Knowing when to rebrand is one of the biggest challenges any brand faces in its lifetime.
What you don’t want to be is the one brand that loses its customers because it didn’t recognize the signs that hinted, “adapt or die.”
By “adapt,” I don’t in any way mean “change to fit in.”
By adapt I mean (as per the dictionary): “make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify.”
The trick is knowing the signs.
Some of the key signs to take note of:
- Is your brand being pigeonholed into a certain category or some perceived value (different than the facts would indicate)?
- Is your brand dealing with market misconceptions about what your brand does or sells?
- Are you stuck with old, outdated impressions that still remain despite all your efforts?
- Are you unclear about what you want and need to convey and, most importantly, to whom they’ll matter?
- Are you doing the same old things just because “that’s the way we’ve always done them”?
To understand these more, I invite you to this article and video that cover these well.
Knowing the Signs Means Nothing Without This Other Skill
Part of knowing when to rebrand is this quality of “being all-in,” especially in this age of “tentative carefulness” and political correctness.
The role of “being all in” and “conviction” is the focus of this newest episode of One Minute Wednesday.
So, When to Rebrand?
In terms of being all in, I’ve been fortunate to be working with a dynamic husband-and-wife team, taking the original recipes of Chef Dave, an award-winning pitmaster and chef, and rebranding the brand and their first line of sauces.
On the table (pun intended) were:
- the brand name,
- the brand’s visual identity,
- the product line,
- the product category (did it need a new category?), and
- the package design itself.
This rebrand of the Belly Barbecue line has been a total revolution of their brand—throwing everything (but the recipes) overboard—taking what was an original, flavor-unleashing sauce and treating it with the respect it deserved.
The original label was the Bermuda Triangle of branding hell. It mentioned on the front of the label:
- Barbecue (which is of American cuisine heritage),
- Worcestershire sauce (which is unquestionably of English heritage), and
- “Umami,” a Japanese philosophy of taste which The New Yorker defined as “the ‘fifth taste,’ after salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. It’s that other thing, the thing you didn’t even know needed a concept or a name until someone pointed it out. That deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms, among other things. It hits the back of your throat and leaves you craving more.”
While the sauce is perfect for steak, grilling, poultry, seafood, veggies, soups, and drinks (makes a killer Bloody Mary replacing the Worcestershire sauce commonly used in the recipe), you would not have known the magic contained in this bottle looking at the original packaging and branding.
So, having isolated when to rebrand, it was time to eliminate the brand’s confusion, we determined it had to become a new category, and completely start over with a brand new name.
After some discussion, it became obvious that the concept of Black Sheep was quite fitting to their style, their philosophy, and their culinary point of difference in this space, hence Black Sheep Culinary Arts.
With the new brand name, Black Sheep Culinary Arts, the product line became Bloom™ Sauce & Marinade in 3 mouthwatering flavors. The concept was a sauce that would unleash the flavor of your foods and allow them to easily and deliciously blossom.
We positioned the new sauce as “Instant Kitchen Redemption,” naturally unleashing the flavor of all foods, drip by delicious drip (perfect for the at-home cook and professional chefs) as shown in this short introductory video (turn your volume up):
Then we gave each flavor recipe its own metallic color:
- Original is silver,
- Gluten-free is gold, and
- Smoked is copper.
The Delicious, The Ridiculous, The Stupendous
The original branding followed by the new branding:
The various core assets of the brand:
Business card and recipe booklet:
How the brand would work as an outdoor banner:
And lastly, the initial roll-out will feature the three bottles presented in a custom-made wooden box introducing the new line of sauces to chefs, bloggers, and industry leaders:
Now, this is an example of going “all-in” with your brand and leaving no doubt that what you offer is something beyond the ordinary or what anyone expects.