Photo by Jeff Sheldon
We have seen a lot of companies try to rebrand when it was too late. The competition ate up all of their marketshare – making it even more difficult for them to get that market share back and regain their position. Or we have witnessed companies make subtle changes to a color in their logo or removed a part of their name which had no immediate or long-term impact because it wasn’t significant enough of a change to impact the business. There are very few companies that have succeeded with a rebrand without having a great strategy and plan.
A rebrand is more than just a new name and a logo. Your whole brand persona needs to be renewed and upgraded. Every aspect of your brand will be affected. For legacy brands, this can be a tough move to make. Will this have a negative effect on your business? The biggest fear can be – will we lose all those years of brand affinity traction?
If you think it is time for a rebrand, companies should take look at a multitude of factors to determine if the timing is right or if there is just a need to pivot their marketing message or add or subtract additional services. Has your target demographics changed? Has market research determined that there are better services or better products that your brand should be engaged with or selling? Has new and emerging technologies usurped your business model?
Here are a few steps to take and questions to ask to determine if you are in need of a rebrand:
- Discovery – Do your own internal survey with stakeholders and the executive team. Interview and survey current clients, customers, and partners to determine where you are missing the mark and where you are succeeding
- Brand Audit – Do a company/brand audit. Discover what problems will the rebrand solve for your company? Will the change impact the business for the positive?
- Marketing Audit – Analyze your past and current marketing efforts. Are you missing the mark?
- Market Research – Discover insights about your competition and your current customer base. Is your target persona the right one you should be focusing on? Are there new personas that you are not engaging with that you should be?
- Is Your Marketing Message Resonating? – Is your marketing message on point? Has it shifted? Have you really been speaking to your audience all this time or someone else?
- Executive Team on the Same Page? – Does the Executive team believe that a rebrand is necessary? Is the company still heading in the same direction? Has the mission changed or has your company outgrown it?
- Strategy Document – Put together a document that outlines your mission and marketing message, your target personas, your business goals and your marketing objectives. Incorporate your Discovery findings into the report. What metrics will you use to determine your success with the rebrand? Has the focus shifted? Review with the Executive team to see if everyone is on the same page.
- Marketing Strategy – After getting buy-in from the Executive team and key stakeholders, put together a marketing strategy and specific plans on how you will deliver your new rebranded message. A rebrand involves many elements. Also, something to note, understanding the anticipating the additional incurred costs that come with a rebrand should be calculated prior to moving forward. A rebrand can be a hefty investment.
- Document Your Personas by Priority – Know your audience and what makes them tick. A persona is a representation of real people who make up your customer base. What are their pain points? Who are they? Put them in order of priority.
- Redesign Your Website – One of the best ways and times to launch a company’s rebrand is with a redesigned website. It is important to review your website and what it’s really saying with its copy and design. Is it screaming 1999? Is it mobile-friendly and truly representing the brand in a positive light? Is it speaking to your audience and giving them a reason to engage with the brand?
- Map Out Your Customer’s Journey – Don’t leave it up to chance. You want to guide your personas through their customized journey that you created for them. Your website is your marketing hub. You decide where you want them to end up by providing the necessary social proofs, curated content, marketing message and value proposition and why they need to buy from you.
Here are the essentials that a company will need in order to have a successful rebrand. You may not need to do all of these but if you are going to invest the time and money into rebranding, you want everyone to know – especially your target audience.
- New Logo
- New Name
- New Website / Redesign
- New Creative
- New Marketing Collateral
- Inbound Marketing Strategy
- Social Media Strategy
- Public Relations Strategy
One of the biggest elements of a successful rebrand is your company culture. Does it still have the passion and drive when the company first opened its doors? Has morale declined or is the workforce burnt out or lost their way? A rebrand should start from the inside out. There should be uniformity across all channels with the new message and mission. Although this process can be stressful and overwhelming, rebrand should bring energy, excitement and new life to the company and its team.
As one can expect – You can’t just rebrand, set it and forget it. Branding is an on-going process. In the age of Social Media, companies now have the ability to monitor customer satisfaction and see what people are saying about their brand.
The bottom line is that it’s not what you think your brand is – it is what your customers and potential customers think, feel and expect when they see your company product, logo or name. What does your brand stand for? What’s the brand’s story? Once you do a rebrand – be consistent and persistent with your message. Keep listening to your customers. They will tell you what they want. All channels and all hands on deck.
You then need to have a clear plan of action to spread the word. Having an inbound marketing strategy for example by using curated content that would resonate with your audience and drive traffic back to your website or landing page. Having a social media strategy and focusing on a way to get the word out by employing a PR firm to help spread the word or find creative ways to market your brand.
Leverage an agency or talk with marketing managers and CMO’s that have gone through the rebranding process before. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for help.