How Do You Know When it’s Time to Rebrand?

Sooner or later every company needs to update its brand. Even classic brands that are more than a hundred years old need, at the very least, to occasionally refresh their brand. However, rebranding can be a huge undertaking, consuming many hours and dollars. If done poorly, or without careful consideration beforehand, a rebrand can backfire on a business, resulting in losses of customers and profits. Remember when Netflix briefly changed its name to Qwikster, or McDonald’s made the goofy decision to turn the kid-friendly Hamburglar into a creepy guy? Both of these are often included on lists of rebranding disasters.

There are good reasons to exercise caution when it comes to rebranding. Take your time and make sure your reasons for rebranding at the particular time are solid. Here’s how to know it’s really time to rebrand.


Reasons for a Rebrand

Here are some of the compelling situations that indicate it’s time to rebrand, including:

  • Ch-ch-changes – Your mission statement and/or products have changed
  • New to you – your business or brand is targeting a new demographic
  • Flatline! – Sales have been sluggish for some time
  • Embarrassment – Old, stale logos and design that make you reluctant to give people your business card or send them to your out-of-date website
  • Two can be better than one – Merging with another company

If your company is experiencing any of the above, it’s time to rebrand!


Should You Do a Partial Rebrand, a Brand Refresh, or a Full Rebrand?

Think hard about what your business needs to accomplish by injecting new life into your brand. If you’re merging with another company, you will obviously have to undergo a full rebrand in order to highlight the best elements of each as you forge your new identity.

But maybe your brand image still speaks to customers and leads except for some outdated design. In that case, a partial rebrand is probably more appropriate. You might just need to rethink your logo, or bring that early 2000’s website up-to-date.

In the case of a brand refresh, consider even smaller tweaks. For example, you might keep your logo but give the colors a more trendy tint. Or your mission statement, while accurate, might be too wordy and complicated. You might want to refresh it with more concise, vibrant language.

Whether you decide it’s time for a refresh, full or partial rebrand, think of it like a makeover. You’re going to give your image a much-needed update and help it sparkle.


Rebranding Dos and Don’ts

Here are some things to keep in mind when developing your strategy for a rebrand.



Find a Way to Stand Out. Competition is fierce and the noise from the thousands of brands out there can be overwhelming. Focus on what you offer that sets you apart from the crowd and highlight it in your rebranding efforts.

Perform Careful Brand Research. A lot may have changed in your field since your business began. Take a close look at the competition, what’s working for them, and what isn’t. Also, survey your customers. Find out what they love about your brand and what leaves them cold.

Create a Strong Brand Voice. The most well-known, successful brands have standout personalities. You know what emotions they’re trying to appeal to in consumers almost instantly. Create a consistent voice or personality for your brand that will be used everywhere–on your social media, press releases, web copy, newsletters and more.



Overpromise. It can be easy to get carried away on a rebranding project and think that offering more and more will pay off in increased business. But be careful! Customers today value authenticity more than ever. You don’t want your customer base to feel let down in the near future because you went overboard with your rebranding copywriting.

Neglect Fanfare for Your New Image. You’ve spent months and months, maybe more than that, on your rebranding strategy, not to mention the cost of new design and copy. Implement your new brand with the necessary announcements and marketing efforts. This means developing a strategy and timeline for the change.

Forget About SEO. A rebrand can have a very negative impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) if you don’t take preventive action. Use redirects and preserve some of your original content. As a starting point in your SEO research, look at this helpful article from Search Engine Journal, 7 SEO Steps to Rebranding Your Company.


A rebrand doesn’t have to overwhelm you… or make you the next Qwixter. Take your time to think about what you need, do your research, and even have some fun bringing your business to new life!



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