Rebranding a business can be a daunting and challenging process, but the process of rebranding can be essential to release some new life into a business. This process has to be done with a strategy in mind, be process driven, thoughtful and for the right reasons. Your brand is the face of your business and if approached in the correct manner a re-brand can give your company the competitive advantage it needs.
Branding sometimes gets confused with logo design, but there is more to a brand than a logo. A brand is the company’s identity, from the logo, to stationery, advertising, signage, to websites, it also represents how your business is perceived by it’s customers and the language that you use in your communications.
There are many reasons why a company would be considering a re-brand; from moving with the times, a merger or a take-over, expansion of the business or to differentiate a business from it’s competitors.
An inconsistent brand will struggle to differentiate itself in a competitive market. A rebrand allows your business to show current and new customers that your company is adaptive to change. Change is necessary in order to stay current in your market place and ensures future success for the company. An old or ineffective logo may have a negative effect on your target market as your brand is seen as stagnant and unable to perform well against other competitors. Rebranding may give your business the opportunity it needs to remain ahead of your competitors creating confidence with old and new customers. Rebranding helps to reconnect your business with what really matters to your customers. Don’t assume that because your brand was successful in the past that it is relevant now.
If you are considering a rebrand we would strongly recommend a series of focus groups with potential or existing customers, and or people that work in the same area. These focus groups allow us to determine peoples attitudes, behaviors, experience and preferences they may have towards your company or your competitors. This information is considered vital when rebranding as it may raise certain issues that you were unaware of and can have a positive effect on the rebrand.
It is important that a business and a designer have carried out the appropriate research before rebranding as a badly planned logo can have long lasting damaging effects on a business. In 2010, GAP a casual clothing retailer decided to change the logo that they had been using for over twenty years. The new logo received a massive amount of criticism and in response to the backlash GAP quickly reverted back to the original logo.
One of the lessons to be learned from GAP’s mishap is that there are no shortcuts to re-branding. What companies should learn from this is that it is important to realise what aspects distinguish a brand. The re-branded GAP logo seemed cheap, generic and lacked thought. When designing a new logo it should positively reflect what your business is about, a brand should reflect the following qualities; simple, distinctive, versatile, appropriate, memorable and timeless.