Welcome back to the JTC Brand New Year! In this third installment of our branding series, we’re building upon our understanding of brand identity and brand auditing by unpacking the components of a rebrand. If you’ve missed any of our past Brand New Year blogs, check them out here. 

Whether you’re a professional in your field, or an entrepreneur looking to strengthen your company’s influence and credibility, we’ve created this guide to help you holistically understand the who, what, why, how and when of rebranding. 

Without further ado, let’s get into it. 

What

Rebranding is the act of a company or organization updating their name, identity, brand aspirations or strategy. It’s a valuable marketing strategy that helps you appeal to your audience in a more deliberate way, communicates a different or more strategic message, or strengthens your company’s visual identity. It can also equip your team with brand elements that improve the way you share your story and stand out from your competition. Rebranding can look a few different ways. It can mean a total overhaul of your brand from the ground up, a reevaluation of the way you talk about yourself, or simply an updated brand identity system.

A solid rebranding strategy will preserve what is serving the company well, whether that be a brand identity, visual elements, messaging, or unique selling proposition, and will pursue ways of enhancing or creating what is lacking. Some of the clients I work with on rebrands have strong strategic brands with clear messaging and well-known names, but need some direction when it comes to their brand identity. Others have a logo that has served them well for a time, but have shifted focus in their business and are in need of an identity that reflects their new direction. 

Why

The reality is this: your brand identity is most often the first point of contact people have with your company, and that initial connection will either captivate or avert prospective clients. 

In our culture, the quality of your brand identity assumes the quality of your products and services. When we devote so much of our passions, talents and resources to creating an advantageous service or a revolutionary product, we need to communicate its quality and value through the ways that speak the loudest, and that’s through visual communication.

Rebranding allows you to elevate your brand by equipping you with the brand elements necessary for your company to stand apart and draw prospects in as you cultivate a phenomenal brand experience. 

Who

Trends, people, and  priorities change, and we have a responsibility to change so that we can offer solutions to the problems or needs our audience faces. Rebranding is not catalyzed by failure or inadequacy in your industry, rather it’s a strategic move implemented for the sake of growth and connectivity. Wedding photographers are a perfect example of this. As their clients get married and move through life, they might find value in expanding their packages to include maternity and lifestyle photography to appeal to their former clients. In this case, a rebrand would be valuable to reflect this expansion and change in brand strategy.

When

The timeframe for a rebrand can be ambiguous and unique to each company, however I’ve created a list of criteria that will help you determine when it’s a good idea to consider the idea:

  • If you’ve gained greater competition in the last few years and need to continue to stand out
  • If your logo and other marketing materials are 5-10 years old and feel outdated
  • If you’ve created some visual materials but your logo can’t stand alone and represent your brand
  • If you’d added new products, gone through a substantial change in company leadership or direction, or if you’ve started marketing to a different target audience
How

As a small business owner myself, I understand how tempting it can be to create your own logo, marketing materials, or website to save money. While those methods can get you by, they will eventually hinder your growth. To gain the best results from your branding or rebranding efforts, I highly recommend bringing someone in who has an eye for design and a holistic understanding of brand. As a company, take some time to work through the mission, vision and values of your company to be able to present those to your designer, and watch them work their magic. Trust me, you’ll notice the difference.