How To Know When It’s Time To Rebrand

What if your business needed a makeover and you didn't even know it?

Rebranding is an important element for the longterm success of any business. Unfortunately, most businesses don't know that it's time to rebrand until it's too late.

Want to make sure you know when it's time to rebrand? Keep reading to discover our complete guide!

Your Old Image Is...Well...Old

In the beginning, most businesses can only dream of longterm success. And it's often a major challenge to make it for the first few years without going under.

However, businesses that last a long time must learn to rebrand in order to control public perception. It's the fine line between customers thinking your business is "classic" vs. thinking it is simply "old."

Fortunately, rebranding can keep your company fresh while changing your reputation for the better. Just ask Burberry, a brand once associated with English criminals and lowlifes. After an energetic rebranding, they emerged as a luxury clothing brand famous for its high-end products.

Your Brand Vision Has Changed

Where does your brand really come from? Ideally, your brand identity is a direct extension of your brand vision. 

However, your brand vision is likely to change over time. And if you don't update your brand accordingly, customers won't really know what to make of your company.

Sometimes, the shift in brand vision may come from external pressure. As cultural contexts and consumer politics shift, things like brand names and logos may look out-of-date or even downright expensive to your key demographics.

The bottom line is that your brand vision should align with the needs and perspectives of your customers. As you change the vision, it's important to change the brand as well.

You Have New Competition

Every successful business must create and articulate a unique value proposition. Simply put, this is what distinguishes your business from the competition.

You may not have had much competition when you first started. But your own success is likely to breed competitors, and it may be hard to stand out from this new competition.

This is where rebranding a business comes into play. Instead of getting angry that competitors are biting your style, look at this as an opportunity to make your business bigger and better than ever before.

For example, Google originally had a much worse name: "Backrub." When they realized they needed a better name to stand out from the competition, the familiar Google name was born.

Nowadays, Google is pretty much the only search engine most people would ever use. By rebranding in the face of competition, they left the competition completely in the dust!

You Need a New Demographic

What is the one constant when it comes to business demographics? Simply this: change is inevitable.

A business that once targeted demographics such as Boomers and Gen X cannot target those demographics forever. Eventually, they must target younger audiences (such as Millennials and "Zoomers"). That leaves the question of how to best target a new demographic.

In most cases, rebranding is the key to winning over a new demographic. And this technique can work just as well abroad as it works domestically.

For example, most Americans see Pabst Blue Ribbon as a cheap and unrefined beer. But with a little rebranding, this "cheap" beer became a luxury drink in China, with each bottle costing a whopping $44! With new branding, Pabst was able to conquer a completely new market in another country.

Your Are Undergoing a Merger or Acquisition

As we said, the decision to rebrand isn't always up to you. In some cases, the decision is downright mandatory. And the best example of this is when your business is undergoing a merger or acquisition.

In some cases, this can be a confusing and chaotic time. However, this is also one of the best times to rebrand and create a new future for what is basically an entirely new company.

Mergers and acquisitions tend to change every level of a company, from the upper administration right down to the brand architecture. By proactively rebranding during this time, you can effectively chart a new course for your business.

Your Market Has Changed

Sometimes, you might rebrand because you choose to reach out to a new market. Other times, though, rebranding is a necessity because the market itself has changed.

Certain fields (such as technology) experience rapid changes over time. And as the market becomes more volatile, you may have to deal with everything from new competition to shifting public perception of your products.

Rebranding is a way to take control of a fluid market and shift public perception to your benefit. For example, think back to the classic "Mac vs PC" rivalry of yesteryear.

Apple's essential problem was that even as computers grew in popularity, the average user didn't know about the differences in Mac and PC. In short, they had lost the value proposition they once had.

In turn, Apple rebranded itself as a hip, high-end name brand. And the arrival of technology like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad helped cement their new reputation.

With a little rebranding, Apple went from struggling against PC to being a market juggernaut in its own right!

You Need to Change the Conversation

Not every rebranding is a happy occasion. Sometimes, your company's reputation has suffered, and the best course of action is to change the conversation by changing your brand.

When cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris became the face of lung cancer, they decided to change their name entirely. Nearly overnight, the tainted "Philip Morris" name changed to the neutral "Altria."

When the sandwich shop "Peter's Super Submarines" changed its name to "Doctor's Associates, Inc.," customers weren't biting. They changed the name to "Pete's Subway" and eventually to the much more familiar name of "Subway."

Take it from Mad Men's Don Draper: "when you don't like what's being said, change the conversation." And rebranding is the perfect way to do just that.

Time to Rebrand? Here's Your Next Move

Now you know when it's time to rebrand. But do you know who can help you do it?

Here at Gosling Media, we specialize in helping companies reach their full marketing potential. To see what we can do for your own business, contact us today!

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