Should you rebrand your business in 2021?

If 2020 has shown us anything, it's that the world - and small business - is constantly evolving.

This past year, we saw many small businesses quickly adapt, from breweries producing hand sanitizer to music teachers instructing classes on-screen to retailers accepting touchless payments. We saw new businesses pop up, from homemade face mask makers to takeout-only eateries.

If you started a new business this year, you can use branding to turn it into something sustainable. And if your business has shifted since you first started, you can refresh your branding to show customers your adaptability, perseverance, and new offerings. If your line of products and services has changed dramatically, it could be time for a complete rebrand. But if you simply want to update the look of your brand, a straightforward refresh could be an easier solution.

A new year is a perfect opportunity to make some updates to your brand - check out these 6 reasons to rebrand or refresh, then use the decision tree at the bottom of the page to evaluate your business and decide your best next step.

Top 6 reasons to rebrand or refresh:

  1. Your offerings have changed.
  2. You want your business to be evergreen.
  3. Your logo feels outdated.
  4. Your branding doesn't stand out.
  5. You're struggling to attract new customers.
  6. You serve a different geographic area.

1. Your offerings have changed.

Picture this: you started out as a private caterer, and now you’ve expanded to offer weekly meal pick-ups and delivery. Perhaps you created your business to sell apparel and accessories, and expanded your offerings to fashion-forward face masks. Or, maybe your business was initially a seasonal operation, but now you’re open year-round. If your current branding puts you in a box, it might be time to update your logo to reflect your new offerings.

2. You want your business to be evergreen.

We've seen so many creative new business endeavors over the last nine months. If you've come up with a timely business idea that's been successful, how can you scale it to be relevant forever? Use your branding to create an enduring image of your small business.

Maybe you used your sewing skills to launch a face mask business and want to pursue this crafty new side hustle - but hopefully we won't be wearing masks forever. What else can you make and sell, and how can your branding reflect this? Whether with a name change (turn Masks by Maya into Handmade by Maya) or an updated logo, a rebrand can turn your timely venture into something that can last forever.

3. Your logo feels outdated.

Your logo should be a visual representation of what your business does. If your products and services have shifted, you may need to reflect that in a new business identity.

Aside from your actual business offerings changing, styles change, too. If you opened your doors a decade ago, your logo was probably modern and reflected your personal style (and your business). But now, maybe the color palette, font, or design feel a little passé. Consider modernizing your brand image with an updated logo that capitalizes on today's design trends.

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Need help refreshing your logo or designing a totally new one? Vistaprint's Design Services team is here to help.

4. Your branding doesn’t stand out.

Your branding is often a potential customer's first visual exposure to your small business...so, you need to stand out.

Maybe you were inspired by one of your favorite brands when you first designed your logo and thought about your own brand identity. It’s always a great idea to take design cues from companies you love and respect, but you need to make sure you’re distinctive enough to stand out. If the typeface or color of your logo looks like another brand’s (especially one that’s in the same industry as you), you should think about redesigning.

5. You’re struggling to attract new customers.

If you’ve been providing the same services and products to the same people, your brand could appear stale or outdated. And even if you have been adapting to meet the needs of new customers, your branding might not reflect that.

It can be tempting to stay the same and retain your current clientele, but if you avoid making updates, you’ll never attract new customers - especially if your offerings have changed and you have a chance to connect with new customers. When refreshing your logo, aim to balance the integrity of your existing brand with more modern design elements. You still want your current customers to recognize your brand and know where to find you.

6. You serve a different geographic area.

Did a viral Instagram post create demand for your product in locales other than your town’s farmer’s market? Since your restaurant started offering takeout, have you widened your delivery zone? Or, perhaps a newly launched e-commerce experience has made it easier for customers to shop from all over the globe?

If your audience has grown (congratulations, by the way!), you should take a step back and look at your branding from a broader perspective. Think about how your brand translates, whether in a neighboring region or another country.

Find out if you need to REFRESH or REBRAND - follow this decision chart to find your next best step.

Time to refresh?

In some cases, you might not need to implement a total rebrand. A brand refresh lets you update visuals and refine your messaging without completely overhauling your brand - see some examples below. Consider updating the font and colors of your logo, or tweaking your tagline to something more contemporary. By modernizing your brand, you’ll make it more appealing to a broader, more current audience. Since you don’t have to change any core messaging, brand refreshes can be a straightforward, inexpensive process.

Time to rebrand?

If you decide that your business does need a rebrand, you'll need more than a new logo or even a new name. Consider writing a new tagline or slogan and picking new fonts and colors to use across branded materials (like your website, social posts, in-store signage, and more).

Whatever you decide, make sure to get the word out.

Whether you decide to rebrand or refresh your brand identity, it’s essential to get the word out about your update. Mail postcards to your customers debuting your new look, create an eye-catching Instagram post announcing your brand's update, or send an informative newsletter to your email subscribers announcing your rebrand.

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