At NST, we are often called upon to assist companies in a time of transition, and during these times we regularly hear a desire to change the company’s logo or even name. While it can be tempting to want to update the look and feel of your visual brand identity, organizations need to make sure they’re rebranding for the right reasons.
While NST believes in letting the strategic process guide these big decisions, there are a number of indicators that could signal it’s time for a rebranding:
New Strategic Direction
Perhaps it’s a brand evolution, entry into a new market, development of new product line, a merger or new leadership – anytime there’s a major shift in the way you’re doing business, it’s a good idea to evaluate whether the new direction is reflected in the name and visual identity you’re projecting to your audiences.
As markets shift and competition increases, a new name or visual identity can help differentiate an organization from its competitors by focusing on key attributes that it can “own” that resonate with audiences.
Most rebranding efforts are sparked by a need to modernize an organization to reflect the rapidly changing marketplace, but in addition to just being modernized aesthetically, we’ve also helped a number of clients (including ourselves) modernize their logos to ensure they work in all applications, most importantly, digital and mobile.
A crisis situation can often spark a rebranding effort, as a way to minimize negative associations with the former brand. For instance, when the Lance Armstrong Foundation transitioned to Livestrong Foundation, or ISIS Pharmaceuticals rebranded as Ionis Pharmaceuticals.
Even if we know a name change or logo redesign is inevitable, NST recommends taking an organization through our Compass planning process. The exercise blends traditional strategic planning principles with our branding process to determine the ideal perceptions we want our audience to have of the brand, then match a logo or name to that desired positioning, rather than focusing on aesthetics alone.
A few reasons NOT to rebrand:
Internal Audiences are Bored
While leadership may feel it’s the same-old-same-old because they’re consumed with it every day, it’s important not to change horses too often. Branding is a long-term process and changing your brand too often can confuse audiences rather than draw them in.
Rebranding an organization does take some significant resources to do properly. It’s not just about revamping your website and business cards, but putting a solid strategy to communicate the meaning behind the change to your key audiences as well.
If It Ain’t Broke
If the current brand, logo or name still mirrors your strategic direction and effectively communicates your desired positioning to the audiences most important to your business – don’t mess with it! Having a brand with significant value is no joke, so don’t tinker with a masterpiece.
Still not convinced? Give us a call to discuss how NST can help navigate your potential branding project.
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