Many people see this as a simple change in logo or a simple change in the brand image; maybe the old image doesn’t fit the current trend and the brand is looking to be more appealing to consumers.
Bottom line: it’s a simple brand image change. No biggie.
While this is true (I mean, rebranding is a change in brand image, after all) there’s actually a lot of things going on under the hood than simply changing a company’s colour or logo. For a brand, rebranding is a big thing and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Under the hood of “rebranding”
When a company rebrands, the company doesn’t only change its name or logo – it also changes its philosophy, market sector, and possibly even its vision for future growth. Rebranding is a major change and could potentially make or break a company.
These changes could be due to the company’s objective to enter a new market or tap to new industries; or because of mergers and acquisitions. According to the economic times:
“There are two types of rebranding: one is Proactive rebranding and the other is Reactive rebranding. Proactive rebranding is done when a company recognises that there is an opportunity to grow, innovate, tap into new businesses or customers, and to reconnect with its users… Reactive rebranding is done in a situation when the existing brand has be discontinued or changed. Possible reasons for such an action could be mergers & acquisitions, legal issues, negative publicity such as fraud, aiming to beat the competition, or create your own niche.”
Whether rebranding is proactive or reactive, there is a risk that comes with the change.
Risks of rebranding
Changing one’s brand image is very risky, especially in a volatile consumer market that can be very fickle and brand-conscious. If you’re thinking of rebranding, here are some risks you might run into.
Rebranding can cause confusion
One of the big risks of rebranding is causing confusion to consumers, especially when your brand makes a major overhaul. This is especially true when you are opening yourself up to a new market sector that is not familiar with your brand.
Most of the time, companies rebrand because they have a new product line in tow, for example:
An electronics hardware company making appliances has acquired a mobile software company and have begun creating a new AI-controlled appliance, completely decommissioning their old product lines. Of course, this means rebranding for the company.
If the company doesn’t plan their rebranding efforts properly, the market for AI-controlled appliances will not be able to familiarise themselves with the new brand since the brand is associated with traditional, non-AI appliances. As a result, the company will have fewer sales for their new product line and would cause them revenues. Ouch.
Rebranding is costly
Another risk of rebranding is the cost behind the marketing of the new brand.
When a company makes a change in their brand image, that means a major overhaul of marketing materials and marketing image. That means changing billboards, commercial ads, ad placements in newspapers and online.
Having to make all these changes is very costly for companies and will most likely drain the marketing budget. So before you rebrand, make sure your marketing budget is sustainable enough for the change.
When should you rebrand?
Now that you know that rebranding is a major company change, it’s time to know when you should consider giving your brand a new image and when you should retain your image.
When your brand is targeting a new market sector
Like people, companies grow. And when companies grow, they enter a different market sector which is often a higher market sector than their previous one.
When this happens, you’ll need a new band image – one that appeals to your new market demographic. Since it’s a new market, you’ll need to make sure your company’s image is competitive enough to play with other brands in the market sector.
When your company’s mission and vision has changed
Because rebranding is a complete change in your company’s image, it’s only right to rebrand yourself when you’re company’s corporate mission and vision has changed.
Whether your company is a start-up or a well-established household name, your corporate mission and vision play a vital role in your brand’s overall image. If you’re not really bought into the idea, here’s an example:
Company XYZ is a biofuel company that envisions “a clean world that doesn’t rely on gasoline”. Because of this corporate vision, Company XYZ has marketed itself as a clean air advocate and is known to be in the forefront for pushing laws that promote the protection of clean air.
But after letting go of their biofuel plant and acquiring a hydroelectric power plant, the company’s vision has now changed to advocate for clean water. What should Company XYZ do?
In the example above, you could clearly see how a change in corporate vision and mission can influence company rebranding.
When the market is outpacing your brand
Most of the time, brands are associated with generation. For example, brands like “Rolex” or “Fruit of the loom” are associated with the older generation like Gen X. While brands like “Nike” and “Apple iPhones” are associated with the younger millennial generation.
This generation-linked branding is positive when it comes to creating a strong brand identity. But when the current generation of consumers is no longer interested in your brand because it’s “old-school” or “out of style”, then it’s time for a rebrand.
When it comes to rebranding, there are a lot of things to consider. it can’t be just in just the spur of the moment or just because “you feel like it” — rebranding is a major move and if not done right, could cost your business empire to fall.
When it comes to marketing your new brand online, you’ll need to be able to let consumers know about it. the best way to do it is by hiring a competent SEO team to help you market your new brand image online.