How to know if it’s time to rebrand


When there are changes made to certain aspects of your system, company or market factors, it may be time to rebrand. Rebranding will change the way people perceive your company, so that there is no gap between your company and brand. This does not necessarily involve complete change, and may simply entail establishing consistency in your messaging and visuals, related to your communication. The aspects which your target group appreciates, and those which add to your unique brand image, can be retained. Elements that are not unique to your brand can be changed, such as your logo, which shouldn’t be similar to that of another firm.

Here are some contexts in which rebranding your firm may be a good idea:

1. Your company has expanded, scaled up, or is part of a merger and acquisition

When your firm increases the output of its present products and services (scales up), or adds new products and services (expands), there may be a need to rebrand, to change the way your company is viewed. Keep in mind that your competitors may also be experiencing similar changes. Thus, changing the way your company is perceived can help you compete better in the new state of the market. Rebranding is especially applicable in the case of mergers and acquisitions. For example, when L’Oréal acquired Kiehl it promoted the original identity and values of Kiehl, and included it in its own larger identity. This helped Kiehl do well even after the acquisition. This involved a slight rebranding on the part of both the organizations.

2. Your products and services have changed to a significant extent

Because your brand tells people about the work you do, it makes sense that a change in the work done should be followed by a rebranding of your company. When Hutch changed its work from providing customer care to selling sim cards, it made many changes. This involved changing their name to Vodafone, along with modifying their logo, design, color, catchphrase and mascot among other details. They had a “Hutch is now Vodafone” campaign solely for this transition.

When the products and services of Starbucks were changed from just coffee to including food, they changed their logo in order to market Starbucks as a space in which people could spend as much time as they wanted to.

3. You have changed location or added new locations

When your firm changes its location, it might need to rebrand. This can help it include the regional language, values and culture appropriate to that area. Visuals can be changed to include what that given culture considers pleasing and appropriate. Amazon India (an American company) included smart advertisements appropriate to the region. This involved showing family shopping in the context of Indian festivals. These kinds of changes in branding may help you do well in the new regions you are present in, by expanding your target audience to include people of these new regions. This may also help you acquire employees from there, with the skills and region-specific knowledge that you are looking for.

4. Your product’s cost of producing is increasing, but its price is not

Rebranding can be used to emphasize on the high quality of your product/service, as compared to your competitor. The unique features of your work can be highlighted. If this encourages people to view yours as a quality offering, it can allow you to raise the price of your product/service. This can be a solution in a context where the material and expense cost to make your product is increasing, but the price of the product you are selling has remained the same in the market. Warranties can be provided along with raising of your product price, in order to tell people that your firm has long-term financial stability and in order to establish greater trust. Starbucks has charged a higher price than its competitors by highlighting how its coffee is of higher quality than theirs. In addition, because of its unique brand identity as a space where people can spend a lot of time to work or socialize, Starbucks can charge more for a cup of coffee than its competitors can. It used customer surveys to modify its products and services, which helped please the target group, and sustain the high price.

5. Your name or logo is outdated

The name and logo of your company should be one that adequately represents your brand. When the connotation and meaning of your logo has changed in society, you can use another logo. This may also be needed due to other reasons, such as when products and services have been modified or when the logo doesn’t represent the vision of your firm well. When the iPhone was launched, the logo of Apple was changed from that which used various colors to a grey one, to represent the minimalistic and modern design. It also more accurately symbolized the experience that people got from Apple products.

6. Your website, email address, visiting card, and social media pages are outdated

When your website is not as user-friendly as others, rebranding may help. By using a better and more
modern website design (that also addresses what your target group is looking for), updating the content, and improving the interface, you are likely to present your company more accurately. This will convey your corporate identity in an accurate manner. Your business card and social media pages can also be modified to tell people about your firm and the work that you do in a more accurate, engaging, and aesthetically pleasing way. Similarly, updating your company email addresses is important and suggests to people that the information you are giving them about your company is up to date and reliable. It helps establish trust.

7. There is a shift in market demand

When you modify your products to suit market demand, rebranding may communicate this change to the target group, and get more appreciation. With more people becoming nutrition-conscious, McDonald’s came to be seen in a negative light for its high calorie and unhealthy menu. To overcome this, they started serving salads as well as other healthier food. There has been a redesigning of space, and menus have changed, all with the intent of drawing attention to the healthier food options.

8. Your brand story and goals have changed

The story of your firm and its goals form an integral part of your brand. So, when your story and vision change, it may be time to rebrand. When MasterCard expanded to a more global space, its goal was also changed to advancing commerce worldwide using a three-tiered business model as franchiser, processor and adviser. Its logo for certain contexts was changed to one that had three circles that represented these three tiers.

9. The need to disconnect the brand from bad press

When a company comes to be seen in a negative light because of their immoral practices, for example, it should make changes within the system, which modifies the functioning. After the positive changes are seen in everyday functioning and output, rebranding can help communicate this change to the target group. Nike was notorious for treating its workers badly, which reduced its sales and ate into its profits. The company created a department dedicated to improving working conditions, created a non-profit fair labor organization, and then changed its advertisements to emphasize its efficient use of materials, and highlight its other environmentally friendly practices. The Tata Nano first used the tagline ‘World’s Cheapest Car’, which was seen negatively. It was relaunched as ‘Smart City Car’ so as to be viewed more positively. That’s how powerful rebranding is as a way to change negative reception into positive brand perception.

10. You’re looking to expand your target group

If you want your product and service to be appealing to other target groups, say from a different demographic, rebranding may help. Airtel changed its logo and tagline in order to make it more attractive to the younger generation. It emphasized friendliness, with the ‘Har ek friend zaroori hota hai’ catchphrase. This helped in expanding its customer base.

Rebranding can be the best solution for your company in certain situations. When there are new products added, or the products manufactured have been changed, you may want to represent yourself differently. It is also a great way for you to increase the price of your product. By rebranding, you can also expand your target group, while updating your brand communication and corporate identity, and ensuring that your brand is perceived positively.

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