Staying ahead of competitors and at the forefront of your customers mind is a daily challenge for many businesses. Whether a sole trader or a multi-million pound organisation, brand recognition is one way of standing out from the crowd. Here Roger Taylor, Director of Montpellier Creative (, considers the implications of re-branding for a company that has already secured a firm foothold in its market.

Your brand – or simply put your corporate identity – should succinctly communicate to both current and potential customers your company’s aspirations and core values. But if your business has developed or changed tack it could be seriously at odds with the direction you are now taking. In short – it could be holding you back.

But should the change of brand be radical, risking the alienation of existing customers or is just a gentle tweak sufficient to keep the identity fresh whilst retaining its heritage?

If a business has changed its direction, a major re-brand may be required. Often, the customers who are alienated by new branding represent the low margin areas of the business that you wish to move away from.

Timing of a re-brand needs to be carefully considered. You obviously don’t want to be left with mountains of out of date literature or a recently built website displaying an old identity. It should be remembered that an identity is more than just a logo, so simply switching to a new insignia without updating anything else is to be avoided. An identity update will keep the brand relevant and fresh, preventing it from being left behind in a fast moving market.

The way that your brand manifests itself spans from your literature and online visual identity to the way your phones are answered. For this reason the message that your brand communicates and the reasons for this need to be understood and embraced by everyone in your organisation.

Allow plenty of time to put together the new or amended identity. In this way you can plan for right time for the big reveal. Launch the new identity to coincide with an exhibition or an event that you sponsor. Launched in the right way the new identity is like a wave on which you can ride. The trick, of course, is in maintaining that momentum. That’s where planning your re-brand is so critical and helps ensure that you maximise exposure. So a quick makeover on a whim is not the answer. Consider the business goals and then plan for the new you.