Many small businesses tend to overlook branding, assuming that it is for the big shots. Resigned to their supposed inconsequential status, they do very little to come up with a catchy name, fun logo, and flashy business cards that would make them easily identifiable.
Prevalent is the habit that most would rather use antiquated marketing methods. From print magazines to showcase their products and services rather than rent a coder to create a customized website.
However, branding is a crucial aspect of any business. It not only creates a memorable impression on consumers but also clarifies what they should expect from your business.
In this article, we are going to look at the difference between rebranding and redesigning; including factors to guide you on choosing between either. While at it, we are also going to look at examples of IT companies that have walked the journey of rebranding and succeeded.
In today’s competitive business world, enterprises require you to do much more than just converting prospects into customers. They need to create a strong modern brand that truly understands the needs of their audience. And this can only happen by staying in touch with the customers and then narrating an interesting brand story that captivates and resonates with them.
In other words, any brand worth their salt should be relevant. For this reason, businesses are often compelled to choose between rebranding and redesigning.
Which then brings us to our first question…
What is the Difference Between Rebranding and Redesigning?
In its very basic form, a brand redesign is a marketing re-engineering process. The process that entails refreshing the corporate image of an already established organization. By revamping recognized visual elements such as the logo colors, messaging, infographics, and other cosmetics. The main concept behind brand redesigning is to refresh an enterprise and make it more appealing to its target audience.
Along with that, redesigning can also be as a result of a company looking to adjust some certain aspects to meet certain market needs or to mend the disjointed connection between the brand and its offerings. With that said, a company may choose to redesign over rebranding if it’s not completely outdated. This way, it becomes easy to leverage the already existing core integrity values while still appealing to a much wider audience.
On the other hand, rebranding is a full-scale transformation that calls for serious preparation. And with a reason. It goes beyond changing simple design elements of the logo or the website to completely overhauling the business’ image. On top of requiring a new brand story and philosophy, rebranding may also call for a fundamental shift in the target market.
The reason why most businesses rebrand is to change tact. If the current strategy is no longer effective, then adapt to take a new direction.
There are two major types of rebranding:
Proactive rebranding: This type of rebranding takes place when a company discovers new opportunities to grow, innovate, and to reconnect with the customers.
Reactive rebranding. Mainly done when an existing brand is completely overhauled due to mergers, legal issues, or negative publicity.
Managed well, branding will not only help meet your customers’ expectations but also build authority among your peers. You’ll see more new customers, prospects, and conversion. And the key lies in remaining consistent. True to this, a 2019 report by LucidPress shows that consistent branding can result in a 33% average revenue increase.
How To Tell Whether Your Business Need Rebrand or Redesign
When should your company consider rebranding or redesigning? This is one of the biggest most entrepreneurs have to contend with when looking to recommit to their upward growth. And although different circumstances come into play when considering whether to rebrand or redesign, there are some universal indicators to look out for.
When is Rebranding Necessary?
When You Have a Generic Business Model
The business environment is constantly changing and evolving, and savvy brands are also trying hard to keep up with these changes. Unfortunately, the hivemind nature of the business landscape also means that, sometimes, brands tend to subconsciously mimic each other’s traits, hence losing their originality.
Still, brands operating within the same niche tend to outmatch each other by rebranding, which makes them look alike. Another problem with reactionary rebranding is that it rarely feels unique and lacks authenticity.
As an entrepreneur and a victim of the generic business model, rebranding is a surefire way to and set yourself apart and steal the spotlight.
Most businesses are struggling to connect and attract the millennial generation, whose consumption values and habits are different from other generations. One of the biggest reasons for this problem is because of their current branding model misalign, making it almost impossible to connect with them.
And since a brand should always try to connect and resonate with its target audience, rebranding may be a solid choice. With that said, rebranding at this point should be well-thought-out to ensure the existing customer base is not alienated. Ideally, your rebranding strategy should elevate your brand, and at the same time appeal to both the existing and new customers.
Your Brand Is Infernally Outdated
One of the biggest and most common challenges for industries that are constantly evolving is the need to keep up with the trends. This is especially the case in the IT industry. If you are a remote programmer running a freelance business and the outlook of your portfolio website feels stale, rebranding should be on top of your cards. Take Google, for instance, over the last 20 years, their logo has changed multiple times.
Your Brand Isn’t Aligned With Your Values
According to the 2020 Edelman Brand Trust Survey, 81% of customers indicated that trust is key when making a purchase decision. Today, most customers, (especially millennials) gravitate more towards brands that they share values with. If your brand strategy align with your business purpose, vision, mission, and values, it becomes easy to know your core principles.
On the other hand, if your Brand Heart isn’t articulated properly during the infant stages of the business, it’s blurred when developing your brand identity.
When Ownership Changes
Ownership and management transition brings about new changes (both at the operational and technical level). By rebranding, you are essentially able to tell your customers about what is happening, which helps reset their expectations and the overall brand perception.
You’re Dealing With Bad Press
No matter how excellent your branding is, it can’t overshadow bad behavior. If you find yourself on the wrong side of public opinion, rebranding can be a good solution to help you recover and move on.
When Is Brand Redesign Necessary?
Outdated core elements of the brand identity
As a general rule of thumb, the core elements that make up your brand identity should be timeless. However, to remain relevant you need to apply cosmetic changes to different elements such as the colors, fonts, and photographic style to remain relevant.
If you are still using antiquated design elements on your website, you can rent a freelance coder to a development company to help out. And the same goes for the logo and all the other brand-compliant visual elements.
More than often, small businesses start out on a shoestring budget. Meaning they can’t afford to design a memorable and distinctive brand strategy. And although that may work in the short-run, it may present constraints when developing cohesive brand standards in the future.
In light of this, a brand redesign can help fine-tune your existing brand strategy. Not just that, even build an entirely new roadmap using what you already have.
Start by setting brand guidelines to follow an efficient brand strategy. At its core brand is all about a well-established guide to the brand’s visual identity. To ensure consistency, it’s important to involve a powerful digital asset management software that has the capability to folder’ize’ campaigns, tag assets and filter for reuse.
Other factors that could trigger a brand redesign include:
- a change in the target audience
- evolving market trends and,
- repositioning to cater to a wider market.
Rebranding Done Right: 3 Success Stories in the Tech Industry
In recent times multiple brands such as Uber, Unilever, Dunkin’ Donuts, Weight Watchers, among others have rebranded. Likewise, a good number of tech companies have also been at the forefront of reimagining and managing the image they put out there.
Below, we have highlighted 3 tech companies that have successfully rebranded to help inspire your brand:
As earlier indicated, Google’s logo has continued to evolve over time. In 2015, however, the tech giant redesigned its logo mark using the San serif font to make it more mobile-friendly. The public opinion about the redesign was fairly quiet. The company’s rebranding managed to do the job as intended without upsetting the base.
Today, Google’s updated logo and rebranding have become a benchmark for mobile compatibility standards.
Since 2002, Dropbox has been a source of inspiration for brands thanks to their intuitive logo and website designs. Like most startups, the company let their product sell on its own merit. Started with subtle changes to their product, and barely used branding to create the differentiating element.
In 2017, however, the company redesigned its website by including multiple color combinations, varied fonts, and composite juxtaposed images. The design met with a lot of scepticism, the company continued experimenting by combining the previous and new concepts, which turned out to be successful.
In January 2019, Slack followed suit by unveiling a brand new logo. It departed from the fun “octothorpe” to a simpler, professionally-oriented logo. The new logo was more refined and still managed to retain the spirit of the original one.
Business rebranding and redesigning aren’t right for every company. However, when facing a life or death scenario, businesses can choose either to achieve escape velocity. While the two processes are mainly focused around your company, the most successful brands are the ones that have managed to establish themselves as leaders in their respective industries by offering valuable customer experiences.
As such, whether you rent a developer to help redesign your website or a graphic designer to recreate your business logo, you should always ensure to think of your audience as that’s who the end product is for. Only then will you be able to transform customers into your brand ambassadors.