Between changing consumer tastes, the evolving competitive landscape and your own business’ growth, there comes a time in every brand’s life when it needs to reassess the effectiveness of its branding. So how do you know if you need to rebrand or if you just need to freshen up the brand a little? How can you identify the warning signs? We’ve compiled a list of brand red flags below.
1. The brand looks old fashioned
Consumers’ tastes are always evolving. Like the fashion industry, what’s ‘in’ for branding now won’t be as attractive in a few years’ time. It’s easy, even for those not working in a marketing field, to tell at a glance if a company’s logo, marketing or messaging looks old fashioned or out of date. This gives the impression the business’ products or services are stale too; that the company is somehow not professional. Rebranding instantly brings your business into the present, improving trust and reputation.
2. Your business strategy has changed
Your business may have grown and evolved. You may have new products or services. Perhaps there’s been a merger or acquisition. Whatever the reason, the business has outgrown its original strategy and vision. Every brand is developed to include colours, imagery, messaging and design elements that support your business strategy. Therefore, when the business strategy changes, it makes sense to alter the brand style and messaging to match.
3. You’re not attracting the right customers
If the ideal customers are always eluding you, it could be that they’re being turned off by your brand. Ideal branding communicates on a meaningful level with the type of people you want to attract. It’s written and designed to be appealing to their tastes and values. It lets them know what you have to offer and gives them a feeling for the standard of product or service they can expect. Great branding expresses a personality that’s attractive to your ideal customers and had values that align with their own.
4. You have a bad reputation
Whether or not it’s deserved, sometimes businesses get a reputation that’s hard to shake. It could be your name makes it sound like you offer another product or service, your image isn’t trustworthy, or the design makes your high-end brand look cheap and nasty. Maybe you’ve gotten a lot of bad press. Perhaps a past staff member wasn’t offering the standard of products or service customers were expecting. It could be there are common misconceptions about your business and you just want to shake them off. One of the best ways to fix people’s misunderstandings about your brand or repair a damaged reputation is to rebrand.
5. Mistaken identity
Are you being mistaken for another business? Does your brand look ‘same, same’ to everyone else in your industry? Is the name boring, complicated, forgettable, hard to spell, say or Google? Is the logo dull and meaningless? If you’re not standing out as individuals in the marketplace, you’ll be overlooked. Great branding capitalises on the positive qualities that are unique to your business, so you attract people who want what you have to offer, delivered in the manner you offer it.
6. It’s complicated
This is a common problem found in businesses that may have had a series of different people work on branding and messaging over the years. We also find this in businesses where the senior team members’ vision for the business don’t align with one other. When there are competing strategies at play, messaging or image becomes complicated, confusing or inconsistent. A rebrand brings everything back in line with your current business strategy and gives you a clear path to take for communications in future.
7. You started on the wrong foot
When a new business starts up, there isn’t always a big budget for branding. Yours may have started with just a name and a cheap logo. Great branding includes more than a logo. It starts with thorough research and a clear strategy. From there, it’s about choosing a name that resonates with the target market, is trademarkable, has a convenient URL and social platform names available, and that expresses your brand personality. It includes developing design elements, colours, photos, logo and iconography that look consistent and appealing; they also work together to convey your brand personality. Brand promise and technical descriptor should be developed to support the name and logo. A suite of messaging is important to ensure you’re communicating consistently. In an ideal world, these brand assets would be outlined clearly in a style guide, so anyone who is working on marketing communications has a clear set of guidelines to follow to ensure you’re always communicating effectively on any channel.