Here is everything you need to know about when and how to rebrand your business, from A to Z. Because a brand is more than just a logo.
The look and feel of your business are starting to seem a little stale? Are your customers choosing competitors with more innovative branding over your products and services? It may be about time to freshen up your brand and reposition yourself in the market. Before you dive head over heels into giving your entire company a facelift, you should know that there are good and bad ways to rebrand. Let the expert team behind Anchor Digital show you how to make the right rebranding decisions for your company!
First things first: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Before you even consider a rebrand, check in with your customers, and consider the market and competition. Consistent branding will help you reinforce your position in the market, confusing branding, on the other hand, can lead to mistrust and the loss of precious customers. One great example of a failed rebranding attempt that caused nothing but headaches, was the 2010 GAP debacle. That year, the GAP decided out of the blue to change its well-recognised logo to a new version with a bland font and a much-detested gradient. Such was the backlash that the GAP quickly reversed course and changed back to the old logo within less than a week. If that teaches you anything, then hopefully it’s that rebranding isn’t for everyone.
Your company’s image is the total sum of experiences a customer can have when interacting with your brand. Truly great branding communicates within seconds and tells customers what you do and how you do it. It builds trust and credibility. And yes, great branding changes over time, adapting to the needs and trends of the present, making it a necessary evil - or true blessing - to rebrand every so often. The number one reason for rebranding a business is a change in the audience. Perhaps your business has expanded internationally or started moving in a different direction from what was originally planned. Either way, your brand needs to represent your company in its status quo and the future while efficiently communicating with your target audience in order to make your business thrive. Recent rebrands by Dunkin' Donuts, Weight Watchers, Uber,Unilever and others show you how it’s done successfully.
So, why is it worthwhile to look closely at why companies rebrand and what your own company should know to successfully achieve this task? We will give you an answer to all of your questions!
A) When it is Time to Rebrand Your Business?
There are plenty of good reasons to rebrand a business. Before we initiate the rebranding process, we always discuss these goals and objectives with our clients. Here is the gist of it!
1.) Companies should rebrand as they are going international
Fifty-eight per cent of small businesses already have an international customer base. This can cause trouble if your company name leads to confusion, is hard to pronounce, or is being used by another local company. When a company enters a new market, a proactive rebranding oftentimes goes hand in hand with the expansion. Good examples are Lay’s (formerly Smith’s) and Raider - or should we say Twix?
Credit: Tim Reckmann
2.) Companies should rebrand to better differentiate from the competition
If your company’s branding is dangerously similar to that of another business, you’re risking a lawsuit that may just break your bank. It could also seem that you’re not as creative or innovative as you’d like people to think you are, risking the image and success of your enterprise. To maneuver around these branding traps, a facelift should be managed carefully and in cooperation with a team of experts.
3.) Companies should rebrand to give new life to outdated branding
We all have to obey the laws of time. As the years pass, your company’s branding may no longer live up to your products and services, or the logo created by an intern in the first year of the company’s existence is starting to look a bit simplistic twenty years down the road. To avoid seeming out of touch with recent trends and looking outdated, refreshing your branding might just save your business. Shell and Pepsi are great examples of rebranding efforts that positively transformed how a company is perceived.
Shell updated their logo 8 times since 1900 in attempts to keep their branding modern.
4.) Companies should rebrand to outgrow their poor reputation
We get it. Things can go wrong. When a company faces a difficult time, a change in branding may just be the solution to existential problems. It’s not a miracle cure, but it did work well for giants such as McDonald’s. When the documentary ‘Super Size Me’ caused a massive decline in sales, the fast-food chain invested millions of dollars into making their brand greener, both literally and figuratively speaking: The brand’s logo, typically displayed with golden arches on a red background in North America, is instead being presented with yellow arches on a dark green background in Europe.
The attempt of giving the brand a more eco-friendly image, has also led to healthy menu additions such as salads and veggie burgers and plans to reduce packaging waste. What’s even more interesting is that in 2019, Morgan Spurlock, has returned after 13 years since ‘Super Size Me’ to present ‘Super Size Me 2’. I guess we’ll have to wait and see the response from McDonalds this time around…
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Warren BuffettIf you’re staring down the barrel of new web design and social media strategy, you’re going to need a great creative team on your side, so it may be your opportunity to dive headfirst into a more comprehensive brand refurbishment.
B) Things You Need to Know to Rebrand Successfully
While a lot of businesses are excited to start on a beautiful new website and modern logo, many are not prepared for what a successful rebrand actually entails. Established businesses need to be careful not to lose their existing customer base, or cause confusion around their identity. Over the years we’ve seen many examples of hugely successful rebranding campaigns and disastrous rebrand failures from some very big names. It’s important to understand why the successes work so well, and what went wrong with those that didn’t succeed.If you change your business name, you’ll need a new website domain and a trusted digital marketing team to help you preserve your spot on Google during the transition. As you can see, well-executed rebranding is neither a fast nor cheap exercise. Businesses need to be ready to embrace the change because you’re embarking on a full brand facelift. A rebrand needs to be thoughtfully and extensively marketed, and consistent across all advertising mediums. Now that you know all the reasons for rebranding your business, let's take a look at the ‘how-to”!
1.) Start by understanding your mission and values
A captivating mission statement creates a precious connection to customers who share your values. Stay true to your business' core values and mission in order to strengthen your brand’s messaging while reflecting your new objectives. Highlight the consistent core statement to keep existing customers on board and connect with the audience in an authentic way thanks to the reinvention of your brand image.
2.) Rebranding the vision and the purpose
This is arguably the most important step. What is the problem you’re trying to solve? Consider what makes your brand instantly recognisable and distinctive from others. Identify elements about your current brand that can be salvaged and adapted. Discuss with designers and marketers at length about current trends, the direction of your company, and what you hope to achieve from your new look and feel.
3.) Develop a rebranding strategy that works with your existing branding
Analyze what you can keep and what has to go. Your current branding might just need a refresh instead of a total overhaul. Google’s logo, for example, has gone through several facelifts throughout the years, all of which made only minor changes to the original design. This takes us back to the beginning of the article: If it ain’broke, don’t t fix it. Basic elements like the mission statement and company name resonate with your target audience and should be consistent in order to maximize the chances to successfully rebrand.
4.) Consider the market and your competition
Understanding the market is the first step on the long path to successful rebranding. Before you do anything else, research what is working for your competitors and analyze their branding strategies to find out why they are doing well. What are the current trends in branding? How can you stand out? What is or is not in line with your company values? Your brand’s longevity has priority and should never be sacrificed over attempts to be leading-edge.
5.) Consider all the possible costs of a rebrand
Have a firm grasp of your rebranding budget. Take into consideration the cost of developing and promoting your new brand. You’ll need to market to your consumers prior to launch to inform them about what’s changing within your company. During and post-launch, your marketing campaigns will need to be consistent and ongoing. The bottom-dollar will help you determine just how far you can afford to change.
6.) Collaborate with your team
Involving every department of your business will not only strengthen the company culture, but is an excellent opportunity to get valuable feedback before, during and after the rebranding process. Not to mention that collaborating with the whole team will align everyone around the rebranding goals and expectations.
7.) Set realistic timelines and consumer considerations
A rebrand won’t happen overnight. You don’t want to suddenly disappear, then pop up elsewhere with a new name. It must be a careful and deliberate process which promotes the shift at the right times. For businesses with a strong existing customer base, you may be able to involve your consumers in the process. Perhaps customers can help you decide on your new logo design, or vote on their favourite slogan. When it comes time to launch, your existing customers should already be prepared, and excited about what you come up with.
8.) Launch your rebrand and tell the world
Even the most incredible rebrand is wasted if you never actually launch it. Make sure you properly plan marketing your rebrand and be prepared to explain in detail why you chose to give your brand a new dress. Minimise the risk of customer confusion by carefully planning and communicating the launch and showcasing the story behind the rebrand.
Plan your social media rebrand early. It may be trickier than you think. Facebook, for example, does not allow a company name change for pages with 200+ followers. This is aimed at protecting followers from being ‘sold’ to another company. You may need to apply for an official rebrand, which can take several days or even weeks.
Tracking The Success of Your Rebrand Efforts After Launch
Be prepared to feel a little anxious throughout this process. While rebranding is exciting, it’s also daunting, sometimes risky, and definitely costly when not handled carefully. It’s important to keep evaluating the success of your rebrand. Communicate with your customers, eavesdrop on their social media comments, and listen closely when there are new brand mentions online.
So, now that you’re well prepared, informed and excited to embrace the challenges and possible risks, let’s get to it! Where do we start?
Well, it’s about time to find the right partner for your rebranding journey! A great digital marketing team will help you monitor consumer engagement on your site, significant actions by search engines and user interactions on your social channels. If you tread carefully and engage a professional rebranding partner from the onset, you will be able to enjoy your new direction, fresh image, and most importantly, a great return on your investment. After all the blood, sweat, and dollars you’ve shed, your brand needs to work for you. Anchor digital are a crew of strategists, creatives, coders, account managers and techs. We are a web design, SEO and digital marketing agency powered by your business goals. With Anchor in your corner, you can expect tailored expertise and measurable results. Our portfolio says it all. Why wait? Get in touch with us today!