Just a few weeks ago, one of the most successful companies of all time suddenly rebranded itself. Google is now a subsidiary of a new company called Alphabet. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will run the new company, handing off the reins of each subsidiary, reportedly following a model established by Warren Buffett’s parent company Berkshire Hathaway. If a $445 billion-dollar business needs to rebrand, it should at least have you asking whether your business needs to consider doing the same.
Here is a list of items to ponder if you’re thinking about rebranding:
1. Is It Broken?
The old adage, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” remains true but “not broke” is not the same thing as “as successful as possible.” Google was not broke in any sense of the word, yet it seems its founders saw a way to make the company even more successful.
If you’re content with what your company is doing, then keep on that path. But if you think it could be doing better, a rebranding should be one of the tools in the drawer.
2. Have You Sought Others’ Input?
A move of this significance is not done in a vacuum. Before you pull the trigger on a rebrand, talk to your employees, customers, business partners, trusted colleagues and industry experts about their thoughts regarding your company. If you’re the only person in favor of a rebranding effort, that should give you pause.
Good leaders understand the value of information, especially from multiple sources. You have resources all around you, use them.
3. Have You Researched the Matter?
Have competitors attempted to rebrand themselves? Well, how did that go for them? What did they do that worked or didn’t work? How about businesses in similar circumstances as yours? Maybe market leaders in the industry are more successful at rebranding while upstarts have struggled in crafting a new image — or vice versa.
It’s important to understand the history, especially recent history of rebranding efforts in your business and others. Learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
4. What Would Your New Identity Be?
Before you scrap your current identity, be sure you know what you want your business to become. Not all rebrands are successful. In fact, some are disastrous (remember New Coke?). Carefully consider the mission of your company and how a shift in your brand identity will allow you to better accomplish it.
Be certain of what your new brand will be before scrapping the current one. All the trust and goodwill that you’ve earned will be put on the line until you can reassure everyone that your new brand is as reliable.
5. Why Now?
If it seems a rebranding is in order, the question must be asked, “Why now?” Rome wasn’t built in a day. Maybe the move is inevitable but that does not necessarily mean that it has to be accomplished immediately. Or maybe it does. Is there a time of year that better lends itself to a rollout of your new brand? Obviously, the more time you have to prepare, the easier the task becomes. There’s likely a lot to do, so planning ahead is helpful.
Carefully consider the calendar before immediately donning a new brand.