Skip navigation

BLOGRebranding: Foiled by Human Nature

by Randall CraigFiled in: Make It Happen Tipsheet, Blog, Branding, MarketingTagged as: , ,

When it comes to rebranding, is it simply a question of developing a new logo, updating the website (and social platforms), and if you still use business cards, updating them as well?

Rebranding: Foiled by Human Nature

While this is a perhaps too-basic question, and one that is clearly a set-up, there is one area of branding that is too often overlooked: human nature.

On a recent cross-country road trip, I had the opportunity to stop in many small towns. And as I did, I felt I was going through a branding time machine. Why was there outdoor signage for gas stations, with decades-old logos? Why was there merchandise racks in grocery stores, with long discarded logos and product names? Why were there out-of-date (and out-of-brand) brochures in hotel racks? And so on.

The reason why is simple: human nature. Why should a business owner care about up-to-date signage, shelving, or brochures? Everyone in town knows where the gas station is. The racks in the store still work — no need to throw them out. Why bother spending money when you don’t need to? And since no one from head office will likely ever show up, why bother spending that money?

Meanwhile, back in the head office, the head of marketing has just finished the new website, updated the social platforms, and arranged for new business cards. Job done? Hardly. Marketing happens in the last mile, closest to the ultimate service or product buyer: It’s local.

While my example may seem more relevant in a B2C setting, it is just as important when it comes to B2B, and specifically when selling services. In fact, there is only one question that is of paramount importance in a service rebranding: How might we convey the new “brand values” to those who are delivering the service, and those purchasing it?

If these new brand values don’t stick in the field, then there is absolutely no value in going through the exercise. In other words, same old signage, same old racks, and same old brochures. Just new lipstick on the old pig.


Are there any outposts in your organization that have not fully embraced your latest brand values? Or are still using your old branding? This week, do a quick review, and start the conversation with the groups that need the most help. And those old books, brochures, and other collateral with the old logo? Either update them, or throw them out. No need to have your current brand weighed down by out-of-date branding…

Branding insight: While it’s tempting to slide back into Brand Values equals logo, visual identity, taglines, and other miscellaneous statements, this is not where the real work needs to be. In a service business (and B2B settings particularly), Brand Values equal Corporate Culture. Aligning the corporate culture gets to the heart of the issue: addressing our human nature.

Related post: Viewpoint: The Rebranding Decision

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
Download Randall’s professional credentials: Speaker credentials one-sheet or Management Advisory credentials.

Content Authenticity Statement: 100% original content: no AI was used in creating this content.

@RandallCraig (Follow me for daily insights) Professional credentials site.



Randall Craig

Contact us for more on Randall’s topics, availability, and audience fit.

Back to top