Rebranding is one of the many approaches B2B businesses can utilise to tell their existing and potential audiences about a change in intent and direction. A rebrand reflects a significant strategic adjustment and is a longer-term project. But it is more than just changing a logo or adding a new design device to existing marketing collateral and the website.
It involves identifying what has changed within your organisation; capturing that change and translating it into a new brand positioning and brand strategy for your organisation; and representing that change to both your internal and external audiences.
When you rebrand, it is a signal to your audiences that they need to reassess their preconceived notions of your brand, and this is not a decision that should be made lightly.
There are various reasons why a B2B organisation may consider a rebrand. If you are considering rebranding your organisation, start with an understanding of the business need behind the rebrand. Do you need to accelerate growth? Have you been the subject of a merger, or made a significant acquisition? Are you hovering between being a mid-sized and large sized organisation and do you need to reposition yourself to compete more effectively in your competitive set? Or do you simply need to grow your market awareness or meet your sales budgets?
Put simply, before you launch a comprehensive rebrand, you need to understand the business problem you are trying to resolve and assess if a rebrand can help address these challenges. There are two main catalysts of rebranding rationale: proactive opportunities and reactive triggers.
Proactive rebranding opportunities typically arise to spur on business growth, to communicate change, or to manage newly introduced elements in your business.
- Preparing for growth: If you are a business teetering on the edge of rapid expansion, a rebrand can help reposition your organisation for growth. It can act as a signal to your customers, competitors and stakeholders that you are here, you are ready, and that you have the momentum to drive your organisation forward.
- New strategic directions: If your organisation is preparing a strategic plan that will change the future direction of your organisation, a rebrand can help communicate this new intent to your market.
- New product of service offering: If you have added a significant new product or service to your business offer that 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.
- New audiences: You may find yourself in a situation where you are marketing your products and services to audiences that were not previously relevant to your organisation. You may find that over time, your sales are declining, your current brand is looking dated, your brand and messaging is lacking relevance to your target audience. A rebrand can revitalise or modernise your positioning and visual identity in line with the expectations of the rapidly evolving market.
- Finding talent: Australia continues to enjoy low unemployment and companies continue to struggle to attract and retain the top talent. Proactively building your brand and your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) makes it more attractive to the brightest and the best who in the past may not have considered your organisation as a prospective employer.
Conversely, there are a number of reactive catalysts that may prompt your organisation into a rebrand. These are typically in response to rapidly evolving business conditions or to manage negative issues.
- Merger or acquisition: If you have recently made a significant acquisition or have been part of a merger, the strategic intent of your business has changed (as has potentially the name), and you may be required to reflect this new intent with a rebrand. In this situation, the newly rebranded business can act as a unifier across the organisation.
- Reaction to recent growth: In response to a period of significant growth, you may find that your business and brand strategy are no longer aligned, and more often than not, your brand strategy is what is left in the rear-view mirror. In this situation, brands start to collide and cannibalise themselves as they operate in different channels against different audiences, and the existing segmentation can become unclear. The internal culture may have drifted away from the organisation’s aspiration and a rebrand can correct this slide.
- A changing business environment: The introduction of new industry pressures or regulations, or a new entrant into the market, can also rapidly alter the composition of your market and your ability to compete effectively. This very quickly influences your current brand’s presentation in the market, making it appear dated and irrelevant. In situations such as this, a review of your positioning can reinvigorate your organisation internally and inject some motivation and energy in your team, which is then shared with customers.
- Trademarking or legal issues: From time to time, trademarking or other legal issues may arise and necessitate a rebrand. This situation is more typical when businesses that are based in Australia may be seeking to expand internationally with a brand that already exists in the market they are expanding into.
- Negative publicity: As a worst-case scenario, a rebrand may be required to navigate your organisation through a period of controversy. It can help demonstrate to the market that you have moved on from the contentious situation and that you are ready to begin rebuilding trust from your stakeholders and customers.
- Does your organisation need to rebrand?
If your organisation does not genuinely meet at least some of these criteria, you might want to consider whether a rebrand is appropriate at the current stage of your business. Minor tweaks to your positioning and then your logo, say through a brand refresh project, could achieve the revitalised communications and look and feel you are seeking. Alternatively, maybe an innovative new marketing strategy or brand communication campaign might help you stand out from your competitors without requiring the complexity and costs of a true rebrand.
Not sure if you should rebrand? BrandMatters are experts in rebranding and repositioning organisations to better prepare them for business growth. If you would like to read more about rebranding your organisation, we suggest you read one of our recent eBooks, The Refreshing Guide to Rebranding, or if you would like an assessment of your current situation, feel free to Contact Us.