10 surefire signs it’s time to rebrand

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Rebranding is a marketing strategy where a new name, term, symbol, design, concept is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders.

The benefits of a rebrand can lead to attracting more high value clients, more fun and fulfilling projects, being seen as preeminent expert and rendering the competition irrelevant.

I’m sure you’ve experienced it before where those shoes you once loved are now a little too worn out and faded. Or perhaps your car no longer holds the value it once did. Brands are no different. Whether clients see you as just another architect, or your practice has changed its business model or strategy. Every brand will have to re-align itself at some point to become stronger and more efficient.

Beyond a strong brands ability to make marketing budgets work harder for you, it can be one of your firms most valuable assets.

It’s the asset that dictates the perception of your clients, your prospects and your employees. It’s also an asset you can shape to influence client behaviour that can ultimately make or break your firm.

The biggest mistake any practice owner could make is looking at branding as another cost against a marketing budget, when it should be treated as an investment. When carefully curated and nurtured it has the potential to yield exponential returns throughout the life of your business.

A well-positioned brand grows your brand equity, and solidifies your authority as preeminent architects. It’s a long-term investment with exponential returns that include:

  • Attracting more high paying clients and working on fun and fulfilling projects

  • Being seen by your clients as the preeminent experts

  • Rendering your competition irrelevant

The decision to embark on a rebrand is never an easy one to make and it has got to be done for the right reasons.

Unfortunately the warning signs that tell you it’s time to rebrand aren’t always obvious and can get lost in the day to day activity of your practice. For this reason we’ve put together a list of 10 surefire signs it’s time to rebrand.

As you read each one keep in mind any that apply to you.

1. Your competitive advantage is not clear enough

The key to a strong brand is competitive differentiation and when your logo and other parts of your branding look like all the others out there, it’s time to do something about it.

Clearly communicating who you are in an authentic and memorable way can make your brand the obvious choice.

2. You’re embarrassed to hand out your business cards

This is one of the most common reasons we come across. If you feel the need to apologise or make an excuse about its need for an update, then it’s time to do something about it. An outdated or uninspiring brand identity or online presence will do more harm than good.

Without a doubt it’s one of the most obvious signs a rebrand is needed.

3. Your business strategy or model had changed

When your practice changes so should your branding because it’s your brand that represents who you are and what you stand for. It should always align with your firms culture, core values and personality.

4. Your offer has become complicated or confusing

As a firm grows over the years and expands into new areas the marketing messages and brand narrative can easy become muddy and lack the clarity they once had. You’ll know this has happened when people’s eyes glaze over in presentations, or sales start to fall away for no apparent reason.

A rebrand is the best way to resolve this because it will bring clarity and simplicity to your communication in a way that everyone understands.

5. You’ve become bigger than your brand

This one becomes most obvious when you’re pitching for projects at a higher level because you have the capability, but they always seem just out of reach.

It can also be true if your business has grown rapidly, but your branding was left behind with a personality stuck firmly in the past. Either way you should definitely consider a rebrand.

6. You’re finding it a challenge to increase your fees

Clients perceptions can be shaped and moulded to suite your objectives through branding. So when fees seem like they can’t be changed because of clients price shopping it’s time to change how people see your firm. A rebrand can reposition you in the minds of potential new clients to a point where you become the obvious choice and not because of price.

7. You need to distance your practice from a tarnished reputation

Thanks to social media it’s now easier than ever to take the wrong step by saying or doing the wrong thing. It can turn a reputable practice into one that clients stand clear of and tell others to do the same. Rebranding can sometimes be one of the simplest and most effective solutions.

8. Your practice has been acquired or you’re merging with another firm

The biggest change a practice can go through is when it’s acquired or merged with another to form something completely new. A rebrand is essential in these situations because so much would have changed. Failure to do this (as sometimes happens) can lead to a huge amount of confusion with clients. Realigning the companies values through a rebrand is a great opportunity to look at everything with a fresh pair of eyes.

9. You’re trying to connect with a new demographic of clients

Evolving your brand as your market changes is a very smart move to make. It gives you the opportunity to re-align your core values to those of your clients and take full control of the way your clients perceive you.

If the way you present your practice through your branding isn’t resonating with all the clients you’d like to work with then it’s time consider rebranding.

10. You’re not attracting the most talented people

There’s no doubt about it the best people want to work for the best firms. And as your business evolves and grows so does your need for recruiting them. But how do you attract the best most talented people? When you rebrand your practice you’re redefining perceptions of who you are and what you stand for to appeal to not only the best clients but also the top talent.

Believe it or not, no one wants to admit their firms brand has lost focus. But it’s more common than you might think, and no one is immune to the pitfalls of an unfocused brand.

The need for a rebrand can sometime be obvious or hiding in plain sight. The fact you’ve read this far can only mean the thought has crossed your mind and you’re wondering if a rebrand is necessary.

No matter what the deciding factors might be you can be certain you’re making a smart decision. The innumerable benefits of branding will likely give you a healthy return on your investment.

Is it time for a rebrand?

Go through this simple checklist now and check off all of those that apply, then on the next page discover the answer.

Which of these apply to you?

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rebrandingBrian Terry