Businesses go through various phases in its life-cycle. There are times when it is imperative for business owners to introspect on their brand and where it is headed. Post the audit, one can take a call whether their brand needs a ‘change’.

Re-branding can be an expensive and an overwhelming experience for any business owner. Apart from investing resources like money and time, there is an emotional turmoil to detach oneself from the previous brand and the pressure of ‘getting it right’ with the new brand. There is no magic formula as to when and how to re-brand.  But, if the re-branding is carried out in a planned manner with clear objectives, it will ensure that the process is smooth, budget-friendly and efficient.

The reasons for a re-brand range from ‘our brand is old and outdated’ to ‘our business has evolved’. The change can be a slight tweak in the logo to a complete overhaul with a new name.

If you are confused about whether your business is ready for re-branding, we have put together a few pointers for you to ponder over which will help you arrive at your answers:

  1. Am I being able to connect with my audience and clients? First and foremost, scan the competitive environment around you. You should also look at the demographics and psychographics to check for emerging trends amongst existing and new consumers. On the basis of these results, see if your brand is still a verb to your audience. This will also give insights into brand recall.
  2. Do I have a new business idea that has altered the positioning of my business? There can be several reasons for a change in a brand’s positioning. Diversification in the product categories, introduction of brand extensions, and shift in the preferences of the target audience, increase in competition are a few reasons of change in a brand’s positioning. If your business has undergone these things; it might be time for you to re-think about your present identity.
  3. Does my brand feel outdated and tired? If it has been more than two years to your brand’s presence in the market, it is advisable to look at similar product categories to see how they have positioned themselves, how are they communicating their key message, the look and feel of those brands are of utmost importance . You would have to see their brand persona as well.
  4. Am I pigeonholed as something that I have outgrown? It is possible that there might be limited options to classify your business when you entered but with the introduction of new product categories and technology, your brand is still being classified from your earlier positioning despite having evolved.
  5. Who do I want to convey the message to? This relates to the expectations of existing customers and the need to attract new customers. Every brand would like to generate sales from a new crowd sooner or later in its journey. Your brand needs to understand the problem that your potential customers are facing in order to become useful for them. Both core and non-core audience needs to be taken care of while re-branding.
  6. Do I want to opt for a proactive re-branding or reactive branding? Your brand should opt for proactive branding if there is an opportunity to grow, innovate, tap into new customers and reconnect with users. Tata Industries became Titan Company to highlight their commitment to create value and maintain quality of highest standards. Reactive branding should be done in cases of mergers & acquisitions, negative publicity or legal fraud. Following Satyam Computer Services fraud in 2009, the company was sold to Tech Mahindra which was then re-branded to Mahindra Satyam.
  7. Do I need to change everything about my existing brand identity? Understand that not everything needs to be changed. For this, you need to see what has worked for your brand in the past and what has not. Example- if your tagline is highlighting your values, then there is no need to do away with that. If your website is user-friendly then you might not want to change that.
  8. Am I able to capture what I really am with my new identity? When thinking about re-branding, it is necessary to know if your present identity is conveying what you really are. In your new identity, you might want to bring out values which are loved by your customers. The new identity shall help you in capturing the exact essence of your brand.
  9. Why does this change our buyers’ understanding of my brand for the better? This is a critical element of the re-branding process. Is a change in your brand identity going to make life better for your customers? If yes, then giving re-branding a shot would be a long-term investment for your brand. Customers always want products and services that would enable themselves to lead a better lifestyle.
  10. Can my brand afford to innovate? Your brand is the face of your business. Brands that continuously re-brand their products and services could potentially outperform you in terms of reputation and profitability if you do not choose the road to re-branding.

Re-branding, if achieved strategically with a clear goal can contribute to your brand’s long–term success. But make sure that even in the makeover the values of your brand are reflected clearly with the right spirit.

Article by Saumya Sahni, Associate Brand Consultant – Brandeur and Tanushree Garg, Founder – Brandeur.

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