The Ultimate Guide to Successful Rebranding
You can pour hours of time and resources into creating a great brand. A branding strategy is one of your company’s most important assets, spanning from how you communicate with customers to how they feel when shopping in your store. Your identity is the reason loyal customers choose you over your competitors.
So how do you decide if and when it’s time to rebrand? Maybe your brand image needs a refresh. Maybe you have a new philosophy or you’ve started marketing to new customer profiles. Regardless, a successful rebranding campaign can help you freshen up your identity and become more relevant to new audiences.
But rebranding your business entails more than coming up with a new logo and changing some of your colors. It’s about taking your company’s new vision and implementing it into your messaging to meet the demands of trends and markets.
Nailing your brand identity will allow you to be more successful at marketing across all channels, from Messenger marketing to email and everything in between.
If you’re looking to rebrand your store, here are some reasons that you should (and shouldn’t) rebrand, examples of brands who successfully rebranded, and how to implement a rebranding strategy.
What is rebranding?
When a company rebrands itself, it creates a new name, logo, mission, and/or visual identity to develop a new identity with customers, competitors, and employees.
Some companies rebrand periodically to stay relevant, but the average company doesn’t have the budget for that. Rebrands can also be risky. Take GAP, for example. The retailer redesigned its logo and identity only to have customers hate it. They spent $100 million on the new design and reverted to the original after six days.
Reasons to rebrand
If you’re struggling with sales or you’re not quite reaching your ideal customers, consider your marketing strategy and product-market fit, first. A rebrand may not be your solution. Before making the big decision to rebrand, consider the following:
- Your vision and values are no longer relevant to customers. Your company’s mission statement should guide all your decisions for brand, marketing, advertising, and customer support. If your values don’t reflect those of your ideal customer, it might be time for a rebrand.
- Repositioning your company. Does your brand reflect new market segments you’re now targeting? If not, consider adopting a new brand identity that aligns with both old and new customers, alike.
- New product release. New products targeted at new markets may need a partial rebrand. Think about Kelloggs’ different identity for each cereal they market.
- Merging with another business. When two companies merge, their brands come together as well. Whether you’re acquired by a bigger company or joining forces with another, you’ll have to reimagine the brand to build trust and expand reach.
Types of rebranding: total vs. partial
Rebranding can entail anything from a logo redesign to a completely new identity. Of course, every rebrand won’t involve a complete overhaul. If you have a loyal fanbase and aren’t at risk for reducing customer churn, a partial rebrand may be the best approach.
Partial rebrand or brand refresh: You’re partially rebranding if you’re an established company that needs to create a new brand image to keep up with the times and retain customer loyalty. This means you’ll likely reposition services, design a new logo, and re-launch your website with fonts, styles, and colors. Revamping these elements is less disruptive and faster to execute than a full-blown rebrand.
Take the Old Spice brand for a great example of a partial rebrand, or brand refresh. Up until 2010, the company resonated mostly with the older male generation. The competition was rapidly growing and Old Spice decided they wanted to reposition their identity for a younger audience, in order to keep up. They launched “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign targeted at women with purchasing power … and it became an overnight success.
Total rebrand: A total rebrand is only necessary when an entirely new identity is required. It typically means a new name, messaging, and visual assets. A company may go through a rebrand to reposition itself for a new market or during mergers.
Saleor, an open-source platform that helps deliver personalized shopping experiences, began as an e-commerce solution by developers for developers. The company wanted to expand its customer base of developers to include business owners and decision-makers. This required a complete rebrand to influence their media and communications.
First, Saleor’s identity was characterized by cartoonish-pirate imagery to appeal to their main developer audience. To attract the new segment, they rebranded with a modern, futuristic design to meet the new market demand.
Notice the difference:
To break from their traditional identity, they took the parrot from their logo and created a digitized approach to fit their new identity. The result was a dynamic and fresh brand the entire company and its customers could stand behind.
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How to successfully rebrand your company
1. Start by determining your brand’s new market and audience
After doing market research, you may find new opportunities and potential market segments who are buying from your competitors.
You can compile this information yourself or hire someone to gather surveys, focus groups, and pull reports and statistics to support your new position. Or, gain insight by asking: What is your brand equity? In other words, what is your main value prop and what is your perceived worth by consumers?
The goal is to discover who’s buying your product — and go deeper. What do they value? Why do they buy? What are their fears? Gathering this information will help you make more informed decisions for creating a name, offering new services, design, and more.
After you have a better idea of who you’re targeting, you’ll want to start the rebranding process to build closer ties with these new audiences.
2. Rethink your brand assets
Armed with your market research, it’s time to revisit the meaning of your brand. It’s almost like learning how to build a brand from scratch and identifying the components needed to connect with your new audience.
Vision and values
A brand with clear goals and mission will make better decisions for their customers. Create a mission statement that defines what makes your company special and aligns with your new audience. If you need some inspiration, check out What Defines Hulu to craft a vision of your own.
A strong business name makes your company memorable to customers and helps differentiate you from competitors — but changing your name can be a big undertaking and affect organic traffic and customer perception. It’s really only necessary if the market is confusing you for another brand, or if you’re switching industries or product offerings.
A new slogan can help new markets identify your brand and create a distinguished image in consumers’ minds. Create a slogan that highlights the core benefit of your new mission. Keep it short, honest, and show how it’ll impact your customers’ lives.
As you go through the rebranding process, consider changing the brand voice you use to communicate with customers. A distinct tone of voice can separate you from other brands and it can help show that you understand your target market and can provide the right products and services for them.
Your voice is as important as your message and elevator pitch. After all, specific phrases and words trigger specific responses, so plan for how you’ll keep your voice consistent throughout all your communications.
Now that you have a handle on who your voice and target audience is, it’s time to explore some chatbot examples and give your bot a personality. Bot personas are a great way to back up your brand and engage with new customers. You can create a character to represent your company, give them a name, and use copy based on the voice you choose above.
3. Redesign your visual identity
Figuring out how to increase brand awareness by redesigning your visual components will help speed up your rebranding process. A consistent visual identity helps increase the overall value of your company. When aligned with your current brand assets, it can strengthen your market position, increase brand recognition, and attract customers more likely to buy your products.
Your logo is often the first impression someone makes about your business. It only takes 10 seconds for a consumer to form an opinion. As a part of your rebranding process, create a logo that connects both with new and old customers. Even with a new identity, you don’t want to confuse customers who’ve been around for a long time.
Colors impact customer emotions. A consistent color palette across your social media and marketing channels can raise the perceived value of your products, plus, invoke a specific feeling you want customers to feel. Consider the style and look of your current brand and test different Analogous color patterns to associate with your brand.
Typography plays an important role in the rebranding process. It’s the way you present text to customers and lets you create context and personality in your communications. Choose a family font tree with two or three different fonts and assign where and why they should be used.
4. Launch your rebrand
There’s no point in rebranding your business if you aren’t going to tell the world about it. Give your audience a reason to care. Create a plan to share and test your new brand messaging with people and continue to build on it as you go.
Making the most of your rebranding
The rebranding process is no simple feat. More than just a logo redesign or color palette tweak, rebranding extends to your company’s philosophy and raison d’etre, the value you bring to loyal customers, and how you’ll communicate with them.
A good brand is one of the primary mechanisms for you to connect with your target audience and make sales. So, if you’re going through the trouble of a rebrand, you’ll want to make sure you’re successful.