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Many organizations expire past their shelf life without even realizing it. Whether it’s because your brand is simply outdated, or an element of negative culture is associated with your brand, there is no question that rebranding can be the most important move towards a better future for the company. If you fit into any of the below, then it’s probably time to start thinking about rebranding.

1. Generic City

It’s a competitive world, it’s important to stand out and shine amongst your competition. A generic name can be fatal for a new organization. For example, if you want to open up a cupcake shop, try calling it something out of the box such as “On The Moon Cupcakery” rather than “Tim’s Bake Shop” and see if you don’t have a few extra clients walking in the door. Also, think of how many Tim’s Bake Shop’s you may find in comparison to the alternative. To take it even further you should start thinking about making your product out of the box as well. If you hand me a blue cupcake that’s cool, but give me a Cookie Monster cupcake with a cookie in his mouth, and that’s remarkable.

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Photo Source: Flickr

2. First Stage Denial

Do you find yourself leaving your business cards at home when you leave for the expo? Do you find yourself telling the folks at the expo that you’ve had such a busy day that all your sales sheets are gone, simply because you lack confidence in the designs that you have? Do you even find yourself making excuses for its crappiness? Then it’s time to stop denying yourself the pleasures of fresh new look and feel and get to the drawing board. Call your local designer today!

3. Culture Shock

If your brand has negative connotations towards something in the particular culture you are surrounded by, don’t ignore them. A famous case of this is when Gerber was trying to expand into the French market. Gerber is the name of one of America’s best-known makers of baby food but “gerber” can also be translated into French as “to vomit” – somewhat limiting for the brand’s next global marketing push.

Wisely therefore, the name is not marketed in France but, according to adweek.com, “…there is a French Canadian Web page that reads, ‘Les aliments pour bébés Gerber ne sont disponibles pour l’instant qu’aux Etats-Unis’ (French for: The baby food Gerber [to vomit] is not here, try the U.S.).” Meanwhile, when Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they placed a picture of a cute baby on the label of their jars, just as they do in America – but without realizing that the practice in some African markets, where many consumers are illiterate, is for brands to put pictures of the contents on the labels. This led some horrified Africans to conclude that the jars contained vomit.

- Source

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4. You’re Simply Outdated

You’re stuck in the past and you’ve known it for quite some time. One of the toughest things about brand creation is forming something that can stand the test of time. Even the biggest most powerful brands rebrand in order to stay fresh and relevant with the changing culture. So start by taking that 10-year-old logo that you’ve never liked anyway and aim to stay with the times, even if it’s slight changes.

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MasterCard is a good example of what not to do. Slight changes over the years kept them in good shape but the modern update is off the mark and not recognizable like the old logo. A facelift would have been a better choice for them because their brand is already so recognizable and iconic. Snapple and Starbucks are two companies that made slight changes that are so good they make you forget the old brand existed:

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- AdGoodness

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5. Your Business Model is Confusing

Do you know how well your clients understand your business? Are you confusing them with overwhelming options and contrasting graphics? If you are struggling to make your clients “get it” it’s time to start thinking about a whole new business plan while applying new designs.

6. A Bigger Brand Outdoes Your Product

You had a brilliant idea and implemented it years a go. You’ve sold it successfully for years. A new, more powerful company has improved this product with exciting product packaging and better functionality. Your sales are dropping in correlation with this new product, so it’s time for a new brilliant idea!

7. Jealousy Killed the Cat

As a wise Harold Coffin once said “Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” If you are constantly checking your competitors website, marketing material and storefront because you envy their every move, then you need to use them as inspiration for a new look instead of wishing you could be more like them.

8. Legal Mumbo Jumbo

The dreaded Trademark conflict. If someone is contacting you because they have previously created a similar look or name and you are ordered to pay legal fees or give up the brand, use this as an opportunity to ditch the fees and change for the better.

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If another brand is too similar to yours, chances are they have already developed a strong reputation under that name anyway and the confusion that comes along with associating with this name can hurt you in the future.