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Change is inevitable and as your business changes, so will your brand. With a lot of hard work and dedication to your brand, your customers might come to recognize you, your colours and your voice as much as your products or services. Depending on where your business stands you may consider a rebrand or a brand evolution to breathe new life into your brand and reach new consumers. Rebranding or evolving your brand can:

  • make it more current
  • develop or improve your brand identity
  • increase sales
  • differentiate you

In recent years there have been several high profile rebranding and brand evolution exercises. In 2011 Starbucks rebranded to support it’s international go-to-market strategy. Note that they removed their name “Starbucks Coffee” from their logo as they are no longer just about coffee. Pepsi is notorious for rebranding itself at least once a decade and Wal-Mart famously up-grated their brand in 2008. What these three brands have in common is not only their size but the frequency with which they rebrand themselves, and the level of familiarity they’ve maintained while appealing to new consumer generations and demographics. They all also have a substantial and loyal customer base and their iconic status no doubt helped make the transition from the old to the new brand more seamless.

 * source: starbucks.com

Be cautious though – if you have a growing brand, one that is building recognition and loyalty – a rebrand might not be the right thing to do. Taking away the elements that make your brand top of mind might hurt more than help your growth. But if you feel that your company is ready and could benefit from a rebrand, consider the following:

Why do you want to rebrand or evolve?
Ask yourself the following questions. Are sales low? Is your brand recognition suffering? Is your image outdated? Do you want to reach a new demographic or target market? Make sure that it’s the right strategy to achieve your goals – a rebrand isn’t just about making your brand look nice. It is a risky endeavor but if done correctly, it can help your business tremendously.

Develop a plan and strategy
How are your going to rebrand or evolve yourself? Is it going to be a complete overhaul, just the logo, the positioning or the tagline? The packaging? Moving your business forward requires a plan and a strategy and it doesn’t end with a new look – a new business strategy might require a rebrand and vice versa.

Don’t forget the past
This is key to retaining brand recognition and customer loyalty. The reason why Pepsi, Wal-Mart and Starbucks have been successful was because they didn’t stray much from the past. They were inspired it but they evolved. The familiar elements were retained and improved.

Focus on the future
You may take some elements of the past with you but remember the reason you’re rebranding in the first place – the future. You want your business to grow with the times. Your rebranding efforts should be able to stand up for at least a decade or two. Don’t go with anything too trendy or language that could be outdated. Keep it fresh yet timeless.

Consider your customers
Ultimately a rebrand or evolution is about the consumer. You can hire the best rebranding experts in the world but if your consumers don’t relate, you’ve make a big mistake. You must consider your costumers. How will they respond to your rebrand? Hold a focus group and have them review your rebranding efforts. Do they resonate? Do they still recognize and relate to your brand? Are they more inclined to buy? Then there are also the new consumers, ones that you could gain by appealing to them through your rebrand, the ones that may not be familiar with your current brand.

Just last year we updated the 3H brand identity that included an evolution of our logo, new typography, updated corporate colours and a website redesign. We kept elements of the past – the purple is our brand but the redesign helped us evolve into the 21st century of brand marketing. Our rebranding efforts don’t stop with us, we have helped clients such as Trispec evolve their brand with a new logo, positioning statement and brand visual, Liquid Nutrition with a rebranded vocabulary and Agropur, updating their Aged Cheddar packaging and website.

What elements do you think are essential to a successful rebrand?