Buyer , Scaleups — 01.19.2023

How to Know When It’s Time to Rethink Your Brand Identity

Leanna Adeola, Principal, Practice Lead — Product Marketing & Brand Strategy

Scaleups and established organizations have an existing brand identity. Customers know who you are and what you do. 

But what happens when your product changes? Or when you acquire a new product? What happens when your target audience evolves? What do you do when the needs of your customers change? 

If you find yourself saying, “my brand no longer accurately reflects who we are as a company,” you can’t ignore this shift and expect your existing brand to stay relevant. In this case, it’s time to rethink your brand identity. 

Because your brand has equity and customers have an existing perception of who you are and what you do, it can be difficult to wrap your mind around changing it. That’s why we’re here to help you identify how you can rethink and refresh your brand identity.

Your brand is more than visuals.

Your brand identity conveys an intentional and specific message to your target buyers. 

But for your message to resonate, you need more than colors, typeface, visuals and photography. 

Visuals (brand) help your audience believe in your value, while words (product marketing) help your buyers understand it. 

Together, product marketing and brand help your buyers believe in and understand the value you provide. 

Take Nike, for example. When you think of Nike, yes, you see the swoosh. But it’s likely that “just do it” also comes to mind. Maybe you even pictured an athlete wearing Nike apparel. The best brands are more than logos, mascots or color palettes. 

Your brand identity isn’t just what you look like. It’s how you resonate with your buyers.

Know when it’s time for a change.

Often companies may think their brand identity isn’t resonating because of the way it looks. In reality, you need to take a closer look at your entire go-to-market strategy to determine the misalignment. 

Triggers for that it’s time to evolve, revisit or revolutionize your brand identity include:

  • Increased growth targets. Your brand identity supports your sales team. If you have increased sales goals, consider how your brand identity can impact sales conversions. 
  • New competitors. To be successful, your product needs a key differentiator from the competition. Brand identity is one way your product can stand out. 

Your product features alone are not going to distinguish you from similar products. But your brand identity will influence how you make the buyer feel and understand what you do. That’s how you’re going to differentiate from the competition. 

Figure out what’s changed.

Every rebrand starts as the result of a change to your business. To successfully update your brand, you need to understand why you need to rebrand in the first place. Identify the differences between what your company does now and what it did when you first launched the brand.

Ask yourself what has changed about your company:

  • What is different now that makes our website no longer true to who we are? Maybe you acquired a new product with new features, or perhaps your messaging is outdated and irrelevant to your target audience.
  • Why has my audience changed? Consider how technology or cultural shifts can impact who your users are and how they engage with your product.
  • How has my product changed? Define how new or updated features have changed the value of your product for users
  • What does the competitive landscape look like? When you launched your product, there was no competition. But now the market is crowded, and you need to stand out. 

Know your buyers. 

Before you begin to imagine new visuals, color palettes and logos, you have to understand your buyer and how they engage with your company. 

Take advantage of your existing customers, utilize your internal sales team or invest in formal research to learn why your brand is no longer resonating.

Ask yourself what you know about your audience:

  • What matters to them? 
  • What impression do you hope they have when they interact with your brand?
  • What is their perception of the company?

Understanding how your product has changed, what the market is saying and how your audience perceives your company will help you prioritize the right strategies when you invest in a new brand identity. 

Activate your insights.

You’ve done the hard part. You’ve invested in research, iterated and understand how your brand will affect key business goals. You know what’s changed about your company and you understand your audience. 

Taking the time to fully vet why you need to update your brand identity is as important as executing the updates. These foundational insights equip you and your company for long-term success.

Now that you can identify how you want buyers to resonate with your brand, it’s time to take action with these tools to activate your new brand identity in market.

Need help activating? Learn how our product marketing and brand experts can help you go to market confidently.