What is a re-Brand?

March 6, 2017

A re-Brand is a little bit of a different story from our re-Fresh blog a few weeks ago. In this case, a re-Brand indicates a lot changes need to happen. Certainly, the visual identity, including the logo changes, but sometimes the business even gets a new name. As I’m sure you can imagine, this decision is not made lightly. It takes extensive research to determine that any large-scale changes are the right course of action. As well there must be a plan in place to ensure the brand pivot will be well received by clients, prospects, and colleagues. Re-Branding is a big deal, so before undertaking one, I make sure my clients view it as such before they move down that path.

Re-Branding begins with analysis of the current marketplace, along with a re-valuation of their competition, businesses operations, target market, and brand message. After surveying your environment, it’s imperative to develop a strategy to reach your core audience. Once your plan is laid out, carry out that plan and measure its impact. This last step (measuring the impact) is crucial. Without evaluating what’s working and what isn’t—and adjusting your methods—all of your re-Branding efforts will fall short.

To get a better idea of what goes into a re-Branding, let’s look at Taylor Swift:

Taylor Swift came onto the music scene as a country girl but, in recent years, has evolved, quite seamlessly, into pop. How did she do it? I spoke with the management firm of some of the most recognized country music entertainers in the business and they shared that Taylor hired a branding firm to make the transition go smoothly to ensure she maintained her original fan base as she grew a new one. To her, pop just felt more “natural,” so she took steps to move in that direction. For a while, she had one foot in country and one foot in pop and, to quote her, “If you want to continue to evolve, I think eventually you have to pick a lane, and I just picked the one that felt more natural to me at this point in my life.”

A wonderful client of mine is a wealth management firm whom I got to know well during our time working together. I adore the people who work there, and it was the most fun I’ve had doing my job for as long as I’ve been doing it. When we began our project, the question of doing a re-Fresh versus a re-Brand was on the table and, after our research, we came to the realization this established firm needed to re-Brand primarily because they needed to speak cross-generationally, with their message resonating from the family patriarch to the Millennial grandchild. As a result, their look, tone, and feel needed to change as well as their messaging. They were open to my recommendations, had faith in my ideas and, as a result despite being as big a project as it was, the client was thrilled with the results.


My good friend and client, Michelle, is a marvelous relationship coach. She’s one of those people who is so insightful, they’ve got your number the minute you say, “Hello.” It’s uncanny how accurate she is when working with her clients. She started out focusing on helping couples with their relationships by getting them in the kitchen and cooking together, but that soon evolved into helping individuals find love because she saw a greater need for singles interested in a relationship and she no longer wanted the entire business model to exclusively revolve around food. As a result of the expansion of her target audience, her brand needed to be reviewed since it had been originally designed to appeal to couples and now had to appeal to both couples and singles. We took a deep dive into what she wanted to accomplish including revising her mission and vision, customer personas, and brand identity. The new logo, including a new color palette, is much stronger—and more generic in focus to allow for the expansion of her brand to include both individuals and couples—food or no food. The entire brand took on a new identity including a modified point of view to speak to a broader audience.MG

Re-Branding requires much more than swapping out some color palettes and a re-design of a logo. It’s a complete 360-degree turn from the previously established brand as the revisions of the brand stem from a whole new identity through the eyes of all stakeholders.

By-products of a re-Brand typically include a new name, terminology, messaging, logo, color scheme(s), and visuals—or some combination thereof. It requires re-evaluating the target audience and speaking directly to them and their needs. Re-Branding makes sense when the business grows and includes additional customer personas or a change or increase in products or services from the brand’s previous offerings.

When you come out the other side, remember a lot of time and resources have been allotted to this process. So if you go to the trouble of re-Branding, make certain that the changes are genuine—and that you truly live by them.

Take an assessment of your brand. Feeling like it needs more than a little something? If so, consider registering for brand school. It’s a great way to analyze your brand and modify in real-time.