How to know when the time’s right for a rebrand?

From SMEs to giant global conglomerates, embarking on a rebrand programme can be a sizeable commitment, not just in financial terms, but also in energy and resource. However, if your brand isn’t performing at its full potential, it’s going to be detrimental to your business. It’s worth making that investment before it’s too late. But how do you know when the time is right?

We’ve worked on a wide variety of rebrand programmes over the years, but they mostly all begin for the same reasons. We’ve highlighted some of the core drivers for rebrands below. If you recognise yourself/your business in any of these, it may be time for us to meet…

1. The blank expression: Have you ever told someone where you work only to be faced with a blank expression staring back at you? It’s likely they have no idea who your company is. What’s even worse is when it happens within your own industry! Differentiation is one of the fundamental purposes of branding. An effective brand will ensure you stand out from your competitors, getting you noticed within your own industry, and beyond. With a strong brand, you can change that blank expression to one of admiration, and maybe a touch of jealousy!

2. The cringe factor: How do you feel about handing out your business card? Does your chest swell with pride as you confidently pass your details on for someone to scrutinize? If you catch yourself apologising or even explaining to people that “the website’s not great, but we’re hoping to change it soon”, that can be a sign it’s time for a rebrand. Sometimes, what seemed like a progressive and enviable brand identity 10 years ago is no longer competitively positioned to deliver what your business needs to accomplish today.

3. The duck out of water: Your brand may be performing well within your local market, but that doesn’t guarantee success when you’re expanding into new markets. New markets present extensive challenges and hurdles across all areas of the business. If your brand is struggling to achieve engagement this can make the day-to-day challenges (i.e.: recruitment) that much harder. Investing in ensuring your brand will travel well enables your new market expansions to go swimmingly.

4. Family conflicts: If your company is embarking on either mergers or acquisitions, it’s imperative that thorough planning around the brand(s) occurs in order for the moves to be successful. Unless the brands are well considered, in advance, it can lead to serious misalignments in culture and values. All too often organisations don’t consider the repercussions of this until it’s too late, resulting in diminished performance for both the parent brand and the acquired brand(s). Ensuring that each business drives value to the other is what leads to happy (brand) families.

5. Mind over money. It’s simple: the best talent wants to work with the best brands. If you’re unable to recruit quality personnel for open positions, the chances are your brand just isn’t attractive enough to the candidates. Increasingly the talent pool is looking to work with employers they feel aligned to in terms of values and ethics. They want to feel proud to tell people where they work. They want to buy in to the proposition and the positioning wholeheartedly. Being a lead recruiter in your market is no longer just about paying the most, or giving employees free coffee; they want to believe in you and what you do.

The world is changing fast, and that means marketplaces are too. This affects everyone from giant Fintech firms to the craft brewery industry. And if there is one truth about modern day business, it’s that you need to stay relevant to ensure a positive future.