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How to Recognize It’s Time to Rebrand – And Where to Start

rebranding strategyTo maintain your company’s momentum in the marketplace, your brand needs to perform well at all times. Economic factors, publicity, online reviews, social media mentions, and the amount of advertising you do all impact the way your customers perceive the strength of your firm.

When anything happens that creates a poor impression, it affects your brand image. This results in your company losing sales, dropping market share, or getting a negative reputation. It’s not always easy to admit, but the signs are usually clear that you need to do something. So, what is a brand refresh or renewal, and how does it help?

A Reason to Rebrand

Any form of change your company experiences is an opportunity to rebrand. By doing so, you can take a new approach to marketing, develop and share a new image, and assume a new brand personality. Use this as a chance to put previous problems behind you, and convince your audience that things are going to be different from now on. Here’s how to recognize the right times to develop a rebranding strategy.

1.     The Company Recently Merged or Changed Ownership

When a company changes ownership, either by selling it or through merging with another business, it becomes a new organization. Whether its products and services change or not, unless the facts of the ownership change are kept completely secret, customers are likely to ask questions. Some of the issues that typically come up when you’re rebranding a company are:

  • whether methods of operation will stay the same
  • how staff will be treated, or
  • if differences in pricing will arise.

Customers expect to be kept informed about changes that take place in companies they support, and it’s in your interest to make sure you do so.

2.     You’re Selling Different Products or Services

Many companies change their product offering over time. Whether this is part of a specific product development strategy or a gradual progression based on customer demand, it’s easy to start out supplying one thing and discover suddenly you’re now supplying a different product line entirely.

Our client Greenville Appliance and Mattress (previously Greenville TV and Appliance) experienced this scenario when they realized they were no longer selling very many TVs but their name remained the same.  At this point, a rebranding strategy was the ideal option to notify their loyal clients that they were still competitive, functioning and aware, and that the change in their offering was part of a conscious strategy and not because the management team was disorganized.

3.     Competition is Stiffer

Businesses that have been in existence for many years have both the benefit of longevity and long-time customers, and the disadvantage that when they started out there was likely not too much competition. These days, however, competition in many fields is much stiffer than it used to be, thanks to the proliferation of suppliers in almost every industry and rapid growth during strong economic periods.

A company that began 40 years ago as the only provider of construction services in a region, for example, may find itself competing now with 10 or more other, equally capable firms. You may know you’re the best because of a particular benefit you offer, but your target audience might be completely unaware of it and choose contractors primarily based on pricing.

If you’re finding competition getting increasingly stiffer, a rebranding agency might recommend this strategy as an excellent opportunity to reposition your company, and to spread the news of your activities without being too obviously sales-oriented.

4.     Your Target Market Has Changed

This is one of the most common reasons for a rebranding strategy in business. Companies expand into new markets and find their current brand image just doesn’t appeal to the audience. A rebrand not only allows them to change their marketing approach to match the new audience, but is also an excellent opportunity to relaunch the company under the new brand.

This is almost as good as starting over, except they already have a following to launch to. A rebrand of this nature would also take into consideration any language and custom differences or technology advancements, to ensure a smooth transition and raising awareness among the new customer population.

5.     You Have Negative Publicity to Overcome

The common saying goes “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” but when you’re in business, that’s not at all true. Negative publicity in any form can be damaging, whether it’s a bad review from a client or a news report about a faulty product. It’s especially important in the face of a PR crisis, such as a data breach or financial scandal.

Often, huge corporations can overcome these scenarios by spending a lot of money on rebuilding their image, but for smaller organizations a rebranding strategy offers a clear option. It demonstrates the company’s willingness to change, leave the problems of the past behind it, and show its dedication to meeting customers’ demands.

An example of this is Andersen Consulting, which broke away from accounting firm Arthur Andersen after the Enron scandal in 2002 and rebranded itself as Accenture.

For more information on developing a rebranding strategy for your company, please contact the award-winning marketing agency in Raleigh, NC to schedule a free consultation.

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