With customer bases evolving, competition always on the horizon, and consumer attitudes constantly changing, established companies may feel the need to restructure or rebrand to meet shifts in their industry. Such bold change initiatives can affect shareholders, customers, employees, and communities. So, it’s important to find the right balance when making changes—and deciding how much to change.

These insights can help you determine when it’s time to restructure or rebrand your business, and when to choose strategic but more limited changes instead.

Choosing the right amount of change

Graphic shows a spectrum from major move to lighter lift, with business restructuring and business rebranding listed under major move and business reconfiguring and brand refresh listed under lighter lift.

Before jumping into a change initiative, consider the amount of work involved—and how much your business is willing to take on. Moves like restructuring or rebranding are both major undertakings. But at the other end of the spectrum, business reconfigurations and brand refreshes are lighter lifts that are quicker to implement. In fact, a business may complete a few reconfigurations a year.

Consider, too, how multiple moves might fit together, such as a brand refresh paired with a reconfiguration. For example, a frozen dessert manufacturer might add products made with sweeteners like stevia, requiring a reconfiguration of certain departments and manufacturing processes. To promote the new line and boost sales, they may also update their value proposition to mention health and adjust the packaging to make it stand out in stores.

Reconfigurations and brand refreshes require agility—and can signal externally that your business is responsive to market shifts and not stuck in outdated practices.

When to make a big move

Here are some of the strongest reasons to consider a business restructuring, rebranding, or both:

You’ve engaged in a large merger or acquisition. Restructuring after a major M&A deal can bring operational efficiencies, streamlined finances, new sales opportunities, and increased reach. Such a major restructuring will likely come with a rebrand, too.

When Bell Atlantic and GTE merged and were changing business strategy at the same time to focus on cellular and internet, they changed the new entity’s name to Verizon and haven’t looked back. Smaller acquisitions or mergers may not warrant a full restructure or rebrand—especially if doing so could affect customer loyalty to an existing strong brand. You’ll often see a company add the brand name of the acquisition as a divisional line underneath the master brand.

Customer perceptions have shifted. An acute issue (like a scandal or censure), an industry downturn (where demand has been dipping for years), or even an aging out of your primary customer base can signal the need for a restructure or rebrand.

One example of shifting customer perceptions resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers began to buy things online that they historically had not, like beer and spirits. That shift led many companies in the beverage industry to add e-commerce to their business models. Restructuring or reconfiguring in situations like these—then creating new messaging around those changes—can improve customer experiences, lift sales, and improve operating margins.

Competitive or external pressures have affected your revenue. Sometimes, a competitor exits the landscape and you’re suddenly presented with an opportunity to grow category share. Then there are the things that aren’t fully in your control, like supply chain disruptions, societal shifts, or new regulations. Rethinking what you’re doing and how you’re voicing it to customers or clients can help you use challenges as a prompt for innovation and transformation.

Take the building products industry, for example. Increasing awareness of environmental issues among consumers has led to additional oversight from regulators. McKinsey reports that the number of construction regulations for North American builders has soared from just 463 in 1970 to upwards of 5,000 today.Disclosure 1 Many of them, such as California’s cool-roof standards that require certain roofs to have solar-reflecting properties, are prompting companies to broaden their green offerings or innovate new products.

You haven’t changed your look in a decade. No business is the same today as it was 10 years ago, and a rebrand can celebrate and reflect that. A rebrand based on age may be something for an established-stage business to consider—especially when looking to attract a new customer base. Such a move could also go hand in hand with a transition-stage turnaround or journey into a new stage of growth.

These are all good reasons to bring in your Truist relationship manager to start discussing options for change initiatives—and how your approach will vary depending on your industry and lifecycle stage.

Before jumping into a change initiative, consider the amount of work involved—and how much your business is willing to take on.

When to apply caution

Here are some common situations where you probably shouldn’t jump headlong into major brand or operational change.

You’ve experienced a leadership change. Adjustments to your leadership team might come as part of a restructuring, but a leadership change on its own shouldn’t trigger a restructure or reconfiguration—especially if your customers are hoping the result of the transition is “business as usual.” It may be more important to develop other key people in your organization to make a long-term plan for transition instead.

You’re already making other changes. Not every restructure is going to require a rebrand, and not every rebrand requires a restructure. Take the example of an automotive manufacturer that restructures how it sources components, organizes its sales force, and uses technology to run production. Those are major operational changes, but they don’t necessarily trigger the need to change the product names, logo, or dealership signage.

The decision to begin a full restructuring or rebranding or take a different path is one your Truist relationship manager can help you navigate. The long-term approach of Truist Business Lifecycle Advisory means your relationship manager will take the time to understand where you’ve been, where you’re going, and how to help you get there. And they’ll be ready to pivot alongside you when the time is right.

Looking for insights on your next move?

Contact your Truist relationship manager to find custom solutions to meet your evolving needs.

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