Simply put, rebranding is a makeover for your brand. It redefines what your business looks like, acts like, and stands for. Rebrand correctly, and you will fortify your relationship with your customers, strengthen employee motivation, increase brand visibility and credibility, and perhaps even win new customers.
Indeed, a well-done rebranding strategy serves as a powerful tool that can pivot your company’s success. But how does one do that exactly? If your company is big enough, you can hire a digital marketing agency, but if you’re a solopreneur, this is something you can do on your own.
Let this article serve as your legitimate guide to rebranding your company and doing it correctly. From the right reasons to rebrand, to the processes involved and finally, some examples of businesses who have rebranded successfully, so you know which practices to follow.
Does your business need a rebrand?
The most important part of the process is to ask yourself why you’re rebranding in the first place.
Rebranding isn’t something that should be done on a whim or because your gut tells you it’s time to do so. Your brand serves as the foundation for all your marketing and messaging efforts, and changing it will affect every other aspect of your company. That is not a small force to reckon with.
Also, one of the pillars of every successful brand is consistency. If you choose to rebrand at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons, you may lose any existing customers’ relationship with your current brand.
To make sure you have the right reasons for doing it, here are the 3 important points for consideration
- Are your sales dropping? If the business is slow or if your efforts at brand awareness aren’t going as well as hoped, you may want to put off a rebranding campaign. While it seems like a good idea to push for a new image to freshen up, these issues are often better solved by other strategies. Consider a revamped content marketing strategy, doing market research, or improving aspects of your online business with eCommerce SEO services.
- Are you focusing on a new product? New product offerings usually mean that your business is targeting a new customer profile. Whether through product, place, price, or promotion, a market repositioning campaign needs to have your brand follow suit, in which case, a rebrand may be strongly beneficial.
- Does your brand need a new image? Has your old brand become obsolete? Brand design trends can pass surprisingly fast. Fonts, colors, and other elements that were a good idea then may become relics of the past in just 10 years or so. Or, has your brand blended in with the sea of competition and no longer stands out? What if your brand has acquired the wrong image as with the case of Burberry, the British brand that went from a name associated with gang wear to a high-end fashion icon? If any of these is the case, a rebrand may be a step in the right direction.
You may also consider what you stand for. A business’ mission, vision, and values essentially govern its every decision and move. But because a business is regarded as a living entity, it is normal and even healthy to shift a company’s philosophy and culture as you work towards new goals. When you find the need to adjust your mission, vision, and values as your business shifts towards a new direction, your brand needs to align as well.
The Rebranding Process
To get the most results out of a rebranding strategy, it is recommended that you follow a process. This way, no important element is left out, no money is wasted, and all actions are on point. Here are the essential steps of a successful rebranding process:
How much do you know about your brand? If you haven’t given much thought or time to your brand personality, now is the perfect time to figure out and define this essential element. Awareness of who your brand is a crucial element for a successful rebrand. Whether with a team or by yourself, ask the following questions:
- Who is your brand, and what does it do?
- What does your brand want to be known for?
- What are your goals for rebranding?
- What are your company’s new mission, vision, and values?
Ideation is the time when you get to shape your brand’s story. In today’s digital marketing landscape, users are bombarded with products, opportunities, news, and photos. In 2018 alone, the number of websites was already at more than a billion. If you wish your brand to stand out and for people to take notice, it must have a compelling and authentic story to tell.
Use this step in the process to come up with your (new) brand story. Use the questions above to help you define it and use a fresh perspective such as your existing customers or a brand expert to shape it further.
#2. Market research and USP
Once you are satisfied with your brand story, it’s time to do market research. Conduct focus groups with your existing clients and target audience to get their input on your new products (if any), your (re)brand story and market relevance or current reputation. This data will help align your new brand with both your new and intended audience.
Once you’ve come up with your brand story and have gathered fresh perspectives from focus groups, it’s time to determine your Unique Selling Proposition or USP. What makes your brand unique? What do you do better than everyone else? The answer will help narrow down and keep your rebranding strategy focused. Remember, a good USP does not cater to everyone; rather, it is the result of finding and fulfilling a particular need in a specific niche.
Your USP will be the foundation of your brand identity. Refine your brand identity to a few keywords and let these serve as the basis for your marketing message, including a new tagline (if necessary) and all other materials for your revamped brand.
At this point, you need to come up with new marketing materials that engender your new brand identity. Make a list of all the materials that need rebranding. These may include but are not limited to your logo, business cards, websites, blogs, ads, posters, flyers, labels, your actual product, and the like. Implementing a brand style guide to ensure that your brand identity remains consistent throughout all your channels is a good idea.
The elements of a brand style guide are:
- Brand story – This will include your values, mission, vision, and your history.
- Logo – The most visual representation of your brand identity. An effective logo strengthens your brand identity.
- Color palette – Your brand should use colors that visually and psychologically represent your brand identity.
- Typography – Whether you stick to one font or allow font pairing, it is visually and strategically important to keep all of the written aspects of your marketing materials’ under one cohesive look.
- Photography – Have pegs or a mood board that highlights the lighting, vibe, and color of images that can be used throughout your online channels and materials.
- Images, illustrations, and graphics – Provide a guide or examples of any other visual elements that are aligned with your brand identity as an easy reference.
- Brand voice – Further define your brand identity and help it stand out through defining your voice. This is the tone of how you interact with your audience in all your written, oral and online communications. For easy reference, write down keywords that best exemplify your brand voice e.g., cheerful, witty, engaging, friendly, motherly, etc.
Before you even think about launching your new brand, make sure that all your employees are aligned and on board with the program. A successful rebranding process begins internally, so get your team’s input at all stages of the rebranding process. Once the new brand is ready, hold a launch party exclusively for your employees as a way to get them fully acquainted and enthusiastic about the rebrand. Be open to their feedback and comments and apply where and when necessary. After all, your team makes up the core and is usually the most effective of your brand ambassadors.
#5. Introduce your new brand to the public
Once your team has been properly trained and prepared for the launch, it is time to go public.
Prepare teasers in the form of email, short video plugs, or ads to help make your audience curious. Drop them along your social media channels as you near the date of your launch. Create promo assets that tell the story of your rebranding for different social media platforms such as videos, infographics, or blogs that can easily be shared by the public and the press. The more unique and creative, the better chances of these assets being shared.
On the day of the launch, make sure that all your online and offline marketing materials are aligned to your new brand identity and that your promo assets have thoroughly been shared across all your channels. It is best to do your launch in one quick and decisive action to maximize impact and lessen the confusion for your audience.
#6. Feedback time
The final step of the branding process is getting feedback from your audience. Read comments, ask customers in person, organize focus groups, or ask your audience to fill up a survey. In time, analyze your business performance as well to determine the impact of your rebranding strategy. All of these insights will help you plan your next business move.
Rebranding Done Right
Rebranding done right produces the right results. Here are the top examples of brands who nailed the process and enjoyed the fruits of their rebranding efforts:
When the ride-hailing company found itself scandal-ridden in 2017, they pressed the reset button. They hired a new CEO and global brand experts Wolff Olins to help them create a new and improved Uber brand. By doing extensive market research, they were able to gather valuable insight that helped them scale the global market and communicate their new value of focusing on passenger safety effectively. A new logo and an improved app experience served as icing on the cake.
When Dunkin Donuts dropped the Donuts from their name, it solidified their brand positioning from a donut destination to a beverage-led, on-the-go brand. To back up the name change, the company also invested $100 million in new equipment and to redesign its stores to rightfully support their on-the-go beverage concept as well.
Branding is such an essential and valuable element to any business. That is why it is important to take your rebranding strategy very seriously and even more carefully. When all is consistent— from your brand’s mission, vision, and values, to your new brand identity and perhaps the most important of all, the quality of the product or service you are offering—you will find your brand bigger and your business doing better than before. After all, rebranding goes deeper than just your surface-level image. It is a change aimed at long-term value for your customers that begins with the core of your company and radiates out.
What are your thoughts on companies who rebrand? Do you think some brands are better left alone? Feel free to write your thoughts on this article in the comment section below.