Your brand is more than just a name and a logo. It’s a combination of factors that consumers come to associate with your company. These can be tangibles, such as color scheme, trademarks, and logos. Non-tangible brand components include lifestyle aspirations or the emotions associated with a brand.
Knowing When It’s Time to Rebrand
Rebranding causes you to take some big risks, so it’s best to decide if the risks are worth the process. There are good reasons to rebrand and some not-so-good reasons that could hurt you in the long run.
Rebranding is a viable solution when:
- You want to better differentiate yourself from the competition. Generic brand names, logos, or even site design are good reasons to rebrand, especially if they’re too similar to another company.
- Your brand no longer transmits your company vision. Google is one of the best examples of this point. Their name has become synonymous with what they do best. Their original name? Backrub. Can you imagine telling someone to “Backrub it” when they’re searching for something on the internet? On the flip side is Uber, whose rebranding attempt just left people confused. Will your company name and logo still be relevant to where your company is in one, five, or 20 years?
- You want to overcome a bad reputation. When reputation management and proactivity are no longer options, it’s time to refresh and start over with a new brand identity. The reputation may not even be your fault, just one of unintended consequences or an unfortunate association, It’s no mystery why Ayds diet candies disappeared in the 80s or why there were fewer ads for Corona (the alcohol) when Covid-19 hit the world scene. Consider how your name, logo, and even URL look and read to avoid unfortunate associations.
- You have outgrown your current branding. One need only look at the transformation from the rather wordy Air Bed and Breakfast to the fresher, more streamlined Airbnb to see how you can brand more efficiently with just a few minor tweaks.
- You are evolving as a company. This situation could occur when you’re adding a new product line, significantly improving your current product line, or you’re entering new markets. For example, a company known for budget products would want to rebrand if they’re shifting production to more premium products or targeting a new audience. Rebranding is also essential if you’re part of a merger or you’re acquiring a new company or division.
- You need to attract talent. Perhaps you’re not attracting the best and brightest to your team due to poor perception. In that case, rebranding could help raise your profile.
However, if you’re just experiencing a sales slump or your current marketing campaign isn’t getting the results you expected, a simple shift in marketing strategy might be a better solution.
Now that you’ve weighed the advantages and potential risks of rebranding and decided it’s the right decision, how do you go about it? After all, you’re starting over with a new name and brand identity, but you don’t want to lose current clients.
Rebranding requires a certain amount of research and planning before you even begin. This isn’t the same as A/B testing, where you can tweak one small element at a time and then step back to see if it works.
Here’s a six-step strategy to help your rebranding efforts flow smoothly.
1. Revisit Your Company Mission
Unless you have a company motto in your name or in a frame on your wall, you may have lost sight of your original mission, vision, and direction.
Look at your original business plan and consider whether the goals, vision, and mission that led you to launch your business still apply. Whether or not who you are at your core remains the same, how closely does your brand identity reflect the company you are now? Does it mesh with the company you envision in the future?
2. Make Rebranding a Team Effort
Major changes to your company require input and a consensus from leaders at all levels of your organization. They’ll feel more invested in the decision and new direction, and they’ll be less resistant to change.
3. Develop a Strategy
In some ways, this is like launching a startup all over again. However, there’s much more at stake when rebranding an existing enterprise. As such, you need to create an action plan with measurable milestones, construct a realistic timeline, and create a budget that will allow you to effectively rebrand without suffering losses or major roadblocks.
4. Consider Market Trends and the Competition
This is especially important if the reason you’re rebranding is due to market competition or changing consumer habits. Choose a brand identity that helps you stand out, reflects current cultural shifts, and avoids unintended consequences related to lack of due diligence or self-awareness. What is your value proposition, and how does your new brand identity highlight what you have to offer?
5. Launch Your New Brand Identity With Great Fanfare
There’s no point in rebranding if no one notices. It’s also important that your efforts don’t lead to confusion or a mass exodus of customers. While you’re planning your rebranding strategy, you should also plan a marketing campaign that tells the story of your brand and highlights the reasons for your changes.
6. Find the Right Rebranding Partner
This is definitely a case where finding an experienced partner is an asset. Marketing companies that specialize in branding will know the ins and outs of rebranding and help you avoid costly errors. This point is probably the single biggest determining factor in a successful rebrand.
Branding can be tricky under the best of circumstances. When you’re trying to rebrand, whether it’s due to a problem with brand perception, you’re changing direction, or the company is under new ownership, it takes a deft hand and deep knowledge of what makes a brand stand out.
Need some help crafting a new brand identity? Talk to a marketing specialist at Level343 about your company’s future today.