When is it OK to rebrand?

When is it OK to rebrand?I was watching a video on Denise Duffield Thomas’s Facebook page last week all about her retiring. No, not herself, about her retiring her incredibly well known Lucky Bitch brand. It got me thinking a lot about rebranding actually… and I’m not talking about a logo tweak… I’m talking about why people decide to change their business name/colours/vibe entirely. Is it OK to rebrand? Why would you rebrand? And what should you think about when you do.

I should say, this rebranding blog is just my own thoughts on it. I do love all the elements of branding and I am fairly knowledgeable on the subject, but these are very much my own thoughts on rebrands and how it all works.

Is it OK to rebrand?

Of course it is. On one level. If you’re self-employed, the head of your own business and, therefore, in charge of your own destiny you can, in theory, do whatever you like. If you want to rebrand your business as something completely crazy, you do it if you want. But you really should have a good old think about it before you go mad, as it could have repercussions. Although, referring to point one, if it is YOUR brand, you can do what you like… well, as long as you don’t infringe on anyone else’s trademarks and break laws…

Why would you rebrand?

As I listened to Denise’s Facebook Live, she explained her reason for retiring one brand and focussing more on her other, her own brand, and the reasoning was bang on. In many ways, she’s outgrown the Lucky Bitch brand. Yeah – it was fun, it got her on the map, it got the point across and it did the job. It was also different and it broke the mould. It ticked a lot of boxes. But she’s always been behind the brand, so when people understood and got on board with the Lucky B philosophy, they knew it as Denise behind it. Lucky B was (and is, in my view) a good brand… and has done a good job. Could people be offended by the ‘b’ word? Without a doubt. Did that matter? Not so much. If you’ve ever read any of Denise’s books (and I would recommend them!), they aren’t offensive in the slightest and offer really good advice. So why change?

You’re not that person anymore…

Businesses evolve and grow. I can tell you this because I have experienced this first hand with mine and it’s still evolving and changing at a slightly alarming (and exciting rate). As you may know, I’ve run a very successful PR and marketing agency for well over 10 years and I was very happy with that. I had a client list that many would give their limbs for. I got great coverage for my clients. They were pleased. I was pleased. All was good. But there was something missing. I do enjoy helping big businesses because of what you can do, but I really really love smaller businesses. So I changed my business model. It sort of started by accident when I dipped my toe into coaching a handful of clients but I LOVED it. The work we were doing was creating huge shifts in their businesses and I absolutely adored the energy, the brainstorming, the mental challenge and the strategy. I loved being able to think outside the box and have people go ‘yeah, I’m going to do that’, and I continue to adore this now. So I tweaked my logo and moved away from the PR element. Truth be told, it could really do with another tweak as although a lot of the work I do is social, marketing and PR related, there’s a lot of business development and other stuff thrown in. But I digress. In my case, I just wasn’t what my old logo said. It didn’t fit. It wasn’t who I was. And this was just a logo. I’ve always (rather creatively!) been Rhea Freeman PR… kind of says what it does on the tin… so I dropped the PR. Not a big step. But I wasn’t that person… and I probably need to give everything a shake up again based on how much my biz has changed since that logo was developed… but I digress.

So, imagine if your business shifted so much that, actually, the name of your business didn’t really describe what you did anymore. What if you realised that when people stumble into your website they are looking for YOUR name rather than your brand name (as I believe is/was the case with Denise…). What would you do then? If your brand feels like a slightly tight shoe, do you stick with it, or do you change it up?

You need to think about your rebrand

Rebranding shouldn’t be a knee jerk reaction to something. It should be considered. You need to think of the impact it could have on your business – could it alienate some of your customers? This might make you think ‘yes, so I must not’, but that’s not the full story… will it alienate your IDEAL customer? If it won’t alienate your ideal customer, then don’t remove it from the table. Will the rebrand feel more you and better represent your brand? Do you have a key time where it would make sense to do it? How are you going to tell people? How are you going to feel when people tell you they don’t like it/preferred the old one (because they will… everyone has an opinion…)? Can you handle it?

It’s important to grown and evolve

…and your brand is a part of that. It’s what people first encounter when they see your little profile picture on Facebook and find you as a result of a Google search. That logo – that wording – matters. There’s HUGE amounts of information in this area and there’s an art and a science to it. Don’t be afraid to rebrand. Don’t be afraid to evolve. Just make sure it’s for all the right reasons and will help you progress down your desired path rather than hold you back.

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