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Updated 8 months ago by Shannon Healey
Learn to recognize the nuances between these rebranding approaches to see how your brand resiliency, preparedness, and strategy stack up.
Breaking news: rebranding projects are kind of a big deal. Ok, so maybe that’s not a secret, but they’re commonly misinterpreted, undervalued, or hastily simplified. A rebrand is much more than a new logo, comes in a variety of types and costs, and carries massive value when done well. After all, rebranding projects present a chance to uphold (or reinvigorate) a strong brand presence and, ultimately, business success.
While it may be tempting, I urge you to resist defining these actions as merely offensive or defensive tactics. Yes, there is some of that, but there’s a hearty meze platter of factors that contribute to the contrasting scenarios.
Easy enough. Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty – some of the reasons that encourage these methods – for the full picture of what sets proactive and reactive rebranding apart. Friendly tip: you might even start to think of how you could handle certain cases as they apply to your brand.
The term proactive, regardless of context, is about preparedness and having the ability to anticipate necessary steps before needing to take them. Apply that reasoning to rebranding and you’ve got an approach that’s deliberate and forward-thinking. Brands with a keen sense of awareness (of themselves and the market) are just the sort you’d find engaged in a proactive rebrand. Some instances that would cause this:
On the other side of the coin, there’s the reactive rebrand. It’s the one that probably wasn’t on the immediate to-do list, but was unexpectedly triggered, causing a total rethink of the brand on a fundamental level. A few reasons why that might be:
There’s not necessarily a better or worse approach; it’s all a matter of place and time – and whatever comes with it. With proactive rebranding, it’s inherently more about evolution, taking the next step, and keeping things fresh. Reactive rebrandings present the opportunity to flex your adaptability chops, change the tide, or show ‘em what you got.
Mind you, we’re talking about successful rebrands, not belly flops that end with a cringe-worthy “ouch” or reversion to the old brand; that generally doesn’t bode well for business. In either scenario, the trick is being honest and open with your audience, letting the authentic values of a brand – and quality of the product, service, or whatever represents – shine through.
Are you still with me? If you’re digging this rebranding stuff, you might be interested in reading about the right time to begin a rebrand, or bookmarking our good-to-knows before you begin if you’re on the brink of one of these game-changers.