Expert band analysts often come across businesses that are eager to put on what Smart Company contributor Michel Hogan refers to as a rebranding “event” or “brand launch” each month.  After the initial buzz that follows from an evening or weekend of fanfare, however, many such efforts fail to produce much fruit.  The reason?  A significant number of these companies have decided on rebranding as a catch-all solution to a faltering business rather than using it as a tool to achieve a narrow new goal or correct a specific problem.  Without having and understanding a reason for rebranding, efforts risk being unfocused and ultimately unsuccessful since a new logo, gift bags and tagline cannot achieve goals that are unclear to the people designing them.  So when is rebranding appropriate, useful, and, above all, profitable in the long-term?  When a company has a clear message about itself that it wishes to communicate to its market.

Here are 6 Key Reasons Why Businesses Re-brand

1.  New Direction:

The decision to take an existing business in a new direction, usually by altering the product or service offered in some way, would wisely be followed by taking steps to rebrand the company.  This will help ensure that the company’s new vision is clearly communicated to both existing clients as well as potential new clients in order to avoid losing the former and to acquire the business of the latter.  Internationally recognized brand PayPal, for example, began as a service that allowed users to transfer money from one Palm Pilot to the next at its inception in 1998.  Following the decline of the Palm Pilot and the rise of internet consumerism, however, the company changed course in a successful attempt to remain relevant, when it enabled ebay payments.  A successful complete rebranding as an internet payment and money transfer service followed, positioning the company to be the mobile payment behemoth it is today.

2.  New Services:

A business that has recently made new services available to clients is a perfect candidate for a rebranding campaign.  A spa specializing in massage that hires an accupuncturist, for example, should rebrand itself, perhaps as a “health spa” or “medi-spa” in order to make the public aware of its new offerings.

3.  New Market:

When services or products become available to a new market a company should rebrand itself as serving the new wider market.  One example?  An adult clothing retailer that adds a children’s line does well to let current customers as well as potential new ones know that products are now available for an entirely new age demographic.

4.  Outdated Business Profile:

The marketing document that a business uses to let consumers know what its products or services are and, more importantly, to convince consumers that they should spend household or business dollars on this company’s products or services, is referred to as a business profile.  If this profile is outdated in some way, perhaps in failing to reflect new services or the elimination of old services, all of the business’s other marketing efforts will  be in vain.  Updating a business profile that is no longer accurate is an excellent reason to rebrand.

5.  New Owners:

Any time a business changes hands rebranding is appropriate.  This is especially true if the product and the market share will remain the same under the new ownership as they were under the previous ownership.  An excellent example comes from the most commonly consumed beer in America, Budweiser.  When Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, was purchased by Belgium’s InBev, the new company combined names and embarked on a rebranding campaign that included high praise for the iconic American status and quality of Budweiser.

6.  New Name:

There are a number of reasons that a business may adopt a new name.  Perhaps a change in the company’s direction or product line has occurred that is substantial enough to call for a more relevant name, or perhaps there are legal reasons for the name change.  Either way, rebranding as soon as possible after the switch is imperative in order to ensure that clients or customers are not lost to confusion about the identity of a company.  In such cases, it can be well worth the marketing dollars it takes to run a lengthy campaign reiterating the name change so that there is no question that the new name now represents the company.  Imagine the financial loss that can be avoided simply by preventing consumers from switching to competing brands based on a lack of knowledge that the original brand still exists.

We hope you have a better understanding now to why businesses re-brand.

To talk more about how to address any of the above changes through rebranding, in order to best capture positive consumer attention, please contact us.  Thank you.

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