In a world where trends are constantly changing, it can be difficult for businesses to maintain a relevant and modern image. Keeping the look, feel and message of your brand fresh and current can play a pivotal role in keeping your business at the forefront of any industry.

Even the most unique and successful strategies can become outdated and obsolete over time, so as your business, markets, and customers evolve, so too should your brand. And while there are small steps that can be taken to keep your brand up to date, sometimes it is necessary to take a look at the bigger picture and ask yourself the question:

"Is it time for a complete overhaul of your brand?"

The Process of Rebranding

The idea behind rebranding is the creation of a new or updated identity for your brand, one that will not only set you apart from your competitors but will still keep you connected to your existing loyal customers.

Successfully rebranding is no easy task, it takes time, careful planning, and good execution, but most importantly it needs to be done for the right reasons. Ask any business what they believe is involved in rebranding and they will most likely suggest a new name, logo or some other visual changes. And while all of these are key cornerstones of any brand, your brand is so much more than simply your company name and logo. Your brand communicates who you are as a business, it is the trust and credibility you build with your customers - simply put it is how your business/product is perceived by the world. The process of rebranding is more than merely a cosmetic exercise, you need to ask yourself how success will be measured and what exactly you are hoping to achieve, you need to establish a benchmark for improvement.

When to Consider Rebranding

The key to successful rebranding is that it is driven by the needs of your business. The following are 5 telltale signs that your brand is probably ready for an update.

1. Your Business Model or Strategy has changed

Your brand should always align with how your business actually operates behind the scenes. Whether it’s new market opportunities, changes in market share or changes in technology, the strategic objectives and business model on which a business is founded will change throughout its lifecycle. Your strategic goals are inextricably linked to your corporate identity, they determine your value proposition, what your unique selling points are and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Your brand is built to be a true reflection of who you are as a business, so if this fundamentally changes so too should your brand.

2. You Need to Disassociate from a Negative Brand Image

In the age of social media, the customer now has more power than ever before, the smallest of faux pas can now spread like wildfire and have disastrous consequences for your brand. In scenarios like this, rebranding can sometimes be the simplest and most effective remedy to shed a bad reputation or poor image. This doesn’t mean that you pretend the past never happened, taking responsibility and responding appropriately to the crisis is essential, but rebranding can offer you an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and ensure that negative associations with your brand are left in the past.

3. You’re Trying to Connect with a New Audience

Your market isn’t static and neither is your audience. Staying on top of demographic shifts is smart business and can play a crucial role in creating new growth opportunities for your business in an ever-evolving marketplace. Rebranding gives you the opportunity to re-examine your core values, messages and how you communicate with your audience. It offers you the opportunity to reposition yourself and ensure that your brand stands out from your competitors. To put it simply, rebranding can allow you to redefine yourself with the end goal of reaching those new and untapped audiences.

4. Your Brand Name No Longer Reflects Your Vision

A good brand name can make or break your business - what seemed like a great name 15 years ago could now be holding your business back. Sometimes you outgrow your original mission and your name will no longer represent what the brand is about and what your brand is trying to accomplish. Other times the changes in cultural context can result in your brand name taking on a whole new meaning. Maybe you have expanded geographically and your current brand name will not resonate with the new audience. Regardless of the reasons, when your brand name no longer reflects your vision, it can make your brand look confused and unclear about what you represent. If you find yourself in this position, rebranding will help you to realign and refocus your brand.

5. You’re Embarrassed to Hand Out Your Business Card

If reaching for your business card makes you cringe, or if you feel the need to include a disclaimer about needing to update your website when you share your URL, it’s a pretty good sign that you need to rebrand. As an ambassador for your business you should be proud to hand out your business cards, it should instill confidence in you, your business and most importantly your brand. If you find yourself shying away from sharing your business card, your website URL or other marketing collateral it’s time to reassess your corporate identity and take the first steps towards rebranding.

Rebranding is a long-term investment, but it is a worthwhile one - after all, your brand is one of your single most important assets as a business. Whether they are immediately obvious or not, the signs that it’s time to rebrand can be just about anywhere. Often the first sign that it is time to rebrand is the fact that you’re even considering the question in the first place!

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