Rebranding is something that comes up at some point for most businesses.
And if you're around long enough you'll probably come across the rebranding question multiple times.
There are a couple sides to the rebranding situation. Some think that maybe you don't need to rebrand while others think it's necessary.
I think I fall somewhere in the middle.
In life, things are always evolving and your business is no different. A company or organization will change, but it is important to remember what your core values are.
Many businesses that have been around a long time will change the things they do, but the reasons they do those things (their core values) really don't change.
As your business evolves – what it does, how it does it, etc. – it's necessary to have a brand that represents what's going on.
So let's go through a few ways to know if you should rebrand your business.
What is a Rebrand?
Maybe before we jump in we need to step back and look at what a rebrand is.
The obvious way to look at it would be the logo. The logo is an iconic part that we often remember from famous brands.
But a rebrand is more than a logo. The logo is important, but a rebrand involves lots of things. Today they include the website, app, stationary, email and much, much more.
When you go through a change in your business and you do a rebrand it's important to look at every place where your business interacts with your customers and the market. All that communication and interaction needs to be rebranding to fit what you're trying to communicate.
- New Products, Services
- Name Change
- Team Change
- Remembering Core Values
#1. New Products, Services
Some of the biggest brands in history have gone through historical changes of products and services in their lifetimes.
I used to work for a company that had been around for more than 100 years. Throughout that time they changed the products they offered and how they marketed those products. It was pretty cool.
Any company that's around for a long time will have to go through some change. The world changes. Customer needs change. What you do today might not be what you do tomorrow.
When that change comes it can be a reason to rebrand the business.
#2. Name Change
This one is pretty obvious. Sometimes a name change is necessary because of the first thing we talked about. When what you offer changes it might require a name change.
A recent example in the online marketing world is Moz. They simplified their name from SEOmoz when they went full on in offering more than SEO software.
Although I think now they're back to focusing on SEO...
Anyway, that required a rebranding. This has happened many times in the business world. When things change it requires a name change sometimes to make it easier for the customer to not get confused.
Another one that's common is just shortening the name. Like General Electric, which is now mostly know as GE. They are involved in all kinds of industries outside of electronics so they shortened things to make it easier, but that required at least some kind of rebrand.
This one is a bit more subtle.
When we think of iconic brands we often think of McDonald's. We don't even really think of that logo changing, but it's gone through numerous changes. Check out this timeline of the changes.
Pretty interesting stuff…
Ford is another famous brand that has gone through changes.
The changes may come about for various reasons, but sometimes it's just a need to modernize the logo.
As time goes by we get more technology and capabilities and that extends into design where it's possible to make a logo stand out more or pop off the page more and things like that.
The changes don't always have to be crazy, but a little modern touch can bring a brand back to current times.
#4. Team Change
This is one I thought of just recently with the reunion of Guns N Roses. Former member, Slash, kind of hinted at the rumor of a reunion when he posted the old logo of the band on his social media accounts.
Axl Rose had been the only remaining hey day member for a number of years and he had been using a different logo.
When Slash and Duff came back they reverting to using the old logo and that made sense.
This one won't be applicable for all businesses and organizations, but when team members are as memorable as a logo then it's important for the logo to represent the team and its members.
#5. Remembering Core Values
I wanted to end with this one because it's most important.
One thing that successful businesses seem to really understand is the importance of core values. It's a concept that Jim Collins discussed in Built To Last.
What a business does may change, but why they exist usually doesn't change. In fact, it probably shouldn't change.
Core values are what bring people to a business.
For example, 3M has done a number of different things, but their core value of innovation hasn't changed.
Sometimes a business can stray from its core values. A rebrand could be part of an effort to get back to the core values.
Rebranding is a tricky thing. It's difficult sometimes to know if you should make a change. Sometimes it doesn't make sense, but a business is always evolving and that means that the brand, its logo and other design elements, need to change as well.
Hopefully the items above can help you determine if a rebrand is necessary. It's not important to change for the sake of change. But when it makes sense, go ahead and update the look and feel of your marketing materials to better communicate these changes to your customers.