Rebranding is the process of completely changing your company’s brand image. This usually involves the changing of logos and imagery, but it often goes a lot deeper than that. In a nutshell, it is something that companies do when they want to change their existing public image. There are, of course, many reasons for which a company may wish to do so. Let’s go over a few of the more common signs that it’s time to rebrand your business.
1. You’ve Suffered A Bad PR Situation
There are many things that can damage the reputation of a company. In many cases, these incidents happen through no fault of the company itself. For instance, consider all the instances in which companies have suffered embarrassment as a result of cyber-attack. Considering the inherent difficulties of securing a public network from hackers, this can happen to just about anyone.
When you are trying to reinvent your company after such an incident, it helps to create a fresh new look. In extreme cases, people may subconsciously view your old branding as “tainted.” For example, Exxon did a major rebrand after one of their tankers caused a gigantic oil spill in 1989. Although they later merged with Mobil Gas, the company remains strong to this day.
2. You’ve Fundamentally Changed Your Target Audience
The advertising used by a particular company will usually be directed at their target audience. Thus, products that are made for a specific gender tend to feature those kinds of people in their commercials. Billboards, posters, and all other promotional materials will probably follow this theme. However, one’s target audience can sometimes change.
If you are trying to shift your target audience, or if it has already shifted on its own, a rebrand might be just the thing for you. This factor often comes into play because companies cannot always predict who will be most attracted to their goods or services. Thus, you may not even know who your target audience is…until you look at the sales figures.
3. You’ve Merged With Another Company
When corporations merge, they tend to change their names and branding to reflect that change. This is not always desirable if the brands are particularly well-known, but the name doesn’t always have to be changed. However, when one company acquires another, they often want to “take ownership” by giving the whole thing a rebranding.
4. Your Goods And/Or Services Have Changed
If your company is undergoing a major shift in the kinds of goods or services it offers, then a rebranding is probably needed. You don’t need to worry about chasing your existing audience away because you are switching to a whole new crowd anyway. As such, you can treat the whole thing as a fresh start. This is one of those times in which a more radical rebranding is possible without taking any real risk.
For example, Nintendo didn’t originally make video games. The company originally made card games and traditional Japanese board games. Obviously, their branding in those days was a lot different, as they were appealing to an entirely different market. One can easily see how their branding has radically changed to reflect their shift to the video gaming industry, and they went to great lengths to create a distinctive look and feel for their promotional material.
5. Your Branding Is Not Unique Enough
Unfortunately, there are many instances in which different people will come up with similar ideas. This causes consumers to look at certain brands as “rip-offs” of other brands. While this may or may not be the case, you really don’t want your customers to think that you are copying someone else. Thus, if you see that another (and more well-known) company has very similar branding to your own, it might be a good idea to come up with a new plan. This is especially true if your general aesthetic is duplicated by a company within the same industry as yours. Obviously, if you are the larger and better-known company, you will not have to change your brand.
6. If Your Customers Seem Bored And Uninterested
Every business will experience ups and downs in terms of profitability. However, an extended down-term can indicate serious trouble. If your company experiences a sharp downturn after being popular for a long time, it can indicate that customers are simply bored with your products or services. Familiarity is a funny thing: People like the familiar, and yet it does not attract them like the lure of the new and exotic. Sometimes, you might need to switch from one of these roles to the other.
When You Should Refrain From Rebranding
In general, rebranding is something that companies do when they want to reinvent themselves. If everything is going well for your company, there isn’t much of a need to rebrand. This is the kind of thing that should be done in response to a problem. You wouldn’t just rebrand a successful company without a need. Customers like to see consistency, and brand consistency has been shown to be an important factor. Thus, when you rebrand for no reason, you risk alienating your existing customers. This risk should not be taken without a need.
Rebranding is all about changing the way in which your company is perceived. Whether you are recovering from a bad PR situation or just looking to inject new life into something stale, it is very important to make that crucial first impression. If you need a Philadelphia branding and design agency, we advise you to call us at your earliest convenience. Here at Hyland Graphic Design & Advertising, we always say that you only get one first impression. Our job is to make sure that impression is a good one. If you would like to learn more, you can call us at (484) 879-6145. When it comes to creative companies in Philadelphia, we are the very best.