“Let’s rebrand!” announces many a marketing manager in an attempt to modernise their business, stamp their mark and bring in more customers. However, rebranding is not something that should be taken lightly.
Yes it might be rewarding, but it can also be unnecessary, costly and, when done incorrectly or for the wrong reasons, outright rejected. Even the big brands are not immune to branding disasters.
So before you launch into a company rebrand, consider these 7 key things. Doing so will help ensure it is a sound business decision.
1. Your motive
Never rebrand for the sake of it – you must have a strong reason for doing so. Is there a fundamental shift in your business e.g. your product or service? Have you grown beyond your current brand? Do you need to expedite your relevance in a changing marketplace? If you are changing your company strategy, offering and therefore your audience, you have a good case for justifying rebranding.
2. Your current brand equity
Is your brand currently viewed positively or negatively? Do people identify and relate to your brand? Is it in line with expectations? If you don’t know, do your research. If many elements of your brand are still aligned to your audience, you should consider a refresh e.g. modernising visuals and tweaking your positioning, rather than a full rebrand. This way can you avoid losing loyal customers.
3. What your rebrand will look like
Before you commence on your rebranding project, it pays to have a clear direction in mind. What does your company stand for? What qualities and characteristics do you want people to think of when they hear your name? How do you want people to feel? What is your brand story? How will it evolve? Once you can answer these questions, you can start developing your new brand.
4. How to reach your new audience
Once you know what your new brand looks like, you need to consider how you will reach your new audience. How and where will they interact with your brand? What channels of communication will be the most effective in expressing and exposing your new identity? For example, if reaching out to a younger demographic, social media will be a new platform you might utilise to connect with them.
5. How you will make the transition
When making major aesthetic shifts or changing the outlook or core premise of your business, it can be a confusing process for customers, clients and staff alike. Therefore, communicating your rebrand is essential. If you don’t make your stakeholders aware of the rebrand prior to implementation and keep lines of communication open throughout, the reaction might not be so favourable.
6. Your timeline
Rebranding can be logistically taxing. Every change – from your website to your letterheads and office signage – needs to happen almost simultaneously to avoid any uncertainty caused by both your old and new brand being in circulation at the same time. However, this can be difficult. Be sure to consider your timeline in advance of roll-out and focus on critical touchpoints first.
7. The cost
Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider how much your rebrand will cost. Can you afford to rebrand effectively and to the standard you’d like? Are the estimated financial returns sufficient to justify it? Unless you have the necessary time, money and resources, and the chances of a return on investment are good, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
Only when you are sure of your reason, your new audience, your strategy for implementation, and your available means should you consider a rebrand for your business.