Diamonds may be forever but branding is not—and that’s a good thing. A company’s branding must evolve and change as the company changes.
But when is it time to revise, renew or radically change a company’s branding?
Branding should accurately reflect the corporate culture and be consistent across all platforms and uses. If something happens to make the existing branding fail to meet those two qualifications, then the branding needs to be changed. If the change is radical, then rebranding needs to be considered along with that change. Other rebranding could happen after periodic, planned evaluation.
It makes smart business sense to evaluate the company’s processes, mission, services, marketing and yes, branding, on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean doing a corporate soul searching every three months or even every year. If there are no major changes that make a branding change obviously needed, then it’s probably safe to examine how well a company’s branding is working about every two or three years.
Questions to Ponder
Here are a few questions to ponder when deciding if it’s time for a branding change:
- Has the company made any major changes to its mission, structure or services? (This should spark a rebranding discussion at the time of the major change.)
- Has technology changed in a way that makes the company branding obsolete or somehow difficult to translate to the new mediums? In other words, does the branding still look good on social media, mobile phones and other technological enhancements?
- How is the target audience being reached and have marketing outlets changed?
- Have there been major changes in the service area—such as economic changes—that make the current branding irrelevant or possibly inappropriate?
- What kinds of changes have happened in the industry, and do they make the current branding no longer fully “fit”?
If the company is experiencing major changes like those described above, it’s time to take a look at the branding. Sometimes the changes are internal, sometimes external. Either way, a company must respond with appropriate changes to its corporate identity.
Radical Rebranding? Not Necessarily!
When talking about rebranding, it’s not necessarily a discussion of making major changes such as finding all new color schemes and graphics. It could mean simply tweaking an existing logo so that it fits better on mobile devices or somehow better reflects the evolved corporate identity.
Apple is a perfect example of a gradually evolved logo. As the company has grown and its own ability to change technology has developed, the traditional, 2-D, multi-colored striped apple with a bite taken out of it is now a 3-D silver apple with the same bite taken out. Did you know that Apple’s very first logo was a person sitting by a tree next to the ocean? It’s no surprise that the first logo didn’t even last a year as it doesn’t fit Apple’s culture at all. (We actually think the original logo belongs on an apple cider bottle.)
Sometimes the changes are so major, or the new thought patterns within the corporate culture are so revolutionary, that a complete rebranding is in order.
Most in Northwest Arkansas are familiar with Mercy Health Systems of NWA but what they may not realize is that Mercy Health Systems has about 200 facilities across several states. In 2011, the medical conglomerate announced that it was rebranding completely. New logo and all of the entities throughout each state would adopt the name Mercy in some form. The idea was that with all of the entities now being connected with electronic medical records, they should truly present themselves as one body with one mission.
The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget and any medium. We help companies through the process of evaluating the effectiveness of their branding package. If the branding is no longer working, we can fix it!
Call us. We’d love to work for you.