If you've been running your small business for a while, you may have started to feel like it's time for a change. Your brand identity may feel stale or dated, and you may be considering rebranding to give your brand image a fresh start. But when is the right time to make this move? And more importantly, how do you successfully rebrand?
In this blog post, we'll explore when to rebrand and how to go about it effectively. Read on to learn more!
↘️ If you feel like exploring what is the difference between a rebrand and brand refresh, check out the following video:
Before we can go into when and how to rebrand in detail, let’s first be clear on what the definition of rebranding is, in the first place.
Rebranding essentially means giving a complete new look and feel to your brand identity, including visuals and messaging. The main goal of rebranding is to influence the perception your target audience has of your brand image.
So, now that we know what rebranding means, it puts the idea of having to rebrand back into perspective, right? If you are still wondering if this is what you really need, keep reading
(psst...if you are starting to second-guess the whole rebranding thing, I got you covered with alternative solutions, so keep reading too!)
Good news! In April 2021, McKinsey & Co estimated that the wellness markets will grow to $1.5 trillion dollars, with an annual growth of 5-10%.
And, as importantly, Mckinsey & Co found out that “wellness enthusiasts are high-income consumers who actively follow brands on social media, track new-product launches, and are excited about innovations.”
This makes having a unique, clear, and impactful branding essential so you can stand out and connect with your ideal target audience.
So, does this news mean that you need to rebrand to be successful and find your corner in this trillion-dollar market?
Here’s the thing, your visual brand identity is a reflection of your brand strategy. In fact, if your brand strategy does not change, it’s very unlikely that your brand image should change either.
But there are a few exceptions when rebranding becomes an important business decision.
Here are some examples of when to rebrand or not:
When a business merges with or is acquired by another business, they are now a completely new business and will have to rethink their marketing strategy, business model and their communication strategy.
Things to consider here is how the target audience has changed, how the positioning has changed and what’s the hierarchy of the two businesses and how do you want to demonstrate this in the visual and messaging form.
You'll likely be thinking about creating a brand new logo, brand guidelines, and the whole shebang.
Did you know that Upwork was born out of a merger of two competitors in the freelancing space?
When Elance and oDesk decided to join forces to help freelancers over the world connect with employers, they knew they had to do a rebrand launch as the new innovative, forward-thinking platform it is now known to be.
Has your business completely pivoted? Are you offering products and services that align with a new market? Is your existing brand unaligned with your initial brand strategy?
If that’s the case, you probably have grown out of your mission statement and are now looking to reposition yourself or have to realign your branding with your new target audience.
The one thing that is worse than a brand identity that is boring and generic is a brand identity that is downright confusing!
It’s important that your new brand identity is crystal clear in what it stands for and the messaging connects with your ideal customers naturally and immediately. So take the time to examine how well your target audience resonates with you and, if it feels like it’s not so much, then start planning your rebranding!
Revisit your brand guidelines, note how your business model has changed and start plotting your rebranding strategy.
Have you ever used Wise before? Initially, Wise was created as a local and international money transfer solution for individuals and businesses. However, over time the business has evolved into a full-service cross-border payments network.
Recently, Wise went through a huge rebranding campaign and changed their name from Transferwise to Wise. The reasoning was that it was no longer only about money “transfers” anymore and has, therefore, grown out of their initial mission statement.
Change is the only constant. Whether you are a solopreneur or have a small team, your small business is sure to evolve over time.
Although this is more likely to happen in big businesses, small business management and leadership changes too. You might decide to step down or move to more challenging things and name a new CEO for your business. With the change of leadership can sometimes come a new direction for the business, a change in point of view, and a new way of thinking.
In this case, rebranding is mostly a celebration and acknowledgment of change happening at the top. You want to share this good news with your target audience with a full rebranding to reflect this deep change in your brand strategy.
You could showcase the rebranding process and the new logo as you rebrand to continue creating brand recognition as you pivot.
While this will be a lot of fun, remember that your brand identity is about your customers, not you. Every change that you make has to resonate and delight them!
In 2017, Huffington Post officially revealed their new brand name, Huffpost.
This revamp came eight months after HuffPost co-founder Arianna Huffington announced her departure as leader of the company to focus on a health start-up. What followed was a merger with AOL and a complete rebranding strategy. Thus, giving birth to HuffPost and a fresh visual identity that aligns better with the new strategy.
There are two very important questions to ask yourself before you spend time and money thinking about rebranding your business:
A properly executed visual branding is always informed by strategy and your core essence. It's the base of purposeful branding.
When your core strategy changes, your visual style and look-and-feel changes accordingly to reflect your new mission, feelings, audience, etc.
Rebranding is totally ok if you've pivoted your business. But here's a heads up…
That's because it takes time and consistency to create familiarity and trust with your people through your brand and changing how you look can hurt that process. Your brand recognition happens over time as new customers are more familiar with your brand identity. Brand loyalty takes time.
So, before you go mood boarding for your next rebrand or think about your new logo, click the play button up top to hear about how to make an informed decision. Taking the next step intentionally and building consistency will help you create brand recognition with your target audience in no time.
Instead of “rebranding” your business, may I recommend you one of the finest options out there: “refreshing” your brand?
Refreshing your wellness brand means keeping what’s working and resonating with your audience in the now and spicing it up to create something for your target audience even more unique, attractive, and irresistible.
You’ll feel like you’ve just discovered your new favorite cocktail - who knew blackberry syrup, gin and lemon juice could taste so good?!
Here’s another way of describing refreshing your wellness brand. Think of it as a little facelift to better communicate with your target audience. Remember that branding is more than your logo and colors, it’s your entire identity.
Because, in real life, trends change. What used to be hype in visuals and marketing, might be not-so-cool today. If you feel like your current visuals are outdated, a brand refresh can help fix that. Remember, you should build your new brand around your story, your core values, company's mission, and your truths, not trends.
By refreshing your brand without compromising your authenticity you can still enjoy a modern, sleek brand that grabs attention while being relatable and genuine.
For example, remember the Upwork story I shared with you earlier?
Well, it turns out, Upwork recently announced a brand refresh and updated their visual identity and messaging is a subtle yet effective way to reflect the way we do business in the modern world.
If refreshing your brand is starting to make more sense, here’s me laying out my process for you so that you can navigate it mindfully and stress-free:
See what’s working and what isn’t in your existing brand assets. Write everything down and see if there are any trends or common themes happening. You can use my Notion Track & Tweak Template to do this! Download it inside the Purposeful Branding Library.
A/B Testing is not just some fancy word a chief marketing officer uses to sound clever! Through small changes and trial and error, you will start to see what grabs your audience’s attention more. This takes some time, but the results are so good!
Make sure to note any changes in your brand guidelines and keep it up to date. P.S. Don't have one yet? Head over this way.
It will happen more often than you think!
With so many cool rebrands happening around you, it might feel like you need to up your game too, but stay calm. Stay true to your brand and your target audience. Everything you do in your branding and marketing materials should be intentional and mindful. That's how you build a strong brand.
As a purposeful brand designer running a small branding firm, I always encourage small business owners to track their branding and invest in refreshing their brand intentionally.
Stay away from changing your brand's logo, colors and marketing materials just because you think they look pretty - your brand story runs so much deeper than that. Keep your company's vision in mind as you analyze your current brand and decide if a new identity is necessary.
A complete brand overhaul should only happen when there is a major pivot in your business that affects your foundational strategy. For a successful rebrand, be mindful of your brand vision and existing customers – build new brand guidelines to make sure you maintain consistency and build brand recognition over time.
As always, I'm here for you if you need help to build a strong brand identity for your wellness business Here are a few ways I can support you in elevating your brand identity without being overwhelmed.