Why do we see so many small businesses “re-branding?” Why do they feel the need to make so drastic a move? From my perspective a re-brand is not something as simple as changing the logo and visual support materials, but a change in the culture. A practical reason to re-brand is that your brand is tired. Something in the marketplace did a 360. Maybe the company structure is fundamentally changing. All these and more are very good reasons to re-brand.

The worst reason is impatience. The feeling that you need to spice things up just because. You’ve been in business for a few years and you’re tiring of yourself. Well my old tried-and-true answer to that attitude is: the moment you’re tired of your brand is exactly when your customers are just beginning to notice it.  You see, you live with your brand every day. Day-in and day-out. Here’s a little insight: YOU are not the customer. You shouldn’t be changing things up because you think things need a shake-up.

You SHOULD re-brand if your customers are tiring of you. If sales are flat and your team is less motivated than when you first started. It’s all about them. Watch for the hints that customers are feeling less than excited by your brand. Of course you do this by talking to them, get into their brains to see how the relationship with them has evolved. Many long-term brands may be suffering from a sense of entitlement. If you see yourself here, the brand has absolutely switched to a brand that is all about you and not your customer.

Businesses need to be patient. Watch and see how customers are treating you. Are they buying less? Do they return messages? Are they replacing you with shiny new competitors? If things are going swell, then maybe you should step back and pat yourself on the back—you’ve done a great job. Keep it up! Re-branding here will do your brand a great disservice. It could cause confusion with your base. It could cause them to worry that you’re not going to be there for them.

Re-branding for the wrong reasons could be the kiss of death for your brand. I suggest you stick with your current brand unless you have a darn great reason to change or update it.

Ed Roach
For more than 25 years, Ed Roach has worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiate them from their competition. Ed appreciates working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions, and consults predominantly with businesses facilitating his proprietary process, "Brand Navigator." This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand, delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace. He is the author of "101 Branding Tips," a book of practical advice for your brand that you can use today.