If your company’s brand is the face of your business, and your business is constantly shifting and evolving, when is the right time to make a change to your brand? The answer is, “it depends.”
As an agency with extensive experience managing brands, BDN has helped many companies successfully update and invigorate their brand. Here are three of the most common scenarios where a change to your brand should be considered:
1. Your current brand has become a liability.
Your current brand could be holding you back and literally costing you money. Branding that is recognizably dated or no longer accurately represents the business could be signaling to potential customers that your organization is not reputable, inexperienced, or lacking in capacity. It is the equivalent of a structural flaw and should be addressed immediately.
Marketing budgets are hard fought in almost all businesses, but this is particularly true for B2B organizations, like A&D businesses. Investments in marketing often get pushed to the side in favor of spending for personnel and capital, so it is not uncommon for an A&D business to outgrow its brand. Make no mistake, even a restrained brand “refresh” represents a significant investment of resources. Even so, it is necessary that you regularly put in the effort to keep your business and branding in alignment.
It can be especially difficult for those who have been with a business for a long time to recognize these vulnerabilities. Remember, that for some in the organization, the brand is personal and change will be always be hard. Consider having an outside party evaluate your brand and help facilitate the transformation.
2. You’re already making big changes elsewhere.
If you’ve expanded the products or services you offer, increased the geographic reach of your business, or are making other major investments in marketing (like a new website), now is the perfect time to reevaluate your brand. Even subtle changes in how you execute your brand can help your company better reach its goals.
Does your new product or service have a new target market? Even a small shift in your buyers could impact your marketing. For instance, even though they are directly connected on the organization chart, A&P mechanics will have different "hot-button" issues than a Director of Maintenance. You'll want to make sure your brand has the capacity to appeal to both.
Keep in mind that major shifts in your company’s offering need to be handled with caution as they could confuse your customers and damage perception of you in the marketplace. If there is significant value in your current brand equity, it may be in your best interest to launch any new ventures under a completely separate brand. To reduce the risk, we always recommend being armed with market research and a strategic plan.
3. The market has changed.
Sometimes it’s not you, but your customers who have changed. For example, a product that was previously bought by solely military customers may become desirable to civil operators. Major shifts like this should be accompanied by an update to your brand.
If the markets are in different verticals, it could well be the first time a potential customer is learning about your business. Once again, having access to market research and formulating a strategic plan will pay dividends when it comes to navigating these changes.
Even if your business is not the first to embrace these market shifts, it’s still worthwhile to draw attention to your efforts. You may even be able to paint your competition as “obsolete” if they haven’t made their own changes obvious.
The wrong reasons
There are many good reasons to make changes to your brand, but there are also many bad reasons and misconceptions about what a rebranding can accomplish.