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Rebranding is not a decision to be taken lightly. A strong business case and a company wide commitment are essential as a rebrand usually comes with significant cost and disruption. If the rebrand is carefully considered, planned and implemented the business can be redefined, become more relevant and ultimately more profitable.

However, much like medical professionals one of our anchor tenets is ‘Do No Harm’. This means that following a brand audit, if we feel that the current brand is fulfilling both the needs of the business and the market, now and into the future, we will advise our clients accordingly. Rebrand incorrectly and the exercise can become a De-brand, potentially alienating staff and customers alike.

Conversely businesses often come to us with a perceived problem around marketing initiatives, struggling to gain traction and wondering if they’re engaging with their audience in the right media. Often the channel is a great potential fit but the brand telegraphs the wrong message, which leads to poor engagement and subsequently low customer uptake.

So if you have the feeling that your brand is not resonating with your audience in the way it should, consider these Top 10 indicators.



1: It Looks Dated.

Often when businesses first start out, the budget is tight and a logo is often produced quickly and cheaply to just get going. You know it’s not great, but making do with a below-par brand will not cut it as the business grows. Remember brands and identities are what the market perceives and experiences. An old tired brand can make every task in marketing the business more difficult. However, no matter how dowdy an established brand may look, it will have some equity in it. That value needs to be carefully researched and considered before a rebrand.


2: You Don’t Stand Out

We all know the old saying, “You get one chance to make a good impression”, and in today’s competitive markets your brand must stand out to potential customers so your brand stays top of mind. A brand that looks the same, or similar to your competitors won’t do that. An essential part of rebranding is a design that can be used across all touchpoints and position your brand as unique.


3: Acquisitions, Mergers and De-mergers.

When businesses merge there is often a missed opportunity to stand back and look objectively at how the acquired brand fits with the parent brands architecture, and to question whether a rebrand is required. A clear, congruent brand strategy will ensure all brands grow in value and prevent customer confusion due to a lack of brand alignment.


4: Geography.

The Auckland Farm Store may have been a great name when the business was founded in South Auckland in 1985, but how will it resonate with a rural Invercargill audience in 2018? Equally, with growing access to global markets it may be time to drop a localised name and lead with a brand that has a more global resonance. The brand narrative could still be anchored around a local mindset but alloyed with global reach and aspiration. A structured brand development process will help to pinpoint these opportunities.


5: A Change In Company Strategy.

Audiences, positioning and market conditions can all change during a product or company’s lifecycle. What was once a cut through product may now be holding your company back, which means refocussing to reach new audiences. Your brand needs to speak the language of these new audiences and not allow past focus areas to limit growth.


6: A Decline In Sales.

Sales are the life blood of any business. If you have noticed a distinct change in that pulse and you’re not selling as much, it could be time to step back and pinpoint what is causing the disconnect. Is your brand still the go to choice? A brand audit will help to pinpoint such areas as brand relevancy and position.


7: Technology Shift.

Changes in technology may mean that your business operates in a very different way to when it was first launched. What were once viewed as traditional businesses have now evolved into online enterprises, which can affect the brand and how it is perceived. Often we are tasked with redesigning brands to improve their digital presence, not only on their own company website but third party digital platforms and across social media.


8: New Management.

New leadership gives an organisation a completely new perspective and focus. Often there is no better opportunity to reevaluate your brand’s audience and step things up a gear. Think Telecom to Spark. A bold and enlightened move made by a leadership team who recognised that they had to appeal to a younger, tech-savvy digital audience.


9: I Just Hate It!

Your brand could be new and intensely fashionable but if for some reason you hate handing out your business card, or make excuses about your website, there is often a disconnect. Intuition holds a lot of weight, but in a modern context we need to test our intuition with some solid perspective and expertise. Just because you hate it, it doesn’t mean your customers do. Often a quick analysis with a brand specialist can allay your fears or prompt some deeper research. Either way you are moving your brand and the business forward.


10: Brand Evolution.

Before the digital revolution many brands consisted of just a logo and a font at best. This lack of design intent meant that over time logos were altered, fonts substituted and colours tweaked, leaving the brand to be presented in a way that was open to interpretation, which often results in a confusing brand impression and inconsistent brand story.

Brands today are deployed across a myriad of platforms, from the humble business card to digital billboards. This means that elements such as photographic style, and visual narrative are integral parts of the brand ecosystem that need to be specifically designed and documented to ensure that the brand is in an engaging, recognisable and consistant context.

For many businesses ongoing brand development is a sound investment.


AKLF Collateral

At Spruik you’ll find an experienced team of brand specialists who can help you gain perspective on your brand, by finding the essence, personality and ulimately the value of your brand. Just give us a call and we’ll be delighted to demonstrate the skills and processess that we use to get more from your brand.

Click here to view Auckland Foundation's recent rebrand.


– Jon Dunn