Rebranding: Yes – No – Maybe

Posted on Posted in Brands & Branding


Article on ‘Rebranding’ by Nick Eggleton that appeared in The West Australian 8.12.14

Did things change or is that lipstick on your gorilla?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question about whether a business should rebrand.

Some urge a rebrand because it is a revenue opportunity for design and implementation of a new identity.

Any brand thinking that changing a logo, or a strapline or a name should think long and hard. If nothing has changed the argument for rebranding is challenging. The target audience and existing clients will be confused.

Confusion and change are disconcerting and they lead to disconnection. Not the objective probably sought.

Surety, consistency and promise are what make a brand successful.

Rebranding: understanding branding

The rebranding question is best answered by understanding what your brand stands for with it’s existing clients: How it is perceived by lapsed or untried audiences and, ultimately, why you would.

This is where brand specialists earn their crust. They provide processes that systematically help. They breakdown the layers that make up the brand and assess those against the things desired by the ‘revised’ target and craft a revised framework.

The brand identity itself is a symbol of the sum of those things. If they don’t change then changing the symbol is meaningless.

However, if some elements that make up the brand are changed, to meet the audiences needs, then a change of symbol is a great way to signify the change. If the change is fundamental you could consider a name change.

So what are these unsaid elements? Well every brand specialist presents and defends their “magic sauce” as unique and more effective. Spoiler alert. They rarely are.

Essentially the same core questions apply all brands: Why do we exist, why are we different, what do we promise to do, for what market, how are we able to deliver, what is our style?

Rebranding: evolution or revolution

If the answers to some of those have changed, evolution of a brand is natural. If there’s been a revolution on most of them, then rebranding is obvious.

If the answers are “a little, but not really”, then a change of identity is just “putting lipstick on a gorilla”. So don’t.

Your brand can fool some of the people some of the time, but that is not a sustainable competitive advantage, which should be the aim of all businesses, and their brands.

If your business is considering rebranding please give us a call for a free review.