Does your business really need a rebrand?

The short answer is, maybe not.

This may be at odds with everything you’ve ever heard from the design-agency zeitgeist, but honestly, it’s true. Sometimes, and bear with us here, it’s far more beneficial to actually get under the skin of a brand and understand what’s really going on – before judging a font size or logo. Still with us? Good. Let’s take a closer look.

For example, if your business is already engaging well with customers, is recognisable and respected, then a brand overhaul could risk alienating loyal audiences and confusing your key message. And, with businesses already fighting for user attention and screen time, throwing any ambiguity into the mix when it’s not necessary isn’t perhaps best use of time or resources.

Often, businesses are looking for a way to rapidly hit new targets, and agencies are looking for the quick win new business. And thus, the age-old dance of creating something hip, funky, trendy, fresh (insert any artistic director buzzword here) to paper over the cracks begins. You may find however, that greater success can be achieved by focusing on renovating other areas. A revised social media strategy being just one, or simply updating the content or format on your website to better fit what it is you’re trying to say. This way, businesses can look to make a valuable strategic move – without erasing any treasured history and upsetting an already profitable apple cart.

That being said, knowing the difference between whether you need a rebrand or not is where the challenge really lies. But just how easy is it to tell whether it’s the branding that needs an overhaul, or something else?

Understanding the challenges your business is facing

There are of course some stead-fast rules that mean a rebrand is necessary to help take your brand to the next level. A good checklist to adhere to is this:

• Are you challenged by new competitors?
• Is your current logo unfit for purpose for some audiences?
• Have you changed your product, service or offering?
• Do you have a new audience to target?
• Does your company need to attract or retain new talent?
• Has a merger or acquisition impacted your identity?

If you answered yes to one or more of these, then it’s safe to say that you’ll reap the benefits of a refreshed brand image. But one that’s approached in the right way.

What makes a brand refresh worth it?

When not done well, a rebrand can be seen as wasteful, indulgent, and even egotistical. Why? Because they can be costly, and often miss the point of what they set out to do. But it shouldn’t be that way. With the right agency and creative team behind you, a good brand refresh can go a long way in generating growth, boosting engagement, and future-proofing your entire organisation.

The right process starts with the right conversations. Any agency taking on a rebrand should be getting right under the skin of your business, finding out what makes you tick, exactly who your audience is and what future goals and aspirations you have for the future. Getting this process nailed is the only way to ensure your brand values shine through and are communicated in a way that not only helps your customers to understand you, but your employees too.

A brand that got its redesign right is Orion Pictures. Faced with the classic dilemma of having a much-loved old logo, while wanting to make sure the company didn’t appear dated or out-of-touch, Orion Pictures took the leap and went for a completely new look.

(The original logo)

(Rebranded logo)

Their gamble paid off, succeeding in catapulting the MGM-owned movie studio into the new world, and bringing a newly engaged, digitally led audience with it. How? Well, by switching to bright, Gen Z-friendly tones that embody a galaxy-esque colour palette (and tap straight into the vaporwave trend). The brand seamlessly switched from its classic monochrome logo to a more surprising and engaging design. Making dramatic use of gradients, the new logo feeds the brands ethos of inclusivity and moves away from any outdated connotations of old-school Hollywood culture.

Another great example of a successful and well considered rebrand is Anheuser-Busch.

Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest brewers in the US, including big-name heritage brews like Budweiser and Bud Light. Earlier this year the brand decided to take the plunge and update its logo and visual identity. The reason? The business wanted to show its commitment to “consumer-centricity and innovation.”

(The original logo)

(Rebranded logo)

The new logo presents a more elegant, refined evolution of what came before, allowing the brand to retain its heritage but paving the way for a new, transformative future for the business.

The new logo pares down the previous logo. Gone are the browns and reds, and they opted for a monotone metallic gold, which Anheuser-Busch says is inspired by beer and barely. Instead of facing left and perched atop a shield and arrows, the majestic eagle takes a turn to the right and is clearly in flight, symbolising the firm’s new focus on the future.

Championing the subtle re-brand is Floral brand, Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FTD).

Demonstrating the importance in actioning a refresh that’s accurate for where your business is currently at, FTD didn’t want to completely change their look and risk alienating the brands loyal fan base and industry status. They did, however, want to emulate and capture the brands distinct heritage with a logo that felt more prestigious than its predecessor – and they succeeded.

(The original logo)

(Rebranded logo)

The finished rebrand focuses on the “universal aspect of human emotion and what it means to give.” To achieve this the logo was changed to refine the features of the Roman God emblem, now flanked by pared back FTD lettering. But, the real piece de resistance was the inclusion of the brand foundation date on the logo, cementing the gravitas of FTD in a very simple, yet effective way.

How do you know the right path to take for a rebrand?

Here at Designmc, we know that a rebrand is an opportunity to not only raise your brands visibility, but also to reinvigorate team culture and energy within a business. It’s understanding this that makes us tick. So, when it comes to understanding what a business needs, the involvement of a client’s team is an integral part of our rebranding process.

On every project, we look to engage the opinions and views of your team collectively, making sure that what we create not only accurately represents a brands value, but also strengthens team culture and generates lasting loyalty.

To find out more about how we can help, get in touch by emailing us at hello@designmc.org