They say a change is as good as a holiday, and for businesses, the same adage holds true. Whilst you might be of the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ school of thought, the reality is that in today’s fast-paced world, brands are no longer simply able to rest on their laurels. As consumer sensibilities and needs change, brands need to adapt and refresh in order to remain relevant, evolving alongside their audiences in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Rebranding has become a hot topic in the business world of late, with brands like Burberry, Old Spice, Mastercard and Guinness having all undergone extensive renovations over the past years and successfully repositioning themselves in the market as a result. Spurred on by these success stories, many other companies have booked themselves in for brand facelifts, in the hopes that it might facilitate a reversal of fortunes.
But should a brand refresh only be used to patch up a business’s flagging sales? Or should brands be looking to the future, taking pre-emptive action so as to maintain public interest? Whilst there’s no definitive answer to this question, it is important for brands to undergo regular reviews over the course of their lifespan. After all, can any business conclusively state that their offering remains exactly as it was on Day 1? Probably not.
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, our businesses are constantly shifting and evolving, adapting to changing market needs and customer expectations all the time. As such, it’s worth stopping every now and then to take stock of who you are and what you’ve become, and ensuring that the brand you’re conveying to your customers still accurately echoes what you do and how you do it.
Are complete brand overhauls always necessary? Absolutely not. But if you find that your business has in fact outgrown your brand, then you need to find a way to re-align the two.
Here are three ways in which rebranding can reinvigorate your business:
Keep your offering focused
Many businesses make the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone, constantly adapting their service offering in line with what clients and consumers want. But in so doing, they can lose sight of the bigger picture. Taking your lead from clients and consumers might enable you to ease up the business cash flow, but the long-term impact to your brand can be devastating.
Without a clear purpose and focus, you’ll forego your claims to any gaps in the market, and leave consumers wondering exactly what it is you do. As such, it’s vital that your brand is shaped from the inside-out, and crafted based on the things you do best. Yes, it might mean saying ‘no’ from time to time, but it’ll enable you to carve out a clear identity and ensure you excel in every project you undertake.
Clarify internal expectations
Are you practicing what you preach? For many businesses, there’s an enormous disconnect between public and private personas, something that leaves employees not only confused, but also demotivated. Let’s say you’re a social media enterprise, promising your clients all manner of innovative digital brand strategies. Yet your own Facebook page sits unmanned with 6 followers, all of whom are employees you’ve coerced into liking it. For employees, this kind of situation reeks of insincerity, and results in widespread skepticism within your workforce.
A brand refresh can prove enormously helpful when it comes to aligning your efforts, forcing you to revisit each and every point of contact with your brand, both internally and externally. By ensuring that your brand is consistent across all touch points, you’ll be able to reinforce internal engagement, and give your employees something clear to buy into.
Clients and employees alike are drawn to brands that innovate constantly, hence the ongoing success of Silicon Valley stalwarts like Apple, Google and Facebook. Now your business might not quite be in the same league, but it’s important to remember that whilst change might be scary, it goes a long way towards putting you ahead of the competition. Just think about all the new products we’ve seen coming out of Apple’s Cupertino Headquarters over the past few years, or the abundance of updates to your Facebook news feed. And while this constant change might be initially annoying, it does firmly cement these brands as trailblazers and innovators, making them highly sought-after by top job candidates and consumers alike.
So whilst you shouldn’t necessarily be sending your brand in for a monthly or even yearly service, it’s important not to remain stagnant, or to allow your business to drift outside the bounds of your brand. And remember, a change shouldn’t ever take place simply for the sake of it or for purely cosmetic reasons – a brand refresh means digging deep and refining your offering from the inside out. Remember, if you’re clear about what you do and how you do it, everyone else will be too.