It's no secret that small businesses are under constant pressure to grow. They need to be creative and competitive while still being true to their own company values. It takes a lot of work and commitment - but the payoff is worth it! One way that many companies have found success in this competitive marketplace is through rebranding.
If you've been in business for a while, it may be time to look at your brand and decide if it still fits who you are as a company. While we do not believe in rebranding simply as a marketing tactic (because changing an established, well-respected, well-crafted brand can actually cause major blowback from consumers if it's arbitrary), things may have changed since you first started your business. Maybe your original brand was a bit of an afterthought or there wasn't much budget to put into it. Maybe your target audience has changed or your products/services have evolved. Or maybe it's just time for something new that better reflects who you are now as a small business owner. Whatever the reason, a rebrand is a great idea if you find yourself answering yes to any of the indicators in this article.
Do you need to change your company's name for any reason?
This one is a pretty obvious indicator that your business needs a rebrand. Recently, the businesses branding section of our design business (previously under Alicia Moran Designs), needed to be kicked out of the nest. It was clear that the business branding had becomes its own division and needed its own name and brand: thus Branded Studios was born.
Businesses may need a name change for many reasons: the name no longer reflects what the company offers; the name has negative connotations; the company no longer operates in one geographic location and needs a more expansive brand identity that's easier to extend across many territories; or, the company has been bought or sold and needs a new name to reflect that.
If he name changes, it's time for a rebrand, because if the name has changed, so have other important aspects of the business.
Have your company's mission, vision, or values changed?
Your mission and values will evolve over time because as you reach goals and set new ones, the mission will likely change.
Here are some recognizable company vision shifts:
Apple’s older vision statement:
A computer in the hands of everyday people.
Apple’s current vision statement:
To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual.
UPS until 1991:
The leading package delivery company.
UPS after 1991:
The enablers of global e-commerce.
Microsoft old vision statement:
Put a computer on every desk and in every home.
Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Stanford University in the past:
To become the Harvard of the West.
A Purposeful University Knowledge, Learning & Innovation for a Rapidly Changing World
Nike in the 1960s:
Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)
If your company has grown past its initial goals, or the goals have shifted, it's time to revisit your mission and value statements and decide if the company has also shifted in a new direction. If so, a rebrand may help better communicate this new direction.
Have your products/services changed or expanded?
Often as companies grow, the line of products they offer branches out, or the services they offer become either more niche or wider in range. Whether your products/services have become more specialized or you've added to your initial offerings, you need to evaluate whether your brand still represents what you offer.
Selling products or services under an outdated or misaligned brand can cause market confusion and distrust with consumers. If people don't understand what you do or are confused about who your business serves, a rebrand can help clarify this for them and communicate with greater precision what sets you apart from your competition.
Has your target audience changed?
Closely tied to a change in products/services is a change in audience. As your company grows, you're likely to see a change in the types of people that become customers. The early adopters may no longer be your core audience or even within reach. Did you used to sell used cars but are wanting to move in the direction of luxury vehicles? Or maybe you've adopted some new philosophies like buying from fair trade, locally sourced, cruelty free, or environmentally responsible vendors. These kinds of shifts will also shift your target audience, which means your brand will need to connect with a new demographic.
Does your business have a logo that is dated, irrelevant, or just not memorable?
When you started your business, you may have had a tight budget for things like logos and websites. But if you're still holding on to an unprofessional logo or a poorly designed website, you're seriously knee-capping your growth and profitability. Nothing feels quite as shady to potential customers as a logo that screams "clipart" or website that looks like a fifth-grader made it for a school project.
Professionally designed logos, websites, and marketing collateral are integral to creating consumer trust and loyalty. Your brand must be clear, visually appealing, balanced, unique, and communicate exactly what your business is about and why its different from its competitors. It must be memorable in a now global market, especially if it's a saturated one.
If you've answered "Yes" to any of these questions, now is the perfect time to rebrand. Whether you need to completely revamp the brand or you just need to freshen it up and make it more professional, we can help. Contact us today!