In business, there are few changes as significant as a rebrand.
As your brand reflects the relationship you have with your customers, it’s understandable that many business leaders feel trepidation at the thought of undertaking a rebrand.
However, there comes a time when a rebrand is necessary for most businesses.
Recently, this time came for Islandbridge. (And we felt that trepidation, too.)
Why rebranding is necessary
While rebranding is not a task to be undertaken lightly, there are a number of reasons why a rebrand may become imperative.
These reasons could include:
- A new merger or acquisition
- Changing markets
- Mitigating a poor reputation
- Modernisation of an outdated brand
- Adapting to a new business environment
- A new business leader
- A new brand name
There’s no rule of thumb for when a rebrand has to happen. Your business may benefit from a rebrand after seven years, another business may require a rebrand after 10.
Recognising when a rebrand is necessary can be difficult.
There’s usually one main reason for embarking on a rebrand project, but a number of other factors go hand-in-hand too.
This was the case with our own rebrand.
Does your brand reflect your purpose?
In many ways, our previous brand identity was still doing a good job for us.
We’ve just recently celebrated our 15th year in business, and our name and visual identity was recognisable.
But there have been some big changes in the past 15 years. Changes in the marketplace, changes in the customers we attract and changes in our own organisation. All of these changes were positive transformations, but our original brand identity wasn’t reflecting this growth.
As a team, we also spent a lot of time re-evaluating our purpose and questioning whether our brand was really aligning with it.
We see Islandbridge’s purpose as:
“We aim to change the way the world does business by inspiring business leaders to build their brand around a thoughtful, fair and fruitful exchange between them and their customers.”
While the idea for a rebrand had been discussed a few times, it was when we got back to basics with our purpose that we realised that a rebrand had to become a priority, as our visual identity wasn’t properly reflecting the role of bridge-builder that we play for our customers.
A rebrand is a strategic repositioning
It’s no surprise that it was our purpose that lead to us fully committing to our rebranding project. The same is often true for our clients.
And it also illustrates how a rebrand is essentially about a strategic repositioning.
Logos, image and photographic style, visual language and colour palettes all become part and parcel of a rebrand, but these stem from deeply understanding your organisation’s new strategic repositioning.
Your positioning relates to how you establish your product or service in the eyes of your customer. Three questions need to be answered to fully understand your new repositioning strategy:
- What’s your customer purchasing from you? In Islandbridge’s case, our clients buy our help in directing and supporting them to build relationships in new markets (and to strengthen existing ones).
- How is your product or service different to other offerings on the market? Our clients come to us for our structured and measurable approach to brand building.
- What is unique about your product or service? We don’t “just” devise and build branding strategies for our clients; instead we fully partner with them to see their rebranding strategy through all the way to their far shore.
Once you have your answer to these three questions, you’re well on your way to building the foundations of your rebrand.
Many of us are familiar with the business mantra to “adapt or die”.
It’s mostly used in a sales context, but these words have meaning for companies considering rebranding too.
Done properly, you’ll need to rebrand only a few times in the lifetime of your business.
But there’s no doubt that adapting to new market conditions, or even new markets, is the way to grow. The only certainty, after all, is change.
It may be that rebranding is the strongest way to support and drive your growth trajectory. Even 15 years later, as you can see with ourselves!