Questions to Ask Yourself Before Rebranding
There are certain questions a business owner should ask themselves before they move forth with a rebrand. While a fresh face on the brand might feel like a good idea right now, long term plans should always be well-managed and meticulously planned.
Below, I will highlight some of the questions that businesses fail to ask themselves when they leap headlong into a new identity.
Why am I Rebranding?
Are you undergoing a customer profile change? Is there a problem that you are hoping this rebrand will solve? There are a number of reasons why people choose to rebrand, but not all of them are good ideas.
Is there a real reason why you are wanting to rebrand, or are you just in a slump and looking for a change? If you rebrand too often, you risk your customer base becoming confused and straying over time. Also, if you rebrand unnecessarily, your customers might see it as a desperate attempt to renew a dying business.
In short, if isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If your branding needs to change in order to keep up with changes within the business or if you have built a long-term plan for this change, then go ahead.
Will My Brand Feed into the Personal Identities of My Employees?
Your employees will all be affected by your rebranding. Are you taking on an image that they will feel comfortable sharing?
Sometimes, businesses take on images that are politically motivated, especially during times when the business owner is feeling extra passionate about his or her beliefs. If you are one of these business owners, you need to ask yourself if your employees will feel comfortable working and sharing those beliefs.
One popular restaurant lost several employees in recent years because they announced a political belief that some felt was controversial. Can your company afford to take that risk? Is a rebranding even worth the risk?
How Will My Customers Feel About a Rebrand?
If you are considering rebranding, you will need to consider the way the changes might affect your image with current customers. Often, we tend to believe that giving our existing brand a refresher can only be a good thing. In some instances, this isn’t the case.
If you have loyal customers that have grown used to your company’s way of doing things, they might feel like they were disregarded in an effort to attract a newer consumer base. An example of this is found with many phone and cable companies.
Several years ago, these businesses felt like they could attract a younger customer base by moving their bill pay and account management to an online dashboard. Everything from setting up new service to requesting home repair was done easily online.
With this change, they laid off many of their customer service center operators and turned their phone systems over to automated recordings. Suddenly, their older clientele became frustrated. For the majority of those consumers, it was frustrating to no longer speak to a person when they called. They also found that the online phone systems were confusing, and that they did not know how to use an online dashboard.
While the rebranding paid off in terms of attracting new customers, the companies were left unprepared for the frustration they had simultaneously caused with loyal partnerships.
Will this Rebrand Become Outdated in Time?
Usually when a business rebrands itself, it does so because it is trying to keep up with the times. The times are ever-changing, though. Will the trends you are seeking to follow withstand the test of time? Should they?
Chuck E Cheese is one example of a restaurant that has consistently refused rebranding and been successful, not in-spite-of, but because of that decision. In the 80’s, Chuck E Cheese gained a competitor- Showbiz Pizza. While the dueling arcade/pizza joints held similar fan bases, Showbiz made a fatal error in the middle of the decade: They decided to rebrand their company and rolled out an entirely new menu and light show. For a while, Showbiz was on top.
Fans wondered why Chuck E Cheese didn’t follow suit. This decision became obvious, though, when Showbiz Pizza soon failed and filed bankruptcy. Customers had grown tired of loud, abrasive light shows and the new menu. Showbiz Pizza’s prices had elevated to make up for their business upgrades and, when customers became bored with the new offerings, they could no longer justify the higher prices.
The consumers soon returned to Chuck E Cheese where they could enjoy pizza and play games. Chuck E Cheese suddenly held a nostalgic advantage and they won the war when Showbiz Pizza caved under the pressure of a poorly planned rebranding effort.
Rebranding can be Difficult, but Also Exciting!
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here- rebranding can be a great business move if it is done wisely and planned well. If you know why you want to rebrand and you are certain that your employees, customers, and community will be excited about the rebrand, as well, then don’t wait- get started on the planning right now!
Best of luck, no matter what you decide!