A brand is not a collection of colors and fonts. It’s the identity of a business and changing your brand means changing that identity. It’s a big deal. Before we get into why a business might need to rebrand, let’s go over what branding means.
A business should spend a lot of time perfecting its visual appeal, its personality, and its behavior. You want colors and fonts that are both aesthetically appealing and bold. They should speak to the character of the company and match its personality. By personality, we mean the way the business talks? Your personality is the general tone of your business, the impression it makes on your customers. This goes along with a company’s behavior. What are its values? Office culture? Customer service? Your company should have airtight policies and beliefs in every interaction with both customers and employees.
Once all that is decided, you have your brand! But businesses change over time, and three types of changes that could demand rebranding in any of these categories.
Your Product Changes
What you sell is center of your branding, and if that changes, you can bet that your branding will change with it. Sometimes you change the product yourself, let’s say you started selling soap but changed to makeup. Then you start again from the beginning, you can probably keep the visual parts of your brand, but you need to make it clear to your buyers what you are selling.
Sometimes the change is subtler. Let’s say you started by making affordable honey-based soap in the late nineties. Go back about twenty years and honey was much cheaper than it is today. This forces you to either raise your prices or find something that’s not honey. Either way, your branding will have to change.
Some companies try to have it both ways, GAP has a brand for high end business casual clothing (Banana Republic) and one for affordable casual clothes (Old Navy). The best choice depends on your own circumstances.
Your Target Audience Changes
While imperative that your customers know what you are selling, you also must know who your customers are. Your target audience determines the tone of your brand. You don’t talk to an upper-class 80-year old man the way you do to a millennial with three jobs. Know who you’re selling to, and how to reach them. Your brand should be the solution to your customers’ needs. If it’s not, then it might be time to rebrand.
The Market Changes
Sometimes you try to keep your business together and it’s the entire environment that changes. Let’s go back to that honey-soap business. The product changed, yes, but that change was a reaction to a shift in the market. The main and heavily advertised ingredient changed value.
Adaptability to market change is crucial to any business. Guaranteed stability in our fluctuating economy is impossible to create. You define your business’ stability not by creating the perfect brand and leaving it alone, but by adapting to constant market changes.
The market can change up any aspect of your business. It’s not a hassle if you know how to adapt. But if it changes something related to your branding, that’s a good sign that you should embrace the change and let it inform you on how to rebrand your business.