Within the world of business, change is constant. Consumer behaviors shift, trends come and go, technologies evolve, and markets and competitors emerge.
Naturally, you’ll need to prepare your business for these big changes.
With all of these transitions at hand, one of the biggest changes your company can go through is the process of rebranding.
What Is a Rebranding Strategy?
Rebranding is a marketing strategy that calls for changes to many elements of a company, including:
- Themes of campaigns
- Much more
There are two types of rebranding strategies – proactive and reactive.
Proactive rebranding takes place when a company notices a change in the market and identifies an opportunity for growth.
Proactive rebranding campaigns are often utilized to reach a new audience, reconnect with current customers, and just engage an overall innovative approach by staying ahead of the curve within their industry.
Reactive rebranding takes place when a company is essentially pushed into a need to change. This could occur for any number of reasons – partnerships and mergers, acquisition, negative publicity, or legal trouble.
A rebranding strategy is your process for identifying if and when to rebrand. It lays out the who, what, when, where, how, and why of your organization’s ability to communicate its identity.
Ultimately, your rebranding strategy is your roadmap for the entire process.
How to Determine If Your Business Should Rebrand
So how do you determine whether or not it’s time to give your company a facelift? Or rather, a complete makeover.
There are many reasons why you might consider rebranding your business.
Let’s take a look at a few of the changes that might spark the need for a company rebranding:
A merger takes place when two companies come together to form one big company. With a merger, both companies generally have equal hands in the new unified business.
This means that neither will be absorbed by the other brand – they form an entirely new brand.
In this situation, it’s necessary for the two companies to sit down and go through the rebranding process to determine the identity of the new, larger company.
Sometimes companies decide to change direction with their purpose and so should their brand.
When you develop a new company mission, you may end up targeting a completely different audience than your original one. Or you may be shifting your focus to different areas.
No matter the change, your mission will dictate how to ensure alignment between that new mission statement and your new brand.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve probably seen the market shift over time.
Consumer habits change, technology develops, industries are forever changing. Your brand needs to evolve with its market, or it will get left in the past.
Company acquisition typically results in rebranding.
When one company buys another (such as Facebook buying Instagram), the bought out company is usually aligned with the new owner.
Eventually people resign from positions or move on to other roles.
The change-over of CEOs at companies sometimes results in a rebranding to reflect the vision of the successor.
There’s nothing like repairing a damaged reputation with a little makeover. Or maybe your company is simply struggling to stay afloat.
Either way, rebranding is a great way to give your business a new lease on life when you rub up against these issues.
New Target Customers
If you drastically change the demographic of customers you’re looking to target, then you’ll probably need to adjust your brand accordingly to be attractive to this new audience.
If you shift from an older crowd to a younger demographic, your brand designs will likely need to be updated to have a more youthful appearance.
Step-by-Step Guide to Rebranding Your Business
So, now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why your company might need to rebrand, let’s run through a step-by-step guide to developing a strong rebranding strategy.
1. Look Inward.
First and foremost, you need to reflect on your brand.
Do a little soul-searching, and develop a thorough grasp on your brand’s story. Where did it start, where is it now, and where is it going?
Identify the core reason for rebranding. This will help you shape your overall strategy and provide direction for the entire process and end result.
2. Conduct Research.
Next, you’ll need to conduct research to develop a better understanding of your customers (especially if you’re looking to target a new demographic).
Conduct surveys and focus groups to learn about the challenges, goals, and pain points of your customers.
This is also a great time to gauge how your brand is currently perceived by your audience.
3. Identify Your USP.
Developing a unique selling proposition (USP) is how you stand out amongst your competition.
Why should customers buy your products/services over your competitors? What sets you apart? A USP answers these questions.
4. Audit Your Brand Touchpoints.
Auditing your brand’s touchpoints with customers throughout your marketing and sales funnel will help you better understand how people interact with your brand.
You’ll gain a better grasp on what is and isn’t working and how to better communicate with consumers.
What materials do you use to interact with your audience? Blog posts, newsletters, and ebooks? Assess all of these assets, and determine how they add value to your process.
5. Host Internal Brainstorming.
Rebranding doesn’t just impact how you’re perceived in your industry. It affects everyone at your company.
In order for the rebrand to really take off, your employees need to be on board. Ask them their opinions throughout the process, even if it’s something as simple as a comment box.
Also, it’s important to keep your stakeholders in the loop throughout the rebranding process. Let them know all the important information, like budget for the project, timeline, and the overall objective of the rebrand.
When the new brand is finally set for lift off, host an internal launch party to get your employees and stakeholders excited about the change!
6. Launch With Context.
Finally, the big day arrives – the rebrand launch.
Don’t you dare just quietly change the logo on your website – make some noise about the affair! It’s an incredible marketing opportunity.
Announce your new look and feel to your audience on your website, social channels, and through email marketing.
You should also explain the reasoning behind the rebrand to your audience – let them know why they should be excited about this change just as much as you are.
Rebranding Tips You Need to Follow
Now that you have a thorough grasp on the step by step process, there’s a few branding tips you should keep in mind and utilize along the way.
Experiment and Flex Creative Muscles.
Anything is possible with a rebrand.
Regardless of whether you’re starting with a completely clean slate or not, going through the rebranding process calls for a fair amount of experimentation and creativity.
Consider even the boldest ideas for your business – you never know; it might just be exactly what you need.
Your company is going through a makeover, but you don’t want to come out the other end completely unrecognizable to your audience.
Make sure you preserve the integrity of some elements of your original brand identity, specifically your tone and use of language.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep core logo elements the same, though you can design them in a complete new and fresh way.
Consider a Partner.
Rebranding an entire company is a big project, and it’s a good idea to consider working with a team of pros to take on the task.
Working with a branding agency can largely reduce the stress, workload, and brain power that you’ll need to put into the project, while ensuring that you come out the other end with a high quality result.
It will also probably save you a lot of time, as you’ll have a team specifically dedicated to the project.
Keeping track of the changes you’re making is an immensely important part of the rebranding process.
It will help you stay on track for the overall objective, and it’s also immensely useful when keeping stakeholders in the loop and explaining to them the directive behind your decisions.
Confidently Defend It.
Companies often receive backlash for rebranding. Consumers roll their eyes and complain about the changes made.
It’s important to stick to your guns and ride out the initial wave of negativity that might come with the transition. You made this change because you know it’s the right thing for your business, and it will lead to greater success in the future.
Your Rebranding Strategy Checklist
No matter how skilled you are, you should never go through a rebranding strategy without following the proper steps and best practices.
Use this checklist as you go through each step of your strategy:
Each step, from initial research and ideation to auditing, launching, and analyzing results, can require a lot of moving parts. You should track where your team is at each step of your rebranding journey.
Rebranding can feel overwhelming – it’s a big project, and there’s a lot at stake.
Your new brand identity will ultimately determine how your company is perceived in the world.
It can feel daunting, but if you have a strategy in place and follow a checklist in pursuit of your overall objective, you and your team can stay organized and prepare for a successful launch.