Essentially, branding is the feeling that your business evokes in your audience. It’s how a customer perceives your business and the value it can bring to them. A brand isn’t just a logo, motto, or design theme: it’s the image your audience associates with your business, and it’s crucial to business success.
When we talk about branding, we inevitably end up talking about rebranding. That’s because most businesses, even the largest ones, struggle with getting it right the first time.
Rebranding is the process of altering your brand message to better suit your business’ needs. Rebranding has many benefits, but it can be a painful process (which I can attest to after having done my own rebranding!) So only make the decision after careful consideration of your reasons for doing it. A successful rebrand will align your business closer to your goals.
Here are the top 10 signs it’s time to think about rebranding your business:
Your brand doesn’t have clarity
It doesn’t clearly communicate to your audience who you are and what you do. The problem may be that your brand message is too vague. Or, your brand may be sending too many messages, causing them to get muddled and confused. If this is the case, zeroing in on the singular, core message you want to send to your audience should be the goal of your rebranding efforts.
Your brand isn’t memorable
Great brands stand out from the crowd. If yours doesn’t, then it’s time to rethink your brand message and consider rebranding. Take stock of what’s memorable about your business, and then compare your branding to your competitors. Are you highlighting what’s great about you, or are you fading into the background?
Your brand isn’t unique
If your brand isn’t memorable, then it probably isn’t unique either. Your brand should send the message that you’re the only person who can solve the customer’s problem. Think about your unique value proposition and rebrand to highlight what makes you stand out from the competition.
Your brand isn’t connecting emotionally with your audience
If your audience doesn’t feel personally connected to your brand, they won’t bond with it. Since branding is such an elusive, transient aspect of your business, it relies heavily on emotional engagement. Your rebranding efforts in this situation will focus on eliciting emotions from your audience so they will form an attachment to your brand.
Your brand isn’t credible
If your brand is not consistently meeting audience expectations, it’s lacking in credibility. You need a credible brand message to reinforce the quality of your brand in your marketplace. Without that credibility, your brand will actually have a negative effect on your business’ image and your success. Consider what expectations your brand message is creating, and make sure it aligns with what you’re actually doing.
Your brand sends the wrong message and doesn’t reach the right people
This problem happens when you haven’t taken into consideration your audience’s expectations. When you haven’t thought about what your audience wants, your message is going to fall on deaf ears – or the wrong ears entirely. Rebranding in this instance involves lots of feedback from your customers about what they want in order to guide your new brand direction.
Your brand isn’t timeless
If you’re relying on current or outdated trends for your brand, then it isn’t timeless. A great brand should be as relevant today as it was in the past as it will be in the future. Don’t stake your brand on trends that may be ancient history in a year or two. Instead, focus on things that customers always have and always will want: great service, good prices, simple solutions to their problems, and so on.
Your business has matured
As your business evolves, your brand may no longer represent the business it has become. In this situation, rebranding focuses on refining the brand to better fit your evolving identity and support ongoing growth. Don’t let your brand get stuck in the past – if your business is moving forward, your brand should reflect that.
You’re introducing a new service or product, or changing your business’s focus
If you’re making a significant change to the way your business functions or adding important new products or services, you should signal these changes to your audience through rebranding. This not only alerts your customers to the fact that something about your business has changed, it helps them to reestablish connections to your brand.
You’re targeting a new audience
If you want to target a completely new audience, you’ll have to tweak your brand to fit that audience’s wants and needs. For example, if you’re switching from targeting retired women in their 60s-70s to suburban mothers with young children, you’re going to have to significantly rethink your brand message. Research your new target audience and create a target customer profile. Your rebranding efforts will center around this profile and may even involve creating a whole new brand entirely!
The most important takeaway for successful rebranding is that it happens only after a careful evaluation of your business goals. Approach rebranding from a place of strategy. Rebranding just because you feel like it or think it will be fun is a waste of time and resources, and it can even backfire on you. If your business is experiencing any of the 10 signs we listed above, it’s time for you to think about rebranding.
Want to make sure your own rebranding is a success?
Download our FREE Checklist for Successful Rebranding, and use it as your guide to ensure you cover all your bases during your rebranding:
Want to learn more and teach others about how to rebrand?
Check out our brandable, ready-to-teach course:
Quickly put together your own online course, live workshop, or coaching program on Rebranding Your Business, where you'll teach your audience how to re-energize a business by implementing a new brand identity.
When you purchase a license to any of our ready-to-go course kits, you get the rights to edit it any way you want (or leave as-is) and add your own name and branding.
Then use your new course to:
- Attract new clients and customers (such as with a free training, webinar, or eCourse)
- Add a new stream of income (such as with a paid course or workshop)
- Keep your current customers successful and coming back for more (such as with bonus webinars, videos, and other learning resources).