Branding is about telling a story.
A brand defines what you are--whether that you is a company or an individual. It is a long-term creation and different than marketing. But creating a strong brand is vital in creating value.
There are a few different components that all build into your brand, including the name (for example "LiveFive Web Design"), logo, products/services, images/design, identity, strategy, etc. This is why it is important to start building a brand at the very beginning. A dramatic switch in any of these components can turn off customers or make them question their former loyalty.
The mission of branding your business (or yourself) is creating recognition. It's about making yourself identifiable so when others see you, even if they aren't currently loyal customers, they know who you are. This can be visible items like a logo but also can be renowned customer service, certain colors put together, or even staff attire.
Proper branding takes a lot of time and effort. It will take a while before your actual "brand" is known, but at the beginning it is important to identify what you want to be known for.
Down the road, what do you want your company's "personality" to be? Your strengths and in a couple of adjectives, how would others describe your brand?
When to Rebrand
Even though you don't want to keep changing your brand, if you don't identify with it (and it hits a couple of the following points), then it may be time for a change. Re-branding doesn't mean completely changing your whole brand. There are times when you are rebranding the perceptions of a product or service. Other times, it may be your whole company. Either way, it is important to do research and weigh the pros and cons of rebranding.
(1) Your vision has changed (and as such, your name or design doesn't match any longer)
(2) Your brand is "behind the times" (this may be that you feel it doesn't match what you clients are looking for or even cause you embarrassment when you hand out things with your logo on it)
(3) Too similar to the competition (your brand is part of your differentiation)
(4) A change in business model/strategy (this happens when you pivot and with a pivot, branding often needs to change)
(5) Geography (in the case of some businesses, part of their branding was their location. As you scale, this may need to be altered to not alienate new customers)
(6) Distance from negative perceptions (ex Corona when the Coronavirus made an appearance and they were associated with the disease or when customers became outraged with data-usage at Facebook, etc.)
(7) Want to connect with a new audience (your brand is a way of connecting to your customers, if that changes then your brand may need to change to appeal to their tastes)
There are other occasions and situations when re-branding may be necessary. Our team at LiveFive Web Design can help you identify these and assist you in creating the change necessary. Contact us to learn more about our re-branding services.