Branding is a word that is often tossed around lightly. But it means so much more than simply a logo and colour palette. Your brand is your complete business package – it is your logo, your name, your colour palette, the impression you give your customers, the feeling people have about your business and your reputation in the real world and in the digital world.

That’s a lot to consider. Does it make you wonder how well your brand is working for your business?

  1. Are you attracting the right customers?
  2. Does your brand accurately reflect who you are or where you want to go?
  3. Does your approach to the marketplace reflect your business?
  4. Does your logo look dated?

How you answer these questions depends on how thoroughly you need to examine your brand.

  • Answer ‘yes’ to the first three and ‘no’ to the fourth and you’re probably doing okay (from a brand perspective anyway).
  • Answer ‘yes’ to all four questions and it might be time to consider a cosmetic makeover. Businesses overhaul their logos all the time to stay fresh and current and to make sure that they are effectively telling their brand story.
  • But, answer ‘no’ to all of the questions above and your business needs more than just a refresh. Your business needs to consider rebranding.

Start by examining your company name. Is it giving potential customers the right impression? If, for example, your company is called Table & Chairs Co. because you started out by selling high quality dining room sets but over time, your business morphed and you now exclusively sell desks for home offices then it’s probably not surprising that you respond to daily inquiries about people looking for tables and chairs. And it’s a good bet that your company needs a new name to reflect your new business direction.

But a change in business direction is not the only reason for considering a name change as part of an overall rebranding effort. A great example was a company that sold an appetite-suppressant candy called Ayds. It sold well in the 1970s and early 1980s until the AIDS epidemic took hold in the U.S. causing trouble for the brand because of the phonetic similarities. More recently, companies with Isis in their name have discovered that sharing a name with a feared terrorist group has been bad for business.

Simply changing your business’s name and/or refreshing the logo isn’t the end of the rebranding process. The key to a successful rebrand is to change how you approach your marketplace. Your brand is not just your look or your name; it is present in everything you do. It is in your networking style, your marketing tactics and your customer service. If these approaches don’t change, your cosmetic efforts and creative renaming won’t make an impact on your overall business performance.

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