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5 Signs Your Business Needs to Rebrand: Katch up on How to Stay Ahead of the Curve

by Ashraf Ibrahim | 18th March 2024 | Digital,Public Relations,Marketing
Old and New Phone

Whether a small restaurant or a multinational conglomerate, almost every business will have to rebrand at some point to adapt to changing market trends and help expand its reach

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, staying relevant and resonating with your audience is paramount. One key aspect of maintaining a competitive edge is the ability to recognise when it’s time to refresh your brand. Most of today’s successful businesses have rebranded at various stages of their journey, striving to keep pace with the demands of their industry and the expectations of their customers.

At Katch International, we’re always up to date on the latest trends and developments in the realm of branding, and we believe that every business has untapped potential that can be unlocked through strategic rebranding efforts. If you’re unsure if your business is ready for a rebrand, read on to delve into the signs that indicate it might be time for a transformative change.

The Brand is Causing Confusion

When it comes to branding of any kind, clarity and uniqueness are of utmost importance. If a brand’s messaging is muddled, the audience might struggle to understand what it stands for. Confused messaging can arise from various sources, whether it's inconsistent communication across different channels, a lack of cohesive brand identity, outdated designs, or even embracing new visuals that lead to misperception among the business’ customer base.

Man Confused at Blackboard

Well-established brands can sometimes cause confusion amongst their audience when they try out a new design or name. Take Keystone Light, for example, a popular hops brand in the U.S. that changed the logo on its can to highlight the word “STONE” separately, leading consumers to mistake it for Stone Brewing, another U.S.-based company that sells similar products.

A complicated or unconventional name can also overwhelm your audience, making it difficult for them to connect with or relate to the brand. In 2017, Mozilla Foundation, the company that developed Firefox, a popular internet browser, decided to do a rebranding on its own, changing its name to “moz://a”– a reference to the web links. This campaign received some backlash, as the company today offers more than just a web browser, and using such a name made it look like some of the older brands that emerged during the early internet era in the ‘90s.

Your Target Audience Has Changed

As businesses expand and markets shift, it’s not uncommon for a change in target audience to occur. Whether due to developments in consumer preferences, demographic shifts, or advancements in technology, your once-defined audience may no longer align with your brand. Recognising this shift is crucial, as failure to adapt to the evolving needs of your audience can result in missed opportunities and diminished relevance. By acknowledging this switch, you can take proactive steps to realign your brand messaging, products, and services.

Victoria's Secret, the lingerie brand renowned for its focus on a wide demographic of female shoppers, can serve as a good example of how a worldwide change of ideas and values can be reflected in a company. After initially focusing on thin, young, white models for its advertisements, the company changed its direction to be more inclusive, bringing in people from diverse backgrounds to resonate with a broader audience of women. While the company’s logo and name remained the same, its new approach towards inclusivity is helping to revamp its image and maintain a loyal customer base from all around the world.

You’ve Outgrown Your Brand

Business can sometimes outgrow their original brand identities, especially when one of their products yields remarkable success. What once served as an accurate representation of your company's values, mission, and principles may no longer align with your current reality. Perhaps you've expanded your product or service line, entered new markets, or experienced significant growth. In such cases, sticking with an outdated brand can hold you back, preventing the business from fully capitalising on new opportunities and reaching its full potential.

By rebranding, you can realign the company with your current business objectives, values, and target audience, ensuring that it continues to resonate and remain relevant. In 2018, Dunkin’ Donuts, the American multinational coffee and doughnut company, made headlines after dropping “Donuts” from its logo and official name. While the company still serves its mouthwatering doughnuts all over the world, its coffee and soft beverage products were much more successful, leading the brand to change its identity to not limit itself to its original offerings.

Dunkin' outlet

Your Business Model Has Undergone a Transformation

Businesses evolve over time in response to various factors, especially in today’s fast-moving, technology-dependent world. Sometimes, these changes necessitate a shift in your business model. Whether you're transitioning from a traditional brick-and-mortar model to an e-commerce platform, launching subscription-based services, or pivoting to focus on new revenue streams, a significant change in your business must be followed by an appropriate rebranding.

Your brand positioning should always reflect your business to maintain consistency and clarity for your audience. Apple Computers, the name that present-day Apple used to be known by, took the word “Computers” from its name a few months after the groundbreaking launch of the first iPhone in 2007. “Don’t call it a computer company,” said the company’s former CEO Steve Jobs, indicating that Apple has expanded its reach far beyond just computers.

Another example from the tech industry is Google, which changed its parent company name to Alphabet in 2015, ushering in a new era for the company as it continued to expand to various sectors aside from online advertisement.

Google on tablet

You’ve Moved or Expanded Beyond Your Original Geography

Expanding beyond your original place is a significant milestone for any business. If you're opening additional branches in new locations, entering new markets, or expanding your online presence to serve customers worldwide, geographical expansion presents both opportunities and challenges for your company. If your brand identity is closely tied to a specific location or region, it may not resonate with audiences outside of that area.

Companies might change their name or rebrand years after their worldwide expansion, and sometimes they do that for a variety of reasons, not just to appeal to international consumers. In 2002, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, an American multinational conglomerate operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, healthcare, and consumer goods, celebrated its 100th anniversary by changing its name to 3M Company, a name you might have seen before on your car’s rear window.

In 1991, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the renowned fast-food American chain, changed its name and adopted its initials - KFC. While the company stated that this was an attempt to distance the chain from the unhealthy connotations of “Fried”, the name also helped to make the brand appeal to more international consumers (with plenty of imitation brands sprouting up to piggyback off this success including CFC in Indonesia and KKFC in Nepal).

KFC store

Recognising the signs that indicate the need for a rebrand is crucial for staying competitive and relevant. Remember, rebranding doesn’t necessarily mean changing your name or logo; it can sometimes comprise renaming a product, modifying your vision and mission statements, or even just switching to small letters in your brand’s name (take a look at the shiny “intel” sticker if you’re using a Windows laptop). If your brand is in need of some new life or you just want to reignite interest in your products, don't hesitate to explore the possibilities of a rebrand.

For more related updates and to Katch us covering similar topics, watch this space!

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