Harvest Media

How Do You Know When It's Time for a Rebrand?

Paula on Oct 27, '17

Posted in Branding

Rebranding is an exciting process, and when done correctly it can provide game-changing results for your company. But, developing a new brand design takes an extraordinary amount of time and energy.

If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, you’re not alone. Your current brand design certainly doesn’t have to last forever. And, it’s completely feasible to maintain your core brand visuals, while making smart or even subtle updates that recharge your identity, and re-engage your target audience.

Every popular and lasting brand today has moved with the times. Successful brands evolve with shifting markets, and develop strategies that allow them to gracefully adapt to change. The brands that adapt wisely are frequently those that survive the test of time.

It’s best to fully understand if a rebrand is truly what you need before embarking on this complex and exciting process. Here are 10 essential questions to ask yourself BEFORE considering a brand redesign.

1. What is your reason or inspiration for the rebrand?

It can be easy, especially when you’re bogged down by the exhausting task of running your own business, to get excited about the next big thing. However, when you choose to rebrand, it’s important to know exactly why you’re doing it.

“Your brand should never be something you change on an impulse or a whim,” says Harvest Media Founder Mike Moreau. “When we work with our clients, we always start with a careful Discovery Process so that they can have a well-thought out rebrand that is the perfect expression of their company’s evolution.”

Your brand should never be something you change on an impulse or a whim...

Rebranding is a deliberate process, based on specific needs and goals in your business journey.

Here are some common reasons you may want to rebrand:

Take some time to consider why you want to rebrand. Once you’ve honed in on a valuable reason for your rebranding process, you can move forward with clarity and intention.

2. How long have you had your current brand design?

Usually, it’s smart to sit down and reevaluate your brand every 3-4 years. Many factors can change in that time frame, from your business vision, to your target audience. Almost all successful brands take time to update their look, or to adapt to changing trends and shifting markets.

Think about how long it’s been since your last rebranding. Have you only been in business for a year? You probably won’t need to rebrand yet. Have you been running your company for four years, and noticing that your image could use a refresh? Maybe a rebrand is a good idea. If your business hasn’t been rebranded since before the internet, you should certainly consider investing in a redesign.

Rebranding can be a smart and game-changing decision, and as time passes, sometimes a rebrand is necessary to remain competitive, and stay relevant to your target audience.

3. Has your brand design stopped getting you excited?

When you’re stoked about your brand, that energy is contagious – it can be felt by your customers, employees, and even by your competition.

When businesses have a new, stellar website and an inspiring brand image, they tend to be more excited about putting themselves out there. And wanting to put yourself out there is an important element to success.

So, don’t disregard your emotional desire for a rebrand. A website that makes you cringe isn’t good for your morale. And a brand image you’re ashamed of is enough to kill your momentum.

It’s one thing to simply get stuck in a rut and want to throw in the towel for a new look, and another thing entirely if a rebrand will elevate your image to a new level, up your enthusiasm, and keep you rooting for your business.

4. Has your target audience changed?

It’s natural for businesses and services to evolve over time. Maybe you’ve realized that your product is best fit for a younger generation. Or, maybe you’ve found an opportunity in marketing your services specifically to professional women.

Discovering new potential target audiences, or changing your target audience completely, is a natural process in business – and it’s nothing to worry about. In fact, some of the most successful brands have changed and re-identified their target audience.

But of course, “A change in the audience means you may have to cater to a whole different set of needs,” says an article in Forbes. And it’s true, if you’re changing your target audience, you’ll have to shift your branding so that it resonates with that new demographic.

If you choose to do a rebrand for this reason, spend some dedicated time defining your new target audience. This way, your new brand image attracts the right buyers for your specific products or services.

5. Is your brand story and image still relevant to your target audience?

Your brand story connects you to those who share your values, and this builds a strong emotional bond with your target buyers. Is your brand story still relevant, exciting, and meaningful to your target buyers? Does it still make them feel engaged, motivated, and connected to your business? And, are you still accurately representing your values through your brand visuals?

If you’re not sure, it may be time to reevaluate. Spend some time looking at your brand story, your visuals, and examine your target buyers. Evaluate whether your image is still showcasing your brand story, and whether that brand story is still important for your specific target audience.

Ask yourself, are you still speaking to your audience in their language, about what’s in their heart?

6. Are your design elements, fonts, or color palette outdated?

Trends and styles change, evolve, and morph over time. That’s been true for hundreds of years, and it’s not stopping any time soon. Smart businesses walk that fine tightrope between staying true to their brand, and staying abreast of what’s current and relevant.

While you don’t want to lose your brand identity by chasing trend after trend, it’s smart to be aware of changing landscapes, and know when to adapt.

So, are you concerned your current brand image may be out of date? Have you noticed a lack of interest from target buyers, or simply felt your visuals seem a little old-fashioned? An article in Forbes states, “If sales are lagging and you are out of ideas, changing the colors of your business can bring some much-needed rejuvenation.”

Updating your brand visuals can be a smart option, and it can be simple and straightforward. Even subtle changes to your color palette and font could rocket your brand to the next level.

7. Are you starting to blend in with your competition?

Does your current brand image reflect what makes you memorable and one-of-a-kind? Or, have you noticed that your business has started to blend in with the competition?

If you’re not standing out, you’re not alone. It’s natural for businesses in the same industry to begin to look alike over time. But, if your customers can’t differentiate you or remember what sets you apart from a competitor, it will be hard to win new buyers, build your brand awareness, and maintain a loyal following. And that’s exactly where a brand redesign can save the day.

As architect Nicholas Negroponte says, “Where do new ideas come from? The answer is simple: differences. Creativity comes from unlikely juxtapositions.”

A brand redesign can help juxtapose you from your competition, so your target buyers instantly recognize your image, and associate that image with the unique, high quality, and superior service you offer.

8. Is your brand design streamlined?

Are your brand materials hard to adapt to different media? Have you struggled to fit your logo on a product package, or spent hours trying to make your brand image look professional on a company email?

Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design...

—Charles Eames

If you’ve run into needs that have gone unaddressed, it’s probably time for a brand update.

Your brand images need to be adaptable enough for your diverse business and marketing requirements. It should be easy to accurately showcase your brand in any setting, from digital to print, on your website, packaging, and letterhead.

Think about how consistently your brand is represented across your business. Are there any gaps? Are you having trouble conveying your image on any specific media? Does your brand image come across professionally on both digital and print materials?

Step back and look at your brand, to determine whether a redesign is necessary.

9. Do you have enough time for a rebranding process?

Time is key when you’re rebranding. You’ll need time to meet with a designer or team of designers, you’ll need time to review multiple design drafts, and you’ll need time to implement new designs into your business structure and marketing materials.

If you’ve got a big product launch next month, or your workload is already a stress factor, then it’s probably smart to wait a little while before you rebrand. Of course, in business, sometimes there’s simply never a slow period. If that’s the case, make sure you work enough time for the rebrand into your busy schedule.

So, take a moment to sit down and look at your calendar. Remember, rebranding is something you can schedule months – or even a year – in advance. And sometimes, this gives you time to evaluate why you want to rebrand, and to define changes in your business, image, or target audience.

Whether you choose to rebrand now or later, make sure you give the process the time, attention, energy, and love it deserves.

10. Does your brand image reflect the quality of your products or services?

Your brand is the first impression you give your target buyers, the visual journey they take with your company, and the tool you use to ensure they never forget their experience with you.

Your brand design is the most powerful method you have for connecting with your audience, growing your brand recognition, and staying relevant. Most importantly, your brand is a living entity, and as the quality of your offerings improve, so will your image.

So, ask yourself, do your visuals accurately represent your ideals, values, and the quality of your services and products?

It’s About Letting Your Vision Shine

Remember, your brand should reflect what’s on the inside of your business. You have big goals, huge vision, and amazing values. Great branding design allows that brilliance to shine through.

Paula Wiggins

About the Author


Paula is our project manager and customer service specialist.

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