Your brand identifies your company, your product or service, and your vision. When the idea for your business first sparked, the brand was likely among the first decisions the founders made. With an image or a few words, your customers get what you stand for and the many intangibles about your company.

However, perhaps there has been talk among your partners, board members or shareholders that the old brand has to go. Whatever the reasons, if you are considering rebranding your business, you should proceed with caution, and only after obtaining as much information and solid legal advice as possible about the process and the potential ramifications.

When is it time to rebrand?

When you rebrand, your aim is to change the way the public perceives your business. You may be thinking of a subtle alteration or a radical transformation. This is not something you should do cavalierly or on a whim. Plenty of global businesses lost the trust and loyalty of their customer base when they made ill-advised changes to the company brand. On the other hand, there are some legitimate reasons for making a change, such as:

  • Your company has expanded beyond the original boundaries of the brand, and you want your new brand to reflect this diversity. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts is now Dunkin’ because donuts are no longer the primary product they offer.
  • Your original brand came from a time when money was too tight to afford decent graphics or stylish design.
  • Your logo is too trendy or no longer connects with your customer base.
  • Your business has evolved to offer something different or to appeal to a different audience than what your brand implies.

It is possible that your brand is perfectly fine, still attracting customers and providing a recognizable presence for your product or service. Sometimes, it is difficult to see this view when you are on the inside. If this is the case, rebranding may have the opposite effect from what you are after. You may alienate or confuse your clients. Still, refreshing your brand from time to time may attract even more positive feedback. It’s not always easy to tell how it will turn out.

One step that may improve your chances of a successful rebranding of your company is to seek advice from someone who has experience in these matters. Whether your business is in New York or elsewhere in the country, a skilled attorney can guide you through the rebranding process as well as helping you navigate the complex world of intellectual property rights.