9 reasons to update the corporate identity of your brand
A full rebranding is always a challenging, dizzying task to consider. But it doesn’t matter how much work, time, effort and money it implies, sometimes this daunting process cannot be put off any longer. Let’s highlight what are the situations that might trigger your company’s next corporate identity make-up.
1. Your brand image needs refreshing
A plain need for novelty or for a more modern image is often the main drive behind a corporate identity upgrade. But what timeframe are we looking at with which frequency should a company look at revamping its image? On average, companies update their branding identity every seven to ten years. You want to look at your own timeline and if you haven’t performed any identity upgrade in that many years, chances are you need to get moving. Note: this seven-to-ten year window varies depending on your sector and competition. Be aware of what’s going in your sector and be quick to react if needed.
2. Undergoing corporate acquisitions
That is also one of the main causes of rebranding, and also one of the most obvious. A union between two entities brings naturally and almost 100% of the times a change in image and identity. Under these particular situations, not only the company as a whole gets an opportunity to upgrade in brand images, but it is also more often than not an absolute must, if not a legal requirement. Same thing applies in the case of a schism between two corporate entities.
3. Leadership shifts
Also a common root cause for corporate identity upgrade, the introduction of a new CEO, directors or high-end executives is often a period of deep reorganization and a great opportunity for companies to refresh their legacy and cornerstones, including their identity attributes.
4. Milestones. Anniversaries.
Let’s take an example here, with German suitcase manufacturer RIMOWA, a company that just celebrated its 120th year of existence with a complete and profound makeover. Learn more here.
This is not uncommon for companies to take advantage of a new milestone to look into potential image upgrades. Why not do the same and use your next round-number anniversary to look into upgrade possibilities?
5. Winds of change
If you monitor closely your sector (you definitely should), you know how swift your competition and/or target audience tends to adopt new standards. If you get the feeling you are entering a period of cultural change within your industry, smartly get a corporate identity committee up and running within your marketing department and empower it to report opportunities to adapt your image to the current shifts within the market. Here are a few examples of fast image changing sectors and categories where this tactic pay big dividends: food delivery, consumer electronics (especially computers), printing, cosmetics.
Like it or not, times change, and markets change with them. Adapting your logo, corporate identity visuals or retail environment will help to give your brand a boost, and can help propel your company into the changing future of your industry.
6. Bad Reputation
Everybody knows the time-old adage ‘No one is perfect’. But as much as we cling to it as a life saving device through troubled times as individuals, it, unfortunately, doesn’t work with a business. When a company’s reputation is bad or drama hits your brand name, don’t expect anyone to forgive and forget. In these settings, you need to quickly move on and go for a complete rebirth. Following a time of crisis, internal changes are usually the first to be implemented: new product range, new strategy and even new personnel or leaders. But that is not enough unfortunately. You also want to look at shedding your company’s old, tainted skin in order to signal to the public that you have pleaded guilty to your past flaws but that a new dawn has come for you.
Famous and successful post crisis face-lifts: McDonalds, Nike, Kobe Bryant.
7. Boring image
This might be subjective but it is actually the prime reason why a company should need to update its corporate identity. Sometimes there’s just no getting away from the fact that your branding has become boring and forgettable. Out with the old and in with the new as the saying goes. A rebrand can put a new spring in your company’s step, and helps to retain existing customers as well as gaining new ones. Not sure how you fare in your consumer’s eyes? Then don’t waste any more time and get in touch with a rebranding specialist to get a full image assessment and action plan.
8. Adapting to emerging demographics
The older a company is, the greater the chance of its being perceived as “stale.” It’s a generational thing and sometimes, a brand simply needs to adapt to shifts in demographics. That starts with identifying and profiling the new target and adapting yourself to its standard and habits. In the US, Target is a perfect example of that type of move. The superstore chain was thought to be a low-end, outdated discount store and, seeing the emergence of rival Walmart, went into a full rebranding frenzy. They started by launching partnerships with millennial influencers, signed exclusive deals with designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Mossimo Giannulli and Michael Graves and restyled their logos and corporate communication material. Now guess where the newer generation prefers to shop in the US?
9. Expanding out of your domestic market
Depending on the industry, a company can be associated with a specific geographical region and that might be beneficial for the brand. Think about Belgian beers or French red wines for example, no need for them to adapt their styles and communication to their export markets : it is precisely that which makes them in-demand, a much as the product itself. With that being said, that local traditionalist approach to product identity doesn’t work in many sectors other than food. For instance, a European clothes retailer better adapts its visual language and identity before starting to enter, say, the Japanese market.
There are obviously more turning points in a company or a product’s life span when corporate identity can be revisited. As a rule a thumb, just keep one thing in mind: as far as corporate identity is concerned, the only constant is change. And you must keep an eye open at all times, continuously spot opportunities to improve your image and never be afraid to pull the trigger on a full corporate make-up should you hit one of those turning points.