What Are the Pros and Cons of Rebranding?

May 13, 2024

Did your brand resonate differently than it used to? Maybe it feels outdated or no longer aligns with who you are today. If this sounds familiar, a fresh look could be just what your business needs. But you don't want to risk a rebrand without a plan! So what are the pros and cons of rebranding?

Giving a brand a makeover with a new name, logo, messaging, or visual identity is what we call "rebranding." When done right, it can breathe new life into a company looking to reinvent itself. But it also comes with some risks if not executed carefully. Let's weigh the potential pros and cons to help decide if hitting the "refresh" button is right for your business.

The Pros: Why Rebranding Could Be Worth It

Rebranding offers some appealing benefits that can make it a smart move. Here are the top upsides you might see:

Refresh Public Perception

Over time, people may start to see an unchanged brand as stale or no longer relevant. A makeover gives you a chance to update those perceptions. Showcasing the "new and improved" aspects of your brand can replace outdated notions in people's minds.

Attract New Customers

A revamped look and message can grab the attention of demographics who weren't interested before. It's a chance to court fresh eyes.

Keep up With The Times

Even if the public does not perceive you as having a dated look, you need to keep your style current. But what does that mean? Trends in logo design, color palette, and catchphrases change over time – just look at any soft drink company to see this! Some brands, like Pepsi, adjust their brand regularly to try to capitalize on modern trends, while Coca-Cola tends to build on a brand that feels classic-but-timeless. Either way you choose, you don’t want to end up looking dated.

To continue our example - soft drink companies have evolved their logos over the past 30 years to stay relevant and appealing. Here are three notable ways in which these logos have changed:

1. Simplification: Many soft drink companies have simplified their logos to make them cleaner and more adaptable to digital and small-scale applications. This includes reducing the number of colors, removing complex graphics, and favoring flat design over three-dimensional gradient-and-bevel effects that were so popular 10-20 years ago.

2. Modernization: There are trends in design just like in fashion! When a company wants to modernize its brand, it will often use more contemporary fonts and adjust color palettes to be more vibrant, limited, or muted depending on current trends.

3. Environmental/Health Messaging: In response to growing consumer awareness of health and environmental issues, some soft drink companies have incorporated elements into their logos or packaging that reflect commitments to sustainability or healthier options. This can be seen in the use of green colors or motifs that suggest a commitment to recycling, organic ingredients, or reduced sugar content.

The methods used by soft drink companies can apply across any industry to keep a brand looking fresh and relevant. Many major brands have teams of designers, psychologists, economic sociologists, and consumer test groups to monitor their brand perceptions. Without that type of team, you need an intelligent branding agency to help you know when to switch things up.

Stand Out From the Competition

A makeover distinguishes you visually from your competition so you don't fade into the background. And standing out is a big part of branding! Done right, it can make customers take a second look and choose you over the rest. In a sea of similar brand looks or styles, a different and more current approach can make your potential customers differentiate you from other brands they may have tried before. You can position yourself as the fresh, hot alternative to a bad or dull experience without ever changing your message.

The Cons: Risks to Consider Before Taking the Plunge

As exciting as a makeover sounds, it can come with downsides to think through.

Risk Alienating Existing Customers

You always run the risk of turning off long-time customers who like your original brand. Some people feel a sense of loyalty and familiarity. That trust hinges on brand recognition. Changing it drastically could backfire and drive them away in confusion. In other words, they may not like the new look.

That's why it's key to map out this big transition carefully. You need to communicate it in a way that gets people excited rather than confusing them.

Expensive to Execute

Pulling off a complete rebrand that truly transforms perception takes an all-in effort across visuals, messaging, culture, and more. Depending on the scope, it can have a hefty price tag. But you recoup that investment if it brings in new business or strengthens loyalty.

Could Fail to Resonate

Rebrand concepts that seem great in meetings can flop once they debut after lots of spending. If a makeover doesn't align with your audience's needs, it can set you back years. To lower risks, always test concepts before a full launch. Partnering with an agency experienced in rebranding can help avoid alienating customers or losing identity momentum.

Final Thoughts

Rebranding brings big potential rewards along with real risks. Looking at your specific situation can reveal if it's the right call.

With careful planning, the benefits may outweigh the dangers. Having an experienced team manage the process can help you transition smoothly. Their outside eye can steer you in a way that minimizes risks and maximizes success potential.

If you're looking for a Pittsburgh Branding Agency to help, look no further than Twothirty Media. With years of experience and a track record of successful strategies, our team can help take your brand to the next level.

Written by Allison

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