When not to invest in your brand
We often harp on about the benefits of investing in branding. That it's never satisfied and a continually evolving organism of the business.
But there are definite instances were investing in your brand or a complete rebrand is not the right move. As a branding agency, that sentiment seems like something we shouldn't be writing about. But here we are.
The wrong reasons to invest in your brand
Because of a fresh face
New people coming into the business trigger change. New ideas, innovative thinking, a fresh pair of eye balls to recognise improvements or inefficiencies. It's likely they'll also pluck strategy from their previous roles and apply it to the business. But this isn't necessarily helpful.
If the business has a strong business model in place and a solid P&L statement, then stick to it. No need to completely rebrand because a new Brand Manager says so. Maintain the brand strategy that is working here and now.
For a shiny new trend
Don't rebrand for the sake of it. It's natural to get brand FOMO and envy over a sleek new logo and trending designs. However a purely visual focus or guttural desire to change your brand isn't enough to justify an update.
A change to your brand should come from an honest, reflective place of meaning - like if the business model or long term strategy is broken; or a competitor infiltrates the market and shifts customer perceptions (more on this below).
Signs that you need some brand love
Needing a rebrand could be a sign that things are going really well and your brand needs to reflect your evolving business; customers or market.
Or it could mean the opposite. That things aren't going well and you're needing to pull the clutch in a desperate move to pivot and maintain relevancy or a last ditch effort to survive.
Your reflection has changed
If your business was to look in the mirror, what would it see?
Is it an authentic representation of your people and core values? Or is there a disconnect between your customer-facing facade and behind the scenes?
Your brand should be an authentic representation of your people and values. Not only for the obvious ethical reasons of singing what you preach, but also because ingenuity smells. Customers can sniff out dishonest or illegitimate brands quick smart.
A shifting business model
As the business expands and evolves, the brands offering adapts. This could be through the addition of new products and services or changing core values.
It's worthwhile to note that this is the most common reason for a rebrand in young business ventures. That branding piece initially takes place before you even push out to market. The entire business and brand strategy is based on assumptions, and stems from the founder or start-up team. That obviously changes once the market is penetrated and could lead to a complete shift in the product, service or values - leading to a rebrand.
For example, Google was originally named BackRub. Can you imagine? Give it a Google Give it a BackRub. Seedy. And that sweet, sweet Pepsi was referred to as Brad's Drink when the sugar-soda brand kicked off in 1983.