Dated and obsolete. Two words you never want associated with your collection, let alone your entire brand. How could this happen? After you spent all this time formulating your visual identity and your brand bible? The fashion industry is far from static; introducing new competitors, technologies and customers every single day. With all the market growth and changes, it’s possible that your brand isn’t receiving as much love as it used to. Is it just a normal market slump or is it time to freshen things up? Below are some of the reasons it may be time to consider a change:
No one can seem to remember your brand because your website, logo or social media presence just don’t leave a memorable impression. Or even worse, they keep mistaking you for another brand in the market. Yikes! The very mention of your name or the sight of your logo should spark a clear image of your products and business as a whole to your audiences mind. If you have to keep reintroducing yourself to the market, media or consumers, you’re a whisper in the noise of the saturated market.
Modernisation means that time will inevitably make any brand look outdated; if you don’t keep on top of things. Anything from your logo, to how your website operates can make you seem less professional if it appears ancient. It’s these details that the consumer relies on to determine if your business is ‘with it’ when it comes to products, technology and trends. If your brand visual isn’t communicating this then no-one will even bother looking at what you have to offer.
Business is booming! There’s a possibility your definition of a target market will change or expand. However, your old communication strategy may not just work for these new folks. Thus, defining a new way to say what matters to you as a brand is necessary to lure in the new customers, as well as, maintain the loyal fans. It could be as simple as a logo change, a less formal social media interaction plan or perhaps a massive dose of creativity in your advertising style.
Your brand story used to make everyone from your customers to your cashier connect to your brand; really believe in the product your selling. Conversely, changes were introduced but they weren’t incorporated into your brand’s story. Not only are your customers confused, but your employees can’t concisely explain to new customers what exactly makes your brand special. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and write part two of your company’s narrative.
In the beginning, it was only bridal gowns. Now you can cater to the bridesmaids, mother of the bride and the entire groom’s line-up. In addition, your service packages got a serious upgrade. A little rebranding is in order to reflect this change, and get the whole wedding party relying on you for their special day. As you expand your products and services offerings, communicating clearly what more customers can gain from you could be the game-changing advantage you’re looking for.
Joining the big leagues and welcoming the world in, as opposed to just your home town, is a huge step. But you now have a lot of other elements to think about. Is your brand name too specific to your place of origin, your initial product or the size of store you used to be? Could your logo be deemed offensive or conjure up an alternative meanings in your new country? You want your new market to welcome you with open arms and not threaten to burn you at the stake. But you also want your home turf to still recognize you and feel just as valued.
Perhaps things have gotten a little shaky lately and believe us, mistakes do happen. Some PR nightmares here, a few organisational issues there, and all the market can see are your glaring mistakes. If after you’ve tried to fix them, customer confidence hasn’t been restored, rebranding is needed to shake off that baggage. Remember around the time when Abercrombie & Fitch’s former CEO, Mike Jeffries, attracted all that denigration for allegations that he does not want unattractive or fat people wearing the brand? Yeah, that was definitely a good point to consider rebranding. For this to work, it can’t be a scenario where we throw on a new shade of lipstick and call it a day. It calls for changes that are implemented throughout the organisation so that the negative association never happens again.
Time to do a little investigation as to why you’re still making the same amount when you first started. Worse still, if that figure is on the decline. Could it be that your customers are hopping over to the competitors because they are offering more products or services than you? Figure out where the disconnection is coming from and work on your brand’s upgrade.
While it isn’t good business to make decisions based solely on your emotions, you do need to have a strong emotional connection to your brand. It’s this connection that drives you to keep pushing your brand to new heights, instead of just going through the motions. When you don’t ‘feel it’ , your work shows it. Nonetheless, you do need to work with a structured process to ensure it’s a strategic rebranding and not just as knee-jerk reaction.
There is a plethora of reasons why your brand may need a makeover, but it isn’t a decision you should make lightly. If you’re really in a bind, it helps to have an external expert come in and help advice you in the right direction. You may find that rebranding isn’t the course of action for you. But if it is, we’ll be covering how you can plan out your rebranding process in an upcoming post.