Before we get too stuck in though, we need to define a brand: A Brand is not a logo but a feeling.
When the feeling your customers have is different than how you want it to be perceived, you have a problem and need some work. If you get bored and don’t read any further, this is the simplest check of all - find out if you and your customers are aligned on who you are as a brand.
Branding is pretty essential for any business in 2023. It is what distinguishes you from your competitors and helps to attract and retain customers, and it’s the reason someone will pay 10x more for a designer bag over an h&m one of basically the same quality.
However, as businesses evolve, their branding strategies may no longer represent their values, goals, and target audience or even worse, may be leading them down a detrimental path.
A full rebrand is not only visual, but digs deep into finding your story, your tone of voice, knowing your customers and your brand’s true purpose. Once you know those things you can make sure the outside matches the inside.
Lack of Recognition and Differentiation
One of the main aims of branding is recognition. Customers should be able to easily identify your brand and differentiate it from others in the industry. If your business is struggling to stand out, it may be time for a rebrand. This can involve updating your logo, redesigning your website, and refining your messaging to better differentiate yourselves.
Rebranding can also help to improve brand recognition by creating a more memorable and distinctive visual identity that resonates with your target audience. It's essential to research your industry's current trends, customer preferences, and competitors' brand strategies to ensure that you branding aligns with what your target & existing audiences are looking for.
Your Product is Great! But You’re Capped Out
Similar to the previous point, if you’re knocking it out the park with your services but not gaining traction, or your momentum has come to stop: it’s a good sign you need to build more meaning to your brand.
The opposite is true as well. It doesn’t matter how well you’ve branded yourselves, if your product or services suck it won’t matter how amazing a rebrand you get, your customers will just attribute the same negative experience with a new logo etc.
On the other hand though, a negative association can be detrimental to a company's brand image and profit margin! If your brand has faced negative publicity or is associated with outdated ideas or practices, it can be challenging to attract new customers. A rebrand can help shift the perception of your business and create a more positive image, making it easier to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
When rebranding due to negative associations, it's essential to understand the cause of the negative perception and address it to prevent a recurrence. As we mentioned before, a customer who hates your customer service won’t magically love your business with a new logo if the service remains awful. However once those issues are being resolved, changing your messaging, visual identity, and overall brand strategy to reflect your company's values and goals will help create that clean slate.
Changes in Business Goals or Target Audience
As businesses grow and evolve, their goals and target audience change. Your branding should reflect these changes. If you find that your brand doesn’t resonates with your target audience or accurately represents your business goals, a brand refresh will help increase the likeliness of better resonance.
It is important to consider how your target audience perceives your brand. Even if your branding is effective in differentiating your brand from your competitors, if your audience does not perceive your brand in the way that you intend, it may be time for a rebrand. For example, if your brand is intended to be seen as modern and innovative, but your audience sees it as outdated and unoriginal, you’ll likely struggle to fix this solely with marketing.
Conducting market research, gathering feedback, and analyze your competitors' will help you objectively judge where you’re at as a brand with your customers and if you need some work. Rebranding can be a large investment and commitment so make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Your brand - that gut feeling determined by how your customers perceive you, is a crucial aspect of your business, and it's essential to ensure that it reflects your company's values, goals, and target audience. If you find that your branding is no longer effective, it’s worth assessing the situation.
If you still feel you need some brand work, send us a message and we’ll happy to help.
Dale R Murray
Owner & Creative Director | Croft