when to rebrand, and when not to

First do no harm!

A rebranding process is an opportunity to rethink and realign your organization’s core marketing and communications. It brings assumptions and challenges into the forefront and opens the door to planning ahead. Yet, a rebranding is not always beneficial and may create more problems than it solves. Here are some guidelines that you can use for thinking about your organization’s brand.

the case for a rebranding

things just don’t feel right

The trendy colors that looked great five years ago are looking like yesterday’s news. The brochures no longer fit with the new service or product offerings or with the website. Things don’t match up or have the polish as they should. An overall feeling of dysfunction is a really good reason to rebrand, and a solid rebranding process will discover what things aren’t working and build systemic solutions that will resolve these problems.

poor sales performance, recognition, or website conversion rates

Your marketing has a job to do. If it’s not doing it, then it’s time for a change. A rebranding will help you uncover what things are not working and build solutions that help you foster better relationships with new and existing customers.

change of philosophy, leadership, or product and service offerings

If your organization has seen major internal or external changes, a rebranding can signal to your audience and stakeholders that a change has taken place. A successful rebranding is a great way to communicate a shift of direction, an improvement, an evolution — as opposed to a complete departure.

management / revisions are more difficult than they should be

Print and web publishing continues to change and many changes help people work more efficiently and collaboratively. A brand built five years ago may rely on old technology that creates more problems than it solves. Updated tools will help you work smarter and faster.

the case against rebranding

you’re ready for a change

Part of managing a brand is resisting the desire to continually make adjustments or improvements for fun or amusement. Branding is not an overnight thing. Give it a chance to stick and permeate your marketplace.

internal issues

If people within your organization are confused or are in disagreement about core features of your marketing message, a rebranding process will probably inherit this confusion. Rebranding happens once the internal issues are put aside.


A branding process will include a variety of costs that touch on logo redesign, writing, website revision or redesign, and reprinting. A good branding process will identify these costs early in the process. If you can’t afford it, best to hold off until you can.

a good branding emerges from a good partnership

A good rebranding process emerges from a positive partnership, a dialog where multiple perspective collaborate on a shared goal of improving your organization. When you are ready to think about a rebranding process for your organization, contact us to learn about how our process can help you. We will talk with you about your goals, share successful projects with you, and provide you with clarity about investment and timelines without cost to you.

Eric Shew is a graphic designer and front end developer living in Bellingham, Washington.

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115 West Magnolia, Suite 210
Bellingham, WA 98225

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