How do you really know if it’s time for a rebrand or brand refresh?
Branding really is essential in your business. It doesn’t matter if your business is worldwide, or if it is just you working from your home office….your brand is the voice of your business, your visual identity, a feeling people get when interacting with your company, and what people say about your business when you’re not around. Let’s be honest, your business is very important to you, or you wouldn’t be doing it. If you are potentially sending the wrong message to your customers, this is definitely something you would want to know and address- I know I would!
It can be difficult to really narrow down if your branding is actually saying all of the things you want it to, making it tough to know when it’s time to rebrand or refresh your existing branding.
This is exactly why I’m going to share a few simple ways to help you determine if it is time to rebrand your business.
Before even getting into how to tell if you need a refresh, you first need to know what rebranding really is!
Rebranding is when you take a seat, and look into the basics of your business. You start from the ground up, and address the WHY behind your business, and look into who you really want to target as your ideal client. Rebranding involves creating a new visual brand identity, brand voice, and message that your business is conveying to the world. This process really brings you back to the basics of your business, and helps you build a brand that speaks to the right audience, and conveys the message that you really want it to!
A brand refresh is a little different. This is where your initial message, target market, and overall mission hasn’t changed, but you need to update your logo and visual brand identity to better reflect and attract those core values of yourself and your ideal clients/customers.
A brand refresh is essentially setting your business up with tools that are better equip in reaching, speaking to, and identifying with your business message, mission, and target audience. This way, you can better align yourself where you business is at and with what your customers are looking for.
Okay, so now that we know what rebranding and a brand refresh are…
Here are a few tell-tale signs that your business is in need of a rebrand/refresh:
(1) You feel icky about giving people your business cards, or directing them to your website / social media
There could be many reasons behind this feeling. It could be that you started your business by DIYing all of your branding elements a few months/years ago (which most of us do), so they aren’t really feeling up to industry standard anymore. Maybe you threw together a template style logo in Canva, or you used the prettiest available template for your thank you cards. When we start out, this is usually the most reasonable thing to do with our limited experience, resources, and financial means. Although, over time, this can lead to a visual identity that is most definitely not cohesive and that is giving off a more confused and unprofessional look than anything else.
In your business, I’m sure I can be safe to assume that you want to be taken seriously, because your business is your baby and you put countless hours into making it all that it is. When you are going off inconsistency, that is planting seeds of doubt in the minds of your potential customers. This is probably why you may feel a little embarrassed to hand out your business card, or why you feel uneasy about directing people to your website or social media page. Recognizing this feeling is pretty important in figuring out whether it’s time for a little refresh or a full on rebrand.
(2) When you feel like you have fallen behind, and need to keep up to date with current shifts in economy, customer needs, technology shifts, etc
If your website or brand visuals are feeling pretty outdated and out of touch with where current shifts in business are going, this is a good sign it’s time for a brand refresh. Maybe you started out with branding years ago that isn’t really meeting the needs of today’s business expectations, or maybe you opted for that oh so ~trendy~ aesthetic that has now come and gone out of style. Either way, if you want your business to stand out and stand a chance compared to competitors, you need to be adaptable and work with advances in business culture, economy, technology, and customer needs. For example, the beloved Blockbuster didn’t take advantage of advances in technology, so they unfortunately got lost in all of the newest ways to enjoy movies. If you fail to keep up with what the world is looking for, unfortunately you may get left behind. This is a huge factor driving many businesses to refresh or rebrand entirely. Your branding should be working with you and helping you, not working against you. Your branding is there to help people feel more confident in you and your business’s products or services.
If you feel like you’re kind of getting lost in the mix of your competitors and other businesses, maybe it’s time to consider a refresh to help your business stand out and convey the message that you truly want it to!
(3) You don’t feel connected to your audience or to a particular target market
Maybe you’re constantly attracting people who don’t align with your values or that don’t really connect to you or your business’s greater purpose. Or maybe your current logo isn’t connecting with the customers that you are really looking to attract. Say you’re a company looking to attract high spending real estate buyers, but your visual brand identity is filled with bright pinks, bubble letters, and inconsistent messaging…Although pink bubble letters are not necessarily bad visual elements, they are the WRONG elements for the business that you are trying to attract.
With that in mind, if you’re constantly feeling disconnected from your clients or if you keep attracting the wrong people, there is likely a disconnect between what you want your branding to say, and what it’s actually conveying to others! You really want your branding to represent your business experience, feeling, and message. If it’s not doing this, then it’s likely hindering your business and is probably confusing those who come across your website, socials, store, etc. This is when it is really beneficial to recognize these feelings and envision how your visual identity can better align with your core values/message through a rebrand or brand refresh.
(4) If you’ve made changes to your brand as a whole, or you have outgrown your initial mission or message
Say you started out with a small candle business that was run through your basement, hoping to get any sort of sale to get you through to the next day. Your values were placed on providing cheap yet beautifully smelling candles. You used the cheapest products available and didn’t really focus on the quality of your products. Now, your business has grown, you have started to really value sustainability and eco-friendly business practices, and maybe you have teamed up with other local businesses to voice the importance of using clean, eco-friendly, and sustainable candles. Your business values and message have changed quite a bit here, which likely don’t align with your initial branding. It is important to recognize growth and changes in your business, so you can made adjustments and allow your branding to grow and expand with these exciting changes.
With all of this being said, if you have changed the focus of your business (maybe a new target audience, new products, a different mission) or maybe you’ve joined forces with another company, this is a great sign that it’s time for an updated visual identity and branding plan, which could be done by rebranding to better align with your new focus. If your business no longer aligns with what you were conveying when you started, an updated brand will definitely help you reach your new client focus, and will better display the mission and feelings associated with your business.
Okay… so what does this all mean??
Maybe that was a lot to take in…but this is all just a learning experience, just like your business as a whole. The main thing is really just being able to recognize what is working, what isn’t, what changes you have made in your business, or that have been made in the economy, technology, etc. Being able to sit down and really evaluate your business is so key in your overall growth.
It is also really important to note that rebranding every year - 2 years is not beneficial!! Please don’t think that constantly changing your branding and visual identity will fix all of your business pain points. Rather, you should focus on what main factors aren’t working, and work with a professional who can create branding that will effectively communicate your business values, mission, and message to your ideal customers. Constantly switching your branding to the newest and hottest trends will only hurt your business and confuse people of your purpose.
Let’s summarize a few key points in identifying that it’s time for a rebrand or brand refresh:
You feel a little embarrassed to give out your business card, or refer someone to your website/socials
You feel like you’ve fallen behind your competitors, or have gotten lost in economic shifts, technological advances, or your customer wants/needs have changed
You don’t feel connected to your audience, or to any particular target market
You’ve made changes to your overall business mission, values, and/or message
I hope this was beneficial in informing you when it may be time to rebrand or have a brand refresh for your business. If you would like to take this step in helping better align your business with your mission, your message, and with those you are looking to attract, I’d love to help you along this exciting journey!