Five Tell-Tale Signs it’s Time to Rebrand

by | September 2, 2021

We get it—a rebrand sounds daunting.
But executed correctly and at the right time, it can bring new clientele, increase customer loyalty, attract top talent, and better reflect who you are. 

Things are always changing around us: Customer preferences differ from year to year. New competition rises up while others fall down. In face of the dynamic nature of the market, rebrands play a healthy role in maintaining a strong brand.
Really, the question is not if you will rebrand, but when.

Sometimes it’s difficult to evaluate the best time for a rebrand. The signs may be there but overlooked by the day-to-day chaos. Or maybe it’s been mentioned, but you’re questioning:

“If my brand worked yesterday, and the day before that, why change it?”

It’s true—it’s not an easy decision. 

So, how do you know when it’s time to rebrand your business?


What is a rebrand? 

A brand is a person’s gut-reaction about your product, service, or company. 

More than just a name or a logo, brands are intangible; they are feelings, experiences, and perceptions. The icon, imagery, typography, colors, voice, slogans, etc. are all parts that make up this overall feeling. 

A rebrand is changing all or part of that gut-reaction in customers, competitors, investors, etc., and for specific reasons.
They may be based on internal or external company changes, such as expanding your audience, or releasing a new product. 

Rebrands can be small and rolled out incrementally—e.g. updating your brand’s colors, typography or voice. Or they can be large and released all at once—AKA overhauling everything about your existing brand. You should consult with experienced brand professionals, such as our team at Pathos Ethos, to find the ideal method for your brand. 


Five Tell-Tale Signs it’s Time to Rebrand Your Business 

Every business is different, so there’s no rebranding formula. There are, however, some tell-tale signs that it is time to rebrand. 

1   It’s Been a While 

There’s no ticking time bomb for a rebrand, but there is a point where your brand feels obviously dated and in need for updates.
If your brand is noticeably out of sync with the market you are catering to, it might be time to rebrand. 

Customer priorities are constantly evolving, and it’s important that your clients see you adjust to their needs. People want to feel good about where they spend their time, money, and effort.

Established companies with household names like Coca-Cola do major rebrands every 7-10 years, with smaller refreshes in between. It’s not about being trendy—it’s about staying relevant

Take insurance for example, something most people find incredibly boring. Major insurance companies rebranded to feel fun and engaging, especially in advertising. The Geico Gecko or the Liberty Mutual Emu help these brands stay relevant, without changing who they are. 

If you haven’t had a major change to your brand in the last decade or half decade, it might be time to consider one.


2   You’re Trying to Reach a New Audience

Your brand should feel inclusive to everyone you are trying to reach. If you are targeting a new audience who does not see themself within your brand, then it’s time to make some changes.

There are several ways to rebrand for a new audience. It may be that you release a sub-brand, or maybe you add a Gen-Z model to whatever you are currently serving. 

When FashionNova, the online women’s fast-fashion retailer expanded their target audience, they released NovaMen, and sold themselves as a men’s brand. 

Whether you are slightly adjusting your current audience or targeting a whole new group altogether, a rebrand can help reach your new demographic. 


3  Competition is Heating Up

Your brand should stand out amongst the competition. If your brand looks like every other brand in a pool of similar products and services, it’s time to rebrand. 

When competition starts heating up, it’s important that you, your employees, and your customers know your key differentiators. Rebranding can help identify and reiterate what makes you better than all your competitors. 

In 2014, Southwest Airlines did a major rebrand. They updated their logo, put a giant heart on the belly of every plane, and added quirky phrases on their in-air food and beverage packaging. Their key differentiators, like free checked baggage, became a part of their new brand identity. In comparison to other airlines, they stood out as more authentic and full of personality. 

A strong brand can help you stand out and sometimes attract rivals’ clientele, even if you’re lacking a competitive advantage.
If your brand looks just like the rest, it’s a good time to rebrand.


4   Dropping a New Product or Service

A brand should encompass everything you bring to your target audience. If you are releasing a new product or service, you should consider a rebrand. 

Similar to your target audience, your new product or service should be visible within your existing brand. 

Uber was formerly a well-known ride-share platform. To expand their services, they released UberEats to include food delivery within their range of their brand.  

As mentioned earlier, you may consider a sub-brand or overhauling your brand entirely. Either way, a rebrand for a new product or service release can bring a lot of initial excitement and enthusiasm.


5  Your Voice and Messaging Changes

How do your customers hear you, and how do your customers receive your messaging? Your brand’s voice is how you sound to others. If your customers are not receiving your messaging how you think  they should receive it, then it is time to rebrand.

Often, it is difficult to remove yourself and hear your brand’s voice from the customer point of view. An experienced design team, like ours at Pathos Ethos, can help you identify if your voice and brand are in sync. 


How Do You Successfully Rebrand? 

If you think your brand is in need of some updates, you should speak to experienced design experts who can help you decide if it is the right time to rebrand, strategize, and creatively implement your new brand. 

When you’re ready, our team at Pathos Ethos with holistic product knowledge, can help you step up your brand and marketing assets.


Ready to get started?