Innovation vs. rebranding: How to choose the best change for your business | MarTech

By Allen Martinez on Fri Nov 18 2022

While they both indicate change, innovation and rebranding are remarkably dissimilar. Here's how to decide on a path for your brand.

Change in a business is inevitable. A lack of it indicates stagnation and decline. Only dead things don't change. However, while a living organization must evolve, not all types of change are ideal. Two common types of business evolution today are innovation and rebranding. Although they both indicate change, they are remarkably dissimilar. Understanding what each term implies is critical before deciding on a path for your brand.

Innovation: A definition

Let's start with the definition of innovation. According to Merriam-Webster, innovation is "a new idea, method or device or the introduction of something new." It's the idea of creating value by bringing new ideas to life. The introduction of the smartphone and the tablet computer are good examples of innovation at work.

How to innovate 

Most organizations like to claim that they are innovative. Many even add it to their mission statement or tagline. However, there's a world of difference between claiming to be innovative and actually innovating. Is your organization innovative? Read the full article to see a list of important questions to ask.

Rebranding: A definition

In contrast, "rebrand" is defined as "to change or update the brand or branding of (a product, service, etc.)." Rebranding is a commitment to change that is either significant or surface-level. For instance, when Kia changed its logo in 2021, many assumed that was the extent of the rebranding efforts. However, that visual evolution was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It was meant to "signify the automaker's bold transformation and all-new brand purpose," according to Kia's press release at the time.

What to consider before rebranding:

Building a brand identity, new or updated, often requires the right budget and timeline. In most cases, you can expect a rebranding effort to take 6-12 months, depending on what is involved. Attempting to rush the process usually backfires, as well. I always recommend performing a brand audit first. This will lay everything on the table and help you understand what is possible, where the gaps are etc.

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