How to Know When to Rebrand
Is Rebranding my business really worth the time and investment?
As a Brand Identity Designer, I'm sure you're guessing my answer would be, "Yes it is worth the investment, so yes do it, and do it right now." However, that's not accurate. My answer, like it is for most things, is it depends.
And it depends on a lot of reasons; from your budget size, to the current market, to your goals, and your competition. But to keep things short, here are the top 3 signs that make it pretty clear you're ready for a Rebrand.
Quick Summary if you're in a rush.
Not Making Money > If your service or product isn't selling for the rate it's worth
Unhappy Customers > If you're consistently getting difficult or unhappy customers
Competition is Taking Your Base > If you've been a long-standing business that's suddenly losing customers due to Mr. Joe-Cool-and-New down the block
KRD/Brand Spin: You have options! Full-Rebrand, Refine, or Stair-Step. (Read more about that here)
Not Making the Money You're Worth
Can you pay my bills? 🎶
Cue Destiny's Child music. There are a few fundamental things having a business will do for you and one of them (very basic) is MAKE MONEY.
If your business is not making enough to give yourself a salary, pay your bills, invest back into your business, or grow your team... it's time for something to change.
Work to Live, or Live to Work?
If you're exhausted, overworked, and burnt out, you probably aren't paying yourself enough. Be wary of pushing yourself too hard! We sometimes think we can take on more than we actually can. This is not a great long term solution, and eventually, if you don't start leveling up in your business and your rates, your quality of service will weaken.
If People are Surprised
If people are saying "so cheap!", or, "Wow! Such a deal! Everyone I know needs to come snag this while it's so affordable..." That's a sign you're not charging adequately! While it might be enticing to take advantage of that kind of word of mouth, this actually works against you in the long run.
Instead of attracting clients who value you, your product, or service for how it benefits and improves their life, you'll be attracting people whose priorities are bargain deals and discounts. So even when they do recommend you, it's because of your low rate (not your awesome business). Eventually, you'll have a hard time expanding out of that rate since your whole audience will have the expectation of getting a deal.
Some customers just tend to complain more (with or without reason). Some are demanding, yell, say awful things, nitpick or judge, demand their money back, or always ask for a discount.
This is the type of situation where the conclusion is: you will just never be able to do anything right for them. No matter what you say, do, or offer, they will still complain and want more.
This is NOT the type of customer we're going after.
Now in opposition, your ideal customer will LOVE your product or service as is. They are happy to be along for the ride of wherever your business is at. They are understanding and grateful for the experience (and will often tell you exactly that!).
You won't hear complaints or them begging to pay you less. Your ideal customer will pay what you charge because they trust that you are worth it.
>> Drawing a Conclusion
If you are getting overwhelmingly more "low-quality" customers instead of ideal customers, that shows you there is a misalignment with how you're marketing. If this is happening a lot... well, it's time to rebrand.
If you have competitors that are swooping in and taking all of your business, take it as a CLEAR sign, it's time to level up.
I had a client (@equilibriomassage) who came to me after being an established massage studio for 15 years in San Diego. She had been losing customers to the young, hip, flashy, millennial massage business that had recently moved into the area.
That’s when I stepped in and transformed her business into a modern brand that reflected the ethos of the company. We clarified her message, created something recognizable, and cleaned up her packaging.
Without any significant changes in marketing strategies, just redoing the branding, Equilibrio saw a 33% growth!
>> Drawing a Conclusion
If you can relate to this story, take it as a sign of it being your time to shine! Reengage your audience with a new brand and a new look that reflects the changing marketplace.
Show your audience that you keep up with the times and that you're exactly as professional as you say you are because you can AFFORD the time and investment that it takes to rebrand.
Added Bonus: The rebrand process will clarify your USP (unique selling point), your brand story and key benefits, as well as who your ICA (Ideal Client Avatar) is and how to portray yourself to speak more clearly to them!
KRD SPIN: Options!
If these points speak to you and you're realizing you need to rebrand, but your budget or your bandwidth can't sustain it right now, then it's okay! Don't freak out! You have options.
Option #1: Rebrand (Change the corporate image of a company or organization)
Option #2: Refine (Improve something by making small changes)
Option #3: Stair Step (slowly refine brand over time)
Read more in-depth about these options to decide what's right for your business here.
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About the Author
Hi I'm Kat! I've been a graphic designer for over ten years, five of which I've specialized in Brand Identity Design. I AM ON A MISSION to help business owners deliver their gifts, services, or products to the audience that needs them through cohesive, effective Branding that helps them stand out in the market place.
I live in sunny San Diego, California with my daughter and two pups. We enjoy traveling, camping, hanging out at the beach, eating all the foods, reading, writing stories, doing puzzles, and watching history documentaries! To learn more about me, my branding process, or my design background, check out my site, katmaidesigns.com.