Your business is a living, breathing organism. Just like a human being, it does not remain static. Its personality changes as the needs of its customers and the environment change. This means that the brand you give your company when you start out may not be appropriate for the business a couple of years down the line.
This then begs the question of when do you need to tweak your brand identity to make sure that you keep it current and appealing to your target market. There is no scientifically correct answer to this question, however, there are a couple of things to watch which may indicate that it is time for your brand to be refreshed.
The company’s ownership changes
If you decide to merge with another company or to sell your company outright, this is probably a good time for you to re-look at the image of your business.
“During a sale or merger, the company’s fundamental make-up changes,” says Lisa Schneider: managing director of the Digital School of Marketing. “This means that you need to portray this change to the marketplace. The best way to accomplish this task is by re-branding.”
An example of a successful re-brand was in 2011, when South African Law Firm Deneys Reitz merged with Norton Rose (now Norton Rose Fulbright). The new entity became Norton Rose South Africa in order to signify to South African clients – as well as potential clients – that the law firm now had the backing of the globally recognised firm but still retained its uniquely South African knowledge and characteristics that Deneys Reitz clients had grown to trust.
A 180° change in product and/or service offering
Should you decide to branch out and offer a product and/or service that is totally different from that which you offered previously, ensure that your brand remains relevant to all your offerings. So, when you decide to develop new products and/or services, tweak your brand so that it aligns with your new offering. However, the trick is to make sure that you do not change your brand so much so that you alienate your existing customers that already make use of your current offerings.
Apple is a great example of how a company can successfully re-brand when new products are introduced. Founded in 1976, the company was originally called Apple Computer, Inc. When they developed the ‘i’ range, the company was re-branded to “Apple, Inc” to show that they were no longer limiting themselves to selling personal computers but were branching out into innovative technology products.
Whereas previously they were confined to only selling personal computers, now they have broadened their brand scope so as not to limit themselves. However, they’ve kept the core of their brand identity to show consumers that the brand quality they had grown to know and trust, with Apple Computer, was still there in Apple’s new range of products. It was just packaged a bit differently.
It’s imperative to know your brand intimately so that you can gauge as to when would be the perfect time for a rebrand or brand refresh. You need to know its quirks and know how your customers respond to your brand in varying types of market conditions. Having this knowledge will allow you to move towards effectively managing your brand. Another step to effective brand management is to study an accredited brand management course so that you have the tools at your disposal to ensure that your brand has the longevity is deserves.
The Digital School of Marketing is an online provider of accredited brand management, social media and digital marketing education. To find out more, visit our website on www.digitalschoolofmarketing.co.za. call us on 0861 428 710 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the conversations :
DSM, the Digital School of Marketing, is South Africa’s preferred provider of accredited digital marketing education. Our educational institution is unique as all of our marketing courses are accredited by the MICT SETA ( Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority) and we’re a member of the IAB South Africa.
The Digital School of Marketing is also an internationally endorsed member of the CPD services body of the United Kingdom, rendering all courses internationally transferable and endorsed.
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