Repositioning vs rebranding – the eyes have it

Repositioning a brand can often be far more effective than a rebrand. But repositioning an existing brand is something that still demands careful consideration and reflection. Our advice, when it comes to any type of brand repositioning project, is to be very careful that you don’t end up throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water. 

Firstly, it’s about getting to the heart of the matter and understanding what’s driving any need for change.

Is it that:

Or perhaps could it be that:

Unless we’re working with a new start-up, we’re careful not to wipe everything away and start from fresh. There are always elements that you need to bring into any evolution – even revolution – of a brand that connect it to what’s gone on before, because it’s a vital part of who that organisation is.

Ali Heggie, Creative Director.

What’s your starting point?

Once you’ve understood what’s driving any potential need for change, you need to understand which area or areas of your brand need attention.

A new look and feel won’t solve all your problems. Often the real changes you’ll be making will be taking place under the skin, whether that’s to your purpose, your leadership, your organisation, your products or services, or they may be culture-led.

It’s not always that a complete rebrand is needed. Sometimes it’s more about the way that you might need to realign yourself to market conditions, or to the way that your customer profiles have changed.

It’s not necessarily about a full reinvention so the first thing we do is to make sure we’re all approaching the project with the right purpose in mind.

Val Ockwell, Relationship Manager.

The anatomy of a B2B brand

Taking time to understand every aspect of your brand allows you to look at what work is needed, where and why.

Often, we think about brand like the human body – it has a whole anatomy that needs to be in alignment and in tune with its other working parts to work well. An effective balance is constantly required to ensure its long-term health and wellbeing. And any aspects of its working parts that are become adversely affected, for whatever reason, need to be treated, repaired, and rebuilt.

Our first stop with any client is to assess the situation and conduct a sort of ‘brand triage’ or health check. That helps us see what areas need attention, what areas need more work, what things aren’t functioning properly.

It’s part of a process to assess, appraise and validate what sort of ‘treatment’ is needed. And it enables us to do the important work of developing something that’s fit for purpose.

Keith Noble, Director.

And when it comes to any type of potential repositioning or rebranding project, it’s about identifying those one, or more, areas that aren’t functioning as they need to be. Once these have been identified, you then have your focus, and you know you’re intervening in and treating the right areas. It may have nothing to do with your physical logo, it could be elements of your tone of voice that need to be changed, the clarity of your messaging, or the channels you use for your communication, i.e., face-to-face as opposed to email. 

I think the most important thing we ask is ‘Why?’ That’s because the answer gives us a very clear understanding of why you’re going down the route towards making a change – and it helps us establish your driver for the need for change.

Val Ockwell, Relationship Manager.

Repositioning for growth and development

Thinking about where you want and need your brand to sit in your marketplace, can help you to diagnose what needs to change. And working through each element of your brand enables you to clarify what you stand for as a business, why you exist in the world, and what you believe in – your brand purpose.

With change constantly on the horizon, it’s always important to look at how any potential brand repositioning project – whatever form it takes – could help you clarify what makes you different, define your company culture, and underline your company’s aspirations and drive for the future.

I heard a great quote on the 2Bobs podcast some time ago which really resonated with me that was: ‘Your brand’s position is about the work you pursue, and not the work that you do’. And I think there’s so much power and positive potential in that observation.

Steve Gill, Director.

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