Six signs it’s time to rebrand

By Lynn Manternach / Guest Editorial

A lot of money is spent every day by businesses promoting messages that don’t stand out. The marketing environment is getting louder and more crowded every day, while consumers are just too busy to listen.

As you look carefully at your brand and the challenges it faces in today’s marketplace, you might be wondering if it’s time to consider rebranding. A rebranding effort at the right time has the potential to breathe new life into your brand and your bottom line.

How do you know it’s time to rebrand? Here are six signs the timing may be right.

Relevancy: Is your brand still relevant to your targeted consumers? Has it been a while since the brand and the brand look has been updated? If your graphic look shouts 1990 but what you’re selling has nothing to do with a retro theme, it’s time to get with the times. The visuals, however, are the easy part to update. Take the time and effort to think about your brand position and promise as well. Does your brand have a consumer-centric approach rather than an old-school company-centric tone and approach? Does everyone throughout your organization understand the customer experience you’re targeting and how to deliver it on a consistent basis?

Predicted Growth: If you are preparing for expected growth, now may be the time to rebrand products and services into a consolidated brand. A consistent and focused approach simplifies the brand internally and externally, and creates some important efficiencies when it comes to your overall marketing resource investment. Taking the time to articulate the brand architecture and how multiple brands fit together in advance will save you time and money in the future.

A Change in Focus: Successful companies change over time, and sometimes that means your brand needs to change as well. Remember when Apple was known as Apple Computers? A simple rebrand to remove part of the name positioned the brand for new growth and opportunities. Every brand needs to be reassessed periodically to confirm it’s on track for current and future growth opportunities.

New Market or Audience: Are you talking to a new demographic that isn’t really responding to your previous messaging? Farmers Insurance and State Farm Insurance, both founded in the 1920s, were known as solid and reliable. And boring. They have significantly boosted brand engagement by adding humor to their messaging. This new approach gives them a much better chance of getting today’s consumers to think about insurance.

Competitive Influences: Sometimes a company’s competitive environment changes enough to prompt the need to rebrand. When a competitor renders your brand useless or dated, a rebranding effort could help you refocus on what makes you relevant to your customers and differentiates you in the marketplace.

Merger, Acquisition or Expansion: Sometimes circumstances give you little choice about rebranding. If your company merged with another, was acquired or launched a new division that modifies your core mission, it’s time to reevaluate the brand.

Realizing its time to rebrand is an important first step in the rebranding process. Next, you need to determine the extent of the rebranding process. Rebranding can be subtle, simply evolving the current look and messaging in small, but important, ways. Rebranding can also be big and bold, with clearly visible changes in the brand look, position and focus.

As you think about what makes sense for you and your company, make sure you keep your customers and what they need from you at the forefront of the decision-making process. Ultimately, your brand has to be engaging and likable from their perspective. If it’s not, you’re not doing it right.



Lynn Manternach is brand arsonist and president at MindFire Communications Inc. ( in Cedar Rapids and Le Claire. Contact Lynn at