The Pros and Cons of Rebranding Your Business
When your business needs a boost, rebranding may seem like a logical choice. If your offerings have become outdated due to market changes, you may need to expand into a completely new demographic, or emphasize a change in company mission. However, since the move is fraught with risk (and comes with a significant price tag), you shouldn’t take the decision lightly.
Is a brand rebirth for you? Will another strategy do? Before you jump into any major decisions, it’s good to know what history can teach us. While your company DNA is distinctly yours, you can still learn a lot from businesses that have done it well — and those who encountered a few hiccups along the way.
Is a Full Rebrand Necessary?
Some things don’t require a completely new identity. Changing the name, refreshing colors or adding a new product line are all actions that can breathe new life into a brand without turning off customers. One of the most talked about rebranding moments was when Airbnb changed their logo to the “bélo.” While this move was met with some contention and was the subject of much debate, the symbol has now successfully eclipsed their previous logo and is aligned with their global strategy of inclusion and understanding across languages and borders.
Airbnb didn’t change their name, but sometimes a total overhaul is necessary. That being said, your company name is its identity, so it’s important to seriously consider the benefits and drawbacks in each circumstance. Will the new name be unrecognizable to customers, so much so that you may experience a drop off in sales? Or is your current name hindering your growth? It’s also important to consider the amount of capital necessary to complete a full rebranding — include everything from new signage, updated assets for marketing materials and a website redesign.
Can You Consolidate?
Few brands are a one-trick pony anymore. If you’ve branched out into offering many services or products under different brand names, it may be difficult for your customers to understand your identity. An opportunity to rebrand may come in the form of choosing one name, logo and brand style for all of your properties. It’s worked for corporations like FedEx, who created a singular, bold logo for their properties in the ’90s. Now, everyone recognizes them — whether you’re printing or shipping.
Does It Mean What You Think It Means?
Rebranding is often prompted after company leaders have an “a-ha” moment and pursue a change in logo or name to reflect this revelation. When email service provider ConvertKit changed their name to Seva in July of 2018, they were looking to express their desire to serve the customer. Confusion over the cultural connections to the name, however, encouraged them to switch back — keeping only the new color palette from the rebranding. If there’s something to learn, it’s that you should market test the name to make sure that it resonates with those that matter before you launch an expensive brand face-lift.
Who Are You Serving?
In the end, companies can’t exist without customers. When considering a rebranding move, think through the ways this change will potentially impact them. If the marketing change doesn’t ultimately make you stronger to serve more customers, then it may be best to stick with what you got.