When's the right time to rebrand? 5 signs your business is ready


Written by

Martin Sully

White text on black reads evolution or revolution? With 2 green devil horns above

We often have clients bashing at our door, holding up ramshackle brands that are wearing out faster than a Rolling Stones tee. Sure, they fit like a new pair of undies, but they lack vitality and smell reallllly funky.

*Enter stage right: Rebranding*

A rebrand can be a subtle evolution, or it can be a DRAMATIC revolution. 

Let us lay out two options. There's the subtle extraction of brand DNA (messaging strategy) paired with a scorching brand identity. Aka Brand Refresh.

Or we peg our noses, grab a pair of kitchen tongs, and jostle that holey t-shirt into a bin liner. Aka Full Metal Rebrand.

Rebrands need to empathise with customers and consider the business's needs. And... find a creative solution that addresses it all. The purpose of the rebrand is to help your marketing reconnect to your audience in a fresh, meaningful way. 

A rebrand is a purposeful tool that can alter perceptions quicker than a huntsman spider escapes Tupperware. They're about redesigning and rewriting a compelling brand story. It's not slapping a badass logo on your business and hoping for the best. It's about digging deeper and redefining the brand's position.

In an evolving world of CVPs*, EVPs** and MVPs, you can't expect your brand to remain the same throughout its lifespan. You need to leap into a rebrand at some point. It might be 5 years. It might be five months when the coin drops and you figure out what you stand for.

Rebrand can also keep you current with your consumers evolving needs.

And even the best-known brands all concluded their visual identity looked closer to a century egg than a Faberge egg. Apple, McDonald's, Facebook, Square, Lego, Coca-Cola... all the car manufacturers... Kia, VW, Nissan. This list will get boring, and you'll exit the page, never to return or find out when the right time to rebrand is.

So when's the right time to rebrand? To evolve? Revolutionise that fading t-shirt? Don't panic. We'll take you through five reasons to rebrand.

#1 Your brand grew like expanding foam

We see it a lot. One little squirt of expanding foam and that brand charges forward until bits break off. Leaving you with blobs of 'brand' in unexpected places. It all gets fragmented.

A lack of confidence in your business idea meant you kicked life off with a DIY logo. Created by Terri – your friends, neighbours cousin. They put you in touch with their cousins, neighbour Antoine, who pirated a website template for you to use.

Before you know it, that unwieldy foam blob needs reshaping into something that doesn't represent Jabba the Hutt. As your business changes, so should your brand.

#2 Your brand is on an unpredictable journey to a new place

Step aside Chat GPT – we don't need your predictable responses or lack of creativity. Our own ability to innovate and make fudge-ups sets us apart from the bots. You added products and services and got rid of them to narrow down and focus on what made you great.

But your business is wildly different now. Time to plot a new course – you're buoyed by new goals, partnerships and end results. And you need to drag your branding with you to contain the vision and keep its collective sh*t together. Got it.

#3 If your brand stinks - it needs a refresh

Like a festering seafood market on a balmy 35C+ day, it's important to freshen up the fish display to remain relevant. It's possible to keep things fresh, celebrate your heritage and inject new life into it. 

In fact, it's a trick successful brands use to adapt and evolve to change. Keeping their audience interested in a changing marketplace.

#4 Your brand is on the naughty list

After some risqué moves, your brand has slid onto the naughty list. A rebrand to steer its spicy nature elsewhere is a priority if you want to avoid negative press. 

Simplified, your brand needs a rebrand to help shift people's perception of you.

Don't get us wrong. It's not simple. Changing perceptions and building trust after it's been damaged isn't easy, but demonstrating to your audience that you've evolved and grown from disobedient delinquent to courteous er... brand, can be as simple as refreshing your visual look and feel.

As long as psychologically, you can show you've grown and changed (and can keep it up), you can start rebuilding that process.

#5 Your brand is a conglomeration 

And not a good conglomerate. All that growth and evolution leads to sewing together products, services, messaging and staff to make a frankenbrand. A contrasting and complex brand that confuses the audience.

The best thing to do is to consolidate your strategy, visual identity and listen to staff - to streamline that growth.

Bonus: 12 extra signs you might spot

  1. You cringe at your brand name
  2. You don't stand out
  3. You want to raise prices
  4. Your brand has grown fast and is no longer consistent
  5. You don't like your brand's aesthetics and regularly apologise for it
  6. Your products/services have changed
  7. Your brand is no longer original/authentic/representative of who you are
  8. You want to attract a new market
  9. You're struggling to attract the right talent/staff are demotivated
  10. Your brand lacks an emotional response
  11. You need to disassociate your brand from negative press
  12. You DIY'd your brand, but you want to take it to the next level

*CVP = Customer Value Proposition  EVP = Employee Value Proposition

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