Indicators that its time to rebrand

: : branding : :


Here’s a killer fact: Companies that go through a rebrand commonly see a 23% revenue increase once changes are implemented. 

There are many potential reasons why this happens, but I believe a consistently strong brand allows you to make true believers out of customers. If you don’t have customers that are excited to experience you again and again, then it might be time for the dreaded rebrand.

So, why are rebrands so dreaded? It’s very simple. They’re expensive, time-consuming, and the short-term ROI can be difficult to recognize. That’s why it’s easy to assume that branding is nothing more than a magical trick not worth the investment—that changing things up won’t really make a difference. 

Unfortunately, putting off a rebrand is refusing to address the deeper issues that stand between you and your audience. 

Eventually, however, there does come a point when business can’t ignore it anymore—once they start feeling it in their bottom line. It’s easy to white-knuckle a brand to which you’re sentimentally attached. 

But when your business is stagnating, no matter how much you love the logo your brother-in-law designed, it’s probably time to let go. No matter how proud might be of your mission statement from 1999, it’s probably time to burn it down. 

The world is evolving around you. It might be time for you to catch up. Here are three indicators that it may be time for a rebrand along with examples of companies that were able to pull teeth and make a pivot successfully.

1 // Poor Outcomes

The best time for refreshing your brand is when everything at your company is getting flipped on its head. Maybe your sales have slowed down significantly, or your target market is shifting their attention elsewhere. 

Maybe you’ve realized that there’s a huge untapped opportunity in appealing to a new demographic or market. In these cases, you’re pivoting your brand to appeal to an entirely different group of people. That means you may need an entirely different brand.

You’ve heard of Old Spice, right? Of course you have! Everybody has! Until fairly recently, the brand was synonymous with old men who probably dabbed on Old Spice beneath a layer of Drakkar Noir before hitting the town. 

In 2010 the company said goodbye to the old folks in order to appeal to the younger generation. They pivoted from lame traditional ads to more wacky ones that Millennials loved. They also took a step on the product side by updating their scents and giving them crazy names like “Bearglove” and “Krakengård”. You bet your butt worked! Like Crazy. By July of that year, unit sales increased by 60%.

2 // Wild Successes

This might sound as counterintuitive as standing your ground while a giant moose charges, but the need to rebrand may actually be due to wild success. Your company is scaling up, you’re hiring more staff, and you’re winning more clients that are in the top-hat and monocle crowd. 

However, as you move into new markets you may find that your competitors are much more brand savvy—something that best not be ignored. Although your current brand has taken you this far, it may be time for something new. It’s time for your brand to catch up your success and juice up your competitiveness. 

Our Brand Distillery is a crack-shot way to clarify your strategic objectives and bring your brand value and message into line with the genuine needs of your audience. It’s also designed to unite your team behind a shared vision for your brand.

We all know of Pabst Blue Ribbon as the beer that had a wildly successful resurgence that got scraggly dudes in flannel to bow to the alter of PBR. However, with the emergence of China as the 3rd largest consumer of beer in the world, they again had to wonder how they would find even more success in that market. 

While the branding in the States remains hipsterfied, they switched gears for their Asian introduction by rebranding themselves as a beer for, ironically enough, the upper class. They were able to turn their success in America into success in China so well that they are selling beer in China for an insane $44 a bottle. Wow!

3 // A Pivotal Moment

There are a few shake-ups a company experiences that could trigger a rebrand. One of the biggest reshuffling of the deck is a change in leadership. In fact, and this is wild, almost 50% of large companies will have a change in executive leadership within the next four years. 

These new head honchos bring a fresh new perspective and probably a grand vision for how to give the brand a complete makeover.

Other big moments that might inspire a rebrand are an acquisition or merger that practically forms a completely different company. This new organization will want to separate themselves from their old (and probably unsuccessful) image. 

One more big moment that might trigger a rebrand is when a company launches a new game-changing product or service that reinvents what they do.

The last moment where retooling your brand might be an awesome idea is if your company is about to celebrate a big anniversary–if you haven’t changed things up since the start or last big anniversary it might be time to liven things up a little bit. You got to change with the times, or you’ll be left looking like an antique, no matter how much you’ve grown.

During the significance of these shifts, the big bosses are often more open minded about changing up their branding. These times are a great excuse to put a spotlight on your evolution and success and re-introduce you to an emerging generation. (Link to an example of an acquisition case-study of ours).

When Steve Jobs took the reins at Apple, he made it clear that things had to change in a ginormous way. Up until that point Apple’s sales were tanking, which is why they brought in a new gun. Jobs decided to throw out the old playbook (that clearly wasn’t working) and focus on sleek design and minimalist advertisements, which was a major departure from their previous super-boxy, and frankly quite dated (if not dorky), design. 

At this huge moment, when the company could have just as easily sunk, Apple turned the company around when they saw the light. Now, people are lining up overnight to pay thousands of dollars for devices they know they will just have to buy again in a year. Now that’s brand loyalty!

Are you ready for your brand to align with your strategic objectives?