What are the key reasons why companies brand or rebrand?

The only constant in any business is change. Changing social, technology, economic, environmental, political and ethical factors all affect our market and competitive position. And your brand has to keep up and remain strong and relevant!

As your business model and offering evolve in this ever-changing world your brand can start to look tired and lacks congruency with the direction your business wants to go. This is the point you should consider a rebrand.

There are many reasons why your Company could find itself at the branding crossroads but here are some of the more common reasons.

A new company or new product

You’re starting a new business and you need to create a professional image from the start for your business card and website. There were 660,000 new companies registered in the UK in 2017. That’s a lot of competition! A strong brand will make you stand out from the competition and grab attention.

You’ve developed an innovative new product. But you are not the only innovative new product out there and you need a distinctive name and brand to launch it. Your brand name is a way to connect emotionally with consumers so it must evoke the right image and message to appeal now and into the future.

Name change

Your name no longer fits who you are and the business you want to be. What seemed like a great brand name 10 years ago now doesn’t align with your current and future strategy. Sometimes a brand name can take on a whole new meaning due to cultural change or maybe it is linked to a town or region and the business is now expanding nationally. Your brand name is key to your success and a name change must be handled with care.

You need to change your name due to a trademark conflict. A client of ours had a bad experience with trademark issues. They established a premium brand in their sector and successfully traded for a year until a letter from a solicitor representing a large corporate came through their door. Apparently the large corporate felt our client had infringed their copyright and insisted our client changed the name of their brand otherwise they would take legal action. Our client had no choice but to comply as they didn’t have the financial resources to fight the case. The lesson to learn here is to make sure you check out your brand name thoroughly and if in doubt contact a specialist trademark lawyer.

Your existing brand is losing out to the competition

Your key competitors have just rebranded and are gaining your market share. Your brand no longer stands out separating you from the competition and is failing to secure differentiation. Now is the time to take stock assessing your brand on all levels against your top competitors – do you tweak the failing aspects of your brand or is it time for a complete rebrand.

You need to re-position to achieve higher prices

You want to appeal to a new and more affluent market but your current brand doesn’t cut it at a premium level. A good example of this is Toyota when they wanted to move into the prestige car market. Toyota was perceived as offering good value for money cars at the cheaper end of the market and not as a luxury brand. So Toyota decided to launch Lexus positioned as the new prestige car brand and this strategy has proved to be a big success.

Revitalise an out-dated existing brand identity

You are an innovative company with cutting edge products but you look behind the times. The new product development has really paid off and you have some great products to sell. But the brand identity designed several years previous hasn’t evolved at the same pace and now your marketing isn’t congruent with the new shiny products. Your business simply just doesn’t look the part.

Your identity doesn’t translate well to the new digital world

You get plenty of traffic to your site but your bounce rate is high and your conversion rates low. Your brand could be sending mixed messages to your online target audience causing confusion. You have around 7 seconds to grab the attention of a visitor to your website for them to dig deeper into your site. That’s not long and your brand must send the right message and give the right impression to turn that visitor into a lead. If your brand design is no longer relevant online it’s time for a change.

Your brand isn’t consistent

Many companies in the Recession introduced new service offerings, lowered pricing and expanded into new markets or chased the wrong customers. They complicated their brand and proposition. The consequence is marketing that is confusing and looks like it comes from different companies. There is no consistent brand image and this lack of consistency dilutes and damages the brand.

The value of a brand comes from recognition and recognition comes from a consistent application of every visible manifestation of your brand, at every ‘touch point’ that your customers experience. This is the consistency of your brand image, your brand values and positioning, the messaging and tone of voice throughout your customer’s experience with your brand. If this isn’t the case it may be time to carry out a brand audit and consider a rebrand and Brand Guidelines to keep your brand consistent moving forwards.

When companies merge

If you are merging or with another company getting the brand strategy right is vital to the new entity’s future success. The brand architecture is a fundamental decision that affects the name, brand identity and core messaging and is dependent on the market position of both the businesses.

There are 4 main brand strategies you can take:

1 No change – best used when both brands are mature and clearly differentiated and either brand’s position would adversely affect the other if too closely linked.

2 Fusion – using a combination of both brand names and integrating assets from both brand identities into a new identity. You want to send a clear message to the market that this is a merger of equals.

3 Stronger Horse – the stronger brand takes the lead and either both companies adopt its brand identity or a new identity is created using the name from the stronger brand.

4 New Brand – an entirely new name and new brand is developed with the opportunity to create a new market leading company building on the brand equity of both merging businesses.

The best talent wants to work with the best brands. If you are finding it hard to recruit the quality staff your business needs it could be your brand is creating the wrong impression. Your brand should be targeted towards the right kind of candidates with clear messages that communicate your brand’s vision, values and culture to attract attention and stand out in your market.

Breathe Creative

If you need any further information on when you should consider a rebrand or you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss your branding or arrange a brand audit then please contact me on 01491 699845 or email geoff@breathe4u.com