Rebranding: Not When, Not How, But Why
There are countless articles about when to rebrand, and there are tons of case studies about successful makeovers. But let’s not overlook the reasons why a business like yours might rebrand in the first place.
Some think of rebranding as a new name or a new logo, or as a way to create a different identity in the minds of consumers, investors and competitors. But a rebrand is much larger than a marketing tactic; it’s more of a strategic business initiative. The best rebrands take a deep dive into the core of their business — and a thorough understanding of the audience — to create something meaningful and valuable.
Circumstances that might drive a business to attempt a makeover include:
• A merger or acquisition
• Changing customers or evolving customer needs
• New leadership and vision
• Changes in the marketplace or competitive landscape
• Rapid growth and increased hiring
• Expansion into new markets
• Competition at a higher level
It’s important to note that being proactive isn’t always a good thing either — unless leadership thinks through the business strategy and accurately reads the marketplace. Even with the best of intentions, moving too hastily can be as dangerous as doing nothing.
Regardless of the circumstances influencing their decision to rebrand, business leaders must be crystal clear about two things: the organization’s sense of purpose (apart from making a profit), and their audience’s wants and needs. Defining that story for their constituents is essential. Simply changing the business name and logo without a definitive point of view is reckless at best, and disastrous at worst.
More than anyone else, your audience will ultimately decide whether a rebrand sinks or swims. It’s a simple principle. And yet, far too many organizations pour money into makeovers out of pride or desperation — only to find that the new image doesn’t connect any better with stakeholders than the old one.
A rebrand is a physical reflection of a course correction at the highest levels of the organization. At the same time, it doesn’t always have to feel like a major sea change. Sometimes it’s as simple as clarifying and focusing on what’s already there — and a cosmetic touch-up might be just enough to give employees and customers a boost.
Regardless of scope or scale, a true rebrand reconnects an organization with its purpose — and drives a plan for outwardly sharing that message with employees, stakeholders, customers and even the general public.
A good branding consultant will approach this kind of work from the C-suite’s perspective. After all, a rebrand is a capital improvement, and it’s a direct response to a shift in business or market strategy. If you try to approach it as a tactical exercise, you’re missing the point.
MasonBaronet has developed an approach designed to get to the core of the business and marketing problem. Our OnPurpose™ assessment and reporting helps leadership reconnect with their audiences, their employees, and their reasons for being. If there’s a rebrand on your horizon, we’d like to know how we might be of service.