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When is it time for a company to rebrand?

At Red Fan Communications, not only do we have the pleasure of working with clients from many different industries – we are lucky enough to work with businesses in many different phases of their business life cycle, whether they’re early-phase companies or more established brands.

No matter what stage our clients are in, it’s important that their overall brand identity hits the marker on three key criteria before we launch a public relations campaign:

  • That their brand identity is true to their offering
  • That it stands out amongst that of their competitors’
  • And that it is remains relevant to who they are today.

The term rebrand is one that might make business owners shudder – can anyone say it with me, “What’s that going to cost me?” - but at Red Fan, we see a rebrand as an opportunity – an opportunity to improve your brand identity in a way that better resonates with your target audience and the media to ultimately grow your business.

And a rebrand doesn’t necessarily have to mean getting a new logo – it can be as subtle as making an adjustment to your positioning statement or as drastic as adopting a new name.

If you find yourself scratching your head, wondering, “When is it time for a company to rebrand?”, don’t worry. We’ve provided some helpful tips for business owners who may be considering a rebrand…or weren’t until happening across this blog. Oops.

1. When you are experiencing a change to your business and/or business model.

Are you expanding your offerings? Minimizing them? Will you be merging with another company or targeting a completely different audience than before?

If your business is going to be experiencing a change in its offerings or will be changing the way your offerings are presented, that’s an incredibly integral time to evaluate if a rebrand is necessary.

An example of this is Domino’s switch from “Domino’s Pizza” to simply “Domino’s” when they expanded their offerings to include subs, pasta and more. The name change also altered the pizza powerhouse’s logo but in a way that’s still recognizable.

2. If you’re blending in.

Business owners should always keep an eye on the competitive landscape in their respective industries to ensure their brand is standing out amongst the pack. Before diving into a public relations campaign, it’s incredibly important to our team to not only understand our clients but to also understand their competition. How do they write about themselves? Are reporters taking an interest in their offering? If so, from what angle? How have they chosen to visually represent their company, product or service? And most importantly, how does your brand identity compare to what they’re doing?

One of our favorite exercises to complete with clients is to create a visual representation of the competitive landscape with company logos – we simply place their logo at the center of a one pager that also includes their competitors’ logos.

This short exercise allows us and our clients to quickly see: Does your brand truly stand out? If not, we’re able to reference what others in the space are doing and how our clients can make improvements.

3. If you’re confusing your target audience.

This relates to the third bullet in our above-mentioned list of brand-identity criteria – relevancy. For early-phase businesses, sometimes who you’ve identified yourself to be just isn’t resonating with your key audience. And for more established businesses, sometimes who your brand was two years ago just isn’t relevant to who you are today. One way Red Fan learns about brand confusion with our clients is through a brand positioning audit. In the audit, we interview staff and external parties anonymously on all components of a company, including brand identity.

This anonymity allows interviewees to speak freely and allows Red Fan to deliver this feedback to the client in a constructive way. If brand confusion is an issue that arises from the positioning audit, re-identifying your brand may be in order.*

4. When people start asking, “Are you rebranding?”

As a business owner, there is no one closer to your brand than, well, you. And being so close to it can sometimes make you numb to how the outside world experiences what your brand is communicating.

Of course it’s always best to remain proactive with your marketing efforts, but sometimes other things take priority and before you know it, you could be faced with some tough decisions.

As a trusted resource for our clients, Red Fan is able to be a sounding board for these difficult conversations and provide insight on the best next steps for your business.

Going through a rebrand should not to be taken lightly but if the timing is right, it could prove to be an incredibly fruitful and strategic move for your business. If this blog post has stirred up any branding questions, don’t hesitate to send Red Fan an email at info@redfancommunications.com. We’d love to hear about any challenges your business might be facing and discuss if a rebrand might make sense for you.

*Since every client journey is different, not every brand positioning audit will result in a rebrand. However, if you’d like to see a stellar example of a positioning audit that led to a successful rebrand, see our branding package for Wayward Chocolat below. Red Fan worked in partnership with Shelly Leyden of Shelly Leyden Consulting and Trina Bentley of Make & Matter on a total rebrand for this client, complete with a new name, logo, website and product packaging. Following their rebrand, Wayward saw a drastic increase in sales and received a wonderful response from consumers and press, alike.

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