Branding has the power to cut-through competitor noise and engage with your audience. In contrast, a misaligned brand can hold your business back. So when is it time to rebrand? Here I’ll explain what is a brand and when it’s the right time to rebrand your business.
A breathing brand
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?’ A common phrase uttered by some business owners at one point or another. But here’s the thing, how do you know if your brand is still working for your business? If like many business owners you struggle answering this question, you’re not alone.
A misaligned brand can be devastating for any business. Think of your brand as a human. A living, breathing, full of personality, human. A great first impression can go a long way to building friends and relationships. The same thinking should be applied to branding. Wrapping your audience up in a great impression should be paramount to your business. So, how do you make those great impressions with your brand? To answer this, we first need to explore, what is a brand?
People need to emotionally attach to something. Something to cherish, to brag about, to believe in, to care about, to emotionally get behind.
– Sasha Strauss, Brand Strategist & Founder of InnovationProto
First of all, let’s iron out some inaccuracies. A brand is not about updating your old logo with something new and shiny. (On behalf of every designer and marketer out there, I urge you to push that thinking far away from your mind). In contrast, a brand represents a strong, emotive connection that a customer has with your business.
We’ve all been there. Hovering over the ‘purchase‘ button, overwhelmed with the selection of choice on offer. ‘Is this the best option, or what about this?’ A successful and aligned brand allows this ‘misery of choice’ to be an effortless decision. Take a moment and ask yourself these questions: what is your favourite phone brand? (Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Google, perhaps something else?) Why do you prefer that phone brand? I will guarantee that some of those brands have either spurred pure love or boiled up inner hatred. In its simplicity, this shows branding at work. When a consumer utters the words, ‘I prefer that brand, just because…’ you know that brand has done its job. Described by Simon Middleton, a motivational keynote speaker, “Brand simplifies choice so dramatically, so satisfyingly, so easily, that it’s no wonder we use it so much.”
Is it time to rebrand?
I won’t try to sugar-coat it, knowing when to rebrand can be challenging. But don’t worry, here is a 4-step guide to help you reveal if it’s time to rebrand your business:
4-step guide to rebrand your business
1. Is your brand built on trust?
Successful businesses build their brands with human needs at the forefront. As described by the wonderful brand strategist, Sasha Strauss, “Do not just sell! Engage, advocate and empathise. Customers will never, ever forget it.” Due to social conditioning, customers rally behind brands who care. It is important for this to shine through your messaging. Allow your brand to be authentic, trusting and honest. It’s the first step to winning over your audience. They’re not daft, they will simply see-through everything else.
2. Does your brand improve recognition?
Imperative to brand success, there needs to be recognition. Your audience wants to believe in your brand. If an audience can get behind your brand you will not only retain current customers, but generate new ones. Brand recognition inspires employees to feel motivated and proud of the business. It will also attract top talent to your ranks too!
3. When did you last review your strategy, messaging and vision?
I heard that sigh. But sometimes a brand review in these areas doesn’t need to be an arduous task. Sometimes the original objectives on which a business was founded are not the same 5 or 10 years down the line. Markets, tech and opportunities all change. Has your messaging become misaligned or lost in complication? Then take out the complexity which makes your audience glaze over. Remember, you’re reaching out to humans who crave honesty.
4. Above all, does your branding set you apart from the competition?
It’s a noisy world filled with competitors shouting from every angle. You need to be seen and heard far above the competition, feeling proud and energised by your brand. Does your brand feel outdated or lost its way with your current vision? If your presence is starting to fall off the radar, then it might be time for a rebrand.
Taking the right step forward
If it’s time to rebrand your business, then you need to make a great lasting impression with your audience. To understand your audience, you need to consider the inner cogs that will keep it breathing.
Understanding your brand is to think of it as a human. It’s a living, breathing entity that adapts and changes over time. Take time to think about key areas, such as your brand’s personality, values, story and tone of voice. These are just some of the elements that make your brand unique and memorable.
Aligned brands form emotive connections unshakable to their audience. Ask yourself, what makes fans stand behind their favourite sport teams? As Sasha Strauss so perfectly states, “People need to emotionally attach to something. Something to cherish, to brag about, to believe in, to care about, to emotionally get behind.” It is this exact, intangible essence that builds successful brands. If brands are built on belief, then human needs should come first.