Rebranding is à la mode and I am not persuaded this trend is a good thing. Do you see this topic popping up everywhere too? It seems like everybody is going through a rebrand. Some bloggers seem to be rebranding more often than they write a new blog post. So I think we really need to talk about why everyone else is rebranding and why you shouldn’t. But let’s start by making clear what rebranding actually means. Because that’s where the actual problem lies as I see it.
What is rebranding?
Here’s what I found on Wikipedia:
Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders. Often, this involves radical changes to a brand’s logo, name, legal names, image, marketing strategy, and advertising themes. Such changes typically aim to reposition the brand/company, occasionally to distance itself from negative connotations of the previous branding, or to move the brand upmarket; they may also communicate a new message a new board of directors wishes to communicate.
This is still a bit wishy-washy though. A rebrand, normally, is a drastic change. And that’s where most people get it wrong. In order to reposition your brand in the market and to attract a new target audience e.g., you have to go deep into the foundation of a brand. The change always starts from the inside of your brand – your brand values, message, story. When the foundation changes the outer appearance (your brand design) needs to follow suit to be in alignment.
Related post: The importance of a solid brand foundation
To say it in plain English: If you don’t like your brand colors anymore so you decide to switch from hot pink to blush. THAT IS NOT A REBRAND! Installing a new theme for your blog? Not a rebrand. Creating new images for Pinterest? No, that’s not a rebrand either.
Wrong reasons for rebranding
There are lots of wrong reasons why people feel the urge to rebrand. Here are some of them:
- Lack of confidence. You will never be 100% satisfied. There are always things you want to change especially if you did the branding yourself.
- Ennui. If you’re bored with your current design, try just doing a little refresh e.g. new images for social media
- Following a trend. Well, this trend could soon be over and you will start searching for the next best thing.
- Copying somebody else. Because you think if they have success with it you can too. Bad idea!
Good reasons for rebranding
When you already have an established brand, the decision to rebrand doesn’t come easy. There are risks included e.g. that your existing target market will turn away. You definitely need a good reason to start this adventure. Here are some:
- Fusion of two companies (get everything under one hat)
- Differentiation from competitors (you want to set yourself apart)
- New business model (switched from selling products to coaching e.g.)
- Repositioning inside the market (to attract a new target group)
- Your brand is a mess (if you’ve never invested the time to build the foundation, you better start from scratch)
Brand refresh: What you should do instead
More often than not, rebranding is not the best choice. Sometimes all you need is a little touch-up. For you, to feel more motivated. Because you can get tired of using the same visuals every day. And for your audience, to re-engage with your brand and make sure they know you’re still there. Also to get some fresh eyes on your brand and win new customers.
With a brand refresh, you don’t start from scratch. Contrary to a full rebrand, you don’t touch the foundation of your brand. A refresh focuses on your visual identity. Most of the time, even the basic visuals such as logo, submarks, and icons stay untouched. For a brand refresh, you could create new image templates for your blog and social media, take new photos, change a font, adjust brand colors or expand your color palette. In some cases, it can be helpful to give your logo a small facelift to achieve a more modern look.