the market, that can affect different elements of a brand, including its name. A trendy name in the past may seem offensive or unsuitable to a brand’s reputation in 2022.
The prime example is the rebrand from BackRub to Google. It’s hard to imagine such a level of success for Google if the company had not changed its name.
A brand's name is a fundamental aspect of its story. It’s the first thing that customers see at every touchpoint and recognize you by. You should pick a unique and memorable name that matches your products and services. However, don’t make the name too unique or curious because it may overshadow the entire branding of the business.
This goes hand in hand with the previous point. As times change, cultures, generations, and norms change as well. If your business thrived on a slogan that was trendy 10 years ago, it may be time to change it because you’re dealing with a new young demographic who have little in common with those times.
The same applies to your logo. If you’ve been using the same graphics and visuals for the past decade, it’s wise to see if they still resonate with current times. Remember that a professional logo can play a huge role in drawing attention to your company.
Don’t just stop at the logo. Go deeper, and scan your website and social media platforms (hopefully you have them!) to see if they are responsive and maintain visual harmony with your brand.
In the beginning, most businesses use highly descriptive branding to show customers exactly what they are about and give them an inside look into their limited operations. But, if they become a success and scale, this specificity can turn into an issue because sooner or later, they will outgrow their brands.
If you face a similar issue, you don’t have to completely wipe off your previous brand. Just like there are weaknesses in your brand, there are many upsides that you want to still have for the future.
The prime example is Dunkin’ Donuts which was initially branded as a coffee and donuts place. But, after it started to offer other breakfast and lunch items or drinks, it dropped the ‘donuts’ from the name and only focused on Dunkin.
Any aspiring business must keep recruiting talented, passionate people who believe in the vision. If you’re looking to hire such employees for your company and the candidates are not what you expected, your branding is probably a factor here. Are these prospects getting the wrong idea about your business? If so, there’s a good chance that prospective clients may feel the same way.
Your brand needs to convey a clear, understandable message so you can fend off the wrong types of people and bring in the right ones that share your goals, and instill the same feeling in your leads and customers.
There’s no need to point out the gigantic share of e-commerce in different markets, which is growing every year. Nowadays, your website and social media pages are among the first spots customers interact with you.
Besides using the same fonts, colors, and visual elements from your brand in your website and social media pages, you need to consider website performance as well. Everything from the layout, visuals, responsiveness, and load-up time says a lot about your business as a whole.
Of course, you don’t need to turn the UI and UX upside down. Just upgrade it to a level where it meets the tried and tested protocols for a great business website. The same applies to your social media platforms because they are the primary source of creating a community where customers and leads can interact with your company and possibly become brand ambassadors.
Sometimes businesses may feel that they’re justified in raising the price of their services and goods, but the market may not feel the same way. If you think that the price for your business is hopelessly fixed, you need to consider rebranding. In other words, if you want to charge premium prices, you have to look like a premium brand.
What works in some sectors does not work in others. It’s not easy to portray yourself as a premium company without solid, cohesive branding. You need to use effective colors, fonts, and visuals to show consumers that you’re selling them a premium product.
With all the competitors on the market, there’s a lot of noise out there, meaning that you have to stand out. Unless you can show customers how you differ from other alternatives and how you provide something that they don’t, you can’t hope to win them over.
Therefore, your branding cannot be very similar to other businesses because it won’t grab any attention and will imply that you are just another business with no unique selling proposition.
Always look for a way to attract your specific target audience while being honest regarding your brand’s value and identity. Don’t try to portray your company as something it's not to differentiate yourself from others.
When discussing branding, we tend to point out external signs such as the competition or customers. However, it’s entirely possible if your view of the market changes and you decide to do something you’ve never done before.
For instance, you may realize something about your specific market that others don’t. Maybe you’ve found new ideas for the next product line that don’t fit with the previous business model and branding approach. Or, you may realize that the previous strategy doesn’t work in new conditions and you need to pivot to keep growing.
No business can achieve great success without flexibility and adaptability. You have to humbly accept when things are not going right and come up with a plan to rectify the situation. When you develop a new business plan, you also have to rebrand because you don’t want the customers and employees to get mixed messages about your identity.
This can be a great chance to take a new step and gain an edge over the competition.
As time goes by, customers change, businesses change, and therefore, industries need to change as well. If you’ve had any experience with industry regulations and those “red lines”, you know that the line keeps moving.
Industries need to define norms to create a message that transcends language and portrays a collective identity that is recognized in every city or country. That’s why they develop branding guidelines to maintain a level of consistency among all businesses in the sector. The guidelines can prevent potential confusion in the first place by providing clear rules on how to showcase your brand to the customer.
For instance, some sensitive industries (e.g. finance or medicine) have strict rules and brand consistency guidelines about the words, the symbols, and the colors you can use. In addition to the color, an industry branding guideline may have specific protocols on the amount of spacing, the font, and other visual elements.
Sometimes your brand identity can turn into a liability and work against the good of your business. When customers start to identify your brand with a negative event or group, it is time to rebrand.
Nowadays, it’s so easy for businesses to ruin their reputation. All it takes is a political misstep on social media to show everyone how you did a certain group wrong, turning your business from a normal organization into a hot-button issue.
In such cases, rebranding is the easiest and most efficient solution because by starting an internal audit of your brand and its touchpoints, you’ll gain accurate insights into where those negative perceptions come from and how you can resolve them.
Sometimes a branding strategy works great in one area, but not another. For instance, a certain slogan or symbol may resonate with one language or culture, but seem confusing or even inappropriate to another group.
Or, the name might be specific to a local business and seem odd for a national brand. For example, if you’re running a company named “Rock Climbing Supplies Arizona”, then it doesn’t make sense to move into the New York market with the same name.
As a business, you will naturally scale and open up new facilities in different regions, so make sure the branding is not stopping you.
One of the most common reasons for rebranding is when companies undergo a merger or acquisition. With an acquisition, you need to see how the acquired company fits the overall branding of the acquiring business. Sometimes businesses miss this point and create confusion that hurts both brands.
It’s almost the same in a merger. You want coherent messaging for the new brand that is clear of any redundancy, confusion, or cannibalization. As said before, coherence is a vital element of any branding effort, particularly in a merger or acquisition when two companies have to agree on a common branding guideline.
Making the decision to change your company brand is not an easy one. After all, your brand is your image and determines how people perceive your company and its employees. Rebranding requires a great deal of care and expertise because if people feel close to your brand and you’re an established player on the market, rebranding may create confusion.
Branding (or rebranding) is also a game of experience, something not every company has. Most businesses have already focused all of their money, time, and staff on the core elements of their business and they don’t have enough left to run an in-house rebranding operation.
That’s why many choose to hire a third-party expert that has the expertise, infrastructure, and experience to run their rebranding game. At JM&Co, we love working with people and companies who are trying to make a difference.
Our technical expertise, creative capability, and strategic consulting experience have contributed to our proven track record of accomplishments across a diverse assortment of digital marketing services.
We have an established track record of rebranding for businesses in different sectors, bringing them harmony on the inside and the outside. Our results speak for themselves, but any detail you can’t find there is just a phone call away from you.
The art is building the right growth campaign. The science is in the results.