To rebrand or not to rebrand

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

Rebranding. Should you ever do it? When should you consider it? This could be one of the most complicated endeavors a company could take on. It’s not unusual for a rebrand to be harder than developing the original brand.

Here are a few points:

1. Too many companies believe their current brands stands for a superior experience – According to Bain & Co (a firm that helps companies with corporate strategies, performance, and organizational structure) over 80% of CEO’s believe their brands stand for a superior experience over their competitors, but only 8% of their customers agree. This is called “The Brand Gap”. Can they really be that wrong about themselves? It’s difficult to see yourself as you really are in the marketplace. Brutal honesty is absolutely required for a successful rebranding.

2. Look close to see what you are losing – By not realizing what your true brand is in the marketplace, you could be losing hundreds-of-thousands or millions of dollars because of myopia. You need to close the “brand gap” by doing one of two things, bring your customers closer to what you want them to think of you (marketing and advertising push & pull) or you move closer to what your customers want you to be (rebrand and then market your new you). Either way, every day you delay in bridging that gap, you are losing dollars.

3. Rebranding isn’t cheap – It does take a significant investment. You are looking to reinvent yourself into a more relevant, meaningful company to your customers. Before you forego the investment, you’ll need to make sure you’ve weighed the consequences of inaction carefully. It’s more than just what you are losing, it’s also about what you are missing out on. This double-whammy shouldn’t be taken lightly. Don’t let your ego or being “cheap” get in the way or your company could die a death of becoming irrelevant in a very short time. By not making the investment, you could lose it all.

4. Rebranding is more than a paint job – It’s not just a new logo, new colors, and new fonts. It’s about a core change within the company. The same principles of branding still apply to rebranding. The difference is you are needing to overcome a past to set up a brighter future. Everyone from within in the company and your customers should “feel” the new direction and experience the new commitment. Rebranding is about becoming more relevant to your customers in a meaningful way that makes their lives better or richer, because your old brand has failed to do either.

Brands are valuable. That’s why successful brands are managed from the top (i.e. Apple, Starbucks, Google, Walmart). Brand saturates all departments all converging at the CEO position. This is one of their most important jobs. CEO’s are paid to guard and enhance the brand to their stakeholders and customers. Brands are actions. Without action, brands never come to life.

If you haven’t been active in managing your brand, you could be doing more harm than good without realizing it. Can you really afford to become a has-been?


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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