Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I guess the answer was “go.”

At least that’s how the UK finally answered the question first posed in 1982 by the Clash, the notorious English punk rock band, in their seminal song “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Naturally, leaving the EU has turned Great Britain, and seemingly the rest of the world, on its ear. There seem to be so many questions — and so few definitive answers — as to how the most famous divorce in history will change history.

I will leave untangling the political, social, and financial mess to the experts. As a brand strategist, I’m curious how Brexit will affect the reputation and associations we make with all those fancy British brands we know and covet.

Think about it: historically, nothing said refined like British brands.

In fact, the British not only owned classy, they seemed to own the letter “B” as in Barbour, Barclays, Bentley, Bremont, Bonmarche, British Airways, Burberry. Heck, even James Bond.

But now there is a new “B” in town. That is Boris Johnson, leave campaigner and potential future prime minister, and the verdict is out as to what his impact will be on British brands. One thing is for sure. Brits need to pay very close attention to the brand positioning, narratives, and associations of their leading companies.

Which got me thinking, aside from the world collapsing around you overnight, when is the best time for a company to rebrand?

Here are a few top reasons:

Slipping Relevance

Competitors are luring your customers away with a narrative that is more contemporary, relevant and compelling than yours.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Done correctly, joining forces through M&A activity provides an opportunity to take the best of both entities to create a single powerful brand.   Done wrong it can result in irreparable brand dilution.

Tired Image

The image being portrayed feels dated, suggesting that your company has not evolved. Old-fashioned logos, last-decade color palette, and stock photos can ring a brand death knell that often can’t be unrung.

New Leadership

A new CEO has been appointed and the market is wondering how s/he will impact the company. Rebranding enables him/her to recast the company while creating energy, enthusiasm and curiosity about what the future will bring.

Naturally there are countless other reasons to rebrand.

So think about it, as the UK and its leading companies are forced to reevaluate their images around the world, is your brand ripe for a refresh as well?

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