it time to rebrand?

By Wendy Rall    Volume 2 Article 6

 “What is rebranding?”. It is taking an existing brand image, and creating a stronger, more powerful or originalimage.

In the cannabis industry, I have met many creative and intelligent new business owners. They know how to put a label design together or create a logo with basic design program skills. This can get you started if you are on a tight budget, but your logo and visual brand image are not the areas where you want to cut corners. Some of the clients I am working with now, have found that even if they have the “know how” to create some designs, they find that as the business grows that they either don’t have time to continue future design jobs, or they realize that it’s time to have a professional step in to help which can often relieve stress as your business grows.

When you realize that your brand identity is either outdated, weak, just not working for your target audience or if you have been using “clip art”, then it’s time to rebrand. If you have an established brand that has been on the market long enough to have become recognizable, you will want your new image to have a connection to the prior image. You may want to keep the same colors, maybe a similar font, etc. Rebranding is not often creating a totally new image, it is taking the image you have and making it updated or better. 

One logo rebranding design that is a good example of an “update” is Burger King. The original logo was very straight forward and perfectly balanced. The new Burger King logo added some flair. They put some “movement” into the logo. The text was italicized the graphic image of the roll was also skewed. They went from a two color, orange and red logo to an orange, yellow and blue color pallet. If you were driving down the street and saw the sign containing the new logo, you would still know it was Burger King, because it is still recognizable. The overall shape stayed similar, as did the color direction.  

If you are using a piece of clip art in your logo, it is wise to consider rebranding. This will help avoid confusion between brands, as well as help give your brand a more respectable reputation with an original identity. I repeat this point often, because I see it out there. I was recently in a cannabis retail store in Denver, Colorado, and saw a line of skin care products using the same piece of clip art in their logo that is being used in the logo of a retail store in Oregon. I share this because many people may not realize how the icon that they consider their brand mark is being used, and how frequently. Also there are times where the client is very innocent, and does not realize that the logo is clip art. 

There are designers out there, usually they are the ones offering the lowest fees, that will use clip art without telling the client. Beware also of using stolen images. I had a client provide me with a photo that was to be used in all of her marketing efforts as the main image. I was contracted to design all of her collateral using this image. Before doing so, I asked where the image came from, and if she had the legal right to use it. She did not know, she said her previous designer provided it. So I did some research and found out that it was a copyrighted photograph. It was licensed for “wall paper” downloads, it also was in use buy a couple of businesses that I found in a web search. This is when it is time to rebrand! When you discover that the logo you have is not original. Also if you logo does not read well, or is just not attracting your target audience or feels outdated.

Coca-cola is famous for never having changed their logo, when Pepsi has changed theirs more than a handful of times. Pepsi kept trying to keep up with the times, while Coca-cola had created a timeless image from the start. How do you feel about your logo? Do you have one, if so, is it a good representation of your brand. Are you proud to hand out your business card that carries the mark of your brand, the reflection of you as a business owner? If not, please consider speaking with a branding professional.

Author Wendy Rall is available for branding consultations at no charge, please visit or call 951-704-3374.


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