Mention a rebrand to a beleaguered Marketing Director, under pressure to deliver more sales with an ever-shrinking budget, and don’t expect him to welcome the idea with open arms. He’s more likely to side with Kevin Roberts, Chief Executive of Saatchi and Saatchi world-wide. When asked, when should a business undergo a rebrand, his reply was “hardly ever”. His reasoning was that it’s often not the brand that’s the problem but the service, execution, product, delivery or value.
So is the decision to rebrand simply a case of corporate vanity, or even worse a vain attempt to put lipstick on a pig? With due deference to Kevin Roberts the answer is a resounding no. The reason for our difference of opinion, is that he’s addressing such brands as BP whose rebrand cost £130 million (just think of all those petrol station signs!) whereas we’re talking about SME’s where the financial commitment is manageable and the return on investment can be significant.
In many cases a rebrand is the most accountable and effective investment a company can make in its sales and marketing programme. Which is all fine and dandy, but is there any substance to support this view, or is it yet another self-serving argument, from those clever marketing and branding people, posing as irrefutable business fact?
The first thing to understand is that a rebrand is about a great deal more than making a business look good, it’s about making your bottom line look good too. So what is it that makes a rebrand such a good idea.
Your brand is the public face of your business. As the economic climate changes it’s important that your brand stays relevant. A well-planned and well executed rebrand will help your company reflect the current state of the market and in that way gain competitive advantage. It will also help to speed up pipeline sales performance and demonstrate that your company is an important voice in the industry, with something to say.
When a small business prospers and grows a rebrand reflects that your company has become larger and more sophisticated. It’s the ideal expression of your business’ evolution, enabling you to challenge the competition more aggressively and increase market share. The process of revisiting your brand messaging, as part and parcel of your rebrand, will result in more powerful propositions leading to an increase in customer confidence and growth in your company’s profitability.
Just as a company’s brand needs to reflect changes in its size and market position, it’s important that it also reflects changes in technological innovation. Any brand that’s associated with technology must keep pace with the industry it’s part of. If your brand fails to reflect the level of innovation that your business has reached, your customers will assume you’re behind the curve. Competitors who rebrand their company, products and services, even if they’re lagging behind your company in terms of technological expertise, will often outperform you in reputation and profitability.
The Best You Can Offer
Whatever your reason for considering a rebrand – economic expansion, technological innovation or any other type of growth or change, your branding must reflect the best your business can offer. Whether that means communicating advances in your products or services, or the evolving nature of your business. It’s also important to remember that rebranding must not only reflect your professionalism, expertise, and unique proposition today but also embody the vision for your company in the future.
Last But Not Least
Taking the decision to rebrand will first and foremost get you noticed by the customers you are targeting, as well as rejuvenating interest amongst your customer base. But it will also reinvigorate the internal culture of your company. Launching a rebrand will call for new levels of staff support, employee knowledge and feedback, as well as creating opportunities for employees to play their part in the creation of a positive, new business culture. A business rebrand is about a great deal more than making your business look good, it’s about making your bottom line look good too.