This year in particular, more companies than usual will consider whether or not 2021 is the time to rebrand. To say last year was difficult is an understatement. Having lost market share and potentially mindshare, many brands will look to a rebrand as a way of clawing back some of what the coronavirus pandemic took from them.
But, how do you know when it’s the right time to rebrand your company or business? Here are three of the top reasons.
1 – Your identity won’t support your expansion into new markets or demographics. If you’ve saturated your existing market, the logical next place to look for growth is in a new market. If that new market is international or introduces your brand to a new segment of prospects, it may be time for a rebrand.
Such was the case with Cobalt credit union. An expansion of its geographic footprint would open membership beyond the servicemembers and former servicemembers the credit union had traditionally targeted. Moving into new markets meant prospects would not understand the name – SAC federal credit union – that had served it so well thus far.
It was time for a transformation.
Without sacrificing its values or alienated its existing members, the credit union evolved its messaging to resonate with new demographics. The rebrand to Cobalt provided an opportunity to shift its focus from ‘serving those who serve,’ to ‘people helping people.’ Without stopping the former, the credit union was able to expand on its purpose to help people do things they once thought impossible, bringing their dreams to life.
2 – Your brand identity has become old and tired. Like an old, worn-out shoe, your brand may have gotten you this far, but if you are to keep moving forward, you’ll need a new sole. Iconic brands, like Pepsi and Apple, understand that evolution is a healthy aspect in the life of a brand. Adaptation is essential to survival.
Does your brand represent the new product and services you offer?
Does your logo look old?
Do you have a new target audience to whom your existing logo does not appeal?
The answers to these questions can help you determine if it is time for a rebrand. If your logo lags behind the competition, why should you expect your sales to be any different?
3 – Your company suffered a severe PR crisis and needs a new identity. Sometimes brands suffer crises so destructive, there can be no comeback. A new identity and radical break from the past becomes the only way to keep the company from going under.
Such was the case with Philip Morris. After coming under fire for deceptive advertising and outright lying about the addictive nature of its product, global cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris rebranded to something that had nothing to do with the scorn it was under and renamed itself Altria Group.
Its CEO defended the rebrand as a way to distinguish beloved brands in its holding company including Kraft Foods and Miller Brewing, from its tobacco business. Derived from the Latin word, “altus” meaning “high,” the new name reflected the desire of the brand to associate its family of companies with greater financial strength and growth.
There are other viable reasons to rebrand. But, what must not be lost in the ‘when’ of rebranding is the ‘why.’ Or more appropriately, the ‘who.’ Remember who you’re rebranding for – your customers.
Keep them at the heart of any rebranding effort with customer journey research and smart marketing campaigns designed to attract your ideal audiences. Do that, and your rebrand will go a long way in driving sales and membership growth for your brand or business.