Sooner or later, almost every business or nonprofit faces the question: is it time to rebrand? If you’ve ever entertained this thought (and even if you haven’t), consider the following:

When it may be time to rebrand….

  • Your founder created your logo based on their favorite color, animal, child’s name, etc., and it just doesn’t make sense for your business. If there’s an owl, for example, in your logo simply because your founder loved owls, and it has nothing to do with your business and no appeal to your target market, it’s probably time to rebrand. Or, if you’re a health food company and your original logo is perfect, except that none of the colors can be found in a naturally grown food, it is time to update your brand’s colors!
  • You have changed names, expanded and/or shifted directions, and your logo no longer encompasses who you are and what you do. For example, if your company originally made candy canes but now makes pretzels, chips and chocolate too, yet you’re still using a red and white striped logo, you have outgrown your current branding.
  • Your brand doesn’t appeal to your target market. If your target market is men, yet your logo is pink with feminine swirls, it is definitely time to rebrand. Your logo’s design style and other choices need to appeal to your target market.
  • Your logo dates your company and/or no longer represents the image you’d like to portray. Perhaps when you started 15 years ago, you created your own logo (or had your brother-in-law do it) out of budget necessity. It served your needs then, but now it’s too common, doesn’t capture who you are or simply doesn’t look professional enough.
  • Your brand name no longer works for you. Perhaps the name of your company now has negative associations, is offensive in a new market or, much to your horror, is the same as a bad, popular new slang word.
  • Your brand name or logo doesn’t stand out or differentiate itself. If your name or logo is too common or similar to others in your field, it will be difficult for potential customers to know the difference.

When it may NOT be time to rebrand…

  • You can’t afford to do it yet. If you’re a startup or a small business just barely making it, and you have a lot of printed materials that would need updated, it may be best to hold off until you can afford to update everything. Don’t rebrand if you will be putting yourself in a 2-brand position – one online and another offline (with your printed materials).
  • You’re bored with your logo and think it’s time for a change. If you or someone on your team wants to rebrand simply for the sake of rebranding and none of the factors above apply, now is probably not the right time to rebrand. Consistency – unless your brand needs changed – is more important.