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How To Know It’s Time to Rebrand

December 17, 2021   /   by  Roger West

It can be hard to know when it's time to rebrand. You want your business to look fresh and modern, but you don't want to risk losing the customers you've worked so hard to build if they no longer recognize you. A rebrand is a big decision, and it's not something to do on a whim or when you just feel like a change. You need to know that it's the right time before going through the process of re-launching your company with new branding and marketing materials.

One of the most common reasons companies elect to rebrand is the need to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry or marketplace. Companies that rebrand well and succeed in reviving their brand's image can attest that taking their time to get everything right was worth the wait. The costs involved may require you to make some financial sacrifices in the short-term, but depending on how you handle your new brand, you may end up with a larger customer base than ever before.

The point is you need a plan before diving in headfirst. That’s why we’re here to help.

What Is Rebranding?

Rebranding involves changing the internal and external face of your business. Sometimes rebranding is simply a matter of adjusting your color palette, modernizing your logo, and updating existing collateral. In other cases, it means completely overhauling your business's image from top to bottom.

Rebranding can apply to a company's advertising materials, website, signage, and even its name. When executed well, rebranding can breathe new life into an old, tired brand and completely reenergize your business.

The key is understanding your brand and identifying the components that carry it forward. This will help you determine whether or not a rebrand is right for you, and, more importantly, what will happen if you decide to go through with the project.

What Is a Brand Identity?

At its core, your brand identity is an expression of your company’s personality and values. It's the way your customers visualize your company. Brand identity is vital to any business because it influences the way customers perceive and feel about your business.

Your brand also defines who you are in relation to your competitors and helps you stand out from the crowd. When you have a clear understanding of your brand, you can communicate that identity more effectively. And when everyone else knows who you are and what you stand for, they are more comfortable doing business with you.

Brand identity is the most important thing to consider when rebranding your business because it will set the tone for everything else.

Partial vs. Total Rebranding

Rebranding doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. When companies decide it's time to rebrand, they can opt to make significant changes to their overall brand positioning or simply make minor adjustments and updates.

By choosing a partial rebrand strategy, businesses can focus their resources on making small, but important, changes rather than starting from scratch and putting out new versions of all their branding elements. For example, if your company decides it wants to update its image by modernizing its logo but leaving everything else as is, this would be considered a partial rebranding.

A total rebrand involves starting with a clean slate rather than simply updating parts of your brand. This typically includes a complete reworking of your core messaging and possibly even your company’s foundational mission statement and core values. It’s a massive undertaking that can totally reset your position in the market. However, a complete rebrand is not always ideal because it can incur significant expenses and take a lot of time to finish. In many cases, a partial rebrand can produce positive results if executed properly.

It should also be noted rebranding can cause problems for some companies when it is applied too frequently. Many customers like to identify with a certain product and prefer consistency over change.

When to Rebrand Your Business

Rebranding is not always a good strategy for a company. If you still have a lot of positive momentum in terms of marketing, advertising, and public relations, it usually makes sense to hold off on rebranding. You also may not want to mess with success if your company is doing well financially and your customers are happy with your products or services.

However, it's important to note that a company can never be too successful, so even if you feel like you have the world at your fingertips, don't let it lull you into a false sense of security. Your brand may not need a complete overhaul today, but it's important to look ahead and prepare for any future changes to ensure long-term success.

Let’s look at some common indicators that it might be time to rebrand your business:

  • Your brand isn't working anymore, and your clients are leaving.
  • Your company's mission or values need to be redefined.
  • Your current branding message is unclear.
  • You want to change your company's target market.
  • You don't want to be confused with a competitor with a similar identity.
  • If you have a new product or service to launch.
  • If you are doing business internationally.
  • If the public perception of your company has shifted negatively.
  • You want to boost your social media presence.
  • You want to differentiate yourself from your existing brand.

Your Brand Isn’t Working Anymore

One of the biggest reasons to rebrand your business is because your existing brand is no longer working for you. This could be due to several reasons, but regardless of why it's happening, it means you need to make some changes to get things back on track. Perhaps your brand was initially focused on one goal, but now your attention has shifted towards something else.

Now that your company offers additional products and services, your existing branding just doesn't fit anymore. For whatever reason, your company may have outgrown its original branding and requires a breath of fresh air to ensure that it can continue to grow with you.

In this case, rebranding is an excellent way to keep your image fresh and modern. You may not need to rebrand everything, and instead just go for a partial rebrand. Still, a redesign of some of your most important marketing materials can inject your business with more energy and momentum than ever before.

If your brand is losing effectiveness, then don't just settle for a partial rebrand if that means continuing down the same tired path. Rebranding can be challenging, but in many cases, it can be worth all the work that goes into designing your company's new brand image.

Your Customers Are Staying Away

Another sign that a rebrand might be in order is when your customers are staying away. This could be due to many reasons, but if it looks like your customers aren't interested in what you're offering any more, then it may be time to take another look at how your brand is presented.

A rebrand can attract new customers and win back old ones who have drifted away for one reason or another. It doesn't do you much good if people don't come to expect the quality products or services that you provide; you need them to recognize your brand as a leader in the market. If people don't see what sets your company apart from the competition, they may assume you're just another run-of-the-mill company and move on.

Rebranding can help you stay fresh in the eyes of your customers and encourage them to take a second look at all that you have to offer. Just like in any industry or market, trends change over time. You may need to rethink the way you’re positioning your services and products to ensure that they’re relevant and appealing to consumers. Simply changing your logo might not make much of a difference on its own, but rethinking your messaging and marketing strategy along with it could give you a fresh start in the market.

You may find that by giving people something new to think about when they encounter your brand name, you're able to get them excited about your business again.

Your Current Branding Message Is Unclear

One of the most frequent motivations for rebranding is to improve the messaging associated with the brand. Your logo, colors, fonts, and other design components all work together to communicate your message. If these elements need to be changed or tweaked for your audience to understand you better, it might be time to rebrand.

Your branding may also need updating if it's starting to look outdated or stale compared with your competitors. This isn't necessarily an indication that you're doing something wrong but rather that times change, and it's important to keep up with those changes by refreshing your visuals now and then.

Your Business Needs to Redefine Its Mission or Values

Many companies want to think of themselves as having a solid mission or set of values that guide their business practices. However, few companies do anything beyond simply stating this fact. You can't expect people to take your company's values seriously if you don't follow through with actions that prove them to be true.

Rebranding your company image can help you better communicate what kind of business you are and the values you uphold to your customers and employees. People want to know what they're dealing with regarding the services and products you offer, so taking the time to ensure that your brand reflects your vision for success should go a long way in helping other people understand what makes your company unique.

You Want to Change the Target Audience of Your Business

Another good time for rebranding is when your current branding isn't resonating with the audience you want to target. For example, if your brand identity was initially created to cater to customers in a particular demographic but you’re now looking to expand beyond those groups, then perhaps rebranding is just what you need.

Rebranding can help you attract a new audience by using imagery and other design elements that appeal to different types of customers. For example, your branding might use more vibrant colors, active imagery, and playful fonts to attract a younger audience.

When it comes to rebranding, you don't have to throw out everything that works and start from scratch. Many businesses simply need a few tweaks here and there to make their branding really pop again.

A Competitor Has a Similar Identity, and You Want to Avoid Confusion

With so many choices available to consumers, it’s very easy for people to become confused by similar product brands. Two companies, for example, could have names or identities that are markedly similar and cause people to think that they're both selling the same thing.

If this happens, rebranding your business can help resolve any confusion before it becomes an issue of concern. You can also protect yourself against intellectual property infringement claims if you carefully consider how to differentiate your business from others. Rebranding can also help you stand out from competitors in your industry, which can be crucial for expanding market share by appealing to different kinds of customers.

Your Business Is Going Through a Merger or Acquisition

When you're involved in a merger, acquisition, or some other type of business combination, the last thing you want to do is end up using multiple branding strategies that can confuse your customers. Rebranding everything under one business name allows people to immediately recognize which company is now running the show and what kind of products and services it offers.

If you need to merge with another company or acquire them for financial reasons, a rebrand might be just what you need to unify your efforts and ensure that future customers learn about all your offerings under a new, clearly defined brand identity.

If You Have a New Product or Service to Launch

Another great example of when rebranding might be necessary is when you have a new product or service to launch. Your old branding may not be strong enough to communicate the benefits of the latest products in the way you want them to. If your new offerings are targeting a different market, you may need to adjust your branding to reflect the expanded scope of your business.

Rebranding can also help you focus on what makes your new products or services different from others already on the market. This allows you to cover all the bases and ensures that your target audience knows what they can expect from your new offerings.

If You Are Doing Business Internationally

Companies frequently find that they need to update their branding for international markets. If you’re hoping to expand your presence abroad, you need to ensure that your brand can be adapted to reflect the same values across multiple cultures. This is not only a matter of portraying the same things using different images and symbolism, but also ensuring that your audience understands the message you are trying to send.

A rebrand for the international market requires a thorough understanding of how people from other cultures perceive design and brand messaging. In some cases, you might end up having to change very little about your branding to make it work for international markets. In other cases, you may have to make extensive changes, especially if your branding is very focused on specific aspects of your domestic culture or incorporates elements that might be perceived as off-putting or even offensive elsewhere.

Even if your company only occasionally does business internationally, you should take the time to research what sort of imagery or designs work best in different areas so you can adapt your materials accordingly. It might just be the perfect opportunity for you to create branding elements that speak to international audiences better without compromising any of the things that make your brand unique at home.

If the Public Perception of Your Business Has Changed for the Worst

Companies occasionally find public perception shifting against them due to events they have nothing to do with. For instance, a political movement might adopt a slogan or logo that is easily confused with your company’s branding, which causes people to associate your company with the movement’s agenda. Another example might be if a company with a similar name or branding (in which case, you probably should consider rebranding anyway!) recently became embroiled in some sort of controversy or legal trouble.

A rebrand can help combat this negative shift in public perception by allowing you to take control of how others view your company and what it stands for. Presenting yourself in new ways through different messaging is an effective strategy for reframing the conversation about who you are and what you do.

You Want to Increase Your Social Media Presence

Social media is another area where rebranding can be extremely useful. For example, you might have a great logo that works well in print but doesn't translate quite as well to the much more compact dimensions used by social media platforms.

In many cases, it can be tough to communicate what your business is all about in a single image area of only a few hundred pixels. Rebranding for social media can help you solve this problem by creating graphics that more accurately showcase your brand and complement your broader social media strategy.

You Want to Differentiate Yourself from Your Existing Brand.

Sometimes you just need a clean start. Maybe your current brand is tired and old fashioned, or maybe you’re radically changing what kind of products and services you offer. Whatever the case, there are some instances where a radical rebranding is the best way to draw new attention to your company and create interest in what you’re doing.

This is frequently a problem for long-established companies that haven’t updated their brand for years, or sometimes even decades. Customers may not even be aware of your latest offerings because they take your brand completely for granted. By engaging in a thorough rebranding, you can revitalize your business for a whole new generation and step out from the shadow of your past.

In Summary


If you want to rebrand, make sure you know why you’re doing it before getting started. And most importantly, keep your rebranding strategy focused on your customers and what they want to see from you. You've got one chance to make a great impression, so don't let it go to waste! Talk to us today to make sure your rebrand takes your business to the next level!
Roger West Creative + Code

Roger West Creative & Code is a full-service digital marketing agency that helps companies build brands, generate leads, and keep customers inspired and engaged. The agency provides a dynamic environment for marketing pros to innovate and team up with clients to drive traffic to vibrant places and send messages that pack a punch.