Knowing when to take on a branding overhaul for a company is a daunting task. Companies like Facebook seem to rebrand every year or so. Other companies like Craigslist seem to change their branding hardly ever, if at all.
When done right, rebranding could help your business grow to the next level.
So when is it time to think about a rebrand? Here are a few reasons you might want to take on a rebranding project for your company:
- New growth. Did you come across some unexpected attention? Mentions in the press? Maybe you’ve added new markets or even some pivotal products to your offerings.
- New technology or shift in focus. Changing focus or shifting away from an antiquated system are good ways to breathe life into a product or company. A rebranding can help visually signal this shift.
- Merger or acquisition. These big events in a company’s life are excellent times to reevaluate visual branding.
- Time to change. Sometimes it’s just time to mix things up a bit. With the exception of a few iconic brands, it’s pretty uncommon to not have a refresher every once in a while.
Another thing to consider when deciding whether or not to tackle a rebrand: how accepting to change is your industry? If your industry is tech-related, high-paced and targets a younger demographic, you’ll want to do rebrands more often. Many online companies brand frequently, often once a year, as their customers are often early adopters who don’t mind the change.
If your industry is slow-moving, stable and has an older demographic, a rebrand might not be as important to your company. These are just general rules of thumb, but the speed with which your industry moves often dictates how often you’ll need to rebrand.
Tips for Rebranding as a Growth Strategy
In some cases, you can use rebranding as a way to create growth. A new look paired with a major event within the company (new technology, etc.), can be enough to make industry journalists take notice. Depending on your niche, it might also spark some traction on social networks.
Often people underestimate what it takes to do a complete rebrand. For starters, rebranding is more than creating a new logo. A rebranding is carefully dissecting every visual aspect of your brand—online and offline—and making it one cohesive unit. You’ll want to think carefully about every asset and piece everything together to form a cohesive feel to your brand.
Here are some other things you may want to do while you’re pulling apart the look and feel of your company.
1. Seek emotional design. Colors can trigger emotions. Blue, for example, is meant to show intelligence, trustworthiness, serenity, duty, logic and other intellectual and cool emotions. Colors are powerful, and are one of the the first things customers see and feel when they see your branding. Here’s a handy site to show meanings of colors to help with your future branding.
2. Create a customer avatar. An avatar is a profile of your ideal customer. If you know the average demographics of your customers, it’s easy to sit down and create an avatar for them—their likes, their age, what they look like, where they’re from and so forth. These attributes allow you to create a model of someone who will be using the site, allowing you to get inside their minds for the sake of designing your branding. Hubspot offers a helpful worksheet to help you create your customer avatar.
3. Focus on actionable goals for the rebranding. If you’re hiring a design firm, giving them direction like “we want it to look better” isn’t going to be very helpful. Make sure you have specific goals for the rebranding. These could be things like being more playful, having a lighter feel, fostering more trust, etc.
4. Take criticism with a grain of salt. You won’t please everybody. You’ll probably take some criticism, and some of it may be valid. Yet you might receive some criticism that isn’t valid either, mainly because people don’t like change.
Rebranding is a continual process. As long as your company is running, you’ll be in a rebranding cycle. It’s a way to keep your company relevant and fresh, even in the dullest of industries.
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