Knowing when to make a change for a brand’s sake
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the blog of Dave Wendland, VP, strategic relations at Hamacher Resource Group and Forbes Council Member. The article first appeared on Forbes.com.
Although change for change’s sake is seldom a good course of action, a well-executed brand refresh could be just what the doctor ordered — if the underlying rationale justifies such measures. Refreshing an overall brand identity should be rooted in strategy. Here are five legitimate reasons for doing so:
- Change In leadership: As companies experience far-reaching leadership changes or are acquired or otherwise absorbed, rebranding is a well-justified course of action. Such transformation serves three key purposes: introduces new leadership/vision, demonstrates reinvigoration and expresses a commitment to growth.
- Changing competition: Pressure stemming from a competitor’s acquisitions or new product innovation is often a good reason to update a brand and reposition it in the market. Maintaining the status quo may give your competition an opening to pull attention their way. Adding a refreshed look and feel can put a new spotlight on an existing business or product. The key is to have something worth refreshing — you certainly don’t want to put lipstick on a pig.
- Change of direction: An organization — or one of its brands — may be entering an entirely new market segment or industry, expanding to a newly identified target audience or extending its geographic footprint. Promoting your brand to a new market is an opportunity to consider different ways to convey the unique value you can offer.
- Change of offerings: The introduction of new or expanded products or service offerings may present an ideal time to refresh your brand identity. Not only will such an effort provide an opportunity to reintroduce core products, but it will also help to attract new audiences who may be drawn to the new offering yet were previously unfamiliar with the original portfolio.
- Change of look and feel: Sometimes a brand update is as simple as giving a tired-looking brand a facelift. Such modernization could be a result of antiquated graphics, fonts or colors. Perhaps the brand is simply no longer resonating with the current marketplace. Such cosmetic changes are generally not as difficult as a complete makeover, however, if the results can bring a faltering brand back to the limelight.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you consider the right and the wrong reasons to undergo a brand update? What general advice, perhaps from your own experience, do you have around rebrands?