Perhaps engagement levels have dropped across channels. Or maybe it’s just the look of your brand that has become a bit faded. Whatever the reasons, you may have been quietly harboring the idea of rebranding your business for quite some time now.
So, should you rebrand?
Paying attention to a few critical signs can help you decide when to rebrand. What’s more, these signs will remind you why rebranding is important and what makes a strong brand.
1. Your Brand Doesn’t Appeal to Your Audience’s Emotions
Does your brand inspire, motivate, or cheer up your audience? If it does, you’ll usually see a lot of engagement on social media, plenty of shares and comments, positive reviews, and, of course, good sales. If not, well, you may have a problem.
You may be selling great products and providing excellent customer service, but if you’re not appealing to your audience’s emotions, you could be quietly losing ground to your competitors. That’s because people are more likely to buy from, follow, and engage with a brand that connects with them on an emotional level.
Establishing an emotional connection with customers is more important than customer satisfaction, according to a Harvard Business Review study. It’s one of the major reasons why companies create a new identity.
2. Your Brand Isn’t Memorable
On the one hand, there’s Apple. On the other, there’s the local garage doors company, which may not even have a name or a logo. People just call it “the local garage doors service,” or just the “garage door guys.”
The difference between Apple and the garage door guys isn’t just one of size and prestige.
The garage door guys could well be the best providers of garage repair services in the country. But because they don’t have a distinct brand identity, satisfied customers forget them as soon as the job is done.
The garage door guys don’t get many online reviews. People don’t talk about them on social media. And when they recommend them, they just use their first names.
When customers don’t remember your company name, it’s a clear sign that you need to rebrand. And fast. A 2014 study found that out of 100 students familiar with the Apple brand, only one could draw the Apple logo from memory. Less than half were able to select the right logo from a selection of altered logos. If people have a hard time remembering the Apple logo, imagine how much harder it is for them to remember a brand name that’s not memorable.
3. Your Brand Isn’t Credible
Credible brands sell more. They reduce consumer information costs, are cheaper to market, and have a higher market value. But according to the Association for Consumer Research, for a company, brand credibility means more than its reputation.
When a brand proves its expertise and reliability, it delivers on its promises and becomes credible. But the brand’s identity has an impact on its credibility too — everything from its website design to the quality of its social media marketing matters.
Your brand doesn’t need to go through a failed product launch or a public scandal to improve its credibility through rebranding. Creating a brand image that’s more in tune with what customers expect can help at any stage.
4. Your Logo and Website Look Outdated
In the face of new design trends, many websites become gradually outdated, which reduces their value and renders them slowly obsolete. Just think of the flat HTML websites of the early 1990s or the many complex, Flash-based websites of the early 2000s, which ushered in minimalistic design trends.
Logos can be more resilient – Amazon, for example, has been using its logo for 18 years now – but even logos can do with a refresh after a few years. This is especially true for logos that represent brands in competitive industries which continuously innovate and evolve.
Successful logos are meant to differentiate the brands they represent and not just over-define the company. This is, in fact, one of the crucial factors that makes the difference between a great logo and an obscure one.
Does your logo or parts of your website feel outdated? It’s time to rebrand! Choose a fresh logo that makes your brand stand out.
5. Your Business Has Matured
The main reas ons for rebranding don’t always have to be negative. The process through which a brand reaches maturity is a good example of this. Over the years, as your brand grows, it’s not only your products or your customer experience that gains depth. Your brand identity and look mature too as consumers become used to your brand and the new products and services you offer.
Back in the late 1990s, Apple changed its rainbow logo to an elegant and less complicated monochrome logo and then at the beginning of the new millennium to a silver logo as a sign of its maturity. You can read more about the Apple logo transformation over the years in the Ultimate Guide to Rebranding.
6. You Are Targeting a New Audience
Maybe you’ve changed direction. Or your business has outgrown its original audience and now has been expanding to a new market. Either way, attracting a new audience becomes easier with a fresh look.
Kipling’s 2018 gender-neutral design ethos is a great example of rebranding for a new audience. The accessories brand taps on its heritage to appeal to a younger audience.
The Bottom Line
Identifying the above key signs early can inspire you to refresh, improve, and grow your brand. You can’t ignore the essential benefits of successful branding: a stronger brand identity, a deeper connection with your audience, more engagement, more shares, and more conversions. At a time when corporate identity and branding are closely tied, rebranding your business online and beyond can help you connect with customers and keep evolving. It’s one of the best ways to strengthen your corporate identity and branding and send a stronger message.