Every entrepreneur will eventually ask themselves the question: should I rebrand my company? There are certain conditions or circumstances that motivate business owners to rebrand their company.
Long-term Competitive Advantage
Companies that want to gain a competitive advantage can rebrand the public image of their company. This will communicate to consumers that the company is at the cutting edge of emerging markets and industry dynamics. It can be used to accelerate the sales pipeline performance and help the company become a leading voice in their industry. This must be carefully done because changing a brand’s messaging may result in a loss of consumer confidence and engagement. Rebranding can also help to stimulate growth through adjusting business processes and products to directly cater to current customer demands. Businesses that operate in complex markets with fragmented demographics will improve their level of recognition with a crowded market.
Brands that have a bad reputation, such as through corporate scandals or product lawsuits, may want to rebrand themselves in order to minimize any negative associations. This type of rebranding must not only occur on the outside, such as through the brand logo, but internally through improved processes and policies. For example, Blackwater, the infamous private security company implicated in the murder of Iraqi citizens, changed its name to Xe. Philip Morris, the cigarette manufacturing giant that claimed that nicotine isn’t addictive, is actually called Altria. ValuJet, the small airlines that had a crash in the late 1990’s because of poor safety guidelines, merged with AirTran to acquire a new name.
Sometimes, companies may lack a reputation because they are unrecognized or unpopular with consumers. Rebranding will help establish a brand as being modern and innovative. For some companies, new competition may threaten their established market share. The Internet and modern technology have empowered many small businesses to compete with larger companies when it comes to marketing and advertising. This means that a company in a market saturated with similar brands may need to reinvent themselves. Companies that venture abroad may need to rebrand in over to compete in overseas markets. Their brand name may be too specific for a particular country, or the brand may conjure up negative associations.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Changes of business ownership, such as mergers and acquisitions, are excellent opportunities for rebranding. The goal here isn’t just to attract more attention, but also to comply with legal requirements. When companies rarely demerger, the one that has split off must create their own brand. The most common scenario is when two companies with uniquely different strengths merge. For example, a transportation company and a warehouse conglomerate will want to market the fact that they offer horizontally integrated business services. If a company that brokers sales mergers with a strong product development company, they will want to broadcast the fact that they can both create and sell innovative solutions.
The answer to the question “should I rebrand my company?” is a definite maybe. There are certain times when rebranding a company is essential for the survival and success of the company. Forbes magazine explains how to easily rebrand your company here.
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