Every so often you will notice a business investing in rebranding, overhauling their logo and developing their overall look and feel. So why would a competitor go to all this trouble and is there something they know, that you don’t? This article highlights the key reasons a competitor may rebrand, helping you understand what they are thinking. This in turn will empower you to make strategic decisions for your own business on how to move forward.

But first, why do businesses rebrand?

1. Connecting with a new customer

The most important advantage of rebranding is that businesses are able to appeal to a new audience instantly. By focussing on new areas of their business and promoting them more strategically, new customers will start to take notice. In this way, rebranding stimulates appetite for an existing business and helps build brands in an ever-changing market.

2. Standing out from the competition

Branding is usually set up very early in a business’ life cycle. Meanwhile the market sector evolves around it. What often happens is businesses start to look similar to each other. Rebranding empowers a business to step away from this and stand out from the crowd by differentiating their services in a visual way. Showing their uniqueness and expertise also helps re-establish the brand’s personality, appealing to a wider audience.

3. Showcase new products, goals, values and offerings

A brand needs to consistently showcase how they have grown. Often things stagnate with time and don’t accurately reflect the new products, services or goals that are on offer. A rebrand can show customers that your business has moved with the times and evolved alongside their needs. This is a strong message to send out to the market and can be very lucrative in the long run.

4. Design aligns with management

Sometimes a company changes from a management perspective. Leadership shifts will have a massive impact on how the company functions and is actually an important aspect of the brand’s identity. A solid brand should reflect both the character of the business as well as the team behind it. So this can be a good opportunity to rebrand.

5. Market changes

The changes we’ve been discussing above are necessary when the company has evolved. But what about when the market outside has changed? People grow and develop and as such, their tastes and needs shift too. If a business has been loyal to a customer base over time, it may make sense to think carefully about what appeals to this market now and evolve alongside them. By adapting to changes in the market the business is communicating that they are anticipating their existing customer’s needs and are investing in themselves in order to keep up with them.

So what does a competitor’s rebrand mean for your business?

They may know something that you don’t?

Rebranding is a very costly exercise. Usually a business won’t go to the expense or trouble without investing in research. So if a competitor is rebranding, it may be because they have tapped into an insight that you don’t know about. Meaning that it may be time to start talking to customers, doing market research and taking a hard look at your numbers to see if there are insights that could benefit your business too.

Everyone will be looking at them

Usually when companies rebrand, they create a stir in their industry and everyone will be aware of what they are doing. This unfortunately means that attention will be redirected away from you. If this is the case it may make sense to create a powerful campaign to remind the market that you are still a player and remain top of mind with your customer base.

They can become the modern face of the market

A rebrand often occurs when a business has evolved to a point that they no longer fit the original mould. In these cases their rebranding creates an image that better fits the new direction the business is taking. If this is the case, the rebrand may succeed in cementing your competitor as the industry leader. If this is the case it’s important for you to understand where you are located in the pecking order. Remember that a rebrand is not simply a cosmetic decision and needs to have real strategy behind it.

The bottom line

A successful rebrand works in tandem with strategic changes the business is already involved in. So just because your competitor is rebranding, doesn’t mean you need to jump on the pricy bandwagon too. But in the same way that rebrands stir up the customer, it will stir up the competitors as well. In this way when a competitor is evolving, it is also an important opportunity for others in the market to take a hard look at their own businesses and make decisions on where they stand in the evolving space. If the decision is to hold your ground, that is fine too but make sure you are thinking of smart ways to hold your customer’s attention while the tides turn.

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