How do you know when it’s time to rebrand?

Without realising it, we humans take involuntary mental shortcuts in almost everything we do – it’s the way we’re set up. It’s so that we don’t have to mentally process every routine daily action from scratch, which would be exhausting and time consuming.

Constant, undeviating, persistent presentation of your brand is the one infallible way to build recognition. This places a huge amount of factual and emotional data into a mental shortcut. Brand recognition triggers a whole universe of deep psychological associations in less than the blink of an eye.

The majority of people don’t appreciate what an awesomely potent tool a properly thought-out and well-managed brand is.

No Escape From Change

Change is continuous and inevitable, and if your company intends to keep going forwards, or at the very least not slide helplessly backwards, it is essential to maintain control over the associations that people have stored up about your brand. Significant events occur at one time or another within all companies, any of which would be likely to trigger a review of your brand.

  • Reputation damage.
    Your company might manufacture or import a product that has a serious defect. This might involve a highly publicised product recall. Local managers might have handled initial customer complaints clumsily. This is a very common scenario which would cause customers to reframe their relationship with your brand. A rebrand might be necessary to distance your company from negative associations and regain trust.
  • Legal challenge.
    Your company might find itself embroiled in a trade mark or licensing dispute from which there’s no way out, especially if opposing parties are not open to compromise. A rebrand might be the only way to avoid further dispute and protect your company’s identity.
  • Showing its age.
    According to Eric Schmidt we now create as much information in two days as we did in the period between the dawn of man up to 2003. In other words change happens faster now than ever before. If your brand loses resonance with customers it becomes vulnerable to up and coming competition. In this case, a rebrand is essential to stay relevant.
  • Change of direction.
    If your company shifts its focus or heads in a new, more lucrative business direction, a rebrand will signal the change to current and future customers in a positive light.
  • Merger or acquisition.
    When two companies merge or one company acquires another, it’s often because both businesses have strengths which are more formidable together than apart. In this situation a carefully contrived rebrand brings both customer bases on-side with the change and opens the door to growth and expansion.
  • International expansion.
    If your company expands into new international markets, its success might require some adaptation of your brand to suit cultural differences and increase its appeal to local audiences.
  • Growth and evolution.
    As your company grows and evolves over time, it’s likely that its goals will transform as well. A rebrand may be necessary to reflect a revision of values; for example pursuing greater environmental sustainability.

A rebrand might involve a complete change, but in most circumstances a carefully thought-out upgrade is more appropriate and evolves customer perceptions rather than completely remaking them.

If your company has never rebranded, or has gone through any kind of upheaval with nothing more than fingers crossed, it might be time to take a fresh look at what is without doubt the most powerful psychological tool at your disposal.

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Talk to us about rebranding.

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