These 7 signs will tell you when it’s best to rebrand

The importance of successful branding can’t be overstated. Did you know 89% of customers stay loyal to brands that share their values? Sounds great – but what if your branding and business have grown a little stale?

Every small business owner finds themselves at a crossroads from time to time, and the prospect of a rebranding can seem like an exciting way to reinvigorate things. After all, it’s true that rebranding for conscious small business can result in many wonderful things like:

  • Improved reputation
  • Positive market perception
  • Clearer communication to your audience
  • Increased sales
  • Standing out from the competition
  • Getting noticed by your ideal market
  • Reinvigorated, contemporary, and up-to-date visual identity
  • Ability to charge more and attract amazing customers

Despite all these benefits of rebranding, it’s definitely not a decision to take lightly. It’s more than just a visual facelift – it’s a deep dive into your brand’s offerings, values, target audience, and marketing. If rebranding is done improperly or at the wrong time, it can have detrimental effects to your brand.

So how do you know if investing the time and money involved in a rebrand are actually worth it?

Check out these 7 reasons it might be time for your small business to consider a rebranding, and the things to keep in mind if you decide to go ahead

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7 reasons to rebrand your conscious small business

We’ve all been there – sometimes things feel stagnant, and the prospect of a new logo or website is tantalizing. However, rebranding is more than just a facelift. It should be a purpose-driven part of your overall brand strategy, designed to address real issues with your current visual identity and brand reputation.

You may not need to change everything about your brand, but you will have to change several things. It has an impact on your current brand perception, so it’s important to not rebrand simply because you’re bored and want to shake things up.

With that said, review these 7 reasons that rebranding your small business might be the right move.

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— Your business offering has changed

Every small business owner knows that no two days are the same, let alone several years. Your conscious brand may have started out offering one niche product, but expanded to several products that don’t relate to what you started out with. Perhaps your service offerings evolved organically in response to things you learned during your business journey. Or maybe your customers have told you that you’re the perfect choice to create a spin-off brand to serve a new market. You might even find your brand has outgrown its name, which might now be too specific to one product or service that’s no longer your focus.

If any of these examples sound familiar to you, it could be a sign that a rebrand could benefit your small business. If your fundamental business offerings have changed since you started out, rebranding can bring clarity to both new and potential customers.

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— You want to attract a new audience

Do you feel that you’re still in alignment with your current audience? If you had to think about it or answered “no” immediately, don’t worry – a changing marketing landscape happens to almost every brand. And these days, with globalisation and the prevalence of online e-commerce, you may be trying to connect with audience in a region that’s brand new to you.

You may have also noticed that the target market you started out with have grown and evolved in a way that doesn’t match your own brand’s offerings. Or maybe a generational shift in your market means a whole new crop of potential customers who are unfamiliar with your brand.

Whether it’s competing in a global market or responding to changes in your target audience, your brand should always speak to who you’re trying to reach. If you feel like that’s not happening, a rebranding could be a good option. Undertake market research to make sure that a potential rebrand will benefit your existing customers as well as new ones.

Planet Mark rebrand - before and after images

The sustainability certification programme Planet Mark rebranded for greater global appeal, creating a modern logo and hopeful messaging to empower its members to take positive action.

Download our FREE Brand Strategy Template. The ultimate roadmap to start crafting your brand.

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— Your brand is not aligned with your vision, market, and values

What if it’s not your target market that’s after something different – what if it’s your brand that’s changed? Even with a solid brand strategy, the normal daily life of a business can lead to an evolution you didn’t anticipate. Maybe years of connecting with your customers and embracing new opportunities has resulted in adjusted priorities and passion. This is great for you as a conscious business owner, but if your image is outdated, your customers could mistakenly believe you’re out of touch.

Your industry and competitors could also change in ways you don’t necessarily want to emulate. For example, maybe your competitors are all using similar sans serif fonts in their logos, or the same talking points in their messaging that no longer resonate with you. It can all begin to feel a bit like a hive mind, can’t it?

The good news is you don’t have to go along with what everyone else is doing! There’s no shame in tweaking your brand strategy as your business journey progresses. Smart brands adapt to changes in an empowered and authentic way. Rebranding could be just the thing for a public identity that no longer aligns with your brand’s vision.

Evezy rebrand to Onto, before and after examples

After its launch, electric car subscription service Evezy realized customers were having difficulty spelling, pronouncing, and remembering their name. They rebranded as Onto, with energetic visuals and messaging to reflect their transformative journey to the future of driving.

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— Your brand isn’t performing as expected

What sets your brand apart from the competition? What makes customers notice you instead of other brands? If your customers can’t connect with your offerings in the way you expect, it could mean that they’re having trouble understanding why they should.

It can be tempting to take your branding guidance from others in your industry, since customers do expect certain experiences and messaging. However, playing it too safe could result in your brand looking unoriginal, generic, and inseparable from the crowd. Unclear communication about your brand’s difference can lead to poor sales. If your brand isn’t performing as expected, refreshing your visual identity and messaging can help you authentically connect with your ideal customer.

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— You want to distance your brand from a bad reputation

Do you remember the Barilla Pasta controversy? In 2013, the company’s chairman Guido Barilla appeared on a radio talk show where he said, “I would never do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect, but because we don’t agree with them.” He later went on to say that he opposed adoption by gay parents.

Yikes – big yikes.

That’s what CEO Claudio Colzani thought too. Stunned, he found the company in the midst of a public outcry against them, with calls for a global boycott.

Over the years (and after a lot of hard work led by Colzani), Barilla managed to bounce back from its chairman’s comments and the negative image that resulted. However, even if your brand’s poor reputation is nowhere near as bad as Barilla’s, you may find yourself up against a negative bias or bad press.

If you’ve done the work to authentically address the cause of your brand’s damaged reputation, it may be time for a rebrand to signal a positive way forward. Customers are willing to give rebranded companies a second chance if they know that they’ve consciously taken steps to realign their actions and values.

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— Your company’s structure has changed

Rebranding is usually required in the case of a merger or acquisition, since it involves two or more brands coming together to form something new. A new visual identity in this case will help customers orient themselves with the new brand, and how you align with their needs and expectations. Make sure you comply with any legal requirements when it comes to branding elements you may or may not carry over from the original companies.

What if you’ve taken over an existing brand that isn’t a result of a merger or acquisition? The question of rebranding is a little more complex in this case, but the needs of your customers should be the biggest driver. If the brand you’re taking over has a poor reputation or you’ll have obvious and positive benefits for the brand, then you might consider rebranding.

When rebranding as part of a changed company structure, it’s important to make the change visible and focus on authentic communication. Make the change clearly visible to show your audience that they come first.

— Your business is growing from an identity into a brand

You started your purpose-driven small business because you wanted to make a positive impact on the world. You identified your target audience, created a product or service plan, and have been seeing some success. But maybe you feel like you’re on the verge of something bigger and don’t know where to go from here.

This is a very common dilemma for businesses that start their journey small. Many feel they have an incomplete identity, caught between who they were when they started on their own, and where they’re about to go as a growing brand. They feel that their current branding isn’t a fit for their purposes anymore.

If this sounds like you, rebranding can be an impactful way to express your company’s evolution and signal the growth around the corner. A solid brand strategy is a strong foundation for a purpose-driven business. It’ll help you make sure your rebranding aligns with your company’s vision and honours the community you’ve built along the way.

Mission coffee works rebrand - before and after images

Mission Coffee Works grew from selling coffee from a street van to a nationally-recognised sustainable roastery. To celebrate this transition, they rebranded with artistic, playful packaging that helps customers upgrade their coffee experience in a down-to-earth way.

It can be hard to know if rebranding is a smart idea for your company. If one (or more!) of these 7 reasons to rebrand resonates with you, we’re here to help. A strong brand strategy helps you clearly define your business and grow with intention.

Rebranding your conscious small business? Download our FREE Brand Strategy Template to help you craft your rebranding roadmap!

✺ Rebranding your conscious small business: roadblocks, how to start, and what to avoid

As we mentioned earlier, rebranding your small business involves substantial investment of time and money. Many small business owners feel they don’t have the time, or worry they’ll alienate existing customers who’ve formed an emotional connection to the old branding. Some business owners don’t want to make yet another branding investment and would rather focus on only one component, like marketing. Others feel overwhelmed with all the moving parts involved in creating and launching new branding, and worry it’ll be disrupting and chaotic.

These hesitations are certainly understandable – after all, rebranding for conscious small business is more than just new brand colours. It involves realigning your brand with your audience, and that could mean anything from a new target audience to an entirely different company image. This is why we advise people to make the rebranding decision from a place of strategy, rather than from a place of boredom.

Where to start with rebranding for conscious small business

Once you’ve identified the need to rebrand, it can have a powerful impact on the success of your business. Strong brand alignment means all the components of your business work in harmony, and your customer’s experience matches their expectations. Customers form strong emotional connections to your brand, and are confident that your product or service offerings are perfect for them.

The rebranding process starts with a solid strategy. Taking the time to do brand research will help you avoid common pitfalls such as copying your competition, following design trends that don’t relate to your offering, or not being bold enough in your rebranding decisions. A brand strategy will also help you choose the best people to work with both internally and externally, and plan rebranding elements like fonts, photography, marketing, and launching the new brand.

Business rebrand represented by a leaf changing from old to new with blog title text in white
We know that rebranding can seem daunting, even when you’ve decided it’s the best thing to do. But fear not – we’re here to help you rebrand in an empowered and authentic way.
Reach out and book a call with us if you have any questions about how to become a more sustainable brand. We would love to help as this is an area we are passionate about.