Monday, August 24, 2015

The When and Why of Rebranding Your Business

stand out from the competition - the when and why of rebranding your business

Times change, business evolves, your target audience shifts and your brand should adjust as well to survive. Rebranding is the revamping of the current brand message, the image and the feeling it’s sending out into the world. A rebrand usually occurs when a business figures out their true brand identity, or many years down the road once they've figured out that they've outgrown it. 

So when or why should a business consider a rebrand? 
  1. Your message has evolved... leaving your brand in the dust!
    Your business has been successful and evolving over the years, entering markets that are different from the existing brand identity. A rebrand will be essential to keep the competitive advantage in these new markets, establishing a new audience to build more brand loyalty. For example, Apple Computer, Inc. dropped the word “computer” from its brand in January of 2007 when the iPhone was introduced, shifting focus towards consumer electronics.
  2. Your brand is experiencing significant growth in new markets. In order to reflect a larger, more sophisticated business and reach that newer audience, a rebrand is a must. Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, based in Milwaukee and known best as a more "economical" brand of beer among the college crowd in the US, rebranded its image and labeled itself as “Blue Ribbon 1844” for the global market. An adjustment to its brewing technique, in addition to the rebrand, helped the beer climb to $44 per bottle in the Chinese upscale market.

  3. Your brand recently went through a merger/acquisition. There are many reasons why businesses merge or acquire other businesses: for growth, diversification, synergy, and to eliminate competition in order to gain more of a share in a target market. Going through a merger/acquisition is an important time to rebrand in order to establish forward momentum with the brand message for the newly combined businesses. In 2008, Sirius satellite radio and competitor XM satellite radio merged to form Sirius XM – a one-stop shopping of 165+ channels of commercial-free music, talk, sports and entertainment radio – all available by subscription based plans.
  4. Your brand is not connecting with it's intended audience. When a business needs to re-evaluate the customer experience due to the sense that the brand is losing
    relevancy in the minds of its audience – whether it’s from being stale or the market is changing – then it is time to rebrand. Find out what resonates with the target audience. With technological advancements and the decrease of print advertising over recent years, the Yellow Pages decided to rebrand to YP to focus more on digital platforms, attempting to become more relevant in its market.
  5. The business never invested in the creation a professionally developed brand. More often than not, a business will start on a small budget and investing in a professionally-developed brand is not a priority... or even a thought. Over time, the business will evolve, becoming somewhat successful and experience some growth.
    As the business begins to expand – rebranding – or, in this case, investing in a
    professionally-developed brand, is paramount for the business to be taken
    seriously in order to compete and gain success in more aggressive markets.
Before you do decide to jump head first into a rebrand, you really need to think it through and answer the following questions:
  1. Why do we need to rebrand and what problem(s) will it solve for our business?
  2. Has our target audience changed or have their needs shifted? how can we recapture their attention?
  3. Does our brand reflect the wrong message?
  4. Has our growth potential been encroached by the competition?
  5. Can we anticipate that this rebrand will be relevant over the next 10 or more years?
Rebranding is part of the natural evolution of all businesses. It is a process – and as long as you have researched and clearly defined your business goals and strategy, this process will result in a very powerful and profitable rebrand solution.