Five signs your business needs to rebrand – and what to avoid

By Rafferty Gifford

Your brand forms the core identity of your business. It impacts how a customer perceives you and the value your business can bring to them. But sometimes, as your business model and offering evolves, the branding you started with can look tired or conflict with the direction in which your business is going. This is usually the point at which businesses rebrand.

Rebranding can breathe new life into your business but it must be actioned with a focused strategy, a clearly considered process of change and the creative vision to achieve the desired outcome. There comes a point when all businesses should redefine their brand, which is a long-term investment.

So how do you know when it’s time to embark on a rebranding venture? Here are five signs which might imply that your brand is ready for an update and what to look out for.

1) Your Mission or Values have changed

Does your brand clearly communicate to your audience who you are and what you do? Like many businesses, you may have grown and evolved over the years. If your mission or values have changed, it’s important that your brand reflects these. Refocusing on the singular, core message that you want to send to your audience should be the goal of your rebranding efforts.

However, take care not to ignore or abandon the strengths within your existing brand. A common mistake is to focus on changing one element of your brand, and not recognising when the new element replaces effective existing elements  Ensure that you  do your homework into every step of the rebranding process to ensure that you don’t overlook anything important. This may include surveying consumers to gain insight of how the brand is currently perceived, defining what you aim to accomplish from the rebrand and developing a plan of action to implement the changes.

2) You Want to Appeal to a New Audience

One of the biggest advantages when renewing the look and feel of your brand is the ability to connect with new potential customers. Rebranding will help you to engage with new audiences and hopefully win new customers from the key demographics you are looking to target. People will stop to take notice when you promote new aspects of your business effectively. A revitalised brand can reposition your business to stimulate growth in an ever-evolving market. 

Through growing your business and reporting on your growth effectively, you’ll be able to develop a clearer understanding of your existing customers and what they want and can gain from your brand. When considering rebranding, do not forget those loyal customers and how the existing brands, products, or services fit into the life of your customer. For instance, when Tropicana rebranded its orange juice packaging, sales fell by 20% within only two months after the package redesign was launched in the market. This came close to a rebranding disaster. Customers felt the new packaging looked like a cheap imitation or a generic store brand and affected their normal morning routine of a glass of orange juice. Tropicana didn’t realise the emotional connection customers had with the brand and quickly returned back to its original packaging.

3) You Don’t Stand Out From the Competition

Do you ever find that you’re overshadowed by businesses offering similar products and messaging to you? Or perhaps another company holds the same name as yours, making it difficult for customers to find you? Among the primary goals of branding is competitive differentiation. Sometimes a rebrand is necessary just to keep your business competitive in an ever-changing and evolving market. If your positioning doesn’t separate your brand from the competition, then your brand could be failing you. However, when rebranding to stand out from the crowd, differentiate yourself by being authentic and rooted in the promise only your brand can offer.

When deciding to rebrand your business, it’s important to address this decision across-the-board and incorporate all business operations. Correctly implementing a rebrand is just as important as the rebrand itself. If this is difficult to expense then consider applying for a small business loan to help integrate the rebrand into every aspect of the business. Failing to fully commit to properly integrating your new brand could cause confusion for your customers and damage to your brand.

4) You Get Traffic to your Site but No One Bites

If the brand design for your website is no longer relevant, then it could be time for a makeover. Every strong and recognisable brand will move along with the times to stay current. You may be able to drive traffic to your site, but struggle to achieve no conversions, in which case it is time for an update and refresh.

Your site may be causing confusion to customers as to whether the product or service is right for them. Are your marketing efforts targeting the same audience as your branding? Consider whether your lack of conversions is due to your branding only being aimed towards one type of audience. If this is the case, then it important to update your brand so that it appeals to your target market.

Defining your brand is also valuable from a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) perspective. However, a common mistake during rebranding a website is threatening your SEO standing and your hard-earned rankings. In order to retain your site’s rankings, make sure you do your research into minimising SEO impact when rebranding. Consider the help of experts to achieve a smooth transition and maintaining your online visibility throughout the rebrand.

5) You Want To Achieve Higher Prices

Does the market price for your products or services feel hopelessly fixed, despite the rising costs of materials? Or do you believe your work holds more value than your current prices? If this is the case then your brand may not be reflecting the quality and value of your work to your customers. By rebranding, you’re able to re-invent yourself, reshape the way your customers perceive your business and increase your prices in accordance with this.

Rebranding can introduce you to new audiences and increase revenue. However, when executed poorly, your decision to increase prices might have a negative effect on your business. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the benefits truly outweigh the risks. Any changes you make to establish the re-invention of your brand could reduce the connections built with existing customers. When making alterations, ensure that you clearly educate your customers on the changes being made and effectively promote these to reinforce the value of your business.

Rafferty Gifford, pictured above, is a digital marketing professional at Liberis