A Remarkable Company Needs A Remarkable Brand – How To Know When To Rebrand
4 October 2017 |
About a 6 minute read
Doing a rebrand can be likened to going for a makeover – you cut and dye your hair, you have a facial, maybe a manicure – and you splash out on a load of new outfits. How do you feel? Maybe more attractive, more confident, that you could now do something that perhaps you were holding back on. However, it is still the same person underneath, just with a freshened aesthetic. The world of branding can be pretty shallow, and customers can see straight through it. So rebranding can be a murky ground to go into for the sole purpose of just ‘reinventing’ yourself to try and gain greater market share, more customers or win more work. This may get you so far, but underneath it all of you are still made up of the same DNA.
Another way to look at a rebrand is to think about a naturally talented athlete – one with the right build and structure in their DNA, and one who has the right attitude, energy and stamina to succeed. However as they train, grow up and start competing amongst the big players, they realise their old trainers and gym shorts are starting to wear at the seams, and these tools are not up to the job. They need the right set of equipment to support them in their competitions, which in turn boosts their confidence and give them that mental edge.
A rebrand can only be fully successful when the company underneath is naturally set up to be successful. A new brand should only be considered when the company has grown too big, too clever or too remarkable for the old one.
This is the reason we decided to rebrand AND Digital.
As many of our followers will have noticed ANDigital is now AND Digital, and we have updated our look and feel. We are only 3.5 years old and our brand is growing momentum, so it may seem a bold choice to change this at this point. However as above, our brand simply was lacking behind the company we were becoming – which is a good problem to have. So how do you know whether rebranding is right for your business?
Here is a starter set of questions you can ask yourself to determine whether it is time to get your brand better equipped for the company you have grown to be:
*Brand for us is both the aesthetic and language – the logo, imagery, fonts, colours, tone of voice
- Does your brand support your company BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)?
From day one, our CEO (Paramjit Uppal) define our BHAG across five core areas, which are a set of ambitious goals that guide us in a number of areas (revenue growth, people growth, award recognition and others) to support in our overall mission to be a ‘remarkable business’. So by taking your own company BHAG, you can develop a set of questions which ask yourself about whether your brand complements them. For example:
- If your goal is about being the best in a market, or the top of a certain list you need to place your brand next to your competitor brands and ask yourself whether it is bold, brave or stand out in this market. Does it lead rather than follow?
- If your BHAG is around growth you can ask yourself whether it feels global or has the slickness of a large company – be brutal, as your customers will be!
- If you have a goal about engaging a certain audience group you can test its appeal to them. For example we asked whether our brand felt both tech savvy AND people focused, in order to appeal to potential recruits and clients.
- Lastly, you need to really question whether it hits your overall mission. In our case, we asked ourselves “is it remarkable?”
- Does your brand showcase your core messages, personality traits and brand values
Every successful company has a set of clear core messages, personality traits and brand values. In our case one of our core messages is the “Power of the AND” (meaning we embrace natural conflicts like human and digital, learning and doing, etc.), our personality traits are Impactful, Inclusive and Imaginative and lastly our brand values are Share, Wonder, Delight. So as part of asking whether your company needs to rebrand, you need to question whether it reflects these core elements to your business. For example:
- Does the brand tell a story or showcase your core messages? Does the brand name, the imagery or iconography provoke questions about what you do and how you do it.
- Does the brand reflect the personality traits you all hold dear? In our case we asked whether it was impactful, inclusive and imaginative’.
- Does the brand live and breathe the company values through imagery, the logo, the language or beyond?
- Does your brand have the ability to be adaptive and work hard for you in your materials?
If a brand is limited in terms of just being a logo and not developed more beyond that, it is difficult to use it in a variety of ways to showcase your story, who you are and what you do. You can ask yourself:
- Within your sales or marketing materials is your brand working hard to help develop your messages for your audiences? For instance, can it be visually deconstructed and adapted for different purposes, rather than repetitive (e.g. just a logo in the corner) or static.
- Does your brand stand alone well? Does it shout, or even hint at what you are about without any explanation?
- Do you ‘own’ a brand asset that makes people instantly think of your brand (e.g we have our brand red, the AND, and the famous red chair)?
There are many other questions you can ask yourself to investigate whether it is time for you to rebrand, however this is a way to start framing your thinking and having the right conversations.
If your answers to the above are “no” or “not really” – then this is a sign that your brand is not pulling its weight when it comes to your overall company BHAG. You can also ask these questions again when you have developed a refreshed brand to ensure you are hitting the mark.
However most importantly and above all is determining whether your company has the right DNA underneath for this new brand. Even though it might make a high impact in the short term and give your company some sway in the market, rebranding is not a quick fix to become more successful as a business overall in the long term. Your rebrand should be to complement the success of your organisation as it develops and grows – otherwise it is simply lipstick on a pig.
Graduate Developer (Halifax)
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Digital Transformation People Consultant
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