Why and when you should consider a rebrand.

The Bigger Boat’s creative director Doug Main has been leading successful rebranding projects for 25 years. Here, he discusses at what point businesses might want to consider a rebrand and outlines why it’s not as simple as just overhauling a logo.

A rebrand isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. There’s often a large cost involved – not only in the strategic and creative work that’s required but also the expense of implementing a new brand identity. Depending on the size of your business, a new corporate identity could mean overhauling your logo, website, uniforms, promotional literature, stationery, email and email signatures and signage – to name just a handful of elements. Because of that, we always say that you should have really good reason to change the brand identity.

Rebranding to differentiate
Consider your reasons for looking toward a rebrand. It might be that your business has changed, evolved or had a period of growth and you need to visually communicate this to your staff, customers and prospects. It could be that your existing identity looks tired – perhaps you didn’t have the budget when you first started – and you want to breathe new life into the business. You could have gone through a name change or you’re looking to move into different markets and connect with new audiences, so a new identity is essential. Perhaps your existing brand identity has been tainted with some unfavourable PR? That could be another reason to rebrand – but beware: a new brand identity alone won’t fix broken promises to your customers.

There are lots of reasons to rebrand. However, the most important thing is to be considered and strategic about why you’re doing it (it shouldn’t ever be something you do on a whim), as well as how you approach it. Ultimately, this is what will differentiate you from competitors, influence brand perception and communicate brand values.

There’s much to consider ahead of a rebrand but here are my key pieces of advice:

Make sure you know what your brand is
Unless you explore your brand personality, values and your business’s ‘big idea’, it’s impossible to create a brand identity that’s fit for purpose. Define what exactly has changed and prompted the project in the first place and agree on what the ultimate goal of the rebrand is.

Take your time and do the research
Make sure you find out what your competitors are doing and why they’re doing it – can you do something that stands out or deliver something similar in a different way? Find out how other brands that have similar values to yours portray themselves – can you learn anything? There are lots of questions to ask. Make sure you leave no stone unturned and use that information to influence the creative exploration.

Involve key stakeholders
We would always advise that you involve as many of your staff as practically possible – getting buy-in from the shop floor on such a project is one of the key building blocks to a successful rebrand. If you can, get customers and prospective customers involved and find out what they love about your brand or look for in a similar company. Use all of this knowledge to your advantage and let it inform your new identity.

Considering a rebrand? Talk to us about the right creative direction for your brand identity and let our rebranding experts help guide every stage of the project.

Written by Doug Main
Co-founder Doug’s obsession for typography and killer attention to detail result in brilliantly unique, creative concepts for our clients.