Rebranding is the process of modifying the corporate image of an organization to create a different identity that stands out among its competitors. Business rebranding is important because an organization might need to keep up with industry changes. Also, if a company experiences tremendous growth, the management might want an image that reflects its new status.
While HP Inc. focused on printing systems, HPE later rebranded to become The Machine that delivers the futuristic technology in computing. Both companies remained Fortune 100 market leaders with over $50 billion in revenue.
When You Should Rebrand Your Company
If you feel that your brand no longer represents your company’s values, or your business is breaking new ground, it might be a good time to rebrand. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, various organizations reap huge benefits if they rebrand once they evolve beyond their previous identities. By rebranding, you will change the image of your company as you aspire to reach new heights.
Knowing when you should rebrand your company is critical if you want your efforts to bear fruit. Let’s look at a few instances when companies rebrand:
1. When Targeting A New Group Of Customers
You might rebrand to target a new group of customers, say millennials or baby boomers. For example, Adidas gained a significant market share by targeting a large number of millennials that love their sports shoes through digital marketing.
2. To Keep Up With Technological Changes
If new technological changes emerge, you might need to rebrand to keep up with the competition. Also, your market research may indicate new consumers’ tastes that require your company to make the necessary changes to meet these requirements. Also, if your company is fighting to strengthen its digital presence, rebranding might be necessary.
3. When The Company Grows
If your company has entered the international market, embraced new product lines, or merged with another company, you need an image that represents your new identity. Company growth indicates that your company has broken new ground and is now offering new services or products. A significant change in your company’s structure needs to appear in your new image.
4. If The Current Branding Is Scrappy
Many startups don’t have the resources to invest in branding and might venture into the market with scrappy logos. Others want to test the waters before they decide on the right strategies. After some time, a deliberate rebranding effort can make a huge impact when it comes to making your company look more professional.
5. If The Current Branding Is Outdated
If you feel that your brand is dated and could use a more contemporary look, it might be a good time to rebrand. You might want to change the colors or use calligraphic fonts that reflect a new image. Also, the existing brand might have some negative connotations that you need to address.
6. To Address Negative Publicity
Today, it’s not uncommon for a company to be dragged through the mud in social media platforms. In such a scenario, a rebrand is necessary. In such a scenario, changing a logo might not be enough. A mistake in the founder’s vision might receive negative publicity that can only be addressed by a full rebrand.
Reasons Why Rebranding Might Be Unnecessary
Contrary to conventional wisdom, rebranding is not always necessary. A full rebrand that involves changing your name might be counterproductive. For example, everyone knows about Nike or Google since these companies have been in business for decades.
If you’ve worked hard to turn your company into a household name, you don’t have to fully rebrand, unless it’s totally necessary.
Therefore, before you start sketching and comparing some color pallets, you need to determine whether rebranding is necessary. If done for the wrong reasons, it can do more harm than good. Many of the unnecessary reasons for rebranding will only spend your hard-earned money but will not benefit your company.
The following are negative reasons for rebranding your company:
- If a new management is calling for a rebrand for the sake of it.
- The company is trying to escape its negative image without addressing the underlying problem.
- Everyone else in the industry is rebranding, so you do it too.
- The company is masking a deeper problem like internal turmoil or outdated products.
How to Rebrand Your Company
If you have done your homework and realized that rebranding your company will take it to the next level, maybe it’s time to dive in. While it’s a thrilling venture for your organization, it can also be painstakingly overwhelming. Knowing how to rebrand your company will help to make the process less confusing and more rewarding.
We have developed a step-by-step process to guide you through the process. So if you are ready to begin, be sure to take the following steps.
1. Get Your Priorities Right
Start with a thorough understanding of the reasons behind the rebranding. Most importantly, the key reason should be to accelerate growth. If you started small but now have the financial muscle to compete with larger and more established organizations, maybe it's time to take the first step.
Highlight your reasons for rebranding as follows:
- You are launching new product lines
- The existing logo no longer defines you
- You have a legal or publicity problem to address
- You have merged with another company
2. Research Your Target Market
Before you decide how to rebrand your company, get everyone on board since you don’t want to go back to square one when you take off. The worst mistake is to attempt to move to a new market without a clue on the needs and preferences of your target market. If you don’t want to rely on false assumptions, get perspectives and insights from other people to address your blind spots.
If you need to engage an external firm to help you with the research, so be it. Use questionnaires and interviews to understand the perception of your current brand and what you need to change.
3. Research Your Competition
Find out everything about your competition by taking a keen look at every feature of their brand. Study their logo and learn why it stands out. If most of your competitors have similar traits, a simple change can make your brand to get noticed.
Having researched your competition, remember to craft a niche for your company by choosing a specific market position. Look for gaps and opportunities. For example, you might find innovative ways to provide reliable services at a low cost.
4. Develop Your Brand Identity
Choose the visual elements that will reflect your new brand. In most cases, you might not need to change the firm name. However, the old logo will have to go. While designing the logo, experiment with new shapes, lines, and colors.
See how it looks on a business card or website and decide whether it will reflect your new identity. For the brand to resonate with the people, it must be easily recognizable. For example, think of how the Nike logo says ‘just do it’ effortlessly.
5. Know What To Keep
As you make the changes, you don’t want to lose the gains you’ve consolidated so far. Understand what’s working so that you can retain it and what’s not working so that you can make the necessary improvements. Remember that doing a full rebrand might mean starting over in terms of marketing.
Unless you are looking to start from scratch, make minimal changes that have significant impacts. The logo needs to adhere to various principles of design such as order, proportion, hierarchy, or symmetry. Iconic logos are easy on the eye, so make sure that you hire a competent graphic designer.
6. Launch Your Brand
The final element of your strategy is to develop a formidable plan to strengthen and promote your brand. Decide how much resources you require to launch it internally. Your employees must own the new brand before you launch it in the market.
Remember that you have already found a niche, so ensure that you understand your market position before you launch. For example, a real estate developer that now focuses on low-income housing will start acquiring land in suburban zones, and will focus on apartments rather than single-family homes.
Rebranding Rollout Plan
Once you have developed a new brand, you need a reliable way to launch it to the world. Your new brand must make a splash in a market that’s already saturated. If you are the new kid on the block, ensure that people are interested in what you have to say.
Since you have spent countless hours developing it, you need to spend time planning for the launch. A well-developed rebranding rollout plan will help you to launch your brand without a hitch and avoid frustration during the grand opening. We have developed a checklist to help you when rolling out your brand:
1. Mission And Vision
Your brand must be in tandem with your business’s mission statement. Understanding your mission and vision is vital if you want to retain your corporate identity. A good launch plan starts by defining your core values before you develop the taglines, core messages.
Your brand is only as good as your core vision, and it’s vital to differentiate your brand from the competition in ways that suit your customers. Without a thoughtful approach, you will have a lukewarm reception during your launch unless you have clear:
- Mission, vision, and values
- Brand strategies
- Core messages
- Taglines and slogan descriptions
2. Social Media
In this age, late boomers have been usurped by startups that skyrocketed on social media. If you are looking to launch your brand on social media, it’s wise to have a proper strategy. Since you want to create a buzz, aim to get people talking about your products.
Most people love videos, so ensure that you have some ‘how-to’ videos that showcase your brands. Ensure that your brands offer something new and create anticipation even before you launch. Research your audience and launch your brands on:
Email marketing plays a key role in the rebranding rollout plan. If you are ready to spread the word, you need to design a rebrand launch email to notify people of the new changes in your company. Prepare your audience by getting people to subscribe to your new product ideas. You can start off by:
- Creating a rebrand landing page
- Collecting as many emails as possible before the launch
- Developing and email template
- Collecting reviews and testimonials to position your product
- Sending out the emails with detailed product descriptions
4. Marketing Materials
Before you identify the marketing materials that you will use to launch your brand, you need to have a core message that outlines the benefits. From the onset, you created a new brand to either solve a problem or reduce the costs.
This message needs to come out clearly in every brochure or flyer that you send out. Communicate concisely in a conversational tone and use the following media:
- PowerPoint templates presentations
- Brochures, word templates, and flyers
- Poster presentations
- TV and radio adverts
- Digital banner ads
- Business cards
5. Human Resources
Launching a new product is a difficult venture, so ensure that you have the human resources to execute it. Fortunately, your work will be easier if you involve your team from the onset. In such a scenario, everyone is conversant with the challenges of the previous brands and the problems that your new product addresses.
During the launch, your team will require:
- Product descriptions
- User manuals
- Training materials
A user-friendly website will come in handy during the launch. Ensure that you have fascinating content to keep the visitors glued to your website. Avoid overwhelming your visitors with data.
Instead, provide visual graphics and lead people to the blogs where they can get more information. Your website needs to be accessible from multiple platforms and devices. The website should have:
- Proper search engine optimization
- Web directories
- Business directories
- Easily accessible contacts pages
Consider Involving A Rebrand Expert
Unfortunately, a rebrand doesn’t guarantee your company’s success. The steps you take to rebrand your company is what will determine your outcome. Therefore, it’s important to consider hiring an expert who’ll guide you through the process.
Before you start rebranding, spend a couple of months analyzing the new brand idea. You can gather a focus group to find out how your current or future audience will receive your new brand. You should also get a second opinion from your staff and your management team. Don’t go in blindly. Make sure everything you’re trying to grow from, is sorted out during or before the transition.