Over time, your business evolves. To continue to survive and thrive, it must evolve or it may die. You may need to shift your company focus. Including your core product/service or how you deliver it may change (moving from physical to online). (Nintendo started out making playing cards, later tried to add niche businesses winding up back at toys manufacturing and selling video games - via Wikipedia) In many cases, your branding will need to change too.
"How do I know if I need to rebrand" and “How do I know when it's time to rebrand"?
Your Public Image - Public Perception
Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of the better known examples of rebranding based on public perception. “Kyle Craig, president of KFC US, admitted the change was an attempt to distance the chain from the unhealthy connotations of "fried"”.
Your Public Image - Brand Reputation
“When one of ValuJet’s planes crashed into the Florida Everglades in 1996, people began to steer clear of the airline; the name was supposed to be associated with low-priced airfare but instead came to symbolize cost-cutting in exchange for safety.” - http://www.brainjet.com
A prime example is if your company name was trademarked or is being used legally by another business and you've been forced to change it. Many business owners fail to adequately research the name they choose. Even if your name is SIMILAR to that of another, you could be forced to change it to avoid brand confusion. This also applies to your logo. Did you use clipart? Is it too similar to someone else's?
'Apple Inc.' changed its name from 'Apple Computers' in 2007 as it began to focus on consumer electronics in addition to computers. Google is now 'Alphabet' reflecting the fact that while search is its core business, they have a host of subsidiaries including Android, autonomous cars, medical devices and smart home appliances to name a few. "...being seen as "just" a search company - no matter how successful – is a handicap, according to its founders."
This can be a major problem for many solopreneurs. Many start out without intending to grow into a business they plan to sell. It may not have been considered as part of their exit strategy or that strategy changed over the years. "John Smith Plumbing" may have been great for branding when you started it but not for Mary Williams, your perspective buyer. "Tucson Plumbing" might not be a great name if you're moving to or opening a branch in Phoenix, AZ.
Without getting in to SEO and search results, a generic name can make standing out or being found very difficult. Too generic a name could also get you confused with a competitor: "Tucson Plumbing" and "John Smith's Tucson Plumbing" for example. Your name needs to be unique and stand out to be found.
Sometimes you just 'know' you want to make a change. It may be you just aren't as thrilled with your logo anymore. Maybe it's just time for a change.
I highly recommend working with a professional. While you can do it on your own, a professional will be able to provide additional insight or guidance on choosing the right name, logo and or design.
There are many moving parts to rebranding and you want to make sure that all bases are covered when rebranding. You'll need to create a strategic plan and begin using the new logo/name in all of your marketing, advertising, social media, PR, and sponsorship activities. You'll need to update your website and core SEO. You'll need to create new mission and vision statements. A professional will be able to help you with each of these activities getting your new brand front and center properly. They can provide the resources to help with any necessary website and SEO changes so I recommend working with someone you can trust.
Rebranding takes time. Be patient and before you know it, you'll be able to throw a Re-Grand Opening Party and unveil your new brand!
If you are considering rebranding (or have already started) and need some advice, get in touch with me. Let's get you rebranded the right way!
MJ Jensen, Chief Idea Officer
IdeaMagic visionary marketing & CRM automation
Infusionsoft Certified Partner
Digital Marketing Ninjas
This article is an updated version from How Do You Know It Is Time To Rebrand?
Image credit: http://www.5wpr.com