There are surefire signs that your brand is in desperate need of a rebrand. You might have a gut feeling that your brand is just not resonating with your audience or representing the company accurately anymore. Even if you're confident that your brand is...well, on brand, you can pressure-test it against these five signs.
What is "Branding" Anyway?
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room” (Jeff Bezos). Ooof. For some of us, maybe that’s a bit of a frightening reality. Others are maybe confident that people have nothing but good things to say. Wherever you fall, the reality of your brand and what’s in your head about your brand are two different things.
So, maybe you’ve known for years what a brand is and what branding is and you’re an expert. If that’s you, feel free to skip this part. But if you’re here because Jimmy Jo from marketing told you, “Hey, I think it’s about time we rebranded”, maybe you played it cool, but you’re not totally sure what this whole rebrand thing entails.
We gotchu. Branding is the process of creating a resonant, positive perception of your company and its products or services in your customers’ minds through elements including your logo, design, and messaging, plus a consistent theme throughout all marketing communications.
What comes to mind when you think of Google? Likely those red, yellow, green, and blue letters in that font we all know—you can see it in your head. That’s the result of memorable, resonant branding. But do you also think about how Google is the data overlord that knows you better than you know yourself? That's also part of the brand. The process of branding is about making the connection between a certain feeling or thought with the experience of your business. The same goes for brands like Spotify, Facebook, Walmart, Target, Starbucks…the list of brands that have captured your attention enough to become memorable and even to strike very passionate feelings, positive or negative, goes on and on.
But being successful at branding doesn’t only apply to global brands. As long as your target audience remembers, resonates with, and thinks positively of your company, your brand is doing everything it needs to for you.
Rebrand vs. Refresh
The risk (and cost) associated with a full brand overhaul is a bit daunting. Maybe you’ve got a solid brand but feel there are some elements that could use some tightening up—some magic, if you will—but you don’t feel ready or the need to completely rebrand.
Guess what? That’s more than okay. Often called a brand refresh, this is where we’re not totally changing up the brand visuals, messaging, logo, and design, but giving it all a bit of a facelift.
A marketing or creative agency can help you to wrap your head around where exactly your company is at and help you make the best choice for updating your brand.
The following 5 signs are a great starting point in determining whether it’s time for your company to rebrand.
Sign #1: You've Headed in a New Direction
If your vision or mission statements have changed but your brand hasn't, it might be time to rebrand. That old messaging needs some revamping, and maybe your image doesn't reflect the current status of the company, and your audience can tell. If your internal focus has been on reevaluating and rejigging your positioning, everything external, from communications to design, needs to reflect that.
Sign #2: Your Team Feels Misaligned
Most employees know when something is off—even if they can't put their finger on it. Talk to your employees about the conversations they have with customers and the technology and tools they're struggling with to uncover insights about how they feel about the company. If they say, "We tell customers that we're an innovative company, but they just see the 70-year-old logo and only mention our legacy tools," it's time for a rebrand.
If there’s internal misalignment on what your brand needs to be, it’s likely that your voice and presence have started to get confused externally, too. A rebrand or refresh could help you hone back in on your target customer, understanding and empathizing with them to resonate with them in all of your marketing tactics.
Sign #3: You’ve Hit a Plateau
When numbers are stagnant and leads are plateauing, but nothing’s changed with your product, it’s time to ask questions about your brand. Is business slowing because your customers are going to a more current competitor whose brand is more up-to-date and resonant? Positive brand perception is directly associated with trust in your brand—and if your customer is having a more positive, engaging experience with a different brand, they’re going to use that company's products or services rather than yours.
We all do this, right? We inherently believe that Hellman’s mayo is better than the no name brand. We trust Starbucks for a more accurate, customized order than Coffee Time. Whether you know it or not, your brand is talking, and your people are listening. What’s it saying? If your business growth is at a standstill, it might be time to ask this question.
Sign #4: Nothing Seems to Resonate
What kind of feedback are you getting from your customers? Are they loving your look, engaging with your content, and returning to your website? One great way to determine how your brand is resonating is by measuring audience engagement on social media (assuming your feeds are on-brand and that you’re posting and engaging consistently). Is your audience commenting, liking, and following? Or does your content seem to be falling flat?
If your brand isn’t resonating with your audience, it might be out of date, misplaced in your industry, or lacking professionalism. (We're here to help with all of that).
Sign #5: It’s Been a Long Time
If it’s been more than 10-15 years since you rebranded or refreshed, your brand is very likely out of date and therefore not resonating the same way competitors’ brands are.
Younger people in your company think your brand colours need to be rethought, while Boomers think they’re just right. Millennials are saying the messaging is too stuffy, while Gen Xs strongly believe anything more casual would be unprofessional.
The digital and physical worlds evolve more quickly than we’re often used to keeping up with. But, for businesses, it’s crucial to do just that. Just think: 15 years ago, Instagram wasn’t yet a thing. In 2018, the app Musical.ly became TikTok. It has since been downloaded more than 3 billion times only a few years after its inception. If we as companies weren’t on the ball with adapting to and creating content for these changes, we’d be far behind our audiences, quickly becoming unrelatable and “old news”.
Ready to Rock?
It sounds like it’s time for you to throw biases out the window and start working on your brand. You don’t have to do it alone. At Him & Her, we specialize in helping you get to the heart of your brand, creating a visual and written identity that resonates deeply with your audience and creates loyalty to your company.