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Is It Time to Rebrand?

While rebranding can be tricky (remember the GAP logo fiasco in 2010?), it’s been successful for many companies (think Apple). Businesses can choose to rebrand for several reasons. Maybe your logo has become outdated, you want to change your focus or you need to tell a different story.

A logo is the face of your business. You don’t need to be a large corporation to benefit from a recognized logo. Even small businesses need to invest time in developing a logo for their business to ensure recognition in a local market.

Just like your appearance can say a lot about your personality, a logo can speak volumes about a company’s culture and values. But, what happens when your business’s logo no longer matches your brand? Do you keep it just because it’s well known? Do you start a new business? Is rebranding a business’s death sentence? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about rebranding.

While rebranding is a large undertaking and can take months to develop, it’s important to remember that your logo isn’t forever. In fact, not many logos are forever. Coca-Cola is one of the few companies that has made only a few minor tweaks to its iconic logo while other large corporations (e.g. Starbucks, Walmart, Google, Ebay, Pepsi, Apple) have chosen to modify their logos more dramatically over time.

Whatever the reason, rebranding is not something to fear. Here are a few steps to determine whether rebranding is the right option for your business.

1. Why?

Determine the reason behind the desire to rebrand so that you can plan going forward. Is your logo outdated? Are you trying to reach a new audience or convey a new message? Are you rebranding proactively or reactively? Is there a problem with your current logo? This step helps you determine your rebranding goals and set your rebrand up for success. Or, your team may determine that there’s no real reason for a rebrand, in which case, you may consider the advice, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

2. How much?

Determine how drastically you want to rebrand. Will it be a simple color change in the logo or a full redesign? Consider how much time and money your team has to devote to this project and how long you think it will be before your company rebrands again. If you know it will be years before a full redesign, make sure every aspect is perfect. Or, it might be an ongoing project with slight alterations over time.

3. What’s the story?

Rebranding can be more than just a logo redesign. This is a chance to tell your brand’s story or to convey a new promise. It’s more than just making your logo more attractive. Use rebranding as a chance to build loyalty and let your customers know that you’re devoted to them. BP began to rebrand after the Gulf Coast oil spill. Remember the commercials? While it was a reactive rebrand, it was still effective. Their logo changed, their ad campaigns changed, and we got a chance to see the heart, passion and promise behind the large corporation after an unfortunate incident.

4. What does your audience think?

There’s nothing worse than changing the direction of your business and losing half of your loyal customers. In 2010, GAP changed its logo, and its customers were not happy about it. Their audience loved the classic GAP logo, but the company had no idea! When Netflix announced it was splitting into two companies, they lost 800,000 loyal subscribers before they ditched the idea. You can avoid customer disturbance by asking and listening to your audience. One way to do this is to host a focus group of customers and potential customers early in the rebranding process.

Rebranding can be a daunting process for a business to take on, especially a small business. Once you’ve determined if rebranding is right for you, contact us to see how we can help develop your brand. Let our team of experts help your business reach its highest potential!

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