When Should You Rebrand

By John Murinye

When Should You Rebrand — Zarura Creative.jpg

When should you rebrand is dependent on a couple of factors. In this article, we will explore the Top 5 Indicators for when it’s the right time to rebrand. Before we explore these indicators, we need to establish what branding is.

As your company’s most valued asset, a brand is when one or more people come together, united by shared values, beliefs, principles and all these in turn — define a way of life: which is also known as culture. A brand defines the way a company speaks, looks, feels and affects the entire operations of a business. The leading brands have influence and inspire action. For example, Nike partnered with Colin Kaepernick to be the face of their ‘Just Do It’ campaign. Though there was outrage — Nike stood firm and their stock closed at a record high. People will happily invest and spend more to show loyalty to your brand — if you remain consistent and foster the emotional connection you established.

Top 5 Indicators It’s The Right Time To Rebrand

Now that we have a basic understanding of a brand and its influence — let’s look at when should you rebrand. A rebrand is the process of reshaping how you are perceived and understood. This may include the reinvention of everything from a brand’s positioning, name and messaging — to its logo and visual identity.

You’ve lost sight of who you are

Steve Jobs is famous for many things. Amongst which, is his ousting from Apple. 15 or so years later, he returned to turn the company around. He did so simply by returning to what made Apple successful in the first place. He refocused the company and returned Apple to who they were and why they mattered in the world. With emerging markets and ever evolving customer needs, many brands lose sight of who they are as they chase growth, market share, financial success and relevance. This is very true in Zimbabwe.

In 2016, Econet Wireless rebranded to return to their customer-centric roots. Econet was built on a desire to see, even the most remote, have access to technology and all its benefits.

Your current brand, position and offering is not clear

Sometimes the issue is not so much that you’ve lost your identity. It’s rather that you weren’t clear in the first place. Many businesses in Zimbabwe pursue money instead of establishing a well defined and articulated brand. What then usually happens is competitors flood the market and chip away at your market share, offering cheaper, faster or even better experiences.

In other cases, you might not have been consistent in how you define yourself and speak. By clearly defining who you are, what you value, why you exist and why you are different, this in turn helps your brand connect with its audience on a much deeper and more meaningful level. The same audience will stand with you through the difficult and prosperous times.

An effective rebrand starts with research into your brand’s current perception — both internal and external. Zarura worked with Discovery Gospel Choir to help them reaffirm their purpose and connect on a much deeper level with their audience.

Your core strategy has evolved

As technology improves and the world becomes more connected, it’s inevitable that as a business you will evolve your strategy to remain relevant, be more effective and efficient. You may see an opportunity to expand your brand offering, to reach new audiences, in new markets. You may also join ventures through a merger or be acquired by another company. This almost always leads to a rebrand, helping your audience understand you in a new light. Who you are intrinsically should not change, however, your positioning, architecture and visual communications might.

Your visual identity and system needs a refresh

What worked visually ten years ago, or when you were a start-up — may not necessarily work today. It may have been that you had an inexperienced designer work on your material. Or perhaps you designed your visual system according to, then, current trends. A refresh would be necessary to realign your brand to modernity and even better — timelessness. This shows your audience that you are aware of their current world and are evolving with them. This process is normally to as a brand refresh and not rebranding.

We worked on a brand identity refresh concept for TelOne Zimbabwe.

Evolving TelOne Zimbabwe to communicate history and confidence..

You’ve ruined your reputation

It goes without saying, when you lose trust — it is near enough impossible to regain. Some brands rebrand to disassociate from a negative image. With an ever increasingly connected world, a bad reputation builds up — fast. A rebrand may be necessary in this case. It’s a way to reset and clean up. Start afresh and reinstate your purpose once again.

Key Take Away

Whatever your motivation to rebrand, remember it’s important to start with an audit. Understand why a rebrand is necessary in your case. It’s also important that you work with the right partner who will be able to guide your rebrand process. If you go the cheap and quick route — you will get cheap results. In the end, costing your business and brand a lot more.