How to Know When it’s Time to Rebrand

Why is it that people put so much effort, time, and money into appearance? Because we want to present the best versions of ourselves from the very first impression. The same is true in business, and all the elements of your company’s “appearance” (logo, website, brochures, office design, etc.) make up your brand. But sometimes, a business will step back and realize, “Our brand doesn’t accurately represent us anymore,” and in some cases, the solution is to rebrand the business. Depending on how thorough the rebrand is, though, it can be a dramatic step. So how do you know if it’s truly the right choice for your company? Our experts at McCauley Marketing Services are here to offer some guidelines.

How to Know When it’s Time to Rebrand

Partial vs. Full Rebranding

A true and full rebranding involves entirely re-inventing your company’s image, potentially even going as far as changing the business name. However, a full rebranding is rather rare (as it should be—but we’ll delve further into that later). A partial rebranding, on the other hand, usually refers to simply updating your image, and it can include anything from a new logo and updated designs for your marketing materials, to more comprehensively changing the messaging and focal points in your advertising.

When You Might Consider a Partial Rebranding

  • Your image is dated. That logo and design theme you used for your website and brochure might have looked cutting-edge in the 90s, but if you haven’t updated them since then, you could be losing customers who think you haven’t kept up with the times and won’t be able to offer the most advanced products and services in your field. Taking the time to update your image can go a long way toward regaining your credibility as an up-to-date professional.
  • You want to target a new demographic. For instance, let’s say you’re physical therapy office who wants to focus more on healthcare marketing toward athletes. To do this, you should change your messaging so that it emphasizes what you can do for this specific group.
  • Your business focus has changed. Let’s use the example of an assisted living facility who originally focused on serving the elderly. However, if over the years they have gradually taken on fewer elderly residents and more residents who are younger adults with disabilities, and have decided that this is where they want to keep their focus, they should use rebranding to show that this is their area of expertise.
  • Your company is getting lost among the competition. Trends change constantly, and sometimes, a particular industry will come into style and become flooded with companies who all look the same. In this case, a rebranding to focus on what makes you different from your competitors will help you stand out.

When You Might Consider a Full Rebranding

  • Your business has received a very negative image that you’re trying to recover from. Clearly, maintaining a good public image from the start is ideal, but sometimes unforeseeable circumstances happen, and one way or another, you find yourself unable to escape from a negative reputation. In this case, a full rebranding may be the way to go. But remember, this is the “nuclear” option—it’s always best to do what you can to fix a negative image instead, but if all the reputation management you’ve tried has not worked, it might be time to start fresh.
  • You’re under new management and want to highlight it. The second part of that sentence is very important. If you’ve just taken over a company that was already doing well, making the management change known could leave your existing loyal customers feeling unsure about you and cause them to give your competitors a try instead. But if the company has few existing customers to speak of, especially if it had a poor reputation because of the previous management, this is an opportunity to show potential customers that this new and improved company can serve them well.

There is a lot to think about when you’re considering rebranding. Not only should you consider how it may affect your relationship with your existing consumers and your potential for business in the future, but you also need to weigh the cost of the transition itself and make sure it actually has the potential for a great return on your investment. To discuss rebranding your company or for help developing a strategy to enhance your existing company, schedule a meeting with McCauley Marketing Services. Or, for more helpful marketing tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.