Should you rebrand your small business?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The world – and small business – is constantly evolving. Maybe you started out as a coffee shop, but your homemade pastries are what *really* took off. Or maybe your yoga studio has expanded to offer more than just yoga. If your business has shifted since you first started, you can update 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. Here, check out 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 Your logo feels outdated.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 footwear. 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.

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 culinary skills to launch a custom cookie business during the holiday season…but it really took off, and you want to keep it going. What else can you make and sell, and how can your branding reflect this? Whether a name change (turn Christmas Cookies by Kelly into Kelly’s Cookies) or an updated logo, a brand redesign 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 Your logo feels outdated.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.

VistaPrint Tip

Need help refreshing your logo or designing a totally new one? Find a designer to bring your vision to life at 99designs by Vista.

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 crafted your own brand identity. While it’s a great idea to take design cues from companies you love and respect, 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 people. When refreshing your logo, aim to balance the integrity of your existing brand with more modern design elements. After all, 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 beyond your local farmers 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 totally rebrand your business. A brand refresh lets you update visuals and refine your messaging without completely overhauling your brand. 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 audience. Plus, since you don’t have to change any core messaging, brand refreshes can be a straightforward and inexpensive process.

Tristan LeBreton, Creative Director at 99designs by Vista, has some advice when it comes to updating your brand. “It pays to go back to basics and ask yourself many of the same questions as when you launched your business. You should evaluate if your logo and brand is still communicating who you are as a business to the people you want to reach in an authentic and successful way. This will help you determine how far you want to go in the rebranding process. Updating any brand requires time and effort, but it’s always worth looking at the bigger picture to ensure your logo updates communicate who you are as a brand today and for the future.”

Time to rebrand?

Tristan notes that as a small business owner, “It can sometimes feel like rebrands are for the big players and household names. But we all grow and change over time, and small businesses are no exception. Updating your brand and logo is a great way to refresh and align your visual identity so that it continues to reflect who you are as your business evolves and grows.”

So, if you decide that your business *does* need a rebrand, you’ll need more than a logo redesign 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 create a rebranding strategy 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.

Make sure to update the rest of your marketing materials, too (like business cards, flyers, banners and brochures). Keep your branding consistent across materials for a successful, professional rebrand.