A rebrand is a normal part of every brand’s lifecycle. But how do you know when it’s time to take that step?

Branding is an essential part of a B2B’s business strategy. Your branding is all about building a relationship with your stakeholders, including consumers, employees and the community. A strong brand is good for business. It will help you grow recognition, increase business value, generate new customers and instill employee pride.

It can be challenging to decide when to embark on a rebrand. To often, the warning signs get lost in the commotion of the everyday operation of the business.   And when they do get noticed, it can seem like a daunting challenge to embark on a rebranding initiative.

Below we will look at what we mean by brand, what a rebrand is, and some signs it is time for your B2B to start the rebranding journey.

What is a brand?

When you look at a brand, there is more to the story than a product or logo. Your brand should be an experience. There should be a well-thought-out strategy. The most successful brands are not about their products or services but about providing powerful experiences directed at their intended audiences. 

The logo and the rest of your brand identity are just the forward-facing visual assets of your brand, but they are not your brand. Instead, your brand is the all-encompassing experience your company provides. 

What is a rebrand?

Rebranding is the process of changing your B2B’s image and messaging to improve the business. The aim is to redevelop the existing brand into a new form that can stand out from competitors in the market.

The rebrand can include reshaping everything from the brand’s name, logo and tagline to goals, mission statements and everyday operations. 

The first place to start on a rebranding journey is with research. You should know your brand’s perceptions, both externally and internally. With this data, you can begin repositioning your branding strategy according to customer needs and marketplace opportunities. 

After research and strategy development, your brand is ready for the identity phase. This is when you update your band’s visual and verbal aspects, like logos, colors, typography, taglines, messaging and photography. 

Once the visual and verbal aspects of the brand have been updated, then it’s time to redesign the website and marketing collateral. Finally, after all of this, your brand is ready to be re-introduced to the market.  

Why rebrand?

A strong brand makes it more likely that potential customers will choose your product or service over your competitors. A well-positioned brand will deliver more revenue and generate more shareholder value. 

Yet, due to variances in the market, shifting priorities of customers and a whole host of other forces beyond your B2B’s control, a brand is only relevant on average for five to ten years. 

This is why rebranding is critical to the success of your B2B. It ensures that you stay competitive in the marketplace. At the end of the day, it’s not a question of will your B2B need a rebrand; it’s just a matter of when.

6 Signs It’s Time to Rebrand

1. Failing to differentiate from the competition

When your B2B’s brand starts to look like every other brand in the marketplace, it is time for a rebrand. 

Strong branding is all about competitive differentiation. Sales and growth will be extremely challenging when your brand can’t clearly articulate what makes it different. It’s vital that not only your customers but your employees know why your brand is superior to your competitors. 

The rebranding process will help you identify your B2B’s key differentiators and competitive advantage over the competition. 

2. Visual brand is outdated

While a brand is not just the visual aspects like a logo and tagline, your customers will judge you on them. Your visual branding should help you stand out in the marketplace and communicate relevancy to your target audience. 

Some signs that your visual branding might be outdated are:

  • It feels old and out of touch
  • It doesn’t relate to your company anymore
  • It doesn’t work well across mediums like print and online
  • It doesn’t translate well to social media
  • You have to give disclaimers that your website and marketing materials need to be updated

Updating your visual brand does not always mean an entire rebrand. Refreshing just the visual aspects of the brand can have a powerful impact. 

3. Business model/strategy has changed

You can’t always predict what outside forces will compel changes to your business model. Your industry could be shifting to new technology, or your customers’ needs could evolve. When this starts to happen, your brand must keep up.

If your brand doesn’t reflect the strategic direction of your business, rebranding your B2B is critical. You don’t want to send mixed messages about who you are or what you do.

4. Brand has become overly complicated

Keeping your brand focused over time is challenging, especially for larger B2B’s with multiple stakeholders with competing interests. Losing focus poses a serious challenge to your brand’s effectiveness.

Unfocused brands tend to resort to diversifying their offerings or outright copying their competition. They have weak or undefined value propositions and a general lack of relevance.

The more complex your brand, the harder it is for your customers to understand. If you find it challenging to convey your brand messaging and positioning, then it’s time for a rebrand. This process will help you step back, simplify and focus.   

5. Undergoing a merger or acquisition

Another sign it’s time for a rebrand is when you are undergoing a merger or acquisition. 

Looking at how the brands fit together in this situation is essential. Businesses often fail to think this through, resulting in both of the brand’s suffering.

In this situation, brand architecture is vital. Ensuring optimal relationships between the brands, products and services prevent redundancy, inconsistency, and confusion. These problems can undermine the ultimate value of a merger or acquisition.  

A logical brand architecture is vital to the performance of any B2B, especially if they are going through a merger or acquisition. Using the rebranding process to focus on brand architecture is the best way to help ensure lasting success for all the parties involved. 

6. Outgrown your brand

All long-standing brands have undergone a rebranding process. Even if you are careful with your brand’s management, there will come a time when you realize that your brand has outgrown its original intention. 

Your B2B offerings may have grown beyond the niche you identified when you first started, or you may need to change with the times to stay relevant. In these situations, you need to rebrand to accommodate the changes. 

It is likely that you will not want to leave all the old branding behind. The goal should be to identify the weaknesses where your brand is struggling and adapt them while keeping the strengths that still work.  

When not to rebrand

1. Boredom

As an employee of the company, you see the brand almost daily. Just because you’ve become fully accustomed to it does not mean your audience has. To them, it can still be new and fresh. Changing the branding too fast causes inconsistency and confusion, especially if your logo and voice are well-known.

2. Competition did it

Just because your competition did a refresh does not mean you need to. Suppose your B2B is constantly trying to one-up a competitor. In that case, you are being more reactionary than strategic, which could lead to the perception that you are not being original or genuine.

3. Drop in sales

While a drop in sales can be alarming, a complete rebrand may not be the answer. Instead, look at tweaking or updating key campaign messaging and visuals. This is a great way to evolve in the short term. If things are still not working, then consider a rebrand. 

No matter why your B2B is considering a rebrand, it’s critical to do it correctly. Your brand is the most crucial investment in your business strategy and can pay the most long-term dividends. Take the time to do it right and develop a strategy that all your stakeholders can understand and believe in.  

If you are ready to start the rebrand process, or still determining if it’s the right time for a rebrand, then contact Eisenberg at hello@eisenberginc.com, and we can help guide you to making the right decision. 

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