9 Things to Think About
The conversation goes something like this:
Joe, you do branding and in your experience when is a good time to re-brand my organization?
If you find yourself asking this same question, I have 9 things to think about BEFORE you consider rebranding. I will start with when you
SHOULD NOT rebrand…
When you should not re-brand:
1. The organization has new leadership, but the vision and mission have not changed.
Its tempting sometimes to want to change and leave a legacy, but if you aren’t changing the purpose, the direction or the values of the organization, you should not rebrand. Branding should be more about your the value your bring to your audience rather than just a logo or a brand mark to stay current…stay current on your mission and then rethink branding, but not until then.
2. As a part of leadership, you just think, “my brand is stale and I am little sick of it.”
Hold your horses, branding is not an overnight thing (nor is it cheap.) You need time to give your brand and message time to marinate within your community. Do not rebrand too frequently…your membership, visitors and your surrounding community will get confused. You fell in love with the organization for a reason beyond just the brand, but what the brand represents and how it inspires you…let that be the prime mover for re-branding.
3. Your organization has internal issues, disagreements and general “not playing well with each other kind of stuff.”
If your problems are not people issues (people are walking away, no new visitors, etc.) but an internal issue, this is not the time to rebrand. Rebranding does not solve internal issues; rebranding is successful only when you get your act together. This kind of like if your married and you think by adding a child to the equation that the marriage will get better. No! It.will.not. Save yourself alot ALOT of headaches by not venturing down this road – you will only wear out your staff and your branding consultants in the process.
4. Count the costs before diving into a re-brand.
Figure out the cost of rebranding. When you rebrand you have to have a strategic plan in place for new messaging, cards, marketing collateral, websites and signs. If you can’t do it right the first time, don’t do it at all. There are few exceptions to this rule, but fundamentally – do not re-brand if you are going to piecemeal this together over a period of time – it, again, confuses your target and potential audiences and makes you look a little schizo…and unfortunately, being a confused, slightly-everywhere and nowhere WILL be your brand that people will know you by…not the strategic brand that you poured your heart out for.
5. You have a name, a reputation and connection with your audience already.
If your audience has a strong emotional attachment to a visual aspect of your brand. you need to be very careful with how you deal with a rebrand. If you have a strong brand, its not a good time to change your look and feel. Or, if they are already aware that the service you provide is top-notch and you go and mess it up by turning into a product company…this is how you spell disaster. Yes, I worked with just that company…history did not treat them well.
If you have made it this far and you have checked off the above list – lets take a look at when YOU SHOULD consider rebranding…
6. Who are you?
For some reason you are experiencing a decreased revenue in product sales, decrease turnout of your membership and visitors for your weekend services, or your social media has seen a decline no matter what you post, it may be time to rebrand. These are all visible signs that your brand has been isolated and ignored…its time to add some pep to your brand.
7. Your brand doesn’t match who are
This is purely aesthetics, but when you have a tired 80’s, 90’s or even some early 00’s look to your brand and it just doesn’t reflect who you are or what you do…I know of brands that are using 90’s graphics for their logo mark and they wonder why they are losing ground in their niche and with their target market. It’s time my friend!
8. Management Change
When there has been an organizational structure change and the new leadership brings in a different set of values in what they are doing…this is fundamental and should be considered heavily; management change, a change to your product line or services (although, you may want to consider a broader and more thoughtful roll-out), a change in vision, mission and purpose – yes, consider re-branding!
9. Philosophy / function change
When you have established a new direction for the organization – this is definitely time to re-brand.
If you find that one or more of the above reasons fit your situation at the moment, then read on for the Brand Workshop!
“A BRAND IS NO LONGER WHAT WE TELL THE CONSUMER IT IS…
IT IS WHAT CONSUMERS TELL EACH OTHER IT IS.”