If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ll have heard the phrase “rebrand” tossed around by small business owners worried that their brand visuals, purpose, or even their business name aren’t fitting for where they are in business right now or where they intend to be in the future. They feel stuck, frustrated, and even embarrassed about the state of their current branding and know it’s time for a change. Enter: the rebrand. But how do you know it’s time for a rebrand for your own business?
Rebranding is not uncommon. If you’ve hung around with me for a while, you’ll know that I went through a rebrand myself in late 2016. What began as Verity Web Solutions had morphed into a business that was more than just web design–I was exploring the world of education and courses and knew that I wanted to offer more than websites to my clients. So the name Verity & Co. was chosen and I moved forward with new visuals and a new business plan to include branding, web and brand messaging.
But why a rebrand? I could have continued on as Verity Web Solutions (and actually, as I look back, I see how that name would have served me well–just in a different manner) but I went ahead with a rebrand because I wanted a different umbrella to house potential changes, offerings, and goals. So Verity & Co. came into being.
How can you know it’s ready for your own rebrand? Here are 5 signs your business is ready for a rebrand.
Your business goals have changed.
Have your business goals changed since the time you either chose your business name or chose your brand visuals? If goals have changed in the past 3 years, you would be better served to update those visuals to match the goals. A name changed is not always the case in a rebrand, though it can be a part of it.
Evaluate if your name is still meeting current needs and goals. If so, great. You want to keep brand recognition however possible. If the rebrand of the same business needs to happen in order to provide more effective and target visuals (like logo, color scheme, font choices, and even website) and messaging (your marketing copy and words used to connect with your audience), look at it from the perspective of keeping up with business goals–both current AND future.
Your current branding doesn’t represent your business anymore.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs have to evolve to keep up with the ebbs & flows of business–especially online business. It moves at lightning speed, and if you aren’t willing to make changes according to the wants and expectations of your market, you likely get left behind (and it won’t be that fun).
This goes hand in hand with the consideration of your goals. If your goals have pivoted, more than likely your branding should be tweaked to better represent your business. But the good news is there are varying degrees of rebranding: full rebrands that change everything about a business’s visuals and messaging down to small tweaks to logos and wording. Even the smallest changes can make big impact on reaching and converting your audience.
Your branding doesn’t speak to your target market.
In the course of business, sometimes a target market changes. The people who you set out to market to and serve in business doesn’t always stay the same. Demographics change themselves, but brands also change serve a smaller (or broader) audience. If your branding doesn’t resonate with your ideal client or customer anymore, it’s time for a rebrand.
It’s so easy as entrepreneurs–who are often doing business solo or with a very small team–to get caught up in the mentality that your brand has to reflect you, the entrepreneur, to a t: your color preferences, your font likes, your personality, your opinions, et cetera and so forth.
And while you might be your own ideal client, that’s not always the case. We need to be aware that our branding is for our ideal audience to attract them to our brand and invite them to be a part of what we’re doing. It’s not for our own benefit but for our audience.
You’re embarrassed by your current branding.
This is a big one. If you’re considering a rebrand, that in and of itself is a really good indicator that you’re probably ready for one, likely for the reason that your current branding is a little embarrassing to you. To others, there’s probably nothing wrong with it, but since we are our own biggest critics, we can see all of the less-than-desirable components of our branding attempts and wish they could be changed.
Being proud your business is a real thing. You want to be proud to share your brand and proud to grow it. If you are uncertain about your visuals or a little embarrassed at the quality, now could be the time to uplevel your brand.
You’ve outgrown your DIY attempts from the beginning of your business.
If you bootstrapped your small business from the get-go and DIY’d your branding, there’s a good chance you’re not exactly proud of your own attempts. Not everyone is a graphic designer or has access to a friend to help them out in the beginning. So if you feel frustrated with all the time you spent playing around in Canva, not having the slightest clue on how to create a cohesive or consistent color scheme to go around with the logo you concocted, this is a good sign. If you’re embarrassed of the visuals when your business is so much more professional than it portrays you as, this is a good sign. If your business has grown to the point of needing to outsource strategic branding so you can keep on growing instead of being throttled and held back by a logo that doesn’t allow people to take you seriously, this is a good sign you’re ready for a rebrand.
Which of these reasons resonates with you the most? Do you connect with any of these 5 signs your business is ready for a rebrand?