You’ve seen it everywhere and you notice it all the time – brands changing their logos, their visual appearance or their taglines. Dunkin’ Donuts shortening their name and getting a new logo, Hermes fully changing over to Evri or Baskin Robins going back to their original colour palette; they’re all examples of rebranding.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what rebranding is and what it entails, when to start thinking about rebranding your business and seven important signs that tell you it’s time to seriously consider investing in a professional designer to help you rebrand.

What rebranding is all about

A rebrand is about reshaping how a business or a product is perceived by its audience and customers, and not just about changing your logo. It’s rethinking your business foundations (your mission, goals, values) to check if they still align with your products and your audience’s needs, and not just about refreshing your colour palette. And it can, of course, also be about refreshing your visuals to create a much stronger identity that better resonates with your audience and customers.

Rebranding can come in many forms, from just changing your brand name and logo, to completely reinventing your brand identity; think colours, fonts, imagery style or product range. What you rebrand should depend on the needs of your business – what is currently not working in your business or connecting with your customers?

It might be tempting to want to refresh your branding because you’ve seen a competitor do so or you want that new trend you’ve seen other businesses jump on – and I get that! Sometimes it’s tempting to want what others have, but investing in branding when you’re not ready may cost you more in the long run and create confusion for your audience. Rebranding takes time and money, so it’s an investment for your business – one that, if done right, can allow you to reconnect with your customers, raise your prices or even attract a completely new audience to your business.

1. You look like your competitors

The biggest sign that your business is due a refresh is looking and sounding the same as your competitors. You’ve probably seen it before: you walk down the aisle in your local shop and can’t really tell the products or brands apart… everyone looks the same. You’re scrolling on Instagram and can’t tell one post apart from the other… there’s nothing catching your attention anymore. This is a dangerous place to be in business, as your audience won’t be able to see what’s different or better about your product versus the one next to it.

If you look like everyone else, your business is not memorable and won’t stand out in the minds of your audience. They won’t remember your product, your social media post or that amazing newsletter you sent out last week… to their mind, your and your competitor are two of the exact same business. There is no brand loyalty there, as your audience doesn’t have a connection to your product or brand.

A rebrand can help you uncover what makes your business unique and different from everyone else in your industry. A rebrand that’s driven by strategy can help you understand what makes you different from your competitors and use that as an advantage to stand out in the market and become the obvious choice for your audience.

2. You’re not connecting with your audience

Sometimes we fall into the trap of creating a brand that we (as the business owner) like or our group of friends like. But in reality, our audience and customers are the ones who need to connect with the brand, not ourselves. If you’re attracting the wrong audience or no audience at all, this means there is a lack of clarity somewhere in your business. Your messaging is not speaking to them, your product is not solving a problem they have or care about, or the visuals are not attractive to them.

Rebranding can help you see more clearly who your target audience is, what their struggles or pain points are and how your product is the perfect fit for them. This can then allow you to create a visual identity and messaging that speaks directly to them. Imagine your customer walking down the aisle at the store trying to pick a shampoo only to see your product that speaks exactly about the hair problems they’ve been facing – a perfect match!

3. It doesn’t reflect your business values

One of the most common issues my past clients have had was not knowing how to communicate their business values to their audience. Whether you did this exercise when you opened your business or not, you can’t survive in today’s market without having clear business values. We’re moving more towards businesses that are human and that put their values into action, and customers want to align themselves with brands that share their own values. Whether you decided on your business values from the start or uncovered them as you’ve grown your business, the rest of your branding needs to reflect them.

Investing in rebranding that’s strategy-driven (like our process) will help you uncover your true business core, what your values and mission are, and how to showcase them through all aspects of your business, from your logo and colour palette to your messaging and product range. It can help you know where your business is heading and what’s important to you and your customers. And you’ll be able to communicate that much more clearly to your audience at the same time.

4. You’re struggling to raise your prices

If you’ve not been able to raise your prices in a few years, it might mean it’s time to refresh your branding to realign it with the prices you do want to charge. Or if you’re still not charging what you believe your products are worth, it’s time to re-evaluate your branding. In reality, brands are all about customer perception, so the value of your product (and the price you can ask for it) is tied to how customers perceive your brand/product in their mind – it’s all about how you position your products.

A brand refresh can help you position your business differently and reframe how your audience and potential customers perceive your product or brand. This can give you the power to redefine the value of your products and raise your prices accordingly.

5. Your business has changed

As your business grows, it will inevitably change and adapt (whether it’s the products, mission or target audience). We naturally grow as business owners; we hone our skills and perfect your products, and that sometimes leads to changes in the business direction. And that’s completely normal! When you undertake big changes within your business (whether it’s a different vision, a bigger mission or new product lines), it usually means the core of the brand or the visual identity are not aligned anymore.

Rebranding can help re-align your visuals and message to where you are right now in your business. Or, if you’ve completely restructured how you operate, it can help you completely transform your brand and take it into a new direction. I believe that brands are flexible and ever-evolving, so we should not be afraid to embrace these change and adapt when needed!

6. DIYing just isn’t cutting it anymore

When you started your business you might have tried doing the logo yourself or bought a ready-made one off Etsy or similar sites. And there’s nothing wrong with that! You needed to start somewhere, so don’t let anyone shame you for getting a pre-made logo for your business! However, in time you’ll realise that premade logos can only get you so far in growing your business and connecting you with your audience… because a brand is more than just a logo!

Professional designers know that strong and successful brands are built on research and strategy. Instead of just building a logo that looks beautiful, we dig deep into what your business is about, who your audience is and how we can connect with them through your brand identity. Investing in rebranding with a professional designer can help you have a brand identity crafted with purpose and intention. A brand built on strategy will allow your brand to be perceived exactly the way you want it to be perceived and connect with more of your target audience.

7. You’re not proud of your brand

I’ve left this sign for last, but it’s definitely not the least important. At the end of the day, you should be proud of your brand and how it shows up in the world. Feeling embarrassed when you talk about your social media presence or diverting people from visiting your website will stop you from truly showing up for your business. Customers can see from far away when a business owner is not proud of their business and will tend to stay away – who wants to buy from someone who’s not proud of or confident in their business?

Rebranding can help your get your confidence back, fall back in love with your business and make you proud to show your business to the world. You won’t be able to stop talking about your business or new brand to everyone you know! And refreshing your brand to something you truly love and believe in can also help you be more brave when taking risks for your business and putting yourself out there. Selling with confidence always brings in more!

Depending on the needs and goals of your business, refreshing your brand can help you stand out from your competitors, create more long-term connections with your audience, completely transform your business, allow you to gain more confidence and even charge more for your products.

If you’ve resonated with one (or more) of these points, it’s probably time to consider investing in rebranding your business. This comes with a new task of finding the right designer for your business, which can be daunting and time-consuming – unless you have some business-owner friends that can recommend you someone! If you’re unsure about it, check out this post on how to choose the perfect designer for your brand.

Rebranding for small business: knowing when it’s time to rebrand and the benefits that come with it