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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Why is rebranding a business necessary?

When it comes to running a company, first impressions are everything

Some people are still confused about what encompasses the term branding. They think it is limited to a logo, a name, and your brand’s colour palette. Alamy
Some people are still confused about what encompasses the term branding. They think it is limited to a logo, a name, and your brand’s colour palette. Alamy

Last week, my business partner and I were discussing rebranding of one our ventures, and the right timing for it became a key point of our discussion. When is rebranding necessary? Should you wait until a certain time has passed? Is one year too short? Is 10 years too long?

Our venture just celebrated its first anniversary, but we have come a long way in a short period of time that rebranding has become necessary if we are to continue growing.

Some people are still confused about what encompasses branding. They think it is limited to a logo, a name, and a brand’s colour palette. But it is more than that. It is the sum of a vision, customers’ experiences, and where would one like to take the business. It is who you are without having to explain yourself.

Because businesses and brands evolve with time, rebranding is not only important, but necessary. But the question that remains is when is a good time?

When your business evolves

In the case of our venture, it has evolved so much in the past year that we have to give it a facelift, so that our image is in sync with our mission and vision. We expanded to new markets and will soon be introducing new products and services, so this step has to take place.

You may have started your business by publishing a lifestyle magazine, but now you may have expanded to car magazines. But if your branding reflects your lifestyle magazine only, your customers will be missing out on a lot.

When the brand is outdated

Unfortunately, when it comes to business, people do judge a book by its cover. So first impressions are everything. Your colour palette, or your choice of logo and font may give an outdated impression of your brand, and that may be turning customers away.

So the most important steps to consider when rebranding a business are:

Evaluate your mission and values

Before paying the graphic designer, sit down with your team and evaluate your brand. You need to ask yourself some questions. What sets my business apart? How do we serve the community? Where do we see our brand in the next few years? What does our brand represent? How can we build a connection between the old and new branding? Revised branding shouldn’t be completely different from the old one. There should be a transition so that customers can tell you are the same company.

Heed what your competition is doing

Assess the market and see how the competition is branding itself. What are the trends in branding? What images and aesthetics are competitors choosing? For instance, right now, the trend in branding is very minimal and monotone colours. Colour is not used much and many businesses are opting for sleek and minimal design options. When rebranding, it is essential that you keep current trends in mind, but do not follow a fad that will be outdated in a short period of time.

Involving people in the process

A lot of people like the branding of a business to reflect their taste but that is not necessarily always a good idea. It is important for the brand to resonate with the target audience - if they would be interested in it? Involve team members. Ask for opinions from you target audience and take your time. This is one process that you don’t want to rush through.

What some brands also do is to directly involve their audience in the design process. They ask them for their colour preference, what font they like best and what logos they would choose. Not only will brands receive constructive feedback, but customers will also feel a sense of ownership and become a part of the brand’s journey.

Telling everyone about the rebranding

There is no point in paying all that money and rebranding your business if you do not tell your customers about it and why you did it. You can either inform your customers through a brand relaunch party, or through a social media campaign, but the point is to do it and not leave your customers confused.

Change in all its form is uncomfortable, especially when it is about first impressions. Nevertheless, when it comes to branding, it is a change that we have to go through.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati entrepreneur, who manages her creative consultancy in Abu Dhabi.