When is it time to re-brand?

Women wearing a grey top and blue trousers holding a grey 'notes' book

When is it time to re-brand?

So when is it time to re-brand? That’s right… I dropped the ‘R’ bomb. Many business owners quake in their boots at the thought of the upheaval a rebrand brings. New logos, fonts, colours and pricey stationery – it sounds like such a chore. Do you know what? Just stick with what you’ve got. It’ll be ok.

Or will it?

There are so many reasons that branding is important, but it’s also perfectly ok to admit that it might not be perfect right now. Some of the world’s most recognisable brands have given their look a shake-up.

  • Fancy a Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp? Probably not. I bet you’d love a KitKat though?
  • Brad’s Drink just doesn’t have the same sticking power as Pepsi, right?
  • Blue Ribbon Sports rebranded. They just did it – to Nike.
  • Backrubb-ing something sounds a bit weird. Glad they changed it to Google.

So, why would you need to rebrand?

Your brand is outdated

To begin with, WordArt just isn’t where it’s at anymore. As time moves on, so does our expectation of branding. In the ’70s and ’80s, brands looked at bold and bright colours with bubble fonts and textures. These days, understated cool and simple vector logos are much more sought after.

It’s not your fault if your brand ages – it’s totally natural. Take a look at Coca Cola, or Hovis, or any household name. Over the years, we need to adapt brands to suit the current customer expectation.

Your brand doesn’t fit your direction

It’s not unusual for brands to shift focus over time. For instance whilst you might have started your business with one product or service in mind, it’s unlikely that you’ll stick with that for life.

In this case, spend some time thinking about your values, your mission and your direction. If those things don’t align with your current brand profile, it might be worth exploring more options.

You have a new target market

One might think that you can’t change your target market unless you change your product – but that’s not necessarily true. It’s all about ‘positioning’, which is achieved through your branding.

For example, Lynx scents used to be marketed at heterosexual men in their late teens and early twenties. Over time, the brand decided that this was too niche and didn’t fit with society’s gender neutral understanding. ‘Find your magic’ is Lynx’s new campaign which simply inspires male confidence, regardless of looks, skin colour etc.

You’ve had a negative experience in the public eye

A recent example of this is Uber. Having faced scrutiny for unvetted drivers and slack safety standards, the brand needed to reinstate confidence. By investing in a custom font, new logo and safety focused brand messaging, they’ve successfully stayed afloat.

Similarly, if you’ve been the focus of a scandal or your industry, in general, is under threat, could you tweak your branding to position yourself away from the negativity?

You’re not standing out from the competition

Finally, if you’ve used stock branding materials, such as vectors, fonts and photography, you may find that you’re not the only one with that combination. In short, if you’re finding that your brand is too similar to others in your field, it’s definitely time to switch it up.

A branding expert will be able to help you decipher exactly what makes your brand different and how to position yourself away from the competition.

Branding and rebranding doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, it should feel very exciting! A well designed brand speaks to your target market and attracts your ideal client. What you might spend on a rebrand will come back in new clients, more sales and a recognisable and desirable ethos.

So if you’re stuck with your branding or wonder if it might be time to shake things up a bit – take a look at the Ocean Digital Portfolio or get in touch today. Is it your time to re-brand?

"Photo of girl with brown hair wearing a pink top, holding a white mug with the ocean digital studio logo on (which is a blue circle with a wave in the middle).

meet the founder

Laura is an experienced graphic and web designer. She has spent years helping businesses make the best possible impression online or in print.

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