Company growth is driven by an organisation’s ability to adapt, but transformation can be a risky business.

From Apple to Old Spice to Burberry, there are countless examples of re-branding success. But there are also times when transitions face backlash. So, what separates the victories from the failures?

As the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) discusses, it is all about finding the right time…

The Wrong Time

Before we consider the right time, we must first look at when brands should not consider re-branding.

The festive season is one of the worst times to transform your company, as you’re in the midst of your Christmas campaigns, reaching the end of your annual budget, and everyone is too focused on finishing the year having reached all the company goals that there will be no time or money to dedicate on re-branding.

In this technological world, new products and trends seem to appear nearly every day, and it can be hard not to find yourself with a case of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. But fear should never be the driving force of change.

If you impulsively decide to transform to reflect the digital world, you’ll lack consistency and long-term planning – your business goals will be thrown out the window as you focus on being seen as trendy. With the fast pace in which styles change, you could end up falling behind before you’ve even finished with your re-brand. But looking ahead isn’t always the smartest move.

The Right Time

The CIM argues that the future holds all manner of possibilities, from trends to radical innovations. But what will stay and prove effective, and what will simply be a passing fad? Unless you’re Mystic Meg, there’s no way of knowing. Instead, you have to look back to move forward.

To ensure your transformation is built on solid ground, look at your company’s past and use your experience, previous success and failures to plan a change if your profits are declining, you’re no longer meeting expectations, or you’ve discovered a gap in the market.

If you’re tempted to go for a re-brand, wait until the new year when budgets are fresh. CIM also recommends considering these five points:

  • Create a cross-departmental team for a breadth of experience to be brought to the table when planning for the future and assessing potential areas for development.
  • Prove there are solid grounds for a transformation by conducting thorough market research and analysis.
  • Assess how the change will impact all areas of the business.
  • Look at your competitors. If a rival is expanding into a new market, this could provide clues as to the future options of your own brand.
  • Continue to listen to market analysis, refine and be prepared to fail and let go of the project if it isn’t working. It’s better to pull the plug than get re-branding wrong

If you feel like re-branding is the right step for your company, Chapman Consulting’s board-level branding expertise can help you develop and manage your branding. Get in touch to find out more.