Your personal, team, and business brand changes over time and will require periodic adjustments. But how do you know when it’s time to invest the time, effort, and resources it takes to create a new brand marketing strategy? Your decision to embark on a rebrand is most often precipitated by one of the following scenarios:
• Your message has moved on, and your focus has changed. The way you used to describe who you are, what you do, or what you offer has shifted. Old language no longer conveys the new you. Your audience has moved on, and their focus has changed. Markets shift, trends come and go, technologies have made your brand old and obsolete. If your brand is speaking to an old way of working, it’s time to take on an update of your strategy by building a personal brand or rebranding your business.
• You are preemptively apologizing for your brand collateral. I often meet people who, within the first few seconds of discussing their brand, say, “Oh, please don’t look at my website. It’s horribly out of date. It’s embarrassing.” Websites and other collateral materials (including logos, colors, and fonts) that at best don’t accurately reflect who you are today and at worst are a source of shame scream out for a new brand marketing strategy.
• You have identified a new niche, audience, or opportunity. Whether building a personal brand or updating a business brand, if the market you are going after has shifted, the way you express your visual, intellectual, and emotional capital may need to be adjusted to come into alignment with your desired audience or opportunity.
• Your audience is not responding to your offers. Even if you think your personal brand is being clearly communicated, if your desired audience just does not seem to be responding, you either have an outdated, unclear, weakened, or undifferentiated brand. Regardless of the reason, you’re in need of a rebrand.
• Your brand reputation has been damaged beyond repair. Whether due to your own actions or circumstances beyond your control, a brand that has been linked by association to a highly negative event or attribute may not be recoverable in its current state. For example, an entrepreneur whose consulting business bore the same name as a group that had just carried out a major terrorist attack contacted me to help her create a new nomenclature. Despite the fact that her organization clearly had nothing to do with the terrorists, the association was always going to be there in the public’s mind, so that was that. A rebrand was the only way out.
• You have undergone a personal transformation. Often when an individual goes through an “eye of the needle” experience (such as a divorce, illness, or death), they find that they’re simply not the same person. Newly informed by their recent ordeal, building a personal brand redo is almost a rite of passage.
People who refuse to update their personal, team, or business brand when appropriate and get stuck presenting themselves exactly the same way decade after decade run the risk of becoming obsolete and disconnected. Your brand marketing strategy is an organic process—not a fixed entity. Allowing room for growth, change, adjustments, and even transformations is the stuff that relevancy is made of.