Rebranding should not come as a light exercise or an easy decision. It goes beyond altering your corporate look and feel or updating your logo. Your brand isn’t just your image; your brand tells your audience what you stand for and deeply influences their feelings about your organization.
There’s a lot of psychology involved in our choices as consumers. You may not premeditate too much on what brand of soft drink to pick from the store cooler, but your choice is influenced by a long series of cerebral synapses that lead you to pick a Coke over a Pepsi. You may rarely think about it, but what would make you choose Pepsi instead? And, does Pepsi really even want you to be their customer?
From planning to execution, rebranding should have a defined purpose, a sound strategy for execution and adoption, and marketing readiness. Organizations often rebrand for the wrong reasons, making large investments that can even ultimately lead to their downfall. Here are 7 critical actions your business should take in its rebranding exercise:
1. Start with research
Research your brand, audience, market, employees, partners, and competitors before even taking a rebrand into consideration. Understanding your position, goals, and the needs of every stakeholder that will be affected are of utmost importance in reaching a decision. Make proper assessments, use analytics, and study market data to know where you stand.
2. Justifying a rebrand
Rebrand for the right reason only. Too many businesses decide to rebrand with misguided expectations and set themselves up for a letdown. We’ve talked about this before; rebranding isn’t a cure-all solution, it’s part of a larger plan. A rebrand can help you improve or consolidate messaging, differentiate your brand from the competition, and support your marketing and sales teams in their efforts to create brand awareness, among other specific goals. Make sure your rebrand goals are aligned with what is possible and avoid creating false expectations from the exercise.
3. Creating brand awareness
Consider the investment that will be made during a rebrand. It goes beyond designing assets; you’ll have to start changing all your promotional material including pens, mugs, shirts, etc., as well as updating your new branding across all your digital channels such as email signatures and social media accounts. Creating brand awareness should not only be an outbound project; the rebrand needs to permeate an organization’s people and corporate culture. The idea is to ensure that the effort for brand awareness is an organization-wide effort and that every member of the organization feels motivated by the brand and works to get the message across.
4. Cater to the customer
Rebranding can bring in new audiences for sure, but the last thing you want to do is alienate your existing clientele. When rebranding, consider who your customers are, what their preferences are, and why they chose your company in the first place; don’t stray too far from what brought you success. If your organization is in the healthcare industry, you wouldn’t want to rebrand to look like you sell fine spirits, for example. Unless you’re trying to completely turn around a failed branding experiment or make customers forget about their past experience with your brand, your rebranding efforts should stay within certain limits.
5. Build trust
In our current age of misinformation, spam, and online scamming, its difficult to trust a brand you don’t know. Building trust is crucial in earning both brand recognition and new customers. If you have big-name partners such as Microsoft or SAP, you’ll want to ensure you flaunt that on your website and other channels. If you have social or community work, charities, or support an NGO, make sure your audience sees this and use it to create a narrative around the positive work your organization is doing beyond capital gains. These are trust-building elements that make your audience feel more comfortable working with your organization.
6. Avoid confusion
Rebranding brings with it changes that can confuse customers and partners if you’re organization isn’t well-prepared to launch. Marketing strategy, along with marketing collateral, press releases, newsletters, and social media posts, should all be aligned to communicate a clear message that reaches as many people as possible from day one. Be prepared to announce what’s going on before any change takes place.
7. Show progress
Rebranding shouldn’t be about showing the world you’ve fixed your problems, nor should it be about hiding who you were as an organization. If anything, rebranding should be about showcasing growth, progress, and positive change. Your rebrand should be about broadening your appeal and audience and show the long way you’ve come from being a startup in a basement to a booming organization with hundreds of employees. Rebrand from a positive starting point, whenever possible, and show the motive to be about growth and evolution.
Are you considering rebranding? Talk to our experts about your brand and see where you stand and what you can do to improve.