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How and when to rebrand your business

Creative Insight
CR investigates the thorny process of rebranding a business, from how you know it’s time to overhaul your visual identity to making sure your new look fits into your plans for the future
The big rebrand is an inevitable fact of doing business today. Companies adapt, they release new products, they change their focus, and often that means the identity they started out with no longer fits the business they’re morphing into. It’s something that’s particularly prevalent in the startup world, where businesses often launch with a ‘this will do’ kind of branding that later needs overhauling – for example Airbnb, which is a long way from the blue-and-pink AirBed&Breakfast wordmark the company launched with.
“It could be time to make it more relevant or contemporary to appeal to a wider audience. Maybe it’s time to be more distinctive or engaging, or maybe the brand has lost its way. Maybe it’s time to expand to new markets, to ensure that how you communicate is appropriate. It can be based on how established the business is – you could have really started to figure out what your purpose is, and maybe that first [piece of branding] wasn’t quite right and you need to explain things better. Maybe beyond that there’s been a significant change, and you need to represent that somehow.”
So how do brands know when the time is right to embark on the torturous process of a rebrand? According to James Kape, director and co-founder of design consultancy Omse, the list of reasons is almost endless. “It could be because it’s time to reimagine a new vision or purpose, or perhaps a creative attitude,” he tells CR.