When is it time to rebrand your business?

By Julia Keady

There are specific reasons for a company to rebrand, and some good ones not to.

Rebranding is a serious decision, one that can have serious consequences for your business. Just ask PricewaterhouseCoopers, who inexplicably changed their business name to 'Monday', then shortly changed it back after the marketplace had finished laughing. Sometimes rebranding can be the thing that turns a business around, but if it isn't necessary you risk losing the power of your current brand and alienating your customer base.

Reasons to rebrand

  1. Your original brand is a dud: Sometimes businesses start and do well despite their original brand being based on the founder's favourite book or childhood toy. For some businesses this won't matter, but for others the brand gets eclipsed by new competitors or changing times. If your original brand isn't memorable, doesn't communicate who you are, hasn't got a strong following and doesn't make you stand out in the marketplace, consider changing it.

  2. The world moved on: Each generation brings in a new set of values and priorities, and what was cool 20 years ago is daggy today. If your brand is aimed at young people but represents their parent's values, it becomes a barrier to connecting with them. A good example of this is the way Kentucky Fried Chicken rebranded to KFC to capture a younger crowd.

  3. Your core business changed: Businesses grow and evolve and sometimes they look nothing like what they started out to be. For instance, Korean giant Samsung began in 1938 as an exporter of food products but is now one of the world's biggest manufacturers of electronics and computers. Its brand has had to be revamped numerous times.

  4. You've really changed: Sometimes a company bites the bullet and reinvents itself - altering its business model, product lines, service delivery and ethos. When this happens you need to let the market know with a big 'under new management' sign, and that takes the form of a dynamic new brand.

When to stick to the status quo

  1. There's nothing wrong with the one you have: Changing it may just alienate your current customers.

  2. You trying to put a new look on the same old business: Your brand isn't just your logo and advertising material - it's the impression your customers have of you. If you make new promises but deliver old experiences, your rebrand may work against you.

  3. Your business is tired: Sometimes people try to reinvent their brand when they really need to reinvent their business.

When was the last time you really assessed how your brand is working for you?


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