To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand?

Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka showed savvy salesperson Zoot how FEI can use press releases to spread the word about new equipment. This week, Marka tells Zoot, Org, and Numo, when (and when not to) launch a company rebranding effort. Remember, fire=print.

FEI’s Monday afternoon marketing meeting was drawing to a close. “Anything else we need to discuss?” Org asked the tribe.

“I’ve got something,” Zoot said, rubbing his oversized forehead. “I think we should consider rebranding our business,” Zoot said. “I’m tired of looking at the same logo and tagline every day.”

“Zoot, you may be on to something,” Marka said. “Although not for the right reasons. Oftentimes company leaders are the first ones to get tired of the company’s brand—after all, they’re thinking about it, hearing about it, and looking at it all the time. Before jumping into a rebranding, we have to recognize that just because we perceive our brand as stale doesn’t mean our customers do.”

“So we shouldn’t rebrand FEI?” Zoot asked, somewhat confused.

“We shouldn’t dive haphazardly into a rebranding,” Marka clarified. “Let’s ask ourselves some important questions. What exactly is driving our desire to rebrand FEI? Are we dissatisfied with our logo? Tagline? Color palette? Core messaging? Do we feel a competitor’s brand is strengthening? Or do we simply want to try something new?

“Regarding color palette, do you remember Pyro’s original logo?” Marka asked.

“Sure, it was fire-engine red,” Zoot said. “I kind of liked it.”

“Do you know why Pyro changed it?” Marka was met with silence. “Because they had a hard time working this core color into their collateral and Web materials. After struggling for years, they bit the bullet and tamed it to a darker red with more complementary color options. My point is, a problematic logo color scheme can be enough by itself to warrant a rebranding.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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