Will your new brand destroy your company?

In our business, we frequently meet people who feel that their company or product brand doesn't fit them. Sometimes the brand used to fit, and sometimes it never did. Bad brands are almost always the result of failing to spend a small amount of money at the beginning. And, now they are facing spending much more money to correct the problems. The question is, what risks are present in re-branding? Everyone is aware of at least one risk in re-branding: the loss of "brand equity". This means that significant changes to your identity can easily mislead or, at worst, alienate, your current customers. This can be as a simple as changing your logo (or even name) so much that they really don't recognize your company or product anymore. Or, this can be as complex as raising prices so that current customers no longer want to buy from you. This sort of risk is primarily external. That is, this risk depends on what your customers will do. But, there is an internal risk, too. Changing your brand means that you are changing how your product or company is perceived, and that means you're also changing how you perceive yourself. With different perceptions come different expectations of yourself. And with these changing expectations come different ways of working. This can range from cultural shifts (away from casual dress, for example) to overhauling operations (to make products cheaper, for example). Whatever the change, what started as a "simple" re-branding can create major upheaval inside your company. Re-branding is not just a whitewash, it's deep reconsideration of your company's meaning and existence. So, before you rush into that re-branding, take a minute to listen to an expert brand strategist, one who understands the importance of managing change outside as well as inside your company.