The intoxicating cocktail of sunshine and warmer temperatures that we’ve been experiencing lately has sparked a bit of spring cleaning, not only in our home, but in our business.

As we race towards the end of the year, we’ve been revisiting our goals, refining our processes and taking stock of what’s working, and what’s not. Judging by our inbox lately, we know many of you are doing the same— from starting new businesses, to refreshing websites and updating visuals— there’s a lot of change happening.

While you might have an inkling that it’s time to update your brand or website, it’s still a big decision that impacts your time, finances, processes and customers, and shouldn’t be made on a whim. So how do you know when it’s time for a change?

Today, I wanted to share 10 signs that it’s time for a brand evolution or overhaul.

1. Your business direction, composition or vision has changed.

From changing markets to mergers and acquisitions, shifts in technology to new regulations, change in business is inevitable. But, when your identity and vision changes, it can bring with it confusion about who you are and how you are positioned in the market.

Big changes in your business structure and vision are an opportunity to stop consider how your business is perceived by customers and staff alike. Refreshing or changing your brand touchpoints, from your messaging to your visuals, can help you to communicate you new direction and identity with clarity and consistency.

2. You’re changing your name.

Sometimes businesses outgrow their names. Maybe the meaning has changed, it no longer reflects what you do, or maybe you’ve realised your customers don’t actually know what your name means or how to pronounce it! Whatever the reason, if your name is holding you back from growing or expanding, a name change is the perfect time to revisit your visual identity, website, brand collateral and marketing materials and ensure they are clear and consistent.  

3. You’re embarrassed by your brand collateral.

Yep, brand shame or website shame is one of the most common reasons our customers come to us for a rebrand.

You might be the best at what you do, but when it comes to first impressions, looks really do count. From drab, inconsistent or ugly visuals to broken, outdated websites, if it looks like you don’t care about how your business presents itself, or don’t care enough to invest in your business, what signal does that send to potential customers?

If you cringe when sharing your website address or business card, or always preface their presentation with ‘these need updating but..’ it’s probably time for an upgrade. If refreshing your brand means you can show up with confidence, it’ll pay dividends. 

4. You aren’t standing out from the competition.

‘How do you stand out in a competitive market?’ Is something we get asked all the time. In fact, I wrote an article with 11 ways to stand out over here.

While it sometimes feels like it’s all been done before, rebranding offers the opportunity to shift and reposition your brand so that you’re not competing on the same factors that everyone else is.

Once you determine what it is that makes you truly different, everything you say, do and show to your customers should communicate this difference clearly and consistently.

5. Your brand visuals & message are confused or inconsistent.

Design that’s a hodge-podge of colours, fonts and imagery or messaging that is overly complex and confusing are indicators that that you need to spend some time distilling your messaging, look and feel.

We see these inconsistencies all the time, like 'premium' or 'luxury' brands whose visuals look like they were made on a budget, or brands who say they are friendly and down to earth, whose website copy sounds like a Dickens novel.

Every touchpoint matters when it comes to creating a lasting brand impression. By clarifying, simplifying and narrowing your brand positioning, working on your core brand messages and creating some rules around how to apply your brand visuals, you can build cohesiveness into your brand.

6. You want to raise your prices.

The best feeling in the world is chatting to potential customers who undoubtedly want to work or buy from you, no matter the cost. They’re not chatting to other providers or haggling over price, they want what you’ve got.

This is the goal of branding— to create favourable perceptions about the quality, unique value and trustworthiness of your brand so you don’t have to compete on price. This isn’t about charging exorbitant prices or ripping people off— it’s about charging what your products and services are worth.

Often, customers are willing to pay a little bit extra to make a purchase from a reputable brand because it’s less risky, offers something unique and valuable, or provides better quality. If you’re at a point where you’d like to raise your prices, a brand evolution can help to communicate why you’re worth paying more for.

7. Your want to attract new (or different) customers.

If you’re not attracting your ideal customers, or are looking to target a new audience, you may need to consider a brand evolution.

Here, branding can serve two purposes. First, it can help you to stand out in a noisy marketplace and get noticed by the audience you're trying to reach. Second, it can help you to connect with and build a relationship with your dream customers.

Rebranding can help you show your potential customers that you are different from the competition and that you understand their fears, concerns, values and preferences, helping you to forge new relationships.

8. You want to recruit quality team members.

Your brand is all about how your business is perceived— not just by your customers, but by potential staff members too. Everyone wants to work for a brand they’re proud to be associated with, and if you have a reputation as a great employer, you’ll attract higher quality talent. 

Revisiting your brand message, visuals, customer experience and marketing materials to communicate your culture and values can go a long way to building a positive reputation.

9. Your visuals or website have always been ‘temporary’.

When you first started out, you may have created a cheap or DIY visual identity or website solution. They might not have been ideal, but ‘good enough’ to get you by until you could afford to upgrade, or prove that your business was going to make it past the first few years. If you’re in the position where you’re making enough to invest back in your business, it’s probably time to do this thing properly so it lasts you for years to come! Check out our tips for hiring a designer here.

10. Sales are sluggish

If sales are slow, it’s time to play detective and pinpoint what’s not working. For many people, they’re simply not showing up and marketing their business, so the problem is more about getting found.

But, what if you’re spending time and/or money on marketing, and getting a lot of eyeballs on your offerings, but you’re not still not seeing many sales? Assuming those people are the right audience, then there might be an issue with how people perceive your business. Maybe they’re confused by your copy, or don’t think you look legitimate. Or, perhaps they have trouble navigating your website or don’t see the value in what you do.

In this instance, a rebrand can help you to hone your message, refine your customer experience and redefine your visuals to really sell your value and manage your brand image.

So, is it time to take action?

So there you have it—10 common signs it's time for a change! But, there's one more big one I haven't mentioned—that you’re reading this! Maybe rebranding has been on your mind for a while, but you haven’t taken action yet.

If you’re still on the fence or don’t know if it’s worth it, consider what your goals for a rebrand would be. How would it impact your business to achieve them? If you could expand your audience, recruit top talent, stand out or make more sales would it be worth the time, cost and effort? And, on the flip side, what happens if you do nothing and take no action?

Change is inevitable and rebranding is a part of maintaining a healthy brand, but only you know whether it is the right move for your business right now. Hopefully this article has helped you to decide whether you’ll start 2019 with a refreshed identity. 

If need a hand with your rebrand, and think we'd make a great team, we'd love to hear from you.

Have you gone through a re-brand before? How did you decide it was the right time? Was it effective? Let me know in the comments! If you found this article helpful and know someone else who would too, we’d love it if you shared it with them too.

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10 Signs it’s Time for a Brand Evolution

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