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A rebrand, while no simple undertaking, can be an opportunity to re-evaluate, hone and polish your company’s public-facing image. When it’s done right, a rebrand can provide the marketing infrastructure needed for future success.

Young companies sometimes make the mistake of not devoting enough time to developing their brand identity as a first, critical step. This can lead to confusion or inconsistencies across your communication platforms — whether this is on your website, social media, in advertisements or press releases. A fruitful marketing strategy requires a confident and consistent brand to build from.

Marketers understand a successful brand extends far beyond a company’s logo. While a fresh logo certainly helps, a brand goes beyond a single element. It’s defined by an experience: how others — competitors, customers and centers of influence — encounter, engage with and remember your company.

Change is an integral aspect of company growth, and it is invaluable to do a regular pulse check to ensure your brand has kept up with your company’s goals, culture and target audiences. We outlined five common clues indicating a much-needed rebrand.

You’ve changed, updated or refined your brand mission

It’s commonplace for companies’ priorities, products and services to shift or develop as they grow. During such transformations, you need to ensure your branding reflects the matured vision. In this case, the purpose of your rebrand is to ensure all elements align with your new direction.

Your company undergoes important organizational changes

Big changes, such as a company restructuring, acquisition or merger, can impact your company’s brand. In these scenarios, there can be a lot at stake. Employees, partners and clients may feel uneasy. Start planning well in advance — months before the official announcement is made to the public. Take the right steps to ensure a smooth transition: everyone involved should have a clear understanding of the new operational direction and have a consistent approach with clients and other stakeholders.

Your brand elements and messaging are confusing

Chances are, your company has grown organically over its lifespan by introducing new products, expanding services or resonating with a new demographic. While your communications strategy should reflect this evolution, sometimes it falls short. This is most frequently because the company designs its communications without considering customers’ perspective — resulting in confusing branding from their standpoint.

Your brand should accurately, clearly and concisely reflect the experience your company offers to the public, confidently stand out against the competition and communicate your company’s ambitions. With successful branding, the public immediately recognizes any aspect of your company’s identity — whether it’s a logo or Instagram post or an interaction with customer service.

Your brand has become associated with negative connotations

The British fashion label Burberry was known for years as a high-class, luxury brand. Its iconic Nova Check pattern was, at one time, sought by “country aristocrats” (picture going for drives in vintage Rolls Royce cars and games of croquet out on the lawn, a Burberry scarf lazily draped over a cashmere sweater). In the 1990s, though, much to Burberry’s chagrin, the brand was co-opted by another demographic: football hooligans who were known for obnoxious, if not criminal, behavior. As time went on, Burberry went from coveted to crude.

Burberry underwent an aggressive rebrand in the 2000s to revitalize its reputation and get back to its high-end roots — this was successfully accomplished through consolidating its many lines into one, sleek label, modernizing its designs and featuring sophisticated brand ambassadors like Emma Watson and Kate Moss.

Whether it’s because of repetitive product recalls or your company — like Burberry — develops a negative association, a rebrand may be necessary to move forward. While not every crisis requires a complete rebrand, shedding a negative image is one important step to rebuilding your company’s reputation.

Your brand feels clunky, outdated or just plain boring

In many ways, your company might be modern. Your employees use the newest technology, you’re keeping up on the latest studies and operations are future-focused — but maybe your branding has fallen behind while everything else has taken a step forward. Why shouldn’t your brand reflect this modern, cutting-edge outlook as well? When rebranding, think about how it will come off in five, 10 or 15 years. Go for timeless — not trendy.

A rebrand is a powerful way to shift your positioning within the market. It can help guide a company’s progress and best steps forward. When diving into a rebrand, enlist the support of seasoned marketing team to guide you through this challenging — but ultimately rewarding — process.

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