Rebrand? How To Know When It’s Time.

By Camille Leonard

Rebrand? How To Know When It’s Time.

A new brand is a major undertaking and makes everything you use obsolete. So why would you choose to do this? Because a rebrand at the right time for the right reasons can transform your organization. Learn what some of those reasons are and some of the steps you should take before you begin a rebranding effort.

Read time: 2 minutes

A fundamental understanding of the term “Branding” provides clarity of purpose when an organization elects to rebrand. Your brand represents who you are, how you communicate externally as well as internally and should reflect your mission and values. Rebranding requires a long hard look at yourself in the proverbial mirror.

From Wikipedia: Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, concept or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders.

By definition, a rebranding effort should be based on strategy. We recommend a clear set of short- and long-term goals before you begin work. To assist you with this process, we provide a checklist to ensure that no critical steps are overlooked as you move forward with and through the rebranding process with your team. Download our (free!) brand evaluation checklist to get started.

Reasons Organizations Rebrand


  • Your organization has been around for some time and has established some level of awareness among the target audiences who can influence your success. Your mission and values remain true to your services and goals. However, your brand feels outdated. This could lead audiences that you need to influence with the idea your services are behind the times as well. A redesigned “Brand Identity” or logo could signal that your offerings are in keeping with the knowledge and technology of your competitors—attracting new customers and moving the needle on your success. Then evaluate all aspects of your communications toolkit to make certain your new look is supported both visually and in your messaging.

Standard Roofing Company's old logo dated back to the company’s early days. Over time, customers and employees began to refer to the company as simply "Standard". Standard also evolved to focus exclusively on services for commercial customers while expanding their offerings to include everything related to the exterior of buildings—increasingly referred to in the commercial construction and facility maintenance trades as the "building envelope".

The Alabama Department of Public Health departed from the tradition of being branded with the Great Seal of Alabama. A newer, more modern seal better depicts their mission to serve the communities and people of Alabama.

  • A new name for your organization happened for a reason. You’ve undergone a change—leadership, offerings or goals. Change presents an opportunity to reposition or adjust how you're perceived with a brand that elevates your strengths.

As ClearWater Solutions began to expand geographically, they noticed other companies operating under the same name in the same service space. Shortening to CWS was an opportunity to update their brand, stand apart as they expanded their service area and to appear more like the organization they were becoming vs. the organization they had been.

  • Successful organizations recognize opportunity and shift focus to make the most of it. Big changes often occur when this happens. A comprehensive rebranding effort, including evaluating your strategic marketing plan, ensures that this opportunity is maximized.

As the world’s longest urban whitewater rafting course opened in Columbus, Georgia, their Destination Marketing Organization noticed that outdoor activities had replaced history as the area’s biggest attractor. With “Go All Out” as their new tagline, a more exuberant visual identity was needed. 

Get the full story, read our Travel & Tourism Case Study—Visit Columbus marketing.


  • If your marketing efforts are falling short of their potential and you have a presence in all the right channels, then your branding might be “me too”—too similar to other brands in your space. In other words, you aren’t positioned to stand out. Understanding and embracing how you differ from your competitors comes from research and strategic planning. A process like our Marketing Action Planning (MAP) uncovers your targets’ roles and beliefs. From there, processes can be put in place to help your organization stand apart.

Located across the river and connected by three bridges to downtown Little Rock, North Little Rock is an incorporated city with a personality and vibe all its own. With a growing creative community and a historic arts district, North Little Rock was ready for a brand that made it clear to visitors to expect a different experience than a stay in the neighboring state capital. Actually having seceded from Little Rock in the early 1900s and being just north of their sister city, the tagline expresses the spirit of the community.

Learn more about the North Little Rock branding effort in this Case Study. 


  • No matter what reason, recovering from problems—in the public space or within your organization—may call for significant change. A well-crafted rebrand often signals an effort to refresh practices, services, offerings or policies to better serve your audiences.

An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Dauphin Island, Alabama tarnished the community’s reputation for white-sand beaches, world-class fishing and unspoiled natural beauty. After the clean-up, the City of Dauphin Island needed to invite visitors back. A fresh new branding effort replaced the old logo that was focused on historic offerings.

Keep in mind that the most successful rebrands take a holistic approach, altering the way organizations communicate both externally and internally—often having a dramatic impact on marketing efforts and helping to reshape culture. So, as you begin to consider a rebranding effort, start with a strategic effort like the development of a Marketing Action Plan that is refreshed and revisited periodically. This plan should be used to guide your rebranding efforts. And be sure to follow rebranding efforts with a comprehensive Brand Standards manual—it will be the glue that keeps your new brand tight and should be easily distributed and carefully saluted. Nurture your rebrand and you’ll change much more than how you look.