Pros & Cons of Rebranding
At some point, we all like to reminisce and laugh about the kind of person were in the past – whether that be an embarrassing moment in a class recitation or being cooped up in your small world in the corner of the classroom, wondering if you’ll ever fit the mold of the “cool kids”. When the time comes for you to step into a new, different environment, one of the first things you do is to change yourself – your image.
The same is true for rebranding in businesses. Customers (and even companies themselves) eventually get tired of a certain looks – ones that become passé over time, and ones that simply don’t work anymore. Just like how your personal identity is often shaped by your social circles, your brand identity should also change through time – given the changing design trends, rising number of competitors, your ever-evolving target market, and opportunities for company expansion and even international growth.
However, rebranding has also become a trend in the design industry. Without proper research and planning, it can either make or break your company.
To help you navigate that, here are the pros and cons of rebranding:
(But first, let’s start with the cons for once.)
(CON) You’ll have to spend a lot of money.
As an adolescent transitioning into adulthood, you eventually grew tired of your plain look. You think of getting a glow-up – whether that be in cosmetics or a trendy new outfit. But you realize how expensive it can be. It’s going to be a lot more expensive when you want to glow up your business.
(PRO) BUT you can build a better story for your brand.
In an age where people are constantly distracted by mere aesthetics, there is a greater chance for you to stand out when you have an actual, unique personality – or even better, a great story to tell. Big and successful corporations have integrated storytelling principles into their advertising and marketing strategies because people are constantly craving for something (and someone) they can relate to.
Take Dove for example. While being under the cosmetics industry, where their main goal is to get people to look good physically, they started to change their values by highlighting and enhancing “flawed beauty” – where girls are more beautiful than what the media has always portrayed to be the conventional standards of attractiveness.
(CON) It can be hard to earn back what you’ve gained.
The danger of changing your overall image includes the possibility of people not being able to recognize you anymore – which can also have a negative effect. When you have to rebrand, you have to rebrand everything – from collaterals to website domains to social media pages. This is where most of the additional expenses come in. Given the fast-paced industry and the market’s constant need for new products and services, there’s always that chance wherein somebody’s already steps (or leagues) ahead. That’s why you have to do all the rebranding efforts more quickly than it used to be when you were starting out.
(PRO) BUT you can give a more accurate representation of your company.
When you meet new people at social gatherings and you’re asked to introduce yourself, you usually put your best foot forward. However the way you introduce or carry yourself says a lot about what you value – and you also want to show those values to others. This process can help clarify the positioning of your company in the industry.
Imprenta Ko, one of our past clients, was able to clarify their positioning through rebranding. They initially tagged themselves as a printing company, but through the help of several rebranding efforts, they’re selling even more as an online marketplace for both print producers and consumers.
(CON) You lose out on recognition.
Changing your image completely can make people forget what you were like before – including your good sides. Just because you were labelled as a “nerd” back in high school doesn’t mean people didn’t recognize you for your great class performance and consistent honors. Likewise, in business, your market might not know that you’re the successor to this brand, or the same company of a former successful brand, for that matter.
(PRO) BUT you don’t have to target the same demographics.
Changing your image doesn’t always mean that you also have to change who you are internally. The “real you” would probably fit in better with a different group of people; all it takes is finding the right ones. In rebranding, however, you don’t just passively wait for them to come to you; you have to actively find them yourself.
The Dunkin’ Donut rebrand would probably be the best example to tie all these together. Its initial market was the Northeast, but they gradually expanded across the US and the rest of the world. They did that not through a complete overhaul of their brand image, but decided to shift their focus to their other products – mainly their coffee beverages. So is it still a quick-service doughnut company? Yes. They just decided to glow up their image to further enhance their company’s values.
Given all that, it’s best to look at rebranding as an investment rather than an expense – as something that can potentially boost future revenue. Despite all the risks and stakes involved, the rewards at the end of the day are still worth the efforts.