A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization. — Marty Neumeier, Author and speaker on all things brand
I recently did a webinar on branding and rebranding with good friend Jane Barwis, CEO of BRG Communications. We decided to do the webinar because many of our clients are rebranding or thinking about rebranding.
Before we go into when it’s time to rebrand, let me tell you that rebranding will not fix your organization, increase event registrations, or increase membership. Rebranding could be part of a larger initiative to address organizational challenges, but rebranding on its own will not fix your problems.
So when IS it time to rebrand? Jane and I think it’s time rebrand or seriously consider a rebrand when any of these apply:
- Acquisition and/or merger – You’ve merged with another organization, you’ve been bought, or you’ve bought another organization, and together, you want to create a larger, differentiated identity.
- Industry/profession has evolved – Perhaps your field has undergone some major changes, and you want to demonstrate that your organization has changed with the times and continues to be highly relevant.
- Audience has expanded or changed, or you want to reach a new audience – Some of our clients now want to communicate directly with the public, or students, or customers of their members. Or maybe they now want to reach Capitol Hill. Targeting new audiences often requires a redo of your core messages and overall brand identity.
- Products and services have changed – If your organization offerings have changed significantly, you may need to show a new brand to explain the why behind the new offerings, to tie them all together.
- Need to distance from a negative image – Some organizations rebrand to start over and make a clean break from a scandal, a large misstep, or bad leadership.
- Need to differentiate from competition – If the competition is fierce and you’re all looking about the same, a rebrand can help you distance yourself from the pack. A rebranding effort will force you to hone in on your (new) core mission, values and benefits, allowing you to more clearly communicate why you are different and better.
- Geography change (state to national, domestic to international – Going from a smaller to a larger audience often means transitioning from a local or hyperlocal image and mesaging to a broader one. It’s a tricky transition, for sure!
Do any of these criteria apply to your organization? If so, then you may be ready for a rebrand.
In my next blog post, I’ll take about when it’s NOT time to rebrand and what you can do if your brand doesn’t need to change but your identity is looking a bit dated!
What brand challenges is YOUR organization facing?