Is your brand in need of a relaunch?

Brand3 July 2017
refresh or rebrand

As opinions change and attitudes shift so do needs, wants and tastes. All brands are by necessity, in a state of constant evolution. The size and nature of the changes required differ significantly across different business segments and from company to company. So, should you refresh or rebrand? On involves revamping what you already have and the other means killing it and starting over.

Refresh: a tonic for your brand

If your brand enjoys strong engagement from its target market and ongoing loyalty and high sales from its customer base, then a refresh is for you. The most apparent result of a brand refresh is a re-engineered logo and new brand identity guidelines but don’t make the mistake of thinking a refresh is limited to colours, shapes and a snappy new tagline. A refresh can and should be a root and branch re-examination of how the brand not only looks, but how it delivers, talks to your customers and staff, and how it operates. The essence of the brand should remain intact with its positioning, values and mission unchanging, but the other aspects of the business upgrading to meet the new demands of an evolved market.

Rebrand: a complete restart

Rebranding is a far more in-depth proposition. It represents a new beginning. You are drawing a line under what you once were and effectively losing the equity the brand has acquired as well as nearly all the time and effort that went into creating that equity. A rebrand takes longer, requires more resources, costs more, and the outcome will vary depending upon the range of issues affecting the change. A rebrand is what you need if your brand can’t continue in its present form (usually signalled by a steady decline in brand equity) or when a clear statement of change is required to inform your current market that you have undergone a significant re-orientation of your business. A rebrand isn’t so much a repositioning, as an entirely new start.

Don’t commence a rebrand until you have defined the business problems that you are trying to solve. Your brand may be strongly linked with an idea or purpose that it can’t be disassociated from, which has become a disadvantage. This is a justifiable reason to consider a rebrand. Although it’s tempting to see a fresh start as the beginning of new possibilities, it’s vital to invest time in rethinking what it is your brand does and the value it delivers to your customers. If you fail to do this, you run the risk of looking and sounding different but behaving in the same old way with the same old results.

Before you make the final decision on your brand’s future direction, the answers to the following questions may help you define which action is best for you. Why do we want or need to change? What do we need to stop doing or what do we hope to gain? What is it our customers want or need from us that we can’t deliver in our present form? What is it we’ll be able to do because of change that we’ve been unable to do until now?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to define what it is you need to achieve, and you’ll have a better understanding of the level of change that’s required for your brand.

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