Rethink Before Rebranding
A few months ago I picked up a Chattanooga newspaper to read that the part of town called “Brainerd” was rebranding to be called “Midtown.”
It seems as though everyone has gone rebranding crazy and I took that community rebrand as proof. Call me crazy, but it seems odd for an area of town to arbitrarily rename themselves based on their marketability. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a marketer and certainly understand the value of a name and definitely think Midtown sounds cooler than Brainerd.
But before we all go out creating cleaner logos and catchy new taglines (of which I am fans of both), I think it’s really important to analyze the why before jumping straight to what.
Because what’s easily created is oftentimes easily destroyed. Great brands (think about the big dogs—apple, Coke, Walmart) are methodical, not impulsive.
5 Questions to Ask Before Rebranding
While any one of these could be cause for the rebranding strategy meeting, and answering “yes” to all of them means you should get started asap!
1. Is My Brand’s Unique Value Proposition Misrepresented?
This is probably the biggest reason to call in the rebranding police. If your brand is misrepresented—meaning you offer a service or create a product that is different than the way you are representing yourself, a change is probably in order.
You may experience this disconnect when you are consistently clarifying your business model to new customers. The conversation probably goes like this: “yes, I know our website says we do X, but now we’ve actually moved more towards doing less of X and more of Y.”
2. Has my customer base dramatically changed?
Your customers can change for a few reasons.
- You purposefully target new demographics like Macy’s did
- Your customers’ needs change (they grow up, culture changes, fashion changes, these are mostly out of your control)
- The products or services you offer have shifted over time
3. Does my branding quickly, and simply communicate our message?
No matter what you’re selling or how you’re selling it, the fact of the matter is that consumer’s online attention span is shrinking. If you look at the top web based companies with fantastic web presences right now (mailchimp, airbnb, dropbox, Instagram) you see a trend that simplicity is key.
The Internet is already cluttered enough. Please don’t add to the mess.
That said, it’s very important to remember that your “brand” is not just the logo on the front page—it is the entire way you communicate with your customers and leads. So rebranding is not just a logo redesign, but rather a full scale reimagining of your customer interactions.
4. Will I offend my Brand’s loyalists by changing things?
Take a lesson from GAP, and don’t change your logo just for the sake of change. As previously stated, your brand is more than the design, but if you frustrate your core followers for the sake of publicity, you will find yourself all over the news for all the wrong reasons.
Think about what would happen if Apple decided to ditch their current brand and start fresh. Don’t upset the core customers.
5. Can I afford to do it right?
Rebranding, in my opinion, is not as simple as slapping a new logo on a website and writing a press release. It is a re-envisioning process by which you should go back to the drawing board about the way your customers engage with your products/services.
Do not rebrand if you do not have the time and/or money to do it the right way. The confusion you’ll cause by doing it wrong can be much worse than doing nothing at all.