Branding is so much more than a logo and color palette. It is the total impression and feeling that people have about you in essence, your reputation both on the ground and in cyber space”

Your brand is the core identity of your business: a collection of all the values, ideals, characteristics and personality traits of your company reduced to a single set of recognizable standards. But sometimes, even beloved brands go through crises; they succumb to the natural pressures of aging, or they fail to meet audience standards the way they used to.

It can be hard to know if you’re in need of a rebrand. Too often the red flags get lost in the hustle and bustle of workaday madness. And even when you do notice them, the decision to actually embark on a rebranding initiative is rarely an easy one. So, how do you know when it’s finally time to pick up the phone and call a branding agency?

The following are 6 telltale signs that your brand is probably ready for an update.

1) Your old image is obsolete

First, you could be in need of a rebrand simply because your old image is obsolete. Design trends change quickly, and in the span of a decade or two, the fonts, colors and shapes that seemed cool at the time could be laughed at in the modern era as nostalgic leftovers. In these cases, the bulk of the brand can remain intact; instead, you’ll merely update the surface-level features, reshaping your logo, updating your brand voice and tweaking that voice for modern tastes.

2) A new competitor is threatening you

Rebranding could also be a defensive move to protect your business against the rise of a new competitor. For example, if a new company emerges on the market that’s strikingly similar to yours, users might be confused as to which company to buy from. You can step away from the pack by differentiating your brand with new, more appealing standards. Alternatively, if a differentiated brand emerges, you can learn from some of the qualities that made it successful.

3) You’re failing to differentiate yourself from the competition

At the end of the day, branding is all about competitive differentiation. If you feel like your brand is lost in a sea of marketplace sameness, why not rock the boat a little? Repositioning and capitalizing on your unique value propositions can make your brand exponentially more visible to consumers searching for unique solutions.

4) You’re trying to connect with a new audience

Today it’s millennial. Tomorrow it’ll be post-millennials. However silly the moniker, there’s always another generation hot on the heels of those who are spending money in the current marketplace. A rebrand allows you to redefine yourself with the goal of reaching these new and untapped audiences. Staying on top of demographic shifts is good business. The last thing a savvy young demographic wants, after all, is to associate itself with the stodgy brands of their parents’ generation.

5) You’re not attracting top talent

The best talent wants to work at the best brands. It’s as simple as that. If you’re having trouble recruiting the caliber of employees that is necessary for the advancement of your business, it might be because your brand is associated with subpar industry standards. A rebrand allows you to redefine yourself, not just for your customers, but for your current and future employees as well.

Whether they’re plain as day or hiding in plain sight, signs it’s time to rebrand can be just about anywhere. Often the first sign is that you’re wondering if a rebrand is necessary! Whatever eventually impels you to reach out to a branding firm, you can rest assured you’re making the right decision. With the amount of measurable benefits that come with rebranding, the investment is likely to pay off many times over.

6) Your Current Brand Limits Your Growth

While it’s really important to go “narrow and deep” within your niche, you also want to make sure that your brand gives you room to grow.

As my business evolved, I realized that I’m about so much more than “niche”. I’m super passionate about inspiring people to get in touch with their message, trust their voice and wisdom, and get their message out there in a really authentic way.

Rebrand gives the breathing space to continue to grow while still communicating the core message

The bottom line is you should know why you’re rebranding before you decide to do it. Make sure it’s for good reasons. It’s not about trying something new, throwing it against the wall and see if it sticks. As with everything in your business, you should be clear, focused and intentional.