The Fundamentals of Rebranding: Why You Might Need a Change (updated June 2021)


coloured rainbow out of clay


13 min read

Understanding the fundamentals of rebranding will help you make better decisions throughout the rebranding process.

You’re a savvy business owner who knows that the brand of your business will make or break your success. If you’re considering a rebrand, you’re in the right place.

Your brand is how you connect with your target audience – how you represent yourself and your consumers. It’s the life or death of your business, so it’s pretty vital that you get it right!

Before even starting your business, you researched and researched and planned for months on end to create the perfect brand for your business and, let’s be honest, it wasn’t an easy feat, right?

But you’re here, right now, constantly finding new ways to enhance your business and beautify its face with all the brushes and blushers available.

Check out this video for some helpful tips:

Why is it we see so many businesses rebrand their identity, creating new and refreshing strategies to alter their brand’s appearance? And why is it that you, a smart and creative entrepreneur, may be heading towards rebranding your business?

All of these answers, and the fundamentals of rebranding will be covered in this post – so keep reading!

Rebranding – What Does This Mean?

Rebranding is the reshaping, remodelling and recreating of your business trademark and brand identity.

It involves more than making a few changes to your established brand; you are basically restructuring your powerhouse and developing new, improved strategies that will enrich your business and create a closer bond between you and your clients.

The goal in rebranding is… to strengthen your brand’s message and allow it to evolve. Although rebranding can do many things… it should support your core message while connecting with your audience in a new, authentic way. – Greg Liberman, Chairman  & CEO of Spark Networks.

man looking at a blackboard full of question marks

Why Rebrand Your Business?

There comes a time in life when we see the need to make changes.

We change our jobs, homes, diets, wardrobes – all for the purpose of bettering ourselves. Sometimes these changes happen over time.

Sometimes we physically make these changes ourselves because of some demand in our lives.

“Out with the old, in with the new,” we often say.

Yes – these changes are vital for our personal growth. That being the case, what about the growth of a flourishing business?

We’ve mentioned before about how vital branding is and how to brand your business, helping you craft and create a brand blueprint that will shape your business and represent who you are.

And then life happens, and business happens, and suddenly you’re quite happily not in the same place as you were when you started.

But guess what? That is a good thing!

Rebranding a company is an opportunity for change. This isn’t something that forces your hand – it isn’t an ‘adapt or die’ situation, it’s an ‘adapt and flourish’ scenario.

Many, many business owners see the need to rebrand their business as some sort of failing on the part of the brand, but that isn’t (usually) the case. If you’ve outgrown your brand, or have survived long enough for your brand to start to look a bit dated it’s a sign of success rather than of failure!

Let’s look at some reasons why you may decide it could be time to rebrand your business:

The direction of your business has changed

We can only plan so far ahead when it comes to the future of our business. Even though the heart of our message stays the same, we naturally grow as business owners, perfecting our skills and honing our talents, creating a natural change of business direction.

It could be the nature of the services you offer have changed in some way, providing a catalyst for transformation in your brand.

You’re attracting the wrong clientele

Getting requests and offers from people that do not fit your target audience is a big, BIG sign that something needs to change. One size fits all just doesn’t apply in best business practices, and it’s vital to brand your business to reach and unite with the right clientele.

Your branding and design are outdated

Vintage outerwear and products are a thing right now – old record players, satchels, and brogues. But vintage computers and digital design processes that work? Yeah… don’t think anyone’s heard of that one. So it may call for some brand-botox to revive the face of your business, meaning a whole revamp of the nature of your brand and its appearance to the naked eye.

Your old brand doesn’t meet the needs of your audience

When it comes to your business, consumers are the core. This is one of the most important fundamentals of rebranding as it’s their ideas, their needs, and their aspirations that are your foundation.

So when your ethos and brand promise do not line up with there’s, the relationship between you both is severed, leading to some ugly business divorce that no one signed up for. That’s the time for some brand therapy to reunite both sides of your business.

Is Rebranding Worth The Effort?

There are countless reasons to rebrand, but risks are involved and it does come at a cost.

Rebranding is important in business, but it takes time, effort, and money to start resourcing and building a strong, cohesive rebranding strategy.

Without the tools and the know-how it can prove a very challenging and stressful task, but the long and short of it is that your business may need it.

And trust me – it’s so worth the effort in the long run.

So, without further ado, let’s show how you can rebrand your business by getting down to the nitty-gritty rebranding fundamentals.

athlete in distinctive branded sports clothing

How to Rebrand Your Business

Ready to scrap your old business plan, search through your favourite colours, make random lists of new brand names and make countless DIY logos for the new and improved you?

Please don’t!

That is not what a rebrand is all about.

Rebranding your business successfully takes tactical, well thought out planning and researching.

It’s all about putting yourself in your audience’s shoes, thinking how they think and acting how the act in line with your brand equity.

Instead of jumping the gun, consider some of the fundamentals of rebranding to get yourself started:

Clarify Your Brand’s Message

No doubt your brand mission has changed, and you are now wishing to redesign and shape it to fit with your new and improved brand message.

Therefore, to begin with, you’ll need to research and brainstorm who you are as a brand and how you want that to translate to consumers. What is your business? What does it do and not do? Who is your target audience? What will you do to change their lives? How will you do it?

Be specific.

Clearly identify yourself and your brand’s personality before moving on to the next stage of the rebranding process.

Try writing down keywords that describe your business. This will enable you to compare who you are now to what you were before in order to see the changes you need to make with your audience.

Brainstorm what you would want out of your business if you were a consumer. What would you want to gain?

For example:

You are looking for someone to plan your wedding for you, and you search for business owners who specialise in wedding planning.

You want someone who is professional, sharp, keen, and diligent.

Someone who has an eye for detail and is great at taking charge. If that’s the case, you would be looking for a business that represents those very qualities – one that looks sharp and professional communicates in a skilled and proficient manner and shows what they will do for you.

When you know how your consumer thinks, you know exactly how to attract them by building your brand around the qualities they are looking for.

When working on creating your new brand identity, don’t use anything your clients wouldn’t relate to, as it may distort the services you offer and relay the wrong brand message.

All design should be based on your target audience and their tastes. This, rather than catering to your own personal tastes, is vital success and is one of the most important fundamentals of rebranding.

pin through a piece of paper with a stickman drawn on

Audit Your Audience

As mentioned before, there may be times when you get calls and emails from potential clients who are looking for something that you just don’t offer.

And just like you need to audit your brand, you need to audit your audience.

Somehow though, they are coming to you for your expertise, not knowing that you do not deal with the queries they are after.

This is most likely because of a confusing brand identity, or an unclear understanding of the services you offer. They may have misinterpreted the message you put forth through your branding, therefore coming to you in the off chance that you will be able to come to their aid.

This is why it is vital to classify your audience.

Who do you want to work with? How will your target audience benefit? How can you differentiate who you work with?

Try writing a few simple sentences that define your brand and what you do.

Do not use confusing, ambiguous words; just be you.

Once you have done that, see if you can represent who you are and what you do through the content of your website, the words, and tagline in your logo and site heading and the descriptions on your social media platforms.

Being clear on what you do and how you do it will separate the wheat from the chaff, drawing the right kind of clients for your business and brand to work with.

Clearly Identify Your Services

Along with plainly outlining who your audience is, you need to make your services distinct and certain.

For example:

Try creating packages for each service you provide, breaking down exactly what it is you do and use short phrases and relevant branded imagery.

When your services are accurately conveyed, your existing and potential clients will feel at ease and comfortable with you and will more than likely spread the word. And that can be a big win!

Engage Your Audience

There’s nothing worse than losing the interest of a potential client just because you’ve presented yourself poorly. Like we’ve stated before, get to know your audience and how they tick.

That way you can create an image that represents you and stages your talents in a way where your audience is in tune with your voice and your values.

Try and portray your brand in a candid and personable way that will draw your audience in. This is potentially the trickiest part, as you want them to feel completely at ease with your brand and its message at the same time as keeping a professional, modest front.

colourful children's building blocks

Reshape the Face of Your Brand

Once you have clearly identified your mission and goals as a business owner and have re-examined your process and strategy, it’s time to start lifting the face of your brand!

This may be considered “the fun bit”, but it can actually be the most complicated of all.

We would all like to say that we don’t judge a book by its cover, but honestly? Would you buy a book that had a dark and horrifying image on the front when it is supposed to be a romantic novel? Enough said.

It’s the truth. We all do it, and this translates to how people perceive us.

When it comes to your brand, then, you have to really think about every single thing that your target audience will engage with.

The most important visual brand asset will usually be the logo and design aesthetic of your brand. What colours will you use? How will you use these colours throughout your business profile?

Does your brand identity clearly:

  • Clarify your brand’s message and ethos?
  • Identify your audience and clientele?
  • Make the services you offer clear?
  • Reach and engage your audience?

Try researching competitor’s websites and brands to see what they are doing (or even not doing!) and see what you can do to make yours stand out. Having a clear idea of how the rest of your industry is presenting themselves will help you go that extra mile for your consumers.

Evaluate your colour palette; adjust the visible aspects of your brand and select images that enhance – not detract – your brand.

As you re-establish and recreate your brand, keep those points in mind, not just with your logo design, website pages, and marketing strategies, but also with the sound and voice of your brand. Always remember to think about who you are as a business owner and what you can do for your clients.

There’s nothing worse than producing a rebrand failure, so be meticulous when it comes to choosing your design approach.

This is one of the biggest fundamentals of rebranding as people can often run away with design and forget about purpose and functionality.

Stay True to Your Brand’s Mission

Whether you decide to rebrand your business or not, keep in mind what you want out for your business. Never lose sight of what you want to get out of it and what it means to you.

Being original and artistic will work in your favour, but authenticity and consistency are what matter most. You want your audience to know and put faith in you: the awesome business entrepreneur.

The Fundamentals of Rebranding: Why You Might Need a Change

So, there you have it.

Your guide to the fundamentals of rebranding to ensure you get the process right.

As we’ve discussed, rebranding is a huge opportunity to reposition your brand and reconnect with your target audience. However, it’s important you don’t get lost in the fun and excitement of changing up your brand, if there is no real purpose behind it.

Every decision needs to align with what you’re trying to achieve and represent you in the best possible light.

Perhaps you’re unsure if you even need a full rebrand or a brand refresh? If so, we’ve got a helpful post about that so check it out!

If you need help getting your rebranding project right, then you’ve come to the right place. At Canny we’ve helped businesses across the globe from Australia to the US, to bring them closer to their customers in a way their competitors can’t. And we can do the same for you.

All you need to do is get in touch!