Many organizations find themselves wondering about the necessity of changing their name, logo, or tagline. Is such a change called for, and will it even help? At which point, hopefully, the company will turn to a branding firm to assist in answering these questions. One of the most important aspects of the branding process is to determine whether or not change is actually needed. And there are just a few key factors that need to be really considered when making this assessment. Ask these questions to decide if change should occur.
What is the current pain threshold? This is an important question to start with, because an organization needs to be feeling a tremendous amount of pain before they should find it necessary to endure any major changes. Changing a brand identity is an emotional, subjective, and sensitive issue, and so should only be undertaken if current problems are beginning to damage, hinder, or limit the brand.
Is there a mandate for change from the top? Because branding changes can be so large-scale and extensive, participation at all levels of the organization can only help. But this is especially true for leadership. A change that a company’s leaders can get behind will be more likely to get attention and then can be put on the fast track to reality. In contrast, change that starts at the bottom and goes up rarely works. So be sure change is embraced from the leadership at the top, or it might be doomed to failure and fizzle out somewhere in the middle.
What are the business objectives? This question really calls for a certain level of impartiality. Step back and ask if the change under consideration is, in fact, needed to achieve better business results or only driven by subjective tastes and opinions. Serious change should be made exclusively for the purposes of a true business imperative.
The reason a branding firm can prove so useful in times like these is because the best way to answer the above questions is through an intense evaluation of the brand and what makes it work. Also known as a brand audit, this approach will include interviews with leadership, staff, customers, members, and the general public to gauge their point of view regarding the brand. And by combining these various perspectives, a company can best answer the key questions about change and determine if a change is really needed or if it’s just the result of a short-lived trend toward an abstract idea of change.
Craig Johnson is the chief strategist and co-founder of Matchstic, a premier brand identity house. His Atlanta branding agency helps organizations create passionate brands that are memorable, relevant, and lasting. Specializing in brand development through brand strategy, positioning, business & product naming and brand identity services, Matchstic’s brand architects forge positive change and accomplish business objectives through creative thinking and smart design.