How To Rebrand A Company In 7 Steps
A brand is how a business presents itself to the world. It’s what distinguishes it from every other company out there, injecting vibrant personality into even the most mundane types of corporations.
When you communicate your brand effectively, the whole world knows what your company does and how it does it. This helps establish trust and credibility with customers and prospective clients.
A robust brand strategy allows your company to stand out from your competitors by highlighting what makes your products or services better.
It should organically flow out from who you are, what you strive to be, and what customers need you to be.
It helps ensure brand loyalty by telling potential customers precisely what they can expect from your business.
Because it can give a company a competitive edge over others in the same industry, a brand is an enormously valuable piece of intellectual property. That's why most businesses seek to protect their brand by trademarking it.
When creating a brand, you've got to make some deliberate choices. If you try to be all things to all people, you'll water down your brand identity, and it'll end up becoming meaningless.
While a brand is intangible, a brand identity isn’t. It includes the brand’s visible elements, such as colors and logo designs.
Why Investors Look For A Strong Brand
Investors want the enterprises they invest in to have a bold brand identity. They know companies just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey need all the marketing "oomph" they can get. If you don't have one, they might be unwilling to hand over their venture capital cash.
If you're at a party, you don't base who you like and don't like on impersonal statistics. You do it based on personality because, after all, you're human and not some unemotional robot.
Investors are human too. Although they make most of their decisions using dispassionate financial statements, they can also be swayed if a company has a bold brand or meaningful message.
The Risk of Underestimating Branding
Too many inexperienced entrepreneurs who mistakenly believe their company’s brand is nothing more than their business name and logo tend to underinvest in branding.
However, savvy business owners know their brand is an essential component of their company and can sometimes even mean the difference between being a resounding success and a dismal failure.
Think of some of the most well-known brands out there: Google. Apple. McDonald’s. You’d likely recognize these logos a mile away, even without the brand name shown along with it.
What’s Rebranding and When Is It Appropriate?
When you rebrand your business, you create an entirely new identity in the minds of customers, investors, competitors, employees, and the world at large.
However, you don’t have to revamp every aspect of your brand identity. You can do a partial rebrand if your business is well-established yet could use a few tweaks here and there.
Here are some reasons that you may consider a rebrand:
Values Have Changed
If you want your company to retain its keen competitive edge, you can't afford to let it grow stagnant. One way to stay relevant is by tweaking your branding from time to time. For example, if your company’s values have changed and your branding no longer reflects them.
Because your brand is what customers think of when they hear your company’s name, it needs to always represent what you stand for. If it no longer does, it might be time for a brand refresh.
It frequently happens that a company pivots in an entirely different direction or grows far beyond the scope of its original goals. When that happens, the enterprise should realign its brand so it’s congruent with the new mission.
Entering a New Market
Another excellent reason to rebrand is if you’re entering a new market. While you’ll want to appeal to your existing customer base, you’ll also need to attract new clients. A terrific way to do that is with a brand refresh.
Vans is an excellent example of this. Initially, the brand was associated with two things: the kind of punk music featured at the Vans Warped Tour and skateboarding.
Today, Vans has widened its initial appeal to include not only men who skate and listen to punk rock but women with all kinds of interests. However, the company ensured it didn't forget about its original audience when courting a new market segment.
Launching a New Product
If you’re launching a new product that’s completely different from your other offerings, consider creating a separate brand for the product. Selling different products under the same corporate brand may dilute its power.
For example, Bluebridge, a custom app developer, spun off Emplify, their employee engagement app, instead of incorporating it into the Bluebridge brand.
If Customers Aren’t Connecting
Let's say customers aren't connecting with your brand anymore. In that case, I have some good news: a successful rebrand can make your brand relevant again.
A terrific example of this is Old Spice. Rebranding helped this well-established company pull a complete 180.
Before their rebrand, the enterprise was perceived as a hopelessly old-fashioned product that decidedly uncool grandfathers used.
Faced with plummeting sales, the company undertook a bold and brash rebranding effort to appeal to a younger demographic. Following this launch, the enterprise regained the lion's share of the market.
Other Reasons for Rebranding
An outdated brand identity can dull your competitive edge. If the visual marketing elements of your business have a 90s color palette, it might be time to give them a fresh new look.
If competitors by the dozens flooded your market, causing your brand to no longer stand out, think about creating a new one. Not doing so could have a catastrophic impact on your bottom line.
If your brand recognition begins to wane and your target audience is gravitating towards competitors, this is an excellent time to rebrand.
When you're merging with another company, you have to decide whether to operate the brands separately or combine them. If you combine them, you'll need to create a new brand identity.
A rebrand can help you get out from under a public relations nightmare that tarnished your corporate image and diminished your market share.
The 7 Steps To Company Rebranding
It’s going to take a lot to fully transition your organization from your existing brand identity to a new one.
That’s why you need to create a comprehensive branding plan that leaves no stone unturned.
Then, you must communicate your rebranding strategy to your entire organization, so everyone is on the same page.
Step One: Understand the Reasons
Before embarking on the rebranding process, make sure you understand the reasons behind it. That way, you'll have clarity, and your rebranding efforts will be more focused.
If you’re not clear about the reasons behind the rebranding effort, you’ll waste time, energy, and money.
Think about why customers are attracted to your current brand and why it resonates with your audience (or on the other hand, where it’s lacking).
Make sure you understand your enterprise's mission and values. By playing to your enterprise’s strengths, you’ll be in a better position to emphasize what makes your company so unique when you rebrand.
Be clear about what your brand voice is. The words and tone you use for your brand must perfectly match your messaging.
Step Two: Retool Your Mission Statement
A mission statement is a short and meaningful phrase that summarizes your company’s purpose. It answers the question of why you do what you do.
Because it helps create a company's core identity, it's essential to have a well-written mission statement when you’re rebranding. You can either take the one you have for your old brand identity and retool it or start from scratch.
If you want to create a mission statement that can serve as a template for your brand refresh, you’ll need to ask some questions. You should do this with stakeholders, such as a group of trusted advisors or your top managers.
The questions will be all about what your business does and why. Here are a few questions to ask:
What is it we do?
Why does it matter?
Who does it matter to?
How does it make a difference?
Step Three: Market Research
Next, you’ll conduct exhaustive market research.
Start by asking your existing customers how they perceive your brand. You can do this using polls, surveys, and questionnaires.
Consider using free tools like Typeform, SurveyMonkey, or Google Forms to create your questionnaires. You can use a platform like Hotjar to host feedback polls directly on your website.
You can also ask questions on your social media channels.
Whatever method you use, try to glean as much insight as possible about how people perceive your brand, including answers to questions such as:
What are your most significant problems with our current market offerings?
Why do you buy from our brand?
Where are we lacking?
How can we do better?
What comes to mind when you think about our brand?
After you’ve done this with your existing customers, widen your research to include prospective customers, employees, partners, and anyone else familiar with your brand.
If you discover a disconnect between the way customers perceive your brand and how you want to be perceived, you’ll need to address that.
Step Four: Create New Brand Guidelines
You’ll need to create new brand guidelines (or revamp your old ones) that reflect what your company currently represents.
This guide should contain all the details of your brand’s visual identity so that everyone on your team has easy access to it. This includes specific usage guidelines and templates. It should also have brand positioning statements, key messages your company needs to communicate, and writing style guidelines.
Step Five: Create New Brand Visual Assets
You’ll need to create new brand visual assets that complement your repositioned brand, including logos, color palettes, and fonts for a consistent visual identity and brand cohesiveness.
If you don’t have a strong grasp of digital design, you’ll want to hire a professional to help you nail down your brand imaging.
Once you have a new logo, incorporate it in all your marketing materials and creative assets, such as your website and email signature.
Step Six: Come Up With New Brand Messaging
Telling your brand story can be challenging the first time. However, it might be a little easier during the rebranding because you’ve already done it once before.
Remember to succinctly communicate who you are, what you do, and why you’re different.
When you can successfully articulate your brand in simple, powerful language, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with the people you’re trying to reach. This makes it easier to convert them.
Your brand story should be consistent across every one of your marketing materials, including your website home page, product packaging, and sales brochures.
This means your brand guidelines need to be strictly adhered to. Your customers will instantly recognize your brand when you do, making you easier to find in a sea of competitors.
Step Seven: Relaunch
Finally, it’s time to relaunch your brand. Make sure you communicate the relaunch to your existing audience and all stakeholders. This tells them that you didn’t forget about them and gives them something to anticipate.
Consider posting on social media or sending out a series of emails leading up to your relaunch to build excitement. Include the reasons for your brand refresh, details on its benefits, and specifics on what’s to come.
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