Your business’ brand is a combination of a variety of attributes, including your values, vision, personality, and identity. Your logo (brand image) expresses all of these aspects in a single iconic image.
In most cases, though, particularly for small businesses, logos are an afterthought — a dreaded necessity that you either decided to design yourself in the beginning or had someone whip up a logo on your shoestring budget, no less.
And now, after years of grinding through the hard feat of building your business, it’s likely that you currently view your logo with aversion and find that it fails to accurately represent who your company is and what it offers. Often times businesses also regret the name they originally bestowed upon their company.
An example of the Vancouver Whitecaps rebranding through the years. In anticipation of the club’s first season with Major League Soccer (MLS), the Whitecaps rebranded. The new design dispenses with the familiar (and too literal) soccer ball on a wave motif, and tries to maintain some of the brand heritage with a blue and white colour palette.
Rebranding is an effort undertaken with a goal of revitalizing an existing company and it provides a tremendous opportunity to give your business a revitalization. It is very important that your brand identity be handled with a degree of sensitivity and care so as not to turn old customers away and at the same time strive to attract new ones.The results of a re-brand often involve analyzing the communications, company growth, logo, typographic and other communication and aesthetics.
- Your business and target market base have changed. You may have started out as a personal trainer, and now you own your own health club and offer a wide variety of services. Correspondingly, your market has expanded. It instances such as these, it is time to rebrand.
- Your look is out of date. Perhaps you designed your logo in-house or had your son do it… Maybe he used his favourite font (comic-sans?). If your look reminds you of a “Sham-wow” commercial and triggers your own gag reflex, it is time to rebrand.
- Your business has grown significantly. When businesses grow into other regions, provinces, or into another country, suddenly your tagline “Robson’s swankiest bar,” doesn’t resonate with your audience in Saskatchewan. If all your communications project this messaging, rebranding may be essential.
- You’ve stood the test of time, but your brand just never quite caught on — maybe it’s the name, maybe the tone of voice? Rebranding will uncover challenges your brand has.
- You have experienced a crisis or your brand is damaged by a lawsuit.
There may be other reasons to rebrand your business, but you also must consider that this is a huge decision, a timely process, an investment and a process that should not be taken half-heartedly. The vision of the change must be broad enough, that it leaves nothing and no one out; receptive enough, that it considers all whom it may affect; and simple enough, that no one is left with any questions.
You have heard this saying, “Don’t try this at home.” This goes double for rebranding. Rebranding can reposition just about every aspect of your business, and if the timing is right and your customers are receptive, the rewards to resetting what is not working for your business can reap big rewards.
By Rachelle Hynes