Meeting to discuss whether the company should rebrand

Know When to Rebrand – 3 Signs to Look For

Picture of Justin Lynch
Justin Lynch

Brand Strategist & Co-Founder

“Should we rebrand?”

It’s a common question I hear a lot. What’s not so common are the reasons why it’s being asked.

Usually rebranding is brought up when one of the following happens:

  • Someone new joins the company and they immediately want to make an impact. So, one of the things they propose is a rebrand.
  • The marketing team gets bored with the brand so they want to shake things up.
  • The CEO or another executive has always hated something about the brand. Finally, they decide their personal hatred is reason enough for a rebrand.
  • A competitor has just gone through a rebrand and their new brand looks really cool.

Let me go ahead and spoil this a bit for you — all of the reasons above are NOT a good reason to rebrand.

Instead, here are the 3 signs you should be looking for when determining if a rebrand is appropriate.

Your Brand Is Affecting Your Marketing

A rebrand needs to be backed up by data. Because rebrands are expensive and time consuming, an unnecessary rebrand can negatively impact the company for years.

So, take time to look at your marketing data and determine if your brand is killing your marketing efforts. If it is, it may be time to rebrand.

The best way to determine to determine this is to do a Brand Audit. Your audit will help you identify all the issues with your current brand. Once you’ve done the audit you need to ask yourself an important question.

Which option will be the most impactful and efficient use of resources — fixing the current brand or doing a rebrand? 

Your answer will guide you in the appropriate direction. If you’re unsure, the safest bet is to fix your current brand.

Your Products/Services Have Changed

Anytime you make major changes to your products/services you need to ensure your brand is aligned with the new product/service. Note, we’re not talking about small changes or tweaks. We’re talking about fundamental shifts in what customers will be receiving from you.

When you change your offering, you may find that your brand now promises something that can not be fulfilled.

If this is the case you have two options; rebrand or watch your brand die.

It may sound a little drastic, but the reality is customers will leave brands that cannot fulfill the promises made by them.

The Market Has Shifted

The only constant in a market is that it’s constantly changing. Most of the time these changes won’t require you to rebrand. However, drastic shifts in customer behavior or competition may force your brand to change.

One way to determine if the market has shifted is to do a traditional SWOT analysis. While all four components are essential, we’re only focused on the last two; Opportunities and Threats.

If new opportunities have presented themselves or if new threats have entered your market it’s time to re-evaluate your brand. If your brand is strong enough, there will be very few opportunities or threats that would force a rebrand.

Do you think Pepsi or Coke would rebrand just because a hot new soda company entered the market? Unlikely.

However, if everyone stopped drinking soda overnight (also unlikely) that change in customer behavior would likely force changes in Pepsi or Coke’s branding.