If you think that your brand is your logo and your color choices, then you’re doing your brand a great disservice. The brand is much more than that. It is your direction, it is your online tone, and it is your latest marketing campaign.
This has become particularly true since the rise of online services. After all, in days past when you bought a product or looked for advice, you got to speak to a real person with a personality and a voice. Nowadays, all that has fallen away as people interact more and more with a company through their websites and text-based options. That means that the human element has fallen away, making your brand and what it means even more important than it used to.
For that reason, you need to think carefully about any re-branding you’re going to do, as it will change client’s perceptions of all parts of your company – from logo all the way down to the product. At the same time, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t re-brand. There might be some very good reasons to do so. Here we’re going to cover some.
Your customer base is all wrong
Sometimes you have a customer base that is dwindling and might soon disappear, or perhaps you are planning to expand into a new part of the market where your customer base has no presence. In that case, it might well be time to consider re-branding to appeal to a different slice of the marketing pie.
Alternatively, you might consider creating a new brand that is separate from your old one. This is what Toyota did when they created Lexus and this is why both
Procter and Gamble
have hundreds of sub-brands. In this way, you can have your cake and eat it too, as you maintain your old customer base and expand into new areas.
Of course, there is a downside and that is that you’ll have to expend more on marketing, as both brands will need to be marketed in order to position them correctly.
Your brand and its logo are no longer of the times
It happens. Times and tastes chance. Just look at how the big brands have changed their designs over the years. Now, this kind of re-branding isn’t as big as what I’ve outlined above. This is what is known as a partial re-branding and as such doesn’t mean that your whole company needs to change direction or change the way it interacts with the outside world.
As such, the re-branding does not have to cause any kind of upset with your market – provided that they like the direction in which you’re moving.
Now, that is something that you will want to test before you engage on this kind of re-branding. Through surveys and other tools, as customers what they think of your brand and whether they think it is dated. Make sure, when you do so, that you don’t
load your question
s so that you get the responses you want. From there you can then start working out in which direction you want to move your brand.
Your brand has become diffuse
This will happen, particularly if there are several different parts of your brand working semi-independently. Different people have different ideas about what your brand means and what should be emphasized. The inevitable result is that your brand will drift and become more and more diffuse.
In this case, it might be enough simply to pull all the parts back into alignment. This can be done by putting one person in charge of the branding or – if that isn’t possible – to create a clear style guide that will direct people and make certain that they will know what the message and the orientation is.
Of course, all the documentation and such will have to be brought into line. Again, the best way to do this is to put somebody in charge who knows what they’re doing, such as an internal external or some kind of writing service, like
. Make sure you put it in the hands of one organization or individual to bring your content back into focus.
It is not really a brand at all
Or maybe it feels like if they would do a comparison between some kind of the main brand and a brand X your brand would be brand X? It happens. It might not be the intention, but sometimes we play it safe so often – perhaps because there was no serious competition – that we end up too safe and the brand ends up feeling generic.
In this case, it might be necessary to put an edge back into the product so that people will be able to separate you out from the other, more thirty and better branded members of the competitor pack. Of course, it is vital that you choose a strategy to give you back the edge.
The best way to do so is to focus on your target audience and find out what they’re looking and interested in. From there, you can then take steps to become what they want. Though, in this case, you do need to be careful that you don’t end up trying to force a square peg (in both senses) through a round h***, as this might actually end up costing you far more than it gains.
Re-branding, as already said, is not something that you should engage in lightly. It should be well considered and it should be comprehensive. For, as I’ve already said, the brand is far more than the logo. It’s the way that your company presents itself to the world.
For that reason, any re-branding effort should always be preceded by research and an investigation of the market – both in terms of where you’re at and where you want to go. Realize that different market segments have different expectations and ways of interacting with the marketplace. If you do not know what they want and what they expect, there is a good chance that your re-branding will backfire and end up doing more harm than good.
You have been warned.