A brand is more than just a logo, it’s the way your brand communicates with your audience, the values that your brand stands by, and, of course, the way your brand presents itself visually. With all of these components in mind, a rebrand can seem overwhelming and quickly end up at the bottom of your to-do list.
The second phase of crisis management is a good time to evaluate your brand and bring that pesky item from the bottom of your to-do list. After the initial marketing strategy pivot to address COVID19, tech marketers should now make time to look at a select number of big picture projects. I can hear you groaning now, but consider the next generation marketing strategy you’re now building in this next phase of crisis management. We are all returning to a new version of “normal” and need to adjust all our plans to reflect this new reality.
While some tech brands can (and have) gone on for quite a while without any sort of renovation, deciding to make a change in a pivotal moment can determine whether or not your brand survives. Whether your brand needs a complete overhaul or some minor messaging tweaks, here are five signs that it’s time to start a conversation about rebranding:
1. It has been 10+ years since your brand has been updated
A lot can change in a few years, never mind the last few months! Consider the technological advancements we have seen in the past decade--how have design and brand messaging changed to fit these advancements? That thought alone could be enough to get your glorious tech marketer brain spinning! If your brand hasn’t changed in a decade, what have you missed out on?
Seriously though… ten years ago we were on iPhone 4! Remember that brick? Now they’re making phones that bend and headsets that place you in the middle of your favorite video games.
On top of technological advancements, styles and tastes naturally evolve over the years, meaning that your brand can become outdated fairly quickly. Does this mean that you need to completely overhaul your brand every decade? No. You should, however, be mindful of trends and do your best to consistently keep your brand ahead of the curve. We’re in the technology field--our companies are the ones defining what the future looks like! Our branding should reflect our industry.
There’s a marketer’s win here as well: the more you stay on top of branding, the less likely it is that you will need a full rebrand a few years down the road. Consider what minor updates you can make now, when you are already in the midst of tweaking all of your plans.
2. The overall climate has changed
I cannot emphasize this enough: in the wake of COVID-19, there has been a huge shift in nearly every aspect of our lives. How we go about our day-to-day lives, how we interact with one another, and how we think about branding have all changed. While many companies are making temporary changes to their messaging and visuals to better align with the current climate, some aspects of our lives may never return to normal after this, and brands may need to adjust accordingly.
You shouldn’t wait for a global pandemic to change, though. Attitudes and purchasing trends are constantly changing and it is important for brands to react. Valuer details an array of cases where brands failed to adapt at pivotal points, which goes to show that a failure to adapt and innovate can have an immense negative impact on the future of your brand.
3. Your numbers are down
One telltale sign that it is time to refresh your brand is when you notice your numbers are down. Whether it’s sales, website traffic or social media interactions, it is easy to deduct that something isn’t quite right. While a drop in numbers may be attributed to factors outside of your brand’s control (like a pandemic or looming recession), or internal factors (such as an unsuccessful marketing plan or outdated messaging) you should plan a thoughtful response to the situation.
Once you gain an understanding of why people suddenly are not interested in or are not interacting with your brand messaging, you can assess how to regain the attention of those consumers or how to capture a new audience.
4. Your new content/messaging doesn’t match your traditional branding
Unfortunately, branding is generally not a one-size-fits-all solution. Just because a certain branding strategy worked well for your business at one point doesn’t mean that it will be the right solution moving forward.
With new offerings may come new messaging, a different tone of voice, and an overall updated aesthetic for the brand. Say your company starts out by selling fruit and then decides to become a big-box grocery store… you would want to make changes to your branding to reflect all of the new products you can offer.
Without tailoring branding to a specific offering, there can be a large disconnect between your brand and the consumer. If you decide to change what you are offering, consider whether or not your branding still makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense to you, it probably won’t make sense to a consumer.
5. There are inconsistencies in your branding
This sentence may be a tech marketer’s worst nightmare, but we all know what happens when you produce a record breaking amount of content and new strategy in a short period of time. Details are missed, imagery evolves without relating back to your brand guideline document...we’re only human after all Now that you have a small window of time to reassess strategy, take a look at what you have and allow the process to act as a container to organize your content and collateral.
Rebranding isn’t always about changing the visuals or the messaging of your brand, sometimes a rebrand is necessary to get organized. Is the imagery you use across all platforms cohesive? Does your brand use an assertive tone of voice in some instances and a more friendly tone in others? Do you use the same logo across all of your deliverables? If the answer to any of these is ‘no,’ it’s time to rebrand.
Inconsistencies can easily happen over time if there are many people working on a brand, if files aren’t properly managed, or if there aren’t clear guidelines set in place and there isn’t someone to make sure your brand adheres to those guidelines. By taking the initiative to rebrand, you can get your deliverables under control and make sure that what you are presenting to consumers comes from a well thought out branding strategy.
A rebrand is a great opportunity for you to regroup and really think about how you are connecting with your audience. While a rebrand can seem intimidating, it isn’t always about starting fresh and oftentimes the best solution is to build off of the foundation that is already in place. Consulting professionals can simplify the process and help you understand which aspects of your brand would benefit from more attention. Making sure that your rebrand is thoughtful and purposeful will provide you with a worth-while solution that will increase the longevity of your brand.
So, what's next?
If you’re interested in some help evaluating your brand, our branding checkup will take a look at your current messaging, visuals and buyer personas to see if they’re all working together to accurately represent you and your goals. The end result will be a high level branding guidebook with specific action items outlining things you can do immediately to improve your brand presence.