How to Decide Whether or Not to Reposition Your Brand

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Having a strong brand identity is an important part of running your own company. However, there may be times when you decide to reposition that brand and the image that you are portraying to the public. Perhaps the brand image you decided on is no longer working, or maybe the market has changed so drastically that you need to refigure your place in the market. Either way, there are times when many brands -- even established brands -- may feel the need to reposition themselves within their market.

Weigh The Costs

Redefining your image can seem like a necessity depending on your situation, but it can also be a very costly process. Take a look at clothing company Abercrombie and Fitch. The brand, which has long been associated with their "sexy" image, is making a drastic turn after experiencing years of struggling numbers. The clothing company claims they will no longer be using sex or pictures of half-naked models in their stores to sell clothing.

The company completely rebranded themselves to create an all-American look, similar to popular retailers such as Gap. The company no longer offers preppy polo shirts, sexy clothing and t-shirts with loud, prominent logos. The new Abercrombie and Fitch is much more mature and now has a brand identity that is almost the polar opposite of what it once was. The verdict is still out on whether or not this was a smart move for the clothing retailer, but it is clear that it was a bold one. The sexy image was no longer working for the retailer, so they felt that it was time to make a change.

It was a bold move, but it's also one that may eventually cost the company everything. This is why those considering making a strong change in their brand identity should think about their move first, why they are doing it and what it will mean both for the company and for their consumers.

Ask Yourself These Questions

Here are some questions to think about if you are considering repositioning your brand name. Asking yourself these questions can help you make the smartest decision possible on your approach to your current brand identity:

  • What about my brand identity currently isn't working? Is it the actual identity itself that is failing, or are there other factors that are causing my brand to struggle?

  • Will I have to completely reinvent what my target market is? Who will my new market of consumers be and do I know how to reach them?
  • What will my new brand identity be? Do I have a set idea or do I simply want something different than my current identity?
  • How saturated is the market when it comes to other companies with this existing brand identity? Am I trying to copy a competing company or have I truly found a niche I feel I can take advantage of?
  • What will this new brand image change about my product or service? Am I ready to make these changes to fit in line with my new brand identity?
  • What will happen to my existing loyal customers? Will they still be satisfied with this new image?
  • If these questions pose major challenges to you, then it may not be the right time for you to reposition your brand. If you can answer these questions confidently and with solid answers, then it may be time for you to create a new brand identity for your company.

    Keep these things in mind so that you are able to confidently decide whether to reinvent your brand's personality. It can be a risky decision, but if done properly, it can make a great deal of difference in your company's future. You simply need to be ready and willing to take the plunge one way or another and determine if this repositioning is the best move for you, or if you simply need to stay with the current path you are on.