So you have been in the business for a while and you can sense that there’s something that is no longer working for your brand but you can’t really pinpoint what it is. In this blog post, I will break down a few symptoms of a business which needs rebranding, so you can have a clearer understanding of when you should rebrand.
New product / service lines
Often, we as business owners grow our offerings and products. This may cause your brand to expand, thus causing the previous branding structure and aesthetics no longer relevant. It may feel that your brand is now stale, no longer serving your needs or brand message. It may also mean that you’re probably targeting different audience segments. When this happens, you should try to re-evaluate where you stand, to see if a rebrand or a brand refresh (where you can still salvage the current/previous brand assets and tweak them without getting rid of them altogether) is a good idea.
You’ve outgrown your brand values
Just as clothes, brands can also grow to be ‘too small’ for our business. This certainly can happen when you’ve been in the business long enough that you realise now you have different direction, customer base, brand image, etc. This is definitely not a bad thing, it only means that your business has transformed and progressed since you launched. When you feel like the brand visuals no longer serve your business justice or it no longer fits into what you’re trying to put out to the world, then it is likely that you’re in need of a brand overhaul.
Your brand aesthetics may have looked super stylish and beautiful 5 years ago, but now you’re thinking… ‘Wait, has it always looked like that?!’ – don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. This usually happens due to several reasons:
- In the beginning of your business, you felt like you were restricted in your budget and you needed something ‘simple and quick’ just to put a patch on it.
- Your brand was not developed based on strategy, instead it was founded solely based on design trends and/or personal preference. This can cause a lot of friction in the future, as style and trends come and go, so does personal preference.
- You’ve now gained different perspectives and are much more experienced in business. You have seen more premium brands with upleveled aesthetics and you’re now starting to understand that investing in brand redesign can increase your revenue by tenfold.
Whichever the reason may be, if you feel like something is off with your brand’s aesthetic that makes you feel less confident presenting it to your customers, then there’s a high chance you may want to consult with a brand designer.
You’re not attracting your ideal customers
This is a sign of a deeper problem, generally rooted in a brand that is only focusing on the superficials (a.k.a you only think of what appears to be beautiful). Remember, things that are beautiful do not make your brand. Your brand personality, messaging, target audience, products, behaviour, archetypes, values and so on are the ones that count. Only then you can start thinking about the design. Branding takes energy and time. It may require you to go inwards and outwards, asking yourself challenging questions and require you to do market research. All of this needs to be distilled into your visuals. If you did not do this in the beginning of your visual brand building process, you may want to go back and revisit the behind the scenes.
So, what should you do?
Try asking these questions and do these small exercises as a part of your brand assessment to guide you understand the state of your business better:
- Who is your ideal client? What is the core message you’re trying to tell your audience? Assess your current strategy and how it has changed over the years.
- Does your current aesthetics convey this message you’re trying to say?
- Do a visual brainstorm exercise on Pinterest. Pin on a secret board the images that represent your vision and compare them to your current imagery and visuals that you use in your business – are they different? If so, how are they different? What are the gaps?
- Ask the people closest to you, who have seen the transformations of you and your business. Ask if they notice any changes in you/your business, or how you conduct business today vs. back then.
- Do a competitive market research. Identify your biggest competitions and compare their visuals & strategies with yours. Compare who they are targeting and how they are doing this effectively. What works for them? What doesn’t? This is definitely not to copy what they have, but it’s to know where your business stands in the market landscape.
A lot of the time, asking these questions can be challenging. To just continue ‘business as usual’ is easy and safe, but remember that growth comes from discovering yourself outside your comfort zone. It’s definitely worth it to consult with a brand strategist or designer, but make sure that you are aware of their processes as well. Different designers have different approaches and methods, so knowing what you’re investing your time and money into is never a bad idea. Your brand deserves to be diagnosed, updated and maintained – it’s your money maker after all! If you feel lost or overwhelmed, or if you’d like to have a chat on all things branding, let’s jump on a call and nerd out about brand strategy and design together!