Why do you need it, when do you need it, and what do you hope to accomplish with it? As Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Gap states, it all comes down to three questions: Who are you, What do you do, and Why does it matter? Can you answer these questions confidently? Can your employees? Your customers? If not, even if you think you have an established brand, it might be time to consider rebranding.

A common statistic within the industry is the average brand changes every seven to ten years (1). When done right, rebranding is a calculated process that evaluates everything from your target customer, down to their gut feeling about why you exist…and if it matters to them. We’ve identified some of the top reasons to consider a rebrand, with some practical (and well-known) examples to boot.


Times change, customers change, purchasing habits change…and sometimes the way your company wants to be perceived changes. Perhaps your products and services have changed. Perhaps they have remained the same, and you simply want to change the way your brand is seen in the eyes of your customer. Either way, there is a gap to bridge in the mind of the consumer that requires more than specials, deals and promotions. Rebranding makes this change cohesive across the board, providing a chance to re-build your brand platform from the ground up. Walmart (2) did this successfully in 2007, realizing their store could compliment their target customer’s need for a better lifestyle, not just for the cheapest bargain. Their ability to remain true to low prices while appealing to a different customer base has survived the test so far.

Your Brand Is Outdated

Does anyone really like that mauve color you have on your logo? Do the deep hues of maroon really communicate your core values anymore? The positive side of a strong brand is that it has the potential to stand the test of time. But after a while, longevity can become a liability and demand a refresh. Old Spice (3) found itself in this exact predicament. With their “Smell like a man, man” campaign, they found a witty way to bring their new brand into the new millennium AND speak to the women who purchase the products for their men.

Keep Up with the Jones’s

Sometimes competitors force you to reconsider your brand and just how different it is in the new array of options. Sometimes your competitor refreshes its own message and images, instantly making your brand look like the outdated, second choice. While there’s lots of competition for differentiation, customers are usually drawn to fresh, responsible, relevant, and modern brands. An example of one brand that has nailed it and stayed relevant is Lego (4). Kudos to them…because, well Fortnight IS a pretty formidable competitor for their target audience.

Merger, Acquisition, Product Line Extension

One of growth’s pain points hides in the blending of multiple brand identities, or development of new product lines. Keep the same brand while selling different product lines? What is the play and interaction between the parent company and the newly acquired company? Do people keep confusing your company names? A strong brand platform can reduce the mess of a merger, providing structure and guidance on standards moving forward.

New Leadership

New leadership can pivot the company’s culture to the point that the brand of the past no longer fits. Perhaps the old way of doing things doesn’t fit the vision a dynamic leader brings to a company. Oftentimes, the brand confusion becomes palpable at all levels of the organization and necessitates returning to the branding drawing board. Rebranding to fit the new vision involves taking risks, remaining open minded and trusting the process. When Steve Jobs swapped the rainbow apple for the sleek chrome look, he brought more than a color change to the organization. His rebranding made Apple (5) one of the most desired consumer brands.

Fixing a Damaged Reputation

Burberry (6) found itself in a world of trouble when the once debutante brand found itself on the banned list of apparel for some UK venues because of its association as gang wear. Burberry stuck true to its brand principles and breathed new, modern approaches into communicating their value, leveraged their history and approached the situation with audacity, placing it back on top of high fashion.