During a recent company rebrand project, our client said he wanted the new look to be timeless. That is an admirable goal! Whenever we embark on a company rebrand, we aim to represent the company as it is today, incorporating their vision for the future, all while working to avoid anything that will quickly look trendy or dated.

However, completely timeless just isn’t possible. Your identity will and should evolve. Look at iconic brands like Apple, McDonald’s or Google, and you’ll see the identity and logo have changed over time. Companies have to change their products and services to meet market demands, and so naturally the brand must keep up.

So, how do companies make the huge decision to pull the trigger on a rebrand? Here are a few questions we always ask:

1) Has your business name changed? Sliding a new name onto an old logo is a bad idea. To customers it can feel insincere, like you thought no one would notice. Brand name changes must be handled with sensitivity.

2) Has your market changed? Does your brand need to appeal to a different audience than it used to? Or is your audience fresh, even though the market is the same? For instance, businesses that market to teens may want frequent redesigns to stay relevant to a fashion-conscious audience.

3) Has your vision or market position changed? If you’re growing, you’re changing relative to your industry. Are you now the market innovator? Or have you become the seasoned expert in a field of startups?

4) Are you offering drastically different services than before? It’s not unusual to look up one day and realize you’re in a completely different business than you started in. Changes in service offerings can result in a very different brand. Land’s End, for instance, began in the sailing industry making sails and sailing gear. Tiffany & Co. originally sold stationery.

5) Does your logo work in all the ways you need it to? Logos have to function in a wide range of environments — from large scale graphics on the side of a building to the tiny favicon next to a web address. Does your logo have enough flexibility to meet changing media conditions?

Stay tuned, and we’ll reveal why we decided it was time to go through our branding process for our own identity!