So, when might you need to rebrand? When do you need a refresh, and when do you need a complete upgrade?
I see it all the time in Facebook groups.
“I hate my logo….”
“I think I need to update my website, maybe my logo? I’m not really sure….”
“I can’t decide if I need to completely re-do my logo or just freshen it up a bit….”
Here are four instances in which you should consider rebranding your business:
- Your business has changed. This may seem obvious, but people still ask if they need to change their logo if they are changing their business or blog. I believe that it depends on two things – if your log is super specific to your business/industry, and the size of your audience. If you can transfer your logo between businesses (i.e. – it’s just your name, and no specific element, like a camera, is in it) and you don’t have a large audience, then I’d probably opt to keep it. If you have a large audience though, and are switching things up, it’d make more sense to change or refresh your logo. But, this could be on a case-by-case basis. It’s one of the risks of running a business!
- Your services or niche changed. If I were to switch up Jess Creatives from a print and web design company, to a watercolor calligraphy design studio, then my logo wouldn’t fit real well with that. I’m still a designer, but my services (and style) have changed. In some cases, if you are also niching it down in your industry, a rebrand might be in order. If you go from working with CEOs to stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home moms might be turned off by the look of your brand.
- You did the logo yourself. Okay, DIYers, don’t kill me on this one. I have had dozens of clients come to me needing a rebrand because they DIY’ed their logo, and now realize how awful it is. Or, maybe they don’t think it’s awful design, but it doesn’t accurately reflect them. (Yes, something can be designed well and not accurately reflect your business.)
- You had a trendy logo, and now you look outdated. There are always trends in design. Some people fall in love with the new trends every year, and jump on the bandwagon. Yes, you have a cute logo now, but in three years? You end up hating it because it now looks outdated. Timeless logos are always the goal, to prevent the need for rebranding every few years.
You fall into one of these scenarios above, or maybe something else entirely, and you have decided that you do need to rebrand.
So, what are your options when rebranding?
Go 1/4 of the way: refresh fonts and colors.
A total rebrand is not necessary in every scenario. You can keep the same website layout and colors, and update the font. Or, keep the layout and fonts, but update the colors. As I’ve said many times on this blog, fonts and colors play a huge role in design. Your logo will look 100% different if you use Comic Sans vs. Helvetica, neon green vs. forest green. This solution may be more cost effective for you, while being a good upgrade for your business.
Go halfway: Update the style, but keep parts of it similar.
You can update your logo, while keeping elements from your previous logo. For instance, I recently worked with a client to do a complete overhaul of her logo and website. If you saw the before and after of her logo, you would notice that there is a stylized butterfly (the same one) in each. We completely changed the font and layout, but the butterfly is in each. Both are also very simplistic in nature, but it’s a good upgrade for her brand.
Go all the way: Completely rebrand.
This is the solution most are seeking. But, a logo is only a part of your brand, so if you change it, there will be a domino effect of changes afterwards. You’ll likely need new business cards and any other stationery or collateral that you have, possibly make updates to your website or social media cover photos, etc.
To wrap up, here are two things you should avoid. Whether you decide to DIY your logo, or work with a designer, save your future self some money by following these guidelines.
Don’t choose your current favorite color or font.
Colors and fonts evoke and convey so many feelings. Don’t choose the color blue because it’s your favorite. Choose blue because it’s what you truly think best represents your company. Timeless is the look we are going for in a logo. In two years, you may no longer love that color blue anymore, or the “favorite” font you loved may be your arch nemesis now.
Don’t get another trendy logo.
Don’t do it. Just don’t. Watercolor is popular right now, so you see it everywhere. Yes, it looks good and whatnot, but in a few years, it may look outdated. Watercolor doesn’t make sense to be in a logo for many brands, so don’t be one of them. Resist the urge.
Do you struggle with the look of your branding?
A lot of people come to me saying, “You know, I’m not getting the clients I need. I think I need to do a business rebrand.” And, sometimes I think, well maybe it’s not the brand that’s the problem here. But, there are definitely moments in every business that do call for a rebrand and that’s what we’re talking about today.
I actually thought about this when I was working with a previous client of mine a few weeks ago. I do some occasional updates for her on her marketing materials and stuff like that. We rebranded her business a few years ago.
So when we rebranded her business, she also upped her prices because she had the brand to match those new higher prices and within just a few weeks, she sold her highest package to a new client and made $5,000.
Because of her rebrand and pricing increase, her income has gone up 30%.
Now a business rebrand can be expensive, time consuming and there’s always a small chance that the end result with not make much of difference.
So, why is it worth that to take the risk of rebranding?
First, you do not have to rebrand every year, and honestly I would not suggest rebranding every year or even every other year. You could be confusing your audience and just because you want to … you know, maybe like use a new theme on your website or maybe you just want to have some new social media graphics but it doesn’t mean you have to have a new brand to go with it.
I have changed pages on my website often because I’m testing things and proving things as I go but just because I changed themes or drastically change the look of my website does not mean I’m also going to rebrand and create a new logo.
I know that it’s tempting to rebrand when you start to notice new design trends or maybe you see a particularly new font, you’re like, “Oh my gosh like, this look or this font really, I think that really would be best for my brand,” but do you know how often new fonts come out? You could be rebranding a few times a year and that would be confusing.
So, do not get caught up in fonts. Bookmark them, save them for a later time, because it’s interesting how often people will love a particular font and then they see it later on and they’re like, “Oh! I don’t think I like that font anymore.”
I mean, I can say that from personal experience when I have downloaded fonts, bought fonts, whatever, and then I see them on my computer or I’m at least scrolling through all my fonts because I have plenty to choose from and I’m like, “Why did I download this? This is not a good font.” So, it may be smart to sit on a font for a while and see if you actually like it six months from now.
Sometimes, people ask me, if there’s a better time of year to do a business rebrand. I know a lot of people like to rebrand and launch in January, but keep in mind, since so many people like to do that, then you’re launching along with everyone else.
So, your business rebrand and your launch, especially if you’re doing any giveaways or anything of that nature, you could just be getting lost in the noise and especially, I mean, January 1st, that’s when everyone likes to be launching stuff. There’s a lot of goal setting. There’s a lot of health challenges, fitness challenges, so if you’re also trying to announce your rebrand, you could just be creating more noise.
As for any other time in the year, honestly, there’s not really like a prime season for rebranding. I really think it also depends on your business. Like, if you’re doing several launches a year, obviously you would not want to rebrand and launch at the same time.
It can be kind of tricky to figure that out if you’re launching several things throughout the year, running challenges and that kind of thing because then you’re also like, “Hey, I rebranded,” and it’s just one more announcement that you have to put out.
So, you might be wondering, “Okay, so how often should my business rebrand?” To be honest, there’s no definite timeline. There’s no handy Pinterest download that I can download and give you that says, “Oh, you need to rebrand every 36 months and five days.”
I would estimate that a lot of businesses tend to rebrand around every five years. That is not a have to though, that’s more of a “Hey, some things have changed. Our brand has evolved. Our messaging has evolved.” That, I think is kind of the trend.
The other thing is a lot of my personal clients, they have done their logo themselves and then a lot of my clients are around two to three years into their business. So, they’re like, “Okay, I just have this DIY logo, DIY website, and I know it looks like crap, so you know what? I need you to redo it.”
That’s also common, just having a DIY brand or website or both and having that for two to three years and that’s usually as long as people can like stand it. Then, they’re like, “Okay, I have enough money to invest. Now is a good time because I’m really ready to go to the next level.”
I think it’s really important that when you are considering rebranding, really think about and be honest with yourself, about why you want to rebrand.
Are you seeing other people launching their new logos and website and you’re just feeling left behind and want to fit in? Or, are you looking at your business and saying, “You know, actually this does not fit me. This looks really cheap,” or whatever. Then, that’s okay.
To be honest, there could be some of both. It might actually be a good thing that so many people are launching new logos and websites around you because it makes you stop and look at your own brand and say, “Oh, you know? It’s been a while since I’ve updated and to be honest, this really doesn’t fit me.”
But, if it’s only, “Hey, everyone else is rebranding so I’m going to rebrand,” that’s not a good reason to rebrand.
And, if you’re listening to this and thinking, “Okay, I’ve listened to all of this. I hear you, but I really still think I need to do a business rebrand.” The first step is to find a designer. You do not have to know for sure what you want your brand to look like or be about because that’s why you’re hiring a designer. What you do need to start thinking about is your messaging and your audience.
Repositioning and capitalizing on your uniqueness can make your brand a lot more visible to potential clients.
Is your messaging and design confusing? Has your business become just this hodgepodge of offerings with no unifying brand message?
Creating a brand starts a lot earlier than the visuals. It starts with your beliefs in your mission. The visuals are your brand identity, which should be a part of your brand strategy. If you think the market for your services seems hopeless, there’s totally something you can do about it.
With a business rebrand, you are able to reshape the way your customers perceive you and raise the price of your services accordingly, just like my client did that I mentioned earlier in this episode.
Now, here’s some other specifics that you can think through when it comes to your brand. First, try and think of five adjectives to describe your brand personality. This is one of the questions I ask all of my branding clients because it helps me get a better grasp of your brand.
I’m going to choose totally different fonts if you tell me your brand is laid back and fun versus upscale and exclusive. You also want to think about what makes you different from your competition and if you don’t believe in competition or whatever, that’s fine, just think about what makes you different from those who do the same thing as you.
And, I do think that it’s okay to also look at other logos. I think it’s important to get a feel for what you like and dislike so that can help lead the designer, but it’s important that while you’re looking at these, know that the designer should not and hopefully will not copy these logos.
As a designer, I take into consideration your brand personality, your ideal audience, and the designs that you do like and I create a combination of those things to create your unique brand. If you’re rebranding and your designer just copies the other logos, well, then that was a pointless rebrand because then you just look like somebody else.
The last thing that I want to say about rebranding and logos is that yes, your logo helps set the tone for your visual brand, for your website, for your marketing materials, everything, and that’s important because design can make or break your business.
I mean, if you look super cheap, people aren’t going to want to pay high prices, but on the flip side of that, do not get caught up in having the perfect logo. There are so many businesses that actually don’t even like have a logo or their logo is just their name typed out in a font and that’s perfectly fine because at the end of the day, people want to work with people. They don’t want to work with a logo.
I always like to point out to people, I mean, think of the last few entrepreneurs that you worked with or that you follow on Instagram or whatever, do you know what their logo looks like? Could you draw it? I mean, do you know what my logo looks like? Yes, we all know what Nike’s logo is or the really popular brands, but what about us entrepreneurs?
We like to work with other people. I don’t care as much about what your logo looks like as long as you look reputable online. I really care about what you are like as a person and how you’re going to help me. That’s all I have for it today. I hope this was helpful, especially for those of you who are potentially thinking about rebranding in the next year.