How do I know when it’s time to rebrand?


I’ve been approached many times by entrepreneurs who feel that they just know when they need to rebrand. Sometimes they’re right, but sometimes they’re wrong – but it usually helps spark the question and discussion of ‘when is it a good time to rebrand?’

Rebranding should depend on your motivation for such an undertaking. To effectively answer the question, we should revisit the basics of building a strong brand. A strong brand is the result of consistently delivering your brand promise over a period of time. It’s all about building trust with your personas and emotionally connecting your brand with their values.

But like most things in life, brands tend to live their course when trends and technology evolve. People’s needs and perceptions change and brands must learn to adapt to survive. The most successful brands are the ones who are attentive to these changes and are constantly adapting at the same pace. In doing so, consumers never really see any drastic change in the brand and it always remains relevant and true in their minds.

Why else would anyone drink pasteurized ostrich urine? Well played, Bud Light.

Meanwhile, other brands often follow the life cycle of the product. They will grow as the product is growing but as soon as the life cycle of the product reaches maturity, it slowly begins to decline and the brand isn’t far behind it. When your brand is facing the reality of extinction, that could be a clear sign that it may be a good time to consider rebranding. Apple for example almost went through bankruptcy. The development of the iProducts and the way Apple was able to articulate its brand from its products down to the store level experience helped rocket Apple stock prices from $6 to $350 per share.

Another factor that can influence your decision for rebranding is how you compare with your competition. Are your competitors hip, currently and trendy? Are you perceived as outdated or old? Does it matter? If it does, then it may be a good time to consider rebranding and repositioning yourself in the marketplace.

Here are a few important tips to consider if you decide to rebrand:

  1. Simplify

    Most of our client rebranding exercises have been to redefine or reposition the brand and bring it back to its core values. Brands often grow according to market conditions; the only ones that last when market conditions changes are the ones that remain true to their fundamental values.

  2. Relevance

    Always rebrand with your key personas in mind. Don’t rebrand because you are tired of your brand. Your personas are not necessarily impacted by your brand on a daily basis like you are. Changing for the sake of changing is detrimental to the growth of a brand. As I mentioned earlier, a strong brand is the result of consistently delivering your brand promise over a period of time.

  3. Opportunity

    Rebranding enables a weak or stale brand to re-engage and reconnect with its personas in a new and more meaningful way. It triggers new emotions and re-ignites its core values in a fresh and relevant way in the hearts and mind of its consumers.

Rebranding is not something that should be feared, but the process should still be respected and well thought out. It certainly doesn’t mean you need to change who you are. You may just need a slight face-lift or tummy tuck. Just don’t go full Joan Rivers. You never go full Joan Rivers.


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