It's Time to Re-brand. Or Maybe Not.
Even if people aren’t entirely clear on what a brand is — much less what constitutes a strong brand — they’re pretty sure they need one. But before you embark on a process to re-define and re-articulate your brand, you first need to know where your organization is now (and where it’s going), the branding environment in which you operate, and what your competitors are doing. And to marshal appropriate resources, make good decisions, and ensure that the effort and time spent will actually make a positive difference, it’s important to understand why re-branding is necessary.
Drivers for change can be external — or come from within your organization. And if they are within, different conditions, goals and trajectories demand different amounts of work on your brand. Some of these reasons may be applicable to your organization. If none are, then perhaps your brand is not the problem — even if your CEO thinks it is. Here are five reasons to re-brand, as well as five reasons to skip it.
Re-brand Is a Go
1. The environment in which you operate has changed, and along with it, your customers’ expectations. Worse, your competition is aggressively managing its brand to better connect with your customers. What you’re offering is still of value, but how customers and prospects think of you (and talk about you) is not what it needs to be for you to be competitive. To not catch up with your competitors — or, better, leap over them — will take a toll.
2. Your communications — print and digital — just don’t look and sound like you. The competitive environment isn’t the problem, you’re on top of your offerings and operations, and your organization isn’t undergoing change. But the messages you’re putting out there aren’t telling your story. Your print and digital materials — perhaps even your logo — are subtracting value from your offerings. A re-look at how you express yourself verbally and visually is in order.
3. You’ve evolved, but your brand hasn’t. Your organization is in the forefront. You’ve continued to innovate, but how you’re understood lags, and those out-of-date perceptions are dragging down both mindshare and marketshare. The good news: Your brand foundation is solid — you have a vision, model and value that can inform new messages, new visual expression and an evolved brand. Do it.
4. You’re transforming your organization. The change you’re undergoing is more revolution than evolution. You’ve identified new lines of business, a new model and new markets to serve, so your brand, down to its fundamentals, needs to be re-thought and re-built. While you’re not remotely a start-up, in some respects you are: You need to articulate who your constituents are and what they care about so you can develop new messages. Your new visual system (and name and tagline) can be invented to be in sync with your transformation. New print and digital communications also can telegraph and bring excitement to your transformation.