When you run your own business, there are (let’s face it - MANY) times when you’ll go through a period of huge growth. That growth might feel uncomfortable, or it might be the thing you’ve been waiting to happen for what feels like years. Those periods of intense growth can be uncomfortable, can make you want to curl up into a ball and howl at how hard running a business truly is - but they are also an opportunity.
I had one of those growth spurts just a few months ago (followed by another two since then). The growth hasn’t always necessarily been in tangible ways that you can track - such as a spike in my email list size (though I had that at one point too) or a huge growth in my client base.
In fact, many of these growth spurts have been internal, that have happened to me, not in spite of me or what I am doing. One of these moments of growth helped me realise that I wasn’t walking my talk as much as I should be doing. I realised that I wasn’t showing all of my true self, in my business OR in my brand.
This was a huge realisation for me, as it’s something I quite happily preach (yep, I get all excited about it) to my clients + to everyone I get to speak to branding about.
I truly believe that your brand should be a full, unapologetic representation of you. Who you are, your values, your beliefs, your loves. It should be a visual insight into who you are, the message you want to share with the world + what matters most to you.
But was this what my own brand was doing? The short answer: No.
The long answer? My brand is great. It’s getting noticed where I want it to get noticed. I’m getting the attention I know that it deserves. I spent a lot of time + hard work on creating the visual brand that you see on this site, here, today.
But this brand is not a full representation of who I am and what I + my business stand for.
Sure, it shows my attention to detail, my love of colour + texture and it shows the prestige, polished side to my brand that I love. But there isn’t enough of ME.
And that I’ve been hiding is the crazy-pants, slightly cuckoo, full of laughter, smiling all the time kinda person. The person + business woman + designer that values creativity mixed with strategy.
My brand is missing the polished yet creative mess that is me.
And with that realisation, I knew that I needed to rebrand. While my current brand serves a purpose, it doesn’t let people really know what they’re in for when they come into contact with me - whether that’s through reaching out to me personally, following me on Twitter or Instagram or even working with me. At the moment, my brand feels like it is a façade and glosses over what truly matters to me.
So yes, my brand is now in the process of being updated. I’m going through that point that most designers will tell you exists - where you know what needs to change, you know how it needs to change, but now you need to find the time to just. do. it. (Nike have a point there, y'know).
Most of my clients come to me when they need a revamp of their current brand - it’s actually rare for me to create a new brand completely from scratch. When I look at the patterns from potential client calls, as well as my own experiences with this, I realised there are a few key reasons that come up time and time again that show you it’s time to rebrand your business:
This is one of the most common signs I see when it comes to revamping your brand. But, if anything, this can sometimes be the worst time to rebrand your business (even though it’s probably needed). It all depends on how you handle this when it comes up.
Your business is evolving - and you know that your newfound clarity on your message + what you are here to do in the world doesn’t match up visually or mentally with your current brand. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel like you can’t do anything in this growing stage of your business until your new brand is launched.
The problem with this is that you are allowing your current brand to hold you back. I did this myself for around 1 whole month before I realised that my current brand is more than strong enough to stand up to the work I want to do, right now. It’s not exactly what I want it to be...right now. But it is more than capable of holding up the fortress while the new brand is being created.
The problem wasn’t my current brand - it was more about my own mindset to push through and get the work done, regardless of the outside circumstances. Once I realised how silly that was, I following through with the plans I had created, instead of putting things off and then making zero progress.
The key takeaway here: your business is growing, and that’s brilliant news! But don’t let your rebrand hold you back. Instead, use it to help educate you on what matters most to you in your business and keep moving forward.
This is one of the best times to rebrand your business or your offering. You’ve done all of the work to evolve + grow your business, yet you now feel stuck because your brand just doesn’t match up to the bigger vision you now have. Here, you have all of the pieces that you need - you just need to put them together.
When it comes to redesigning your brand at this stage, all you need to ensure is that your brand is growing WITH you. It’s important to note where you’re at right now, but where you want to be in the future. A truly powerful brand is one that provides a solid platform for your business that allows you to grow as and when you need to.
Key takeaway: By having your big picture vision for your business in place, you know what you need your brand to be capable of. Your brand should help you achieve your goals, not keep you stuck where you are now - or worse, behind where you should be.
Now I’ve been teasing a lot in the past couple of blog posts about design trends (think - glitter, gold textures, specific layout styles, and so on) - and I promise I’ll get to it soon. But a clear sign of you needing a rebrand is when your current brand follows a lot of design trends and doesn’t have its own clear identity.
Your business AND your brand both deserve to be unique. To be unapologetically you, in both your brand + business, you cannot have a brand that visually reflects styles of somebody else.
In the same way, if your brand followed design trends of the past, or is even simply a few years old (it happens!), it’s likely that business or brand is starting to feel visually tired and out of date.
Your brand deserves to have its own unique qualities - and it’s high time you need a rebrand if you are blindly following design trends instead of creating a brand + business that is truly, unapologetically you.
[Funny side note: This post is even more timely than I expected, with Instagram pushing out an update to their app + familiar icon just before I clicked publish. I’m in love with their new UI + although their app icon is a huge departure from their old one, the branding system they’ve created for Instagram and its sister apps (Hyperlapse, Boomerang and Layout) is divine. What wonderful timing as a great example!]
Rachilli is a creative studio dedicated to empowering every independent creative, business owner + small business to brand their business authentically, aligned to their core values, mission + vision.
We also want to empower other's with chronic illnesses to carve their own path and create a life + business that works for them, and to lead the way by creating a platform for, and being a voice alongside, those with chronic illness in business.
Rachel, the founder, is an award-winning designer + photographer, published logo designer + author, and is mama to two - slightly crazy - dogs, Storm + Jasper.