For many organisations, a rebrand is seen as an unnecessary cost, and many leaders fear that a change of this nature may lead to a decrease in business rather than an increase. In today’s rapidly changing business world, businesses who do not evolve will die. This sounds a bit drastic but there are hundreds of examples that can be referenced (Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders to name a few notable examples). With the rate of innovation and disruption, businesses must continually invest in staying relevant to their consumers, not only from a product perspective but also from a brand perspective.
Your brand is an asset and should be treated as such. Your brand represents what is unique and valuable about your business that cannot easily be replicated. For example, many of your competitors may have a similar product or a similar offering so your brand is your best opportunity to present something unique that sets you apart from your competitors. The ability to capitalise on your uniqueness is a valuable skill and not something that necessarily comes easily.
A true rebrand is a journey that involves comprehensively analysing what has changed within your business and its strategy, bringing that change to life through a defined brand positioning, and signalling the change to the market, often via a new logo or look and feel.
How do you know that it is time for a rebrand or refresh? Here are six signs you may be ready, or in fact, well overdue:
Consideration of the brand implications pre, post or during an M&A is imperative. Creating a market-ready brand that sails through the M&A journey can be as important as the actual financial aspects of the deal.
Pre M&A considerations: Attracting a prospective buyer for an acquisition is extremely reliant on your brand. Preparing your brand for an M&A means ensuring it has a rock-solid positioning, it resonates with your core audience and distinguishes you from your competitors. Your business must appear as shiny on the outside as it does on the inside.
Post M&A considerations: Once a brand has been acquired, organisations need to look at the overall brand architecture and decide where the new brand fits in. Ensure the new brand does not cannibalise your existing brand, that it shares the same or similar values as your existing brands, and decide on how best to integrate the new brand into your existing brand architecture model. For example, does the new brand need to be endorsed by the parent brand? Is there any brand equity sharing opportunities between your brands? For more information on brand architecture considerations post M&A see our previous blog – a strategic approach to brand in an M&A.
If you have added a significant new product range or service to your business offer and this has changed the focus of your organisation, a rebrand may act as a circuit breaker to signal to your audiences that your offering has changed. Sometimes businesses may experience periods of rapid growth and find that over time their business strategy and brand strategy are no longer aligned and, in a sense, the brand has been left behind. A rebrand can represent a sense of achievement, showing that the business is re-investing back into the brand to represent strength and build trust.
Visual identity is an extremely important aspect of your brand strategy. How you are presented externally to consumers needs to resonate with your brand promise. For many start-up organisations, it may seem wise to start off with a minimal approach and not spend too much of your startup budget on the aesthetics of your brand, however, a strong visual identity is an important first impression.
Even the most established and recognisable brands, Nike, Apple, Google or Lego, to name a few, have refreshed their visual identity on an ongoing basis. Consumers understand clearly what these brands stand for, how they are different from their competitors and what to expect when engaging with the brand. From a visual perspective – the change can sometimes be so subtle consumers may not have even noticed. For each of these organisations, their brand is the champion that sets them apart and drives their business growth, therefore they understand the value in ensuring their brand remains relevant – even from a visual identity perspective.
A worst-case scenario is when your organisation is embroiled in controversy so significant that you need to rebrand your organisation to demonstrate to the market that you have moved on from the contentious situation and are ready to begin rebuilding trust from your stakeholders and customers.
A rebrand is not the only way to recover from a crisis situation. A company can rebuild trust with consumers. The way you handle a crisis should be both pro-active and re-active; honesty and owning up to the mistake is a good first step. The strength of your brand can soften the blow of a crisis and therefore the pro-active strategies are mainly centred around building a strong brand that has a wealth of trust and integrity built into its equity. To read more on the subject of trust and how brands can survive a crisis – see our recent blog – your brand survival guide.
If your brand is well established and ‘price’ is one of the differentiating factors in consumers’ minds, it will be extremely difficult for you to increase prices. Consumer perception around price can be altered by elevating the brand positioning and bringing forward other attributes of your brand and product. If your brand was originally branded with price as a driving factor – examples such as SuperCheap Auto, Aldi and Jetstar have all based their positioning on a low cost/low price point of difference. For Jetstar to raise their prices (to that of a premium airline price) would be a challenge. The way they have managed to get around this is to deconstruct their price and present the extras as an addon price. If they decided to change their pricing strategy, they will no doubt need to rebrand.
Your brand is an extremely powerful lever when it comes to attracting and retaining the best and brightest talent. Aligning your employee values with your brand values is the key to ensuring your business stands out as the employer of choice in your industry. To understand more about employer branding and how it can help in fighting the war on talent – download our free e-book The Guide to Employer Branding.
At BrandMatters, we believe strong brands are born from research and strategic insight. The visual identity of your brand (logo, colour palette, imagery) should be a translation of this insight, to create a truly unique brand that speaks directly to your target audience.
Our case studies show some of the work we have completed recently. Some of the rebrands include Kmart Tyre and Auto to mycar, Dimmi to The Fork, Allianz Marina & Transit Underwriting Agency to AM&T, NSW Treasury to TCorp. Some brand refresh work we have completed recently includes Greencap, Magellan and Alpha Vista.
We believe rebranding, refreshing, reengineering or restructuring your brand over time is a strategic imperative in staying relevant. Research and insights underpin all our brand recommendations and we believe this provides the much needed demonstrable proof for organisations to move forward confidently with their rebrand.
Contact us to discuss your rebrand or refresh.