Should I Rebrand? Take this quiz to see if a rebrand is right for you.
Jim Heininger shares his perspective in this story on the key considerations to deciding when to rebrand. Read the original story here on Forbes.com.
How To Determine If A Rebrand Is For You
The primary reason organizations rebrand is growth. It’s a strategy that can serve as an accelerator behind your growth plans. While there are many motivations that may drive an organization to rebrand, our experience shows that rebranding is driven by either need, opportunity, or a combination of the two.
The “need” to rebrand is often represented by a physical change to the organization: an acquisition or merger, new leadership taking the company in a different direction or changes in the marketplace that leave your brand irrelevant now and unable to support your growth. A crisis or negative reputation would be included under “need” as well.
Capitalizing on the “opportunity” to rebrand is represented by an organization prepared to fuel a dynamic new strategic growth plan or a brand that has passed its maturity and is no longer relevant in the marketplace.
Rebranding is considered the wholesale remaking of a brand to create a more forward-facing organization able to embrace change and opportunity. A rebrand will include a new customer promise, a new company or product name, an updated look and feel, a new customer and employee experience, and a new go-to-market strategy.
We often find it easiest to ask organizations if they are facing one or more of these issues to determine if a rebrand should be on the table. Ask yourself the following questions to see if a rebrand is right for you. You might find that you have several contributing dynamics.
Are you acquiring or merging companies?
M&A activity is the largest driver of rebranding as decisions need to be made on how to market the entities moving forward.
Is new leadership changing corporate direction?
It’s usually when new leadership sets a dramatically different course for a company (and that the old brand doesn’t support) that rebranding might be necessary.
Has your brand become irrelevant and no longer reflects your mission?
Many organizations grow dramatically beyond their original business model and product line. They’ve tried to stretch that original brand positioning, but it now simply doesn’t make sense or is limiting to customers’ understanding of all that you offer.
Do you face a negative reputation that is making it difficult to operate successfully?
Whether your crisis was self-inflicted or undeserved, it can take years to turn around a poor reputation. Baggage clouds customers’ perceptions of you and weighs you down. Future success will be impossible without a dynamic new representation of who you are and what you stand for.
Are there changes in the marketplace or external influences that are demanding you change?
Women got tired (perhaps angry) of Victoria’s Secret’s angels representing women’s bodies today and, as a result, turned from the brand. The brand responded by embracing a more realistic portrayal of different body types.
If you need further proof of how the external environment can force a rebrand, look at how growing resentment of racial stereotypes caused Aunt Jemima to become Pearl Milling and the Washington Redskins to become the Commanders. Most recently, the Vermont ski resort Suicide Six wised up on the need to rebrand and respect the growing concern about mental health issues.
Are you pursuing meaningful change that makes the current brand irrelevant?
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago had an outstanding reputation and attracted patients from across the country. But leadership saw a need to change how services were provided; creating more collaborative teams of medical providers focused on a patient’s speedier and more complete return. A major financial donation would fund improvement to facilities to create the environment for this new service model. The Institute rebranded to Ability Lab, with a dynamic repositioning from providing rehab services to enabling the ability and potential of its patients. Brilliant rebranding, it’s one of our favorites.
Are you transforming your business model, products and services?
When Facebook was ready to launch Meta, it knew that it didn’t want to bring its tarnished brand baggage along with it. It launched a new corporate name that was clean, fresh and better able to support its new VR product and services.
Does your existing brand not effectively support your new growth strategy?
Weight Watchers helped millions lose weight over the decades. But as the company moved to be more of a wellness organization, that old name felt like too much weight to carry forward. But with strong consumer recognition, it shortened its brand name to WW (conveniently the abbreviation of its full name) so that consumers didn’t need to be reminded every day to watch their weight.
Need, opportunity, or both. If these dynamics are impacting your future growth strategy, then consider rebranding.