It feels like I’m stating the absolute obvious, but it’s all too common to be ignored. It seems there’s little correlation between the size or type of business, and the propensity for the new CMO (or CEO) to demand a rebrand for seemingly subjective reasons; they don’t like the logo, colour or strapline, it reminds them of something they’ve done before in a previous role, or worse yet, they need to make their mark on the business in the most noticeable way.
Why businesses rebrand
But it doesn’t just come from the new senior hire, it’s also not uncommon for a marketing team, who works with that brand every day – potentially staring at it on a screen for hours on end – to grow tired of how it looks, or to think it has become dated. Frankly they become bored of it without considering that these assets (from a famous colonel to a trademarked purple or that big yellow ‘M’) could be the most valuable and powerful tools in their arsenal.
They need to stop. Take a step back from the screen. And remember that things change far less than we think they do, and consumers think far less about your brand than you could ever imagine. Let them decide if it’s a problem that needs solving.
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Rebranding the right way
With this in mind, before rebranding even makes it onto the agenda of the next team meeting, you need to be market orientated and do your homework to understand the people who use your brand, or those you’d like to.
Depending on your business, that could mean a full scale usage and attitudes study and market segmentation piece, or (dare I say it) just speaking to a few existing or target customers, maybe even just spending some time with your sales or customer service teams who interact with tens/hundreds of people every day, so you can learn about your brand first hand from the people who matter the most.
Talk to the customer
For all the data you have access to at the click of a button, there’s little more revealing than asking a new customer why they picked your brand, or a lapsed customer why they didn’t.
If you can understand how your current and potential customers feel about your brand, and the alternatives available, this will dictate whether or not it’s time to rebrand and, most importantly;
Ben Norman is Account Director at Principles Agency, GO! Network member and full-service marketing agency.