Breaking up with your brand - how do you know it's over?

The relationship between a business and its visual identity comes with many of the ups and downs of human relationships. Sometimes we’re so used to our logos and the look and feel of our brand that we can’t see when it’s not working any more. So here are five reasons to consider breaking up with your brand.

1. You’ve grown apart

When you started out, you were operating on a shoestring and paid your artistically inclined teenage niece $10 to come up with a logo for you, but now you’re listing on the ASX and you want to be taken seriously. If your logo and brand image don’t reflect the size and professionalism of your business, whether it is big or small, it’s probably time for a change.

2. You’ve changed

If you change the name of your business, it’s a logical time to review your visual identity as well. Rather than just carrying over your old look, consider whether it really works with your new name.

3. You’ve met someone else

It may seem obvious that if your business joins forces with another, through a merger or a takeover, then your brand will have to change. However, many companies don’t change their visual identity in this case even if they change their name. That could also be confusing or off-putting to stakeholders and customers, especially if they’re loyal to the company whose brand is being absorbed so sometimes it’s better to start over as a team.

4. You’re not in love any more

What seemed liked the greatest logo in the world when you started out 15 years ago now looks dated and doesn’t reflect what an innovative, successful and exciting business you have. Instead of clinging to it for old time’s sake, fall in love again with a refresh or rebrand.

5. Nobody understands you

Good businesses are dynamic and they change over time. If you have diversified or downsized, changed the focus of your operations or repositioned your product or service offering for a different market, your audience may not be seeing what you want them to see when they interact with your brand.

So what do you if you think it might be time to move on? Start by spending some time analysing your existing visual identity. Take a step back and consider it from the point of view of outsiders who don’t know you or the history of your business. Is it well known? What does it mean to people? How does it compare to your competitors?

If you’re changing your brand’s visual identity, be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, not just because everyone else is doing it or you’re bored with the old. Take the time to get it right, and you and your new brand will live happily ever after.