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5 Signs That It’s Time To Rebrand

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Last week, I wrote an article about how to communicate effectively with graphic designers to ensure you are happy with the quality of the work.

After publishing the piece, I had a reader reach out and ask a great question:

“How do you know when it is time to rebrand?”

I thought it was a great question for two reasons:

1.    Rebranding is an investment.

Often, the design work isn’t the most expensive part of the rebrand. Updating all of your company’s collateral, apparel, and other brand assets add up…quickly.

2.    Rebranding challenges your clients’ current perspective of you.

Even if you are updating your company’s look for the better, it will come as a shock to your customer base. Just as Instagram recently rebranded for a much cleaner, more modern look, it was met with pushback as users struggled to absorb the new look after clicking the same icon for years. Same thing with Uber.

So, how do you know it’s time to rebrand?

Here are 5 compelling reasons that can justify the time and the expense involved:

1.    You’ve outgrown your current brand.

Many companies start out and play to their location. For example, do you recognize the name Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo?

Probably not. The small radio repair shop founded in Tokyo in 1946, who gave Japan its first transistor radio and the world its first transistor television, rebranded as “Sony Corporation” in 1958.

2.  Your brand is vague.

If you tell people the name of your company and they have no idea what it means or what industry you are in, that’s a problem. Sure, calling yourself “Success Solutions” gives you the bandwidth to work on a myriad of different projects, but it does nothing to inform your prospects about how you specifically help them.

3.  A merger or an acquisition.

This is rather obvious. If you acquired a company or merged with a company, inevitably, someone is getting a rebrand. Perhaps one company has a brand that speaks better to the company’s vision, or perhaps one has a better reputation. This happened when ValuJet merged with AirTran in 1997. ValuJet’s name was tarnished due to poor safety ratings and the crash of Flight 592 in 1996, which resulted in the death of all 110 passengers aboard. The company obviously opted to use AirTran’s more favorable brand.

4. Are you expanding your offerings? 

If your brand’s name is prohibitive in adequately describing the products or services your company offers, it’s time to rebrand. This was the compelling reason Steve Jobs rebranded Apple Computers to Apple, Inc. in 2007.

5. Do you have a reputation you’re trying to escape or replace?

My favorite example of this is the “Tiny Home Movement.” The millennial desire to live the life of a minimalist, travel around and leave a low carbon footprint has served as the perfect trifecta for the tiny house craze. After watching a commercial for HGTV’s “Tiny House, Big Living,” my mom half-jokingly remarked, “I’d love to know who rebranded mobile and prefab homes into ‘Tiny Houses.’”

While this was more of an organic, societal movement, I think it’s the perfect example of how a new name can reposition a company in the customer’s mind.

If you are considering rebranding your company, think beyond your logo, and ensure you take the necessary steps to come up with a cohesive brand image. If you need help identifying what these are before you invest money, here’s something to help.


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