Branding Doesn’t Matter for Your Startup, Until They Do: Key Signs and Clues to Know When It’s Time to Rebrand


A brand is arguably one of your most important assets for your business. You’ve taken the time to develop your strategy and spent money on your assets, so it can be difficult to let go of that when the time comes.

Rebranding your business at the right time is an important decision, however – one that can help you connect with former customers and widen your reach into new audiences or market segments.

That said, launching a rebrand before it’s necessary can be expensive and have negative ramifications for your business.

How do you know when it’s time to rebrand? Here are the key signs and clues.

Your Brand Vision Changed

If you changed your vision or mission, it’s a clear sign that you should rebrand to align with the new direction. Maybe your audience shifted, or maybe you developed a new product that doesn’t fit in with your original brand. Either way, this shift can indicate that it’s time to rebrand and include your new vision for the business into your strategy.

The Market Changed

Depending on your industry and competitors, you may notice that you’re eclipsed by their offerings. A rebranding can help you differentiate yourself and shed the perception of having an “older” product or company. You need more than just a rebrand to keep up with rapidly shifting markets, but a strategic rebranding effort can go a long way in keeping you relevant.

You’re No Longer Unique

A lot of time and effort went into developing your brand at the start of your business and differentiating yourself from your competitors. If you notice that you’re starting to blend in with the competition, however, it may be time for a rebrand. Keep in mind that you still need to align with your vision and your customers and develop a brand that’s different, but authentic.

You Had a Merger or Acquisition

If your company experienced a recent merger or acquisition, or is looking to in the future, this is a catalyst for rebranding. Multiple brands are coming together into something new, so it only makes sense to have both merge into one cohesive brand that reflects the new mission.

You’re Exploring New Products or Services

Your brand may have begun with a singular product offering or a group of related products or services that guided your strategy. If, after some time, you delved into new markets or experimented with extensions or entirely new, unrelated products, it may be time to rebrand. A solid rebrand can bring all these ideas together to form a cohesive vision that incorporates all your products – new and old.

You Can’t Get Talent

Building a successful brand has greater benefits than customers – it can attract excellent talent. If you’re failing to attract ideal candidates for the job openings you need for growth and success, you may want to consider rebranding. The top candidates want to work for the top companies, so it’s up to you to make your brand appealing as an employer. If you’re not sure, conduct some brand research to see how the public perceives your brand as a potential employer.

You Need to Shed Negative Perceptions

If you attracted a customer base you didn’t intend to and gained a bad image by association, rebranding can help you manage your reputation and get a clean slate. During this rebranding, consider what attracted that consumer base in the first place and keep your target customer in mind.

Time for a Rebrand?

Determining the best time for a rebrand can be challenging, especially if you’re buying into the “sunk cost” fallacy of not wanting to let go of your hard-earned brand assets. Rebrands can give your business a refresh and fuel your growth and profits, however, so it’s important to be objective in deciding whether the time has come.

Author: Patrick Smith

With ideas for leading brands, Patrick solves real-world business problems for enterprise organizations, startups, and everything in between. Prior to C2 Creative, Patrick developed marketing campaigns at several leading advertising agencies and hybrid digital organizations. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from Illinois State University.

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