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When is the right time to rebrand your business?

At some point in the life of every business, the idea of rebranding gets brought to the table. There are many reasons behind this. Maybe your old design is beginning to look stagnant, maybe your competitors have recently refreshed their look and feel and maybe you feel by branding  your company to tailor to a specific target audience can help you capture more traffic from the right kind of people. There are many reasons for companies to go through the process of rebranding, however, on the other hand, there are also strong reasons against it.

Certain turnoffs can include the cost, the time it takes to rebrand a company, and the amount of effort that’s involved in this potentially huge project.

It’s always important to ask yourself the question: “How much could my business benefit from rebranding?”. After all, a rebrand is so much more than just making your business look pretty. It’s about making your bottom line look good too. It can involve a brand new website, new printed staff uniforms, a redesign of your company logo and, potentially, depending on the industry you’re in, it could also mean that you’re going to redesign the internal layout of your store.

Some of important factors that you need to consider when you’re taking the time to assess the value of a rebrand include:

  • Equity management
  • Market differentiation and accessibility
  • Brand awareness, relevance and vitality
  • Consumer personality, preference, usage, associations and emotional connectivity.

The bottom line here is that, if you believe your company can improve it’s relationship with its customer base in any (or all) of these key areas, then rebranding your company could seriously benefit you.

The difficult part of rebranding your company is that it involves a lot of change in a small amount of time. For any company, employee or customer – this is never easy. There’s also the potential for things to go wrong which could add to the confusion and create delays in rolling out your newly rebranded company.

So, what are the main turnoffs when it comes to rebranding your company?

With confusion comes chaos:

It’s well known that people simply don’t like change. Change is scary. This is because no one can ever be 100% certain of what the end result will be. During a period of change, people get confused and frustrated that things are different from what they’re used to. If your employees are used to doing things one way then they’re not going to be happy if this is disrupted while you’re changing the branding of your company. It’s important to keep everyone involved throughout the rebranding process to let everyone know what’s happening, it can make your employees feel like they’re part of the change and it can ensure that the confusion is kept down to a minimum.

By publishing press releases, updating your site’s blog, posting announcements on social media and by sending out emails, etc., you’re able to keep both your customers and your staff fully informed about the changes. This can reduce the number of customers that you could lose by having repeat clients logging on to a website which suddenly looks completely different from how it was the last time they were there.

This actually brings me nicely on to my next point:

Be prepared to lose a few customers:

The reason why many business owners are against the idea of rebranding is the potential impact that it could have on their customers and, ultimately, their sales. If a proper rebranding strategy isn’t constructed and implemented correctly then you risk losing some of the customers that have helped you get your business to where it is. Unfortunately, even if you got everything perfect there is always the risk of existing customers going elsewhere. Why? This brings me back to the first point that people just don’t like change. It might be that with the rebranding you repositioned the search bar, maybe their ‘MY ACCOUNT’ section suddenly looks different, or maybe you’ve changed your company colours to something which the customers don’t like – no one can be 100% certain, but there’s always the possibility that people will leave.

Minimising the impact of this is very much related to ending the confusion, essentially this involves bringing your customers into the rebranding journey with you. Explain to them the reason why you’re rebranding, explain that you’re continuing to remain true to your core values and you still remain conscious of your customers’ needs and wants. By doing this, you’re minimising the risk of your customers looking elsewhere for the services tor products that you offer.

The costs involved:

Anyone who has flirted with the idea of rebranding their company knows one certain fact – rebranding is anything but cheap. With this in mind, you need to be prepared to open your pockets and spend some money on creating a rebranding strategy, new content, graphic design, marketing and advertising campaigns to support your latest (and possibly greatest) project. Most people will look for ways of saving money on the cost of rebranding but the truth is that, if you want it done correctly and effectively, it’s worth investing the money to ensure that it’s done right.

If you’ve decided that your company is in desperate need of something new, then, when done right, rebranding your company is definitely worth it. It’s incredibly important, however, to be clear about what your aims and objectives are before you begin the project. You also want to be as transparent as possible throughout the whole rebranding process, how the rebrand is going and what you’re hoping to achieve so it’s important to ensure that they’re kept fully informed.

These three points all focus on the downsides of rebranding your company. It’s important though to remember that it’s not all doom and gloom and with the correct planning and execution you can keep the negative effects down to a minimum. You may have heard the saying that “nothing easy is ever worth doing” and rebranding your entire company certainly isn’t easy – is it worth doing? It most cases, definitely.

But why?

Attract new customers:

After years in the same market, your message and your company image can become stagnant and you could find yourself becoming irrelevant to your audience. Over time, it’s natural for a company’s mission and goals to change in order to adapt to the unique needs and challenges of your target market. As this happens, your original image and branding will become old and no longer reflects what you’re trying to achieve. Rebranding your image, your personality and your target audience allow you to grow with both your customers and the market, it also allows you to attract customers that you weren’t able to before. It can also help you reconnect with your existing audience and pull people back to you if they’ve gone elsewhere.

Achieve new goals:

Another huge draw of rebranding is that it allows you to significantly shift your focus and allows you to target and achieve new goals. This could mean that you can develop new services, new products or even improve products and services that you currently offer. It also allows you to get your employees to act as your advocates; by allowing them to be a part of the rebranding process they will help you to identify new goals and will be more willing to help you achieve them.

Increase engagement:

Offering something different is always the perfect opportunity to shout about it and create a storm in your particular industry. New products and a new look provide the perfect opportunity for you to make a big splash and get the industry to take notice of you once again. You can use it to your advantage by getting more people to talk about your company on social media and get everyone else to talk about the change that you’re making and the reasons why you’re doing this. This is essentially turning your customers into your advocates and it shows other existing customers (and potential new ones) why your rebranding is so great and what it means for them.

Streamline your messages:

Over time, your company message and goals can become diluted. As new initiatives take shape, old ones fall away and this means that what you’re saying today might not necessarily be the same as what you want to say tomorrow. This can mean that your company is giving your customers mixed messages. A rebrand is perfect for this as it gives you the chance to start again. It gives you the chance to get focused again. It also means that you can give new emphasis on previous challenges. For example, if you’ve been meaning to improve your online reputation then this could be the perfect chance for you to focus on this goal.

Gain competitive advantage:

Your brand is the face of your business which is presented to the public. By rebranding your company it can allow you to reflect the current market dynamics, giving you the chance to gain an advantage over your competition. It also means that you can accelerate pipeline performance, allowing you to focus on becoming a leading voice in your particular industry. Gaining an advantage over the competition is something that every company is looking to achieve. Whether this is achieved through changing your mission statement, realigning your goals or focusing more effort and attention on something new – it’s all in the name of putting yourself ahead of the competition and attracting their customers and convincing them to come over to you. Revisiting your brand message allows them to do this. It also allows you to counter a loss in confidence or decreased profitability.

Stimulate growth:

The world of business is a fast-paced and ever-changing world. Customers needs and demands can change quickly and therefore you need to cater for those needs in a different way. Businesses operate with complex portfolios, fragmented audiences and promotional clutter. Rebranding helps you improve the impact that you can make in a crowded market. It gives you something to shout about and gives you the tools to shout louder than your competition. As the rebranding continues to take shape, your customers will be eager to keep coming to you to see the change and find out what’s new.

Long-term market expansion:

Companies evolve over time. This is a natural progression of a company moving out of its infancy and adapting itself to the market and understanding the needs of their customers and potential customers. When you were a small business, you might have wanted to portray yourself as an intimate, family business working within the local community. Ultimately, this would have given you an advantage in your local area. As your company grows and expands, this message might not be the same one that you want to show to your customers. For example, if you’re a business that operates from a small part of Birmingham, appealing to local customers there might be perfect for you. As you grow you might consider expanding into other areas, such as London. When this happens, your local family business model might not work for you, you may want to let people know that you’re a national business and that you’re able to cater for their needs as well as the needs as those who live around the corner. Rebranding gives you the chance to sit down and discuss the future plans, set yourself some new goals and then put them into action. It gives you a chance to show off to potential customers who aren’t local to you about the larger, more sophisticated company that you’ve become. If you fail to develop your brand then you risk becoming dwarfed by those who have.

Innovation = profitability:

Just as important as showing your company’s growth within the market is showing your changes in technological innovation. Technology and businesses go together like hand and glove. Any brand associated with technology knows that they must keep pace within their sector and if this is the case then you often have to refocus your efforts and your brand to reflect the changing trends of your ever-changing market.

Going back a few points, again your brand is the face of your business that is displayed to the public. If you don’t shout about the levels of innovation that your company has achieved then your customers will not know that you have achieved them and this might lead to them thinking that you’ve been left behind or unable to keep pace with your competitors. Competitors who rebrand themselves on a consistent basis, even if their company isn’t as strong as yours, can outperform you in terms of reputation and, ultimately, profitability. This is because they’re willing to rebrand themselves to shout about their strengths, what they’re good at and what they’ve achieved. Take Garment Printing, we believe that if you’re looking for printed marketing material or rebranding material then there’s no better company to come to than us. For this reason, we’re willing to shout that we’ve successfully printed for over 100,000 clients. We’re willing to shout about the fact that we’ve worked with Amazon, we’ve printed for Google, we’ve helped Tesco. It might seem like we’re bragging when we say this but if we don’t shout about it, our customers and potential customers will never know – and you should do the same.

All in all, there are far more pros to rebranding than there are cons. Admittedly, some of the cons do stick in your mind more, such as the cost of implementing such a huge project. However, you have to think about the long run, adapting to the ever-changing world, making sure that you’re a major player in that world and not being left behind by your competition who are willing to grow, expand and change with the times. A high-quality rebranding can indicate a high-quality company. A high-quality company will attract new customers and it will also keep them.

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