Your brand identity is more than just your visuals or naming. It’s how your business is perceived by your audiences, competitors and customer base – and often, it’s not a fixed entity. The identity and visuals that you start out with will evolve over time, but you may come to a point where a step-change is needed, and it’s necessary to revaluate your brand.
When it’s time for a rebrand
Perhaps you’re going through a period of significant growth and expanding into new markets. Technical advances could mean that your business operates in a different way from when it first set out. Whatever the reason, it’s important to do it in the right way. A rushed rebrand can lead to confusing messaging and end up in a worse place than you started.
Common mistakes when businesses rebrand
We’ve reached out to our GO! Network Members to discuss some of the common mistakes of rebranding and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Running before you can walk.
“It’s a common mistake to leap straight to execution without clearly defining the brand’s strategic need or the unique customer insight,” says Nicolette Robinson, Strategy Director at Mimo Brands. “Start up front with business, brand and customer objectives to know where and how to shift the dial. Spend time thinking and defining ‘why do I need this’ and ‘what is the key measure of success’ before taking any action.”
Tom Langford, Managing Director of the Potting Shed recommends “undertaking a Brand Story exercise (or similar). Basically, understand what makes the business tick and where it needs to be positioned before starting the visual process.”
“A slow release of information and assets,” is the advice from Edward David, Manager Director at Glued Films. “Make sure everything looks and sounds great. Make sure the money you spend gets you quality.”
Mistake #2: Not understanding the real role of a brand.
It’s important to recognise that a brand is more than a logo, or a set of visual guidelines. Too often, brands will end up with a brand that reflects their own marketing teams ‘wants,’ not their business goals.
Rebecca Cox, Account Director of Harrison Carloss, recommends “producing a tight brief including ‘why’ we are doing this. What are we looking to achieve with the rebrand? What does our brand stand for and what will make us stand out? Keep it simple. Don’t bring in too many stakeholders.”
Mistake #3: Trying to please everyone
Martin Shaw, Director of Nokamo, believes “sacrifice is required to establish conspicuous brands. Reduce complexity, narrow the field of vision and do less.”
“This makes some clients feel uncomfortable. Fear not, the bigger risk is fitting in and creating another clone brand. A cloned brand often means that further growth is stuck in second gear.”
“The biggest mistakes I see from clients trying to complete a rebrand would be failing to grasp the meaning of their branding, which leads to confusing marketing. This could be solved by using an agency or brand specialist who understands brands, target audiences and would elevate the brand,” advises Vishnu Parmer, Creative Manager of Komi.
Key Takeaways for your rebrand project
In short, there’s a few points to keep in mind as you evaluate your own brand:
- Don’t rush it
- Understand who the brand serves (the audience)
- Don’t be afraid to streamline
- Produce a tight brief
On that last point, we’ve made producing this brief a little easier. In our (Re)Brand Workbook, you’ll find more advice and interactive worksheets to help clarify the state of your existing brand, the extent of a rebrand and anything else you’d like to change going forward.
And if you’re set in running a rebrand but need more than in-house support, GO! run cost-free searches for brands looking for an agency that can partner with them in the right way. Get in touch today.