There comes a point in time when you seriously think about overhauling your business. Besides understanding branding on a fundamental level, timing and assessing the right approach is everything.
First off, what does a rebranding process typically look like? Many tend to fixate on a company's logo in the press, but there is usually a lot more going on. A rebrand looks at your business as a whole. From your identity system to applications - print collateral, digital presence, environment (if you have one), etc. there are a lot of nuances. Besides the overall look and feel, what is the brand personality?
A brand exercise addresses challenges you face now and in the future. A rebrand can position your business for growth. Maybe you're creating new products or sub-brands. Or you're just in need of a refresh.
The first thing I would do is ask these questions:
- Do I *need* to rebrand?
- Is my organization ready to take the journey?
- Do we have the budget to do this properly?
- What's the total cost of rolling this out?
Aligning your brand internally
You and your team are an extension of your brand. Make sure you have leadership that can drive those values. You might find going through the process that what makes you stand out is a key member of your organization or the combined efforts of many that are unified in their goal. Getting on the same page and unearthing insights is part of the process.
What's the shelf life of your brand?
It depends on your industry and the needs of your business. How long will your rebrand last for? How do you quantify any ROI? If you've been in business for 10+ years and you still have the same logo from when you started, chances are you're overdue for a rebrand. A rebrand done well should last you at least a few years. A solid brand system could work for many years.
Consider the legacy of your brand. A business that is 1 year old is very different from one that is 10+ years and so on. Often, a refresh with a few small tweaks and adjustments optimizes your image for today, while not straying too far away from what's already there. Sometimes that is all you need. It has to make sense for the business. Your customers and potential customers are already familiar with your image, how does this influence brand direction?
Do it right the first time
You've got a great brand, spent a good amount of money and that's it...forever? That's all well and good but there are several factors that are at play here. Besides "getting it right", the reality is; a brand evolves with the business over time. Your needs are not necessarily the same today as they once were or will be later. While it would be amazing if we could predict and anticipate all future needs, a brand update, to some degree, could be required every couple of years to keep things current.
Critical stage of your business?
The timing is just right. You've been anticipating a major change for a while now and you're ready to get moving. Your business demands more attention and needs to reintroduce itself to your customers and clients. A business gets to the point where it needs to bring things to the next level and a rebrand plays a huge role as part of this plan.
Just for the sake of it
Don't always go chasing trends because you feel like you need to. You'll see a lot of startups go through a transition period where they are constantly growing and adapting. Changing your brand every couple of years might be a good strategy or it might not. I would caution you to think twice about updating your brand "just because". Make sure there is sound reasoning behind it.
A new CEO comes in and wants to shake things up. This could be good or it could be a make-work project. If it aligns with the needs of your business and where it's at, go for it. But be wary of someone who comes in and just wants to leave their mark behind. They might not be around to see things through.
Time to dive in
Are you ready to go the distance? In that case, embark on the journey, you'll be happy you did. It's not always a painless process, but it will pay off in the end when aligned with the right strategy and goals.
Life moves at a rapid pace, especially in the technology world. What you build today will improve over time. Sit back and appreciate the evolution of your brand and be proud of the journey.
It starts with a rebrand. Stay consistent, maintain and build on it.