When do Marketers opt for a Rebranding?

We’ve been thinking about it for quite some time… should we develop a new brand identity?  Our original vision for Right Here Interactive came from a desire to develop pURL software for tracking links by anyone.  We called it Super Simple Purl’s.  After starting the company, we felt that there were enough great providers of tracking links in marketing promotions and ultimately let it slide.  We refocused on our desire to build apps and high intensity websites catered towards youth marketing for our clients in sports and entertainment. Forward to the present (after many youth marketing projects as well as many other industries), we pinpointed where are hearts really are.  Developing compelling story’s about our customers and promoting those messages to the prospective audiences in a manner that creates the kind of response our clients need to get a solid return on their marketing investments.

We feel like maybe we ought to entertain our own brand identity “pivot” (named so for our favorite book of 2012, The Lean Startup).  Not a new company name, just a new brand to the name Right Here Interactive. But why rebrand now?  Why take on the challenge of a logo, corporate identity materials, website and everything else that comes with it?  Is our brand bad?  Is our brand poorly designed?  Bad colors?  What is missing?  Once in a while people would question our brand with “What exactly is that play button symbol anyhow?”  But we kept asking ourselves, don’t we already have a brand after 4.5 years of being in business?  If we do rebrand, are we admitting that we suck as an interactive marketing agency if we rebrand ourselves?  Or on the flip side, are we going to get a lot of positive momentum based on it?  Most importantly are two key questions; Do we have the money and the time?  Will this distract our focus from where it belongs, on our clients?  Tons of possible answers came up, but in the end, we can’t answer them definitively. So, we set out and asked clients, marketing professionals and anyone else that understands what branding means (in varying degrees) to companies and more importantly, how does a small business know when to rebrand? The best answer we received numerous times and we believe in sarcastic undertones was “when your brand sucks.”  But lets quantify what sucks means.  So, we pressed for more detail.  Like us, many marketers felt there are times when you rebrand from scratch, including:

  • Your brand gives a negative image
  • Your brand has no meaning
  • You are re-directing your company’s strategic vision
  • Your brand is misleading in some way
  • Your brand is too complex
  • Your branding is overly simple
  • Your brand pigeon holes you in some way
  • Your brand is too close to another brand (this can of course be a legal issue as well)
  • You inherited a brand you don’t like

After listening and discussing this matter for quite a few months, we voted and decided to rebrand in early December 2012.  Why? Our discussions revealed that our case was because we were hasty in our decision making as we started Right Here Interactive in 2008 and in the process created a brand that had little meaning and we are in a strategic change of direction, plus being truthful to ourselves, we never really built much brand equity with the original brand. So here we are in the middle of the rebranding campaign. A new logo, a new website, a new vision for Right Here Interactive in 2013 and we’re getting pretty close.   When you’re faced with the decision to rebrand, it will be a difficult one, so try asking as many questions about why you want to do it, what the value will be upon it’s completion and what the cost will be in time, money and brand equity.

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