4 Lessons to Remember Before Rebranding Your Business

Ben Allen on Jul 5, 2018 in Marketing Strategy

There are many reasons to rebrand your business. It could be anything from updating your logo and design themes to be more modern, to reinventing your business to better match its current situation or products.

Yet, rebranding should never be taken lightly. A good rebrand can help a company connect with a new or changed target market, or help keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ mind. A bad rebrand can ruin a business, though, costing millions of dollars for larger corporations, opening up a business to online criticism and mocking, and can lead to confusion among potential and current customers. Before you ask your designer to re-do the logo, remember these four lessons from other business’ rebranding efforts.

Don’t Go From Bold and Iconic to Generic and Boring

Just like everything else in the world, the design world goes through trends and fads. Often, updating a logo means changing an old logo design to match the current trend.

The problem is, sometimes during this rebrand, a bold or iconic logo and design is replaced with something bland. A prime example of this was the Gap’s redesign back in 2010. Their iconic logo had been around for decades, and their long helvetica font played a key role in both their style and identity. They were classy and fashionable, but without breaking the bank. The redesign lacked that theme, instead becoming a bland logo and font, chasing the minimalist theme many other brands were presenting.

If your logo and theme is iconic for your industry, and is identifiable by your customers easily, a full rebrand might not be necessary. But if your logo is already boring, generic, or just missing something, a rebrand is exactly what you need.

Changing Up Your Target Market

Change happens. Target audiences grow up, industries evolve, and that means brands need to change with them. Many rebranding efforts are focused on either adapting to their current target market’s tastes, or to target a new demographic.

A wonderful example of this is the Old Spice brand. Pre-Terry Crews yelling at us from the TV to buy Old Spice, Old Spice’s brand wasn’t anything special. It was just a deodorant that existed, with nothing unique about it. But then they went viral with their loud and youthful ads. From there, the Old Spice brand clearly targeted a younger audience, with new designs, new products, and more.

The logo didn’t change, they simply choose a new market to pursue and went for it. They became more than just a advertising campaign, it grew to influence the brand as a whole. Instead of trying to have a broad appeal, they rebranded to target a specific group of people.

A rebrand might be necessary if your current target market has changed drastically, or your current efforts aren’t connecting as much as they should. If you are rebranding for this reason though, make sure to do the necessary research to understand your new target market so your branding will connect with them. This might require updating copy on your website and finding a new voice or tone for your marketing materials.

Don’t Mess With It as a Publicity Stunt

Your brand is extremely valuable, and any changes to it need to be deliberate and designed to stay for a long time. Don’t mess with your brand, especially if you’ve been establishing it for years, just to get some attention.

Look no further than IHOP’s recent decision to rebrand to IHOb in order to promote their new line of burgers. While we don’t know the lasting effects of this decisions, and it’s unsure whether the name will stay or not, it’s that uncertainty that is damaging their brand. People want brands with stability, and the uncertainty that the name change creates may spread to their food and dining experiences. It’s not the burgers people have a problem with, plenty of breakfast places offer lunch items, it’s this bizarre choice they’ve made in order to promote it. Likely, this decision is going to affect their brand for years to come, even if they switch back to their original IHOP logo and name.

Brand changes should be intended to last for the long run and come with a sense of permanence and stability. Messing with a brand just to get attention might work for a little while, but it can have huge, long-term consequences.

Timing is Essential

Don’t mess with your branding during your busy season. Any kind of unfamiliarity is going to drive away some customers, and you don’t want to experiment when you are suppose to make the most money.

Instead, make brand related changes during a slow time. That includes revamping your website, logo revisions, and anything else. That way, consumers have a chance to adapt and accept those changes before your next busy season hits. If you’re targeting a new audience with the rebrand, when the busy season does come, hopefully your new audience will be onboard with the brand and your company.

Rebranding should not be at the drop of a hat. Explore other avenues of marketing change before deciding on rebranding your business. Do research, experiment with focus groups, and make sure your rebranding is going in the right direction. Take your time with it to make sure it will be a success.

Ben Allen
Ben Allen
Ben is a freelance content creator and digital marketer who believes in helping small businesses succeed. He also specializes in writing about tech, education, and video games.
Showing 2 comments
  • Alison

    Thanks for the great tips. I love how often the “IHOB” disaster comes up as an example of what not to do.

    • Michael Brenner

      No problem! Glad the tips were helpful to you.