4 big questions to ask before rebranding

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Sometimes you open your closet and it’s obvious you need to update your wardrobe. Other times it takes someone pointing out your favorite 90’s leather jacket is out of vogue. Brands are much the same. It can be difficult to know whether a rebrand is necessary, or if your tried-and-true identity is still getting the job done.  

Whether you’re on the fence about a rebrand or already looking for a new visual language, here are a few things to consider before updating your brand's image.

1. Do You Need a Rebrand or a Refresh?

Just making a new logo is not a rebrand. A rebrand is a change to your brand's entire image. This can include everything from the typeface you use on business cards, to the way staff greet your clientele. A rebrand means working to change your business’ image to better fit your mission and aspirations.

Sometimes you’ve got things pretty close to how you want them, but your image could use a bit of sprucing up — this may call for a refresh! A refresh is especially valuable for businesses who have a few points they want to improve on but aren’t looking to change their image drastically. Maybe your brand's culture and advertisements could use a little modernizing, or perhaps your design is great, but your copywriting and messaging need to improve. These are situations where a refresh is in order. Not only can a refresh be more efficient at addressing weak points in your business, but because you’re not revamping everything, you can save quite a bit of time and money.

It must be noted that a refresh is not a substitution for a rebrand. Updating a few parts of your business without making sure it fits into everything else can make a brand incohesive, and that’s the reason for a refresh in the first place!

2. What Do People Already LOVE About Your Brand?

A rebrand isn’t all about what you need to change or do different. In fact, more often than not, it’s about finding the things that people already love about your brand and doubling down on them. Whether it’s your professionalism, your pricing, or your levity, finding out what your customers love about you is vital to know if your current brand fits those values. AirBnB, the online marketplace to list extra space in your home like a bed and breakfast, rebranded in 2014 with a logo and brand identity that went from generic to mission-driven.

While the video talks about the logo, this redesign carried through to everything from design to messaging and even their customer service. If your brand image isn’t mirroring what your clients can’t get enough of, it may just be time to rebrand.

3. How Has Your Mission Changed Over Time?

Everyone and every brand evolves. It is possible that a brand image created for a new company was perfect at the time, but as things changed, the brand didn’t. An example of a nonprofit doing an excellent job at a rebrand is Feed the Children. As their mission evolved to provide aid for more and more people around the world, their old logo depicting a child reaching out for food didn’t encompass their mission. (And it didn’t scream empowerment, either.)

The interlacing colors of their logomark (the non-text aspect of their logo) and general abstraction better reflect the increasing diversity of their mission and the people they are serving.

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4. What is a Rebrand Worth to You?

Unless you're Pepsi, there is no need to spend a million dollars on a new brand. Like many aspects of a business, there are certain things to do yourself, and certain things to delegate. There are many tools online such as Canva and Logojoy that can help an enterprising business owner update the visual side of their brand, and for someone who is trying to just get something on paper, these can be excellent starter services.

However, if you are looking to build a brand that will last and truly reflect your mission, you’ll likely want to enlist the help of professionals. You can go out and buy all the wires and tools, but it isn’t always a good idea to wire your own house. In much the same way having an expert or a team by your side during a rebrand can help ensure success, and leave your business to do more of what it does best.

If you're a mission-driven organization who needs advice on an upcoming refresh or rebrand, get in touch! We’d love to learn more.