“Help! I need to rebrand!” I often see this statement scattered across all social media platforms. You may even be guilty of posting it to gather inspiration or your own pool of recommended designers to help you accomplish your visual goals. However, sometimes you don’t need the full rebrand, you may simply just need a refresher.
Before we delve too much into whether you need to rebrand or not, we need to answer the question: “What the heck is a brand anyway!?”
What is Branding?
Branding has become a common term tossed around like “Literally” has and some people can be literally using it incorrectly! A brand is the whole essence of your business, it’s what people associate with your business or even with you.
Think of Apple. What you just pictured in your mind is part of their brand. It could be their sleek packaging, metal cases, the apple logo, the store, the smell, how you are greeted when you walk in, the wooden display tables, etc. That is their brand.
What you may be thinking branding is, truly is your visual identity.
Essentially the skin or outfit of your company. The colors, fonts, patterns, logo, business cards, packaging—these are the visual elements that your clients interact with. Your logo is simply a mark associated with your brand and can be a key identifier for your clients, but it is not your whole brand. Now that we cleared that up, let’s talk about your “rebrand”.
What is Rebranding?
Usually you think you’re ready for rebrand when you’ve gotten caught up in the business comparison game. You see Susie Lou with her amazing new visual identity and you start to think that your business and brand is worth less because its not on trend or hasn’t been touched since you started your business.
However, the comparison game can end up being a dangerous game of Russian roulette for your business. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly believe in research and seeing what your competition is doing, but what really matters is what you are doing and how you are best serving your clients!
They are who you want to impress, not another designer, not another photographer, not another writer, or whatever it is you do. Let them do their thing, you be you. After all, that’s why your clients will choose you over them anyway.
Are you falling into the rebranding comparison game?
If you aren’t sure if you’re falling prey to the comparison game or if you are truly in need of a new visual identity system, keep on reading.
I have a few tips to help you discern between falling to peer pressure or if this is a true business necessity.
Step back! – Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I think I need a rebrand because so and so has 15K followers and her website looks like this?
- Does all my stuff look like it belongs together?
- Am I wanting a rebrand because I’m tired of looking at my logo and I see all these other cool logos? I just want to switch it .. just cuz.
Honesty time: Did you answer yes to any of these questions. If so, you may not need a rebrand, just a tweak or a refresher. I refer to this as flipping the mattress. You know, maybe we don’t need to buy a whole new house with a new bedroom and new furniture, maybe we just need to flip the mattress, spruce up, and move the furniture around a bit to get that sense of newness back.
If this is where you are, you don’t need to rebrand. Instead, you may need to do a SWOT analysis of your brand and see what needs to be “Donated” and what we need to redo. This means the bones of your brand are good, we don’t need to demolish it all.
When it IS time for a rebrand!
Now, maybe the bones are bad and the foundation is cracked. Help! If you answer yes to these questions it is definitely time for a new logo or visual identity system.
- Are clients saying they have a hard time finding you online?
- Are the people approaching you not really your ideal client?
- Do you have people sticker shocked when it comes to your prices, even though you have more experience or have received accolades to reflect those prices?
If you answered yes to these questions, maybe we need to look at a brand overhaul. Your brand at the moment isn’t fulfilling must haves for your business to succeed.
Getting caught up in the appearance game of entrepreneurs is too easy. While its good to see what the competition is doing, you need to remind yourself that you aren’t pitching to them, they are not your clients or target audience!
Having your brand yo-yo-ing, as in changing every 4 months or every year is horrible for your business. People develop brand loyalty and if you keep changing the look, feel, and tone of your business it will be hard to have that foundation for people to become loyal to your company. Keep your clients and potential clients in mind first before uttering the word “rebrand.”