Rebranding: This Won’t Hurt a Bit

In today’s ultra-competitive global economy, businesses must continuously adapt to succeed in the marketplace.

I know, newsflash.

Demographics change: some customers age out while new ones emerge. A company’s strategic direction deviates. Products become obsolete. Services go the sharing economy route. In response (or in anticipation), businesses have an imperative to evolve or pivot to meet the needs of new customers to stay relevant and competitive. With these–and a litany of other shifts in the business landscape–come the need for a new, or refreshed, brand identity.

In case you’re wondering what brand identity is, it’s your company’s visual and verbal signifiers that are meant to leave a mental and/or emotional imprint on intended audiences. Whether it’s a logo or tagline, a website or content, brand identity is the intentional way your business expresses itself across all customer touchpoints. That imprint can be based on what it is you offer, values, or any number of brand attributes.

Wait, you might be thinking—my business is relatively new. How can a rebrand help me? Rebrands are not just for old brands. Any business—whether it’s established or emerging—that finds itself struggling with customer perception, or is not successfully articulating its value or purpose, needs to consider rebranding.

Rebranding offers an opportunity for leaders to step back, assess what’s working and what isn’t, and determine how to bring greater insights, innovative thinking, and creativity to expressing what the business stands for. In other words, rebranding helps you reframe how you’re telling your business’ story.

But before jumping right into a rebrand, there are a few things to consider. For example, if your brand is well-known and loved by customers, it’s possible that reimagining it could damage your brand equity or alienate your customer base.

Think The Gap, which in 2010 infamously changed its iconic logo and caused an uproar among fans. Starbucks also deviated from its signature green color palette in 2008 —much to the chagrin of loyal coffee drinkers—but managed to pivot quickly (for a mega-corp) and come up with a re-rebrand that now appeals widely. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of successful—and lucrative—rebrands in corporate America. Consider the evolving look and messaging of McDonald’s, Airbnb, and Apple. The ability of these brands to adapt smartly kept their loyal customers onboard while also gaining access to a wider range of new customers.

There are many reasons to rebrand, including keeping your messaging fresh and ensuring that what you offer customers is being explained in a way they will get and be compelled by. But no matter why your business is rebranding, keep in mind that any successful brand must tell a story that’s authentic, memorable, and relevant.

Need expert guidance on your business’ rebrand? Contact AMJ.

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