Is It Time?
Believe it or not, you likely have personal experience with re-branding, even if you’re a completely new entrepreneur, or freelancer. Have you ever tried a totally new hairstyle, or chosen to change your personal style in other substantial ways? It’s sometimes hard to explain the rationale after all, with the exception of a style change to celebrate a positive live event there is usually no specific reason that prompts us to do so. Simply feeling the need to change, to evolve or to realign our own self-image is a positive step forward. Although it is less common and more expensive than a new haircut, options even exist to permanently change our appearance and our names.
Re-branding can either be a fresh redesign that provides a much-needed boost to the visibility and viability of your business, or it can be an expensive mistake that sacrifices your existing brand awareness and customer goodwill in the marketplace for little to no gain. With the stakes this high, it is vitally important to understand the pros and cons of re-branding your business before you choose to take the plunge.
What Is Re-branding?
Re-branding is a marketing technique in which the name of a business or its existing branding elements are replaced, in whole or in part, with a new name or new elements. The reasons that a business may rebrand can be numerous, but it is usually with the intended result of boosting the brand’s standing and success in the marketplace. Secondary reasons can include avoiding brand stagnation, recovering from an event that may have publicly tarnished the reputation of the existing brand and voluntarily or involuntarily re-branding to avoid confusion with an existing brand or product.
Evolutionary Vs. Revolutionary Re-branding
A re-branding effort can be subtle, such as redesigning a logo or altering a tagline, or it can be a complete redesign, with an entirely new name and set of branding elements; subsequently, the effects of the effort can either be muted or could alter the course of your business. A subtle re-branding can provide a boost of revitalization to an existing brand, but is unlikely to fundamentally change the overall perception of your business in the market place. A complete redesign can offer a second chance for a business or product to establish a branding identity, but any existing brand awareness or goodwill can be lost, erasing any gains you may have earned with your existing brand.
An easy and straightforward way to both conceptualize the effects that a full or partial re-branding will have on your business is to consider the differences between evolutionary and revolutionary change. The former involves both gradual and natural change, sometimes so subtle that only the most ardent observers may consciously notice it. The latter, revolutionary change, is extremely disruptive and can either advance your business or hobble it in a very short period of time.
Why Are You Re-branding?
In order to make an educated and responsible decision whether or not to partially or fully re-brand your business, it is important to begin by identifying the reasons why you are doing so. In some cases, the reason may be obvious – if your business has recently suffered an embarrassing public hit to its reputation, or if your existing brand has completely failed to gain any degree of traction in the marketplace, you are likely risking little by completely overhauling your brand. However, if the reason isn’t obvious or even apparent at first glance, great care should be taken to carefully identify those reasons and to carefully consider them and the effects – and, in some cases, the consequences that re-branding can have on your business.
In our next blog post, we will explain why we believe that branding, especially digital branding, is the new marketing, and how an effective set of branding elements can humanize your business!