rebrandingRebranding can be an expensive mistake if it goes wrong, Les Jones says.

I read with interest, Michael Watson’s blog on rebranding the other week.

In it, Michael references a blog post I wrote recently on branding – a subject I’m passionate about – in which I said that brand is probably more important in today’s market than ever before.

This is due to people being time poor and making decisions based on smaller and smaller pieces of information about your company, so your brand needs to convey more and more of your personality…quickly.

Branding begins immediately when you start your business and create a company name, design a logo, put up signage and decorate your working environment – all of these elements are signalling what you and your company are all about.

However, creating a recognised and trusted brand is not so instant.

It takes a long time, but it can be destroyed or seriously undermined in an instant.

Rebranding

In light of all of this, the decision to rebrand a business can be a bold move or, particularly if you have a strong, well-established brand, it can prove to be a foolish one.

To deliberately kill off a well-established and successful brand name and image can be a risky move; one that could raise more questions than it provides answers and create more ambiguity than clarity.

As such, customers of such a company can begin to feel nervous and possibly even angry at the change, particularly if there was no prior consultation.

Just ask Gap.

The high street clothes retailer launched a new logo in 2010, only to ditch it days later following a public online backlash.

While that took only a matter of days for Gap, generally time provides the answer as to whether a rebrand has been successful or a costly mistake – such as the failed rebrand of Royal Mail to Consignia, which lasted 16 months and cost £1.5m plus another £1m to rebrand it back to Royal Mail!

When it comes to brand, you can’t afford to get it wrong.