A brand is everything your customers think and feel about your business. It's why someone will choose your product or service over another, talk about you to their friends, and stick with you through thick and thin.
So when a brand is this important, why change it?
A rebrand can take on many forms.
A rebrand could be the introduction of an entirely new name, a complete redesign of a visual identity, or the smallest refinement. Take the following examples:
In 2008 Aviva changed their name from Norwich Union, while maintaining their visual identity.
Introduced in January 2013, ITV rebranded themselves to something very visually different.
The blogging platform Tumblr, however, made some subtle changes in stark contrast to the above rebrands.
These companies have all been through the rebranding process, producing varying results for different reasons. Here are several of the significant reasons why a company will rebrand.
Company Ownership / Structure
If a new party comes on board, whether through a merger or acquisition, it will often be the catalyst for a rebrand. New partners may want to influence the brand identity, bringing their fresh perspective.
In the event of a demerger, leaving parties will need to establish their brand elsewhere and make it clear they are separate companies.
If your company is introducing a new product or service or re-launching an existing one, it may be this coincides with a new vision, in a new marketplace, with a new audience. The company has changed and grown, and it can be the opportune moment to rebrand or launch a new campaign that appeals to your new market.
National to International
If your company is entering a broader national or international market, a rebrand is sometimes needed - for your company, products or services. A company may already be trading in the area you want to enter, that also has a similar brand to yours, and so to avoid confusion or legal complications, a rebrand is necessary.
Some elements of brand identities may mean very different and contrary things in various countries around the world. For example, a yellow rose in Western culture means a sign of friendship, while in Japan, it is a symbol of jealousy.
Simplifying the Message
If people are not quite sure what your company does, it may be that your message is not being translated to your customers effectively. This miscommunication may be down to your brand identity being overly complicated. A new brand with a simple message can give consistency to your brand's tone of voice, and create the right engagement with customers.
As new technologies come along and customer desires grow, businesses will either continue with their same offering or choose to develop their products and services. Offering many new products and services at once can see their brand identity and message become confused.
Rebranding with focus on its brand architecture will bring everything together again, creating a stronger and more aligned brand experience.
If you're not getting many return customers, it may be that they don't remember you – even if they loved your product and service. This forgetfulness could be down to your brand identity being overly complicated, so difficult for customers to remember, or too generic that it isn't recognisable in the array of logos we see every day.
Rebranding with focus on delivering a memorable experience can increase the recognition of your company, building familiarity and trust with your products and services.
If a company gains a bad reputation, its brand becomes synonymous with that negativity, and future performance will be affected, even after the problem no longer exists.
A rebrand can show that the vision of the company has changed, that not only have they addressed the issue(s) that once caused problems, but that they're learning from their mistakes and are moving forward.
The world moves quickly (approximately 67,108mph around the sun) and what was once 'cool' and 'on-trend' is now old news and just mediocre. You are always in competition, with new companies offering the same products or services but that are better presented, branded just yesterday by a team of top designers, while your brand may be lagging.
A redesign of your brand can be subtle or extreme, but keeping up with the times can deliver significant results.
In conclusion, whether you completely transform your brand or make some minor alterations, rebranding will create change.
Make sure it is for the right reasons.