You look at your website and it hits you like a ton of falling bricks.
“The website isn’t me,” you say to yourself in a moment of panic.
If you are feeling like you are ready for a rebrand because your website doesn’t speak to you, you’re not alone.
Most people get tired of their brand image and think it’s time to scratch everything and rebrand from the ground up.
But you want to first check in and see if you need a whole rebrand or just a refresh in your brand.
3 Signs You Need To Rebrand
1. Did Your Core Message Change?
First things first.
A brand is more than your website. This is important because most people think of their website as their brand. And because you are smarter than most people (wink wink), you know this is true too.
Visuals (including your website) are only part of your brand.
And branding goes deeper than just the visuals.
Branding starts with your core message.
Your core message is the heart of your brand. It is what makes you unique. It showcases your value to your ideal clients. It positions your brand in the eyes of your clients.
When your message changes significantly, it’s time to rebrand. That’s because you current brand is associated with your previous core message. When you are moving directions with your business and your message is no longer in sync, then you should rebrand to reintroduce your brand and its new core message.
Apple is a great example of a company who successfully rebranded. Even though they made computers (and still do), their core message and value proposition was off.
Back in 1997, Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy. They had lost their way and didn’t release any innovative new products.
This was also the time Steve Jobs returned and began pushing for innovation. A year later then introduced the colorful iMacs and 4 years later, the first iPod was released.
And to introduce the new “Apple”, they launched a new “Think Different” campaign as part of their rebrand.
Needless to say, it worked and people started viewing Apple in a different way.
Rebrand: If your core message is no longer in sync with the direction of your business.
Refresh: If your core message is still mostly the same with some tweaks.
2. Did The Market Change?
Sometimes it’s not you that initiates a rebrand, it’s the market.
When the market changes rapidly, you must rebrand to stay “in the game”. Nothing is worse for your business than if you tried to keep doing the same thing when your competitors are changing and your clients’ needs have changed.
You’ll be left in the dust if you don’t rebrand.
And throughout history, there have been many iconic brands that have faltered by not rebranding and getting left behind.
- Nokia – failed to join the move to smartphone technology
- Blockbuster – failed to switch to streaming technology
- Abercrombie & Fitch – failed to follow the fast fashion model for retail
The taste of the market and the customers have a big impact on how you are perceived. Your brand may be in one day, then out the next because of the external changes.
A few years ago, I worked for Nestle on the Lean Cuisine and it was one of the best selling brands to help women eat healthy. The messaging focused on helping women stay on track when dieting. During the time I was working on the brand, the market was starting to shift towards more natural products with Whole Foods taking more prominence and consumers perception of healthy started to shift away from dieting.
Because of this, coupled with the recession, the brand image started to suffer and we had to begin to rebrand the business and shift perceptions. We began to innovate on various concepts to bring the idea of “fresh” to frozen, which is a project I worked on when we launched Market Creations in 2010 and focused on highlighting that the food steams fresh in the microwave. The product ended up making $54 million in the first year and won product of the year.
Rebrand: If the market is rapidly changing and you are seeing consumers tastes shift away from your business.
Refresh: If the market is changing, but at a slower pace and consumer tastes remain relatively the same.
3. Are You Attracting The Wrong Clients?
If you are finding that the wrong clients and customers keep on coming to you, then you should look at rebranding pronto.
It means your current brand is way off the mark and your message needs to be changed. Having the right message is key to success.
For example, maybe you are a health coach who wants to attract higher paying clients, but all you are getting are broke people who want free help or advice.
If this is the case, then you need to look at what you are saying in your message and how you are positioning yourself in the market to make broke people come to you.
Are you giving too many free things away? If so, you might be perceived as cheap.
Are you sharing the right information your ideal clients are looking for? If not, then they won’t be paying attention to what you say.
Are you giving advice that is generic? If so, then you are not showing enough value for people to justify paying for you vs. getting free advice.
The key to attracting the right clients to you is understand what your unique value and selling points are by getting to know your ideal clients and customers biggest pain points.
Old Spice is a great example of shifting their brand to attract their ideal clientele. Prior to 2010, Old Spice was primarily seen as an old man’s brand. Young people thought of Old Spice as their fathers’ and grandfathers’ brand, not theirs.
This was bad news for Old Spice if they wanted to stay relevant. To survive, the brand knew something needed to change and start attracting a younger demographic.
Old Spice launched a series of new campaigns with The Man Your Man Could Smell Like Campaign with the sexy Isaiah Mustafa playing the Old Spice Man. The commercials were geared towards women because they saw that women often made purchasing decisions when it came to men’s hygiene products.
The campaign and the rebrand was so successful that Old Spice became the #1 deodorant / body care wash for men.
Rebrand: If you are attracting the wrong clients.
Refresh: If the the right clients are coming to you and you just need a little update.
Rebranding Done Right
Bottomline is that your business’s success depends on how successful your brand is.
If you are finding that your message has changed, the market dynamics have changed, or if you are just attracting the wrong clients, then you need to rebrand.
And by rebrand, I don’t mean a new website.
First you have to make sure you have your brand strategy down by looking at how you are positioning yourself in the market and your core message. Once you get these down, your rebrand will come naturally.
The biggest mistake I see is people jump into the visuals before the strategy and what ends up happening is that they are no better off than they were before.
So if you want to do your rebrand right, then focus on your core message and finding what your unique value / selling proposition is in the market.
And if you want to learn how to find your core message, I made a workbook just for you.
The ‘It’ Brand Guide to Unbland Your Brand will help you find your unique brand identity, message, and voice so that you stand out from your competitors and attract new customers to you.
Download the workbook by clicking here if are thinking about rebranding and want revisit your core message.