At certain times during the life of a company, its original self can change or evolve into something very different. Make sure that your branding and company image are aligned with those changes, and, most importantly, with your mission.

In the very unlikely event that Facebook decided to become a search engine like Google, calling itself Facebook wouldn’t make sense. As your company’s service offerings or target clients change, it might also be time to update your brand. There are a number of ways to do this.

Branding is an abstract concept encompassing your company’s stories and how customers perceive you. It includes the logo, the slogan, the words on your website and much more. In the words of Elevation Strategist Zakiya Larry, “Your brand is your promise.” While what you do may change, you’ll want why you do it to remain the same.

To help you decide whether it’s time to rebrand, and how to go about it, consider the answers to these questions:

WHY SHOULD I CHANGE?

First, identify reasons for rebranding. Are sales declining? Has your brand become untrustworthy? Has its appeal to targeted customers waned? Does your logo look outdated, signaling old-fashioned products? To determine whether a rebrand can help to solve your issues, try to pinpoint an exact reason for its decline and why it’s happening.

This video should help you consider whether to rebrand:

To see a successful rebrand, look at Apple’s old and new ones. The old one became outdated and, for a technology company, a fresh look became very important.

Which do you think is more modern?

apple logo history

HOW DO I START?

After you’ve identified which parts of your brand require a change, begin thinking about the story you want your company to tell. During the discovery phase:

  • Research your customers
  • Map out your new image
  • Be consistent throughout

Make sure that you understand your customers and what attracts them so they’ll align with your new brand. If you rebrand to something still unlikeable, you’ll have wasted time and money. For more information, check out this two-minute video:

DO CUSTOMERS UNDERSTAND ME?

Be clear and concise in branding, particularly if customers can’t completely understand your current brand. When this happens, it’s as if you’re selling hamburgers but calling them “meat patties.” While that’s not incorrect, customers are far more likely to understand the word “hamburger.”

Be able to state your mission in a single sentence or even one word. Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan, which debuted in July 1988, was and remains spot-on for the company’s branding. Think about what your company means and the story you want to tell. Don’t be wordy. Then commit to your update, in part because rebranding after just a couple of months could be disastrous.

If your current brand needs more oomph, plan the best direction in which to move. If you’re committed to doing your homework with customers and finding out what they want, you’ll be on a better path to success with a makeover.

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