When is the right time to rebrand?

In business we tend to try and stick to a formula that works.  We invest in developing our brand and push our products to market.  We use social media to associate ourselves in our customers minds as a brand to engage with and often we keep the same formula for many years.

But do we actively police ourselves to ensure that our brands remains in tune with our own core values, our customers needs and even our internal workforce’s motivation.

All to quickly we can find our brand can be overtaken by competitors or we simply fall behind the times and need to “get with it” to remain relevant to the current market conditions.

I have been in the IT industry for many years.  Over that time I have seen the emergence of email, the arrival of the internet, the demise and then of absorption of the likes of WordPerfect, Novell, Digital, Compaq and Sun and the meteoric rise of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat Google and with Microsoft playing hard to catch up ground they lost in the Steve Balmer years.

We now see the emergence of Cloud, IoT with the increased threat of Cyber Crime and Data Protection with the new GDPR regulations.

So over this time re-branding and re-positioning has been critical to remain relevant and adapt to changing needs and requirements.

So in my own life I have faced a recent challenge of how to re-brand myself.  I have kept pace with change but now feel the time is right to seek alternate routes to my own market.

So what sparked this?  OK, well, it’s kind like this; all of my life I have battled with my own Gender identity and in my early 50’s I decided that I needed to be true to myself and re-orientate in to society as a transgender female.  So now I am faced with this challenge of how to re-brand myself.   I have built up a reputation in my sphere as one identity and I am now trying to launch myself on the world as someone new.  My old name and brand have the potential to be erased overnight! I have created my own personal disrupted innovation that seeks a new direction.

I kind of equate it to when the Marathon chocolate bar was renamed and re-branded as Snickers, when Opal Fruits became Starbursts, and when Jif became Cif.  In the early days there was a whole load of resistance and confusion to this change, many would still identify with the old brand and the die hard a vowed never to recognise a Snickers bar would never be something other than a Marathon.  Over time, new customers were only ever aware of Snickers, the brand became pervasive and even the die hard Marathon fans long forgot the old name and moved on.  The name is now just something that crops up in anecdotal “do you remember” conversations.

So I am now embarking on this significant re-brand from a male identity to a female oriented one.  I have coexisted with these two lives and names for many years and it is confusing not just for me but for family, friends and my professional relationships.  But at what point does with re-brand occur, can the two brands exist simultaneously, after all it’s still me, just a different external wrapper.

If this wasn’t enough I am also looking to explore new business opportunities away from IT.  I need to establish my new image, because having a confusing and an uncertain image certainly doesn’t sell.

So whether it is your business or yourself it is important to understand your brand, focus on it, align it to your core values and communicate this to market with clarity and certainty…

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