Gaining and keeping customers is strongly tied to having a brand identity that represents your values. If you find that your brand has gone off message or that your message no longer resonates with your target audience, it may be time for a change.
Company rebranding can be a daunting task. It can cost you the customers you’re hoping to reach and your existing clients if done incorrectly. It can earn you a broader and more loyal customer base if you get it right.
To make your rebranding process as smooth as possible, we’ve compiled eight vital things to keep in mind as you develop your rebranding strategy in this article.
1. Know Reasons for Rebranding
The “why” behind your rebrand is vital to consider before moving forward. Before setting out to develop your rebranding strategy or proposal, get to know why it is necessary so that you can justify the same to the relevant stakeholders.
There are a few reasons why a company may want to rebrand:
When a brand wants to go international, it may need a change. It could be that its name may elicit the wrong association in a specific country. The company’s website should be translated as well.
Changes to the brand positioning and promise can bring about significant changes. Everything shifts to adapt to the organization’s new strategy and promise. That necessitates the development of a rebranding strategy.
In a world where everything has shifted to digital, companies need to make the necessary shift to adapt. Some fashion brands, for example, have closed down physical shops to sell garments entirely online. Each rebranding strategy today needs a digital angle.
Use data analytics to know how your customers respond to your brand and whether it needs an overhaul for optimal performance.
This is one of the most common reasons for rebrands. With modernization, brands can come off as old-fashioned if they do not create and implement a rebranding strategy to keep up with the times.
For some companies, changes in the market situation mean that their very existence comes under threat. Rebranding becomes a must if at all the companies are to remain afloat and eventually thrive.
Mergers, acquisitions, and demergers
New business ownership usually results in an immediate rebrand. That is necessary to make the change visible.
Conflict with stakeholders
If a rebrand compromises a company's success or makes the business too similar to another brand, stakeholders may not take it so well.
For example, stakeholders of the clothing brand Gap decided within a week that they would again rebrand after a rebranding attempt went south, with consumers astonished by the almost sudden change in their logo.
A lawsuit, a hidden data breach, or an environmental scandal can be devastating to a company and seriously impact its results. A rebrand can reduce or even do away with any negative association with the brand over time.
A rebrand can have many benefits, but it can also bring various risks. Be prepared to convince essential stakeholders why rebranding may be necessary for your company. Present a compelling business case that supports a brand new identity for you.
2. Rethink your Target Audience
Rethinking your target audience is a first step in the rebranding process. Take a look at your customer base and decide whether part of the change includes targeting a new audience. It helps to research people’s perceptions of your brand and competencies and compare these against your original target audience. That way, you can unveil some differences that can help you determine your audience.
You have the opportunity to gain a new slew of loyal customers when you appeal to a new, potentially more profitable demographic. Conduct a thorough audience analysis to determine the characteristics of the audience you are now targeting. Your target audience can give you this information themselves if you engage them. Customer insight will help you refine and tighten your rebranding ideas.
It is important to note that it is possible to rebrand without losing your current customers. If you are unsure about who to target, contract the services of a market research specialist to research customer and market trends in your stead.
3. Change your vision and mission
A vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what a business wants to achieve in the future. A mission statement focuses on today and what a business does to achieve its vision.
Let’s check out TED as an example. Their vision and mission statements are stated below.
Mission: Spread ideas.
Vision: We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world.
Mission and vision statements give a company focus, coherence, and direction. An outdated vision and mission can become a distraction, keeping the company’s attention away from what it should be working on.
The vision and mission may be necessary for prospective customers, suppliers, or strategic partners who use them to see whether there is a good match between them and your company. These statements, for them, are your brand voice and result in their perceptions of you. All the words and the tone you use for these statements should align with your brand voice. If that’s not the case, you need to make changes.
To achieve the desired focus, coherence, and direction for the company, consider your company employees when writing the mission and vision statements, too. If you think about it, it makes sense. It is the company’s employees, after all, who should understand and be motivated by those statements so they can work towards their team goals. These team goals then result in the company achieving the mission and vision statements in the first place.
4. Check your Brand’s Identity
You begin to develop your business's new visual and tangible elements at this stage. These include:
- Color palette
- Website design
- Business card design
All these reflect your brand identity.
Your brand identity is what you want people to feel when interacting with your company. It is the personality of your business and your promise to your customers. If you find that all these are not clear in these tangible elements, you may need to make changes.
Creating a fresh look for your brand without straying too far from the original one will help you hit two birds with one stone: make your brand’s identity clear and keep your current customers. Remember that continuity and familiarity are crucial to maintaining your current customers.
Here’s an example to illustrate that point. When the famous football league, Premier League, made some changes to its logo, it removed the ball and the geometric shape but retained the lion so as not to confuse its audience. That helped Premier League retain its loyal followers, who still felt that connection with the brand:
It helps to look at the logos of other companies in your industry when you’re rebranding, too. That way, you can see the elements they all use to convey the message you might want to convey yourself as a brand in that same industry. For example, looking at the second line of the image below, you can see the similarities in these brands' logos from the tech industry.
Based on the image above, we can conclude that the geometric sans serif typeface conveys innovation, a relevant value in the tech field. You might want to consider using this typeface when rebranding if you’re a tech company.
Think long-term when it comes to your brand identity. Ultimately, you want a brand identity that people will relate to for a long time.
5. Maintaining the Current Brand Story
A brand story is a cohesive narrative that communicates the facts and feelings that your brand creates. It recounts the series of events that sparked your business inception and how that still drives your mission.
When rebranding, you should stick to your brand story that shows how relevant you are to customers. That will ensure these customers stick with your brand despite the changes.
Maintaining that brand story, however, can be difficult if you do not know how your brand is perceived externally in the first place. That is where research of your brand perceptions comes in.
Once you’ve determined that brand story, communicate it across platforms so that you can drill down on it for brand recall and recognition. Even if you’re building a website anew, your brand story should still be there.
6. Consider your Competition
You need to understand your competition if you want to stay ahead of them. Doing competitive research can help you learn where your competitors stand so that you can adjust your business strategies accordingly.
Some of the areas you can learn about your competitors when you do competitive research include:
- How they distribute their marketing budget
- What their brand positioning is
- How they set their prices
When you know these details, you can determine how you should position your brand in the market when rebranding and gain an advantage. Remember, the ultimate goal of rebranding is to increase sales and revenue. Rival research helps your company become among the go-to brands in the market.
7. Test your Changes
Ensure that you have quality checks throughout the rebranding process. Before you release the new logo and designs to customers, unveil your new branding internally to your employees and board members. You will know how well (or poorly) you have done through their feedback.
Make sure every visual element after your rebranding aligns with your brand strategy, mission, and vision. Together, they should tell your brand’s story.
With rebranding, you want to make your business more recognizable to your target audience. The goal is brand longevity relevance. In the years to come, your target audience should still know who you are and what you stand for. All the changes you make in your rebranding should be relevant to your target audience even in the future.
8. Market your Rebrand
After all your staff and managers are aware and comfortable with all the changes, implement a marketing strategy to promote your rebrand.
It is ideal to roll out all the changes on the same day. Set an official launch date and make the big announcement via your various platforms. Another great idea is to have guest posts from a quality guest post service to gain more traction.
You can even use traditional ads, just like what Dunkin did when it first dropped the word “Donuts” in its name. There are also some 2022 marketing trends to look out for, such as podcasts and audio content.
Update the sales and marketing materials you share across all channels for consistency.
You can also use email marketing and send an email to your existing customers to let them view the changes. Give them a priority look at the new you.
Consider this the perfect opportunity to amplify your brand message and overall values as a business. As you create the buzz and excitement about your rebrand, take a look at the audience’s response to the new look. Don’t hesitate to make adjustments where necessary.
Rebranding can be a brilliant idea for any business, but it comes with risks. Before rebranding, you should know why the rebrand is necessary in the first place. The “why” is probably more essential than the rebranding itself.
As you develop your rebranding strategy, consider changing your vision and mission statement. These will help your customers identify with your brand and give your staff focus and direction.
Rethink your target audience and your brand identity. Test the rebrand afterward. As you develop your rebranding strategy, consider the whole scope of marketing you will need to undertake to give your rebrand the necessary publicity.
Throughout the entire process, always remember that the ultimate goal of rebranding is for your audience to connect with you even in the years to come. Good luck!