Branding is such a vital part of any business. That’s why you should take some time to determine your brand when you first start your business. This is what’s going to identify your business going forward. When people think of your brand, they will think of your business name, logo, products or services, the main colors you use, and even how they feel about your company. A brand goes beyond just a name—it’s your business’s identity, and you want that identity to be perfect.
However, there may come a time when that identity just doesn’t fit any longer. Maybe it did for years, but now, something’s changed. Maybe your industry has significantly changed over the years, or maybe you’ve decided to take your business in a new direction. Maybe you’ve decided that your brand just needs a small tweak to be perfect. Whatever the reason, rebranding isn’t something you should do lightly, but it also isn’t something you should completely avoid.
So how do you know when it’s time to rebrand? What do you need to do to change your brand? Let’s take a look at when to rebrand, what goes into rebranding, and how TNT Signs can help you create new custom signs and other items.
Signs that it’s Time to Rebrand
Is it time for you to rebrand? Some people think businesses only rebrand after years of using the same branding, but that’s not always the case. It’s possible that you’ll realize the branding you initially chose for your business isn’t right after a few years of using it. On the other hand, it’s possible to use the same branding for decades. McDonald’s, for example, may never get rid of its golden arches. These arches have become so synonymous with the fast food chain that it’s hard to imagine there could even be a McDonald’s without them. However, that time could come.
You may decide to rebrand when your branding doesn’t align with who you are as a company. Branding needs to reflect your values, and if it doesn’t, it’s not working. You may need to work with a focus group to determine if your branding is off, but you’ll likely have a feeling that something isn’t right before then. If you hear customers say things like “I didn’t realize that’s what you did” or “I thought you were a (blank) store” it means your branding isn’t doing what it should be.
Branding can certainly become outdated, too. While McDonald’s may still use their golden arches, they have modernized the design. Their earliest logo with the arches appeared in the early 1960s, and it’s fairly different from today’s simple yet effective stylized yellow M. If your logo uses outdated imagery, fonts, or colors, it may be time to modernize it. Modern logos are immediately recognizable, fairly simple in design, and stand out. If yours doesn’t meet any of these three criteria, it could be time to update it.
Another instance where you may need to rebrand is if your business has acquired another or if you’ve been purchased by another business. Companies merge all the time. Sometimes, such as in the case of the Penguin and Random House mergers, the rebranding is fairly simple: the new company was named Penguin Random House and a new logo was created. In other cases, however, one company’s brand may be used and the other’s eliminated. In some cases, both of the previous brands are dropped, and an entirely new brand is created.
Have people confused your brand for another business’s? If they do, you may want to consider rebranding to something different, especially if the other business is in the same industry. If your logos, color schemes, or names are very similar, you’ll want to rebrand to avoid confusion. It may not be necessary if people won’t confuse your businesses—for example, Delta Faucets and Delta Airlines may both shorten their names to Delta, but what they offer is so different that they won’t easily be confused.
Finally, when your products and services change, your branding may need to change, too. If you’ve moved over to providing mostly services instead of products, you might want to remove anything in your branding that links you to those products. You may want to create a new brand that makes it clear you’re doing something new, especially if you have customers asking you about the products you used to offer.
The Cost of Rebranding
Remember that rebranding does come with a cost, so you don’t want to do it too often. There’s the tangible cost of replacing all of your old items with ones with new branding, of course, but there are also intangible costs. When you rebrand, some of your employees are going to have to work on new branding options and have meetings about them. Then they will have to spend time redoing all of your signs, banners, and everything else with the new branding. You may have other costs such as those associated with hiring outside branding experts or the loss of items that had the old branding.
What Do You Change?
Once you’ve decided to rebrand, the next question is what to change. Do you completely redo all of your branding, or do you keep some of it? It really depends. To go back to the McDonald’s example, the company has updated its logo, fonts, and colors, but they haven’t changed their name or arch design. On the other hand, Dunkin’ Donuts rebranded to simply Dunkin’ in 2018, retaining much of its branding but changing its name. Either of these options or a mixture of them can be the right solution for you.
If you’re doing something like Dunkin’ did and simplifying your name and brand, you may be able to keep some of the elements you’ve been using while redesigning the others. This can modernize your look while also retaining enough of the traditional elements to avoid confusing customers. Most of the time, rebranding because your brand is stale or doesn’t fully align with your business will be similar. You’ll change things, but the underlying brand foundation will remain the same.
On the other hand, if your branding is changing because of a merger, acquisition, major shift in what you offer, or because your brand doesn’t stand out, you may need to change everything. This can even mean changing your business name. That may seem like a lot, but it’s often the right step to take. You want your brand to reflect who you are as a business, and sometimes that means completely wiping the slate clean and starting over.
This means your new branding may need to include any or all of the following:
- New business name
- New logo
- New color scheme
- New illustrations or graphics
- New overall design for signs, letterlead, etc.
- A new phrase or motto
Of course, once you’ve created these new items, you’ll have to update all of your marketing, signs, business cards, stationery, and other items. This typically means that you’ll have to order all new custom banners, signs, stickers, and even vehicle wraps if you make use of them.
How Does a Rebrand Work?
A rebrand starts with your company’s leadership, often with an outside consultant or other branding experts, determining what needs to change with your branding. Then you have to decide on the new branding. Sometimes company leadership does this as well, but they may also create a branding committee that includes members of all ranks and from multiple departments. Either way, the goal is to create something that appeals directly to your customers and to potential customers that will, ideally, work for many years in the future. While you may need to make a few tweaks or modernizations, you want to avoid a full rebrand again.
Your branding team will likely create several different options for company leadership and focus groups to consider and make notes on. They will then take these notes and create a second round of potential brands. Some of these branding options may be built upon those from round one, while others could be brand new based on feedback. You may need to cycle through these two stages a few times until everyone agrees on the final branding option.
Once that’s done, it goes to your marketing team and others who need to create new marketing materials and other items based on the new branding. This includes whoever is in charge of creating your internal signs, banners, and other items. In some cases, you may simply be opening up the old designs and replacing the logo or name. In other cases, you may have to start from scratch and create a brand-new design.
Now Reach Out to TNT Signs to Print Those New Items
Once the new custom banners, signs, and other items have been designed, it’s time to get them printed. That’s when you can reach out to TNT Signs. We’ll take your new designs and get all of the items you need printed quickly and professionally. We use high-quality materials, too, so the final products will last for years. If you’re rebranding, we’re ready to help. Contact TNT Signs today to learn more.