5 Reasons For New Branding

How to know when it’s time to update your brand

September 1, 2020
Kenzie Owens
Creative Lead

The anatomy of a brand

A company’s identity is trademarked using different components to describe the company, its audience and differentiate from competitors. Stride Creative describes 8 of those important components! If a company’s branding no longer reflects the company — or attracts the audience, there can be a noticeable difference in engagement.

The logo, color palette, voice, expertise, messaging or values all evolve over time. Some of the most recognizable brands have timeless branding — however, under closer inspection, they have been refreshed to attract the current market. Other brands realized that how they were marketing themselves was not working and with a rebrand, they could avoid being recognized as the previous brand that was doing poorly.

1. Are the same products and services offered?

If the products being sold are no longer the same, it’s most likely time for a rebrand. A brand that showcases expertise in services that it doesn’t offer can lead to confusion for the consumer. If the company has added to their capabilities and now has additional products and services, a brand refresh may be suggested. Such as a tech company that once focused on home appliances — now invests in creating medical devices as well. 

MTV Founded in 1981, was the home of Beavis and Butt-Head and where music videos played all day, every day. This brand is interesting because they focused on following an age group instead of aging alongside its audience. When reality TV became popular for teens and young adults — MTV stuck with the new generation rather than going into the next phase with the original audience. Shows like Road Rules, The Real World and Singled Out took over scheduled blocks of music videos. From there it’s been observed that the core focus is no longer about the music. Interestingly, even though they changed their product, they only refreshed their brand. With as much clout as the network’s logo carried, rebranding would disconnect their audience. Logo History has an article showcasing years of artistic variations of the MTV logo.

MTV logo
I want my MTV

2.Does your brand reflect the company culture?

A brand is a badge that describes those that founded the company and the people who keep it running. Besides looking at the logo, the voice of a brand can become out of touch. When neither of these echo the atmosphere of the company culture, it’s time to change. A brand that reflects your company culture will attract the type of talent you are looking for, as well. If you’re interested in learning more about attracting top talent, Randstad lays out some wonderful suggestions.

Southwest chose to do an epic refresh of their brand when they wanted to focus on human empathy as their mission. The airline realized that travel by flying was a headache. That interacting with online ticket purchase was difficult and if you needed to contact an airline, it would be very difficult. By changing their mission statement and refreshing their visual representation, they went from a logo lockup of text and an airplane, to a friendly typeface, a more friendly UX thoughtful and UI delightful, and added a tri-colored heart to their assets. This refresh allowed them to psychologically change their audiences’ preconception of flying — at least slightly. For more on the branding, check out this Brand New - Under Consideration!

Before and after of southwest logo
Fun fact, the Southwest logo had a heart in it from 1971-1998

3. Grandpa called, He said your brand looks dated

If EVERYTHING about your brand is great — but you haven’t had an update in 10 years, it’s probably time for a refresh. Take a look at some of your company’s top competitors. Do they too look dated or do they look modern? 

A refresh can be as seamless as a new coat of paint in your living room or as impactful as taking out a wall to create more space. We would never call a refresh a simple task, but in some instances, updating a brand is about tweaking to keep it timeless rather than making a big deal. Some of our favorite examples include Coca-cola and McDonalds. They’ve hit refresh so many times, yet we cannot always put our thumb on when.

4. A Merger or acquiring 

A statistic from Landor M&A Brand Study found that ¾ of businesses in the first 10 years of business will rebrand their company due to a merger or rebrand of an asset that they’ve acquired.

When merging or acquiring, the question needs to be asked — which brand is most recognizable? Will letting the other brand sunset cause confusion for the consumers? And is it the best interest for those being acquired to be rebranded and assigned a new company identity? 

Some larger businesses acquire large and small companies as investments. Some acquire or merge to grow the capabilities of the current business. While certain mergers demand that the acquired business transform into the host business, other businesses value the original business’s culture and decide to rebrand with a partnership brand.

5. Your brand doesn’t meet accessibility standards

“Accessible branding is about giving customers the information they need in a consistent format, no matter where they find your brand. It’s about being responsive and reachable.” Dan Bethelmy-RadaMedium

The needs and priorities of your customers are what gets them acquainted with your brand in the first place. If those consumers are unable to engage, interact or have access to your brand — those are interrupted buyer’s journeys.

A popular example of becoming inclusive due to issues with accessibility is Dominos. Dominos customers struggled with the interface of the app, making it difficult for them to order. This issue went to the Supreme Court and became negative press for the pizza company. Since the debacle, they’ve updated their interface and taken accessibility much more seriously.


If you’re reading this and realizing it’s time to update your brand — contact us today!