As we get ready to launch our lnternational Branding Awards, we asked leading creative professionals to shed light on rebranding.
RGD 2023 Branding Awards celebrate the work of designers who develop the visual identities of companies, organizations, products and events. The awards are open for entries until June 9. Enter by May 1 to save on entry fees.
What are the signs that a company should start a rebranding process?
- You struggle to use your brand assets or feel boxed in by the assets you have (i.e. default to two colours from your palette or reuse the same graphics over and over).
- Your customer or their needs have changed or your own company's goals or values have changed.
- You are introducing a new branch of your business or a new product
- You see other brands getting experimental with reels, email marketing or on their website and want to incorporate current trends into your brand but aren't sure how.”
Kyle Schruder RGD, Associate Creative Director, Lead, Healthcare Marketing, Creative Currency
“From my experience working in-house, an early sign that a brand needs a refresh is that staff pushes the limits of the existing brand, abandoning the narrative and resources created when the company last established its brand.
Elana Rudick RGD, Creative Director at Design Is Yummy
“Talks of rebranding pop-up during obvious times of transition like a merger or acquisition or if a company’s services have evolved or expanded. When a company experiences pain points, like their visual identity feeling limited in use cases, a rebrand becomes apparent. The brand just “doesn’t work” or “feel right” anymore. From our experience, by the time a company starts questioning if it’s time for a rebrand, it’s usually overdue. As designers, we can encourage companies to regularly assess their brand and its visual representation and remind them that rebranding is a natural step towards the growth of any business.”
Maria Sinisterra RGD, Co-founder and Designer, Tardigrada Design Studio
“The sign I consider most significant to indicate the need for rebranding is the case where a company's brand messaging is inconsistent across all customer touch points. It is confusing and frustrating. The brand thus fails to engage its intended audience and a rebranding strategy is required. An effective brand strategy considers every part of the company and every customer interaction.
Gordon McLean RGD, Principal at Cadre Creative Agency
“Rebranding by its very nature is intended to be regenerative. It requires organizations to continually adapt and evolve by being different and by acting differently while allowing strategy to drive tactics.
- Age: On the one hand, the reassurance of tried-and-true brands is comforting to current customers, but it can be incredibly limiting to growth.
- Adversity: For several reasons rebranding a sinking ship is never a good idea. However, once on a path to recovery, a rebrand can break with the past and re-establish itself in the market and, at times, stimulate substantial growth.
- Overcrowded competitive landscape: Rebranding can generate new life and energy by re-establishing a position that is unique and meets the needs of the target audience better than anyone else.”
Mehdi Ghareh Mohammadi RGD, Founder & CEO, SHIFT DO Studio Inc.
“To put it simply, branding is no different from a person's personal identity and how it connects to the community. If your branding is not accessible, is not able to communicate well with the target audience through the visuals and messaging and has not made a positive impact, then it is time to change. Remember to not lose the ethos of the brand in the process.”
Denny Kurien RGD, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Rayvn Design:
“Rebranding isn’t about changing who you are, but about bridging the gap between who you are now and who you want to be. Consider rebranding if:
- You are facing a significant decline in sales. It could be due to outdated branding, negative associations or a failure to connect with the target audience.
- Your company is shifting its focus. A rebranding could help signal the change to customers and stakeholders.
- Your company's reputation needs to be restored following negative media attention, public perception or associations.
Raymond Brand RGD, Independent Graphic Designer
“As soon as your confidence in the branding begins to slip, even a bit. You feel the need to justify or explain the logo and become hesitant to use it instead of excited. It’ll often happen once you have established a rhythm. The quality of the brand identity no longer represents the quality of what you have to offer because your needs have evolved and branding can’t keep up.”
Minal Kharkar RGD, Creative Director, MK Branding + Design
“Rebranding your business is a natural part of the life cycle of any company. We believe that customers buy with their gut and they will judge a book by its cover. Rebrand when:
- You're not staying up to date with your customer preferences.
- You need to shift focus toward an entirely new demographic.
- If you feel like your deliverables and brand message aren't in sync.”
Valérie Yobé RGD, President, la tribu grafik
“Never rebrand for rebranding! There are many factors that should be addressed depending on the context, the longevity of the company, its workforce and clients. While there are mutiple reasons to rebrand. One of of the most important reasons for me is if your brand is not versatile enough to accurately represent the diversity of your products, services and the people working for you. A rebranding process is not a fashionable exercise. It should always be the result of a deep introspection, a vision for the future and a deep knowledge of what makes your company stand out.”