Nothing stays the same forever, even when it comes to brands.
A brand is more than just logos and a catchy name. A brand is your business’ identity. It showcases your story, beliefs, services, and is what sets you apart from your competitors.
Sometimes a rebrand is an important part of the growth and evolution of your business, but it can also be a very daunting process to undertake. This guide will help you if you are considering rebranding your own business.
What is a rebrand
A rebrand is a marketing strategy used to change a company’s image, by developing a new name, logo, and many more elements. The ultimate goal is to develop a new identity in the minds of its employees, customers and stakeholders.
Justification for a rebrand
Branding identity is an essential part of any successful business. Some new business’ and less experienced entrepreneurs, may overlook having a strong branding identity and may need to think about it again down the line.
Well established brands aren’t strangers to a rebrand either. Many have had to adapt to changing industries in order to keep up with new competitors or appeal to new customers.
When should you Consider rebranding
If you’re growing your business with new products that fall in line with what’s already established within your company, rebranding may be an important marketing strategy in flourishing and making your mark in a larger marketplace.
Mergers and acquisitions
Merging with another company means two separate brands with a common objective, combining as one . You can blend the two brands and turn it into a corporate strategy which represents both together strongly.
It’s quite natural for your business’ mission and goals to change as it grows. If you as a company are shifting direction internally, your branding will want to grow with you, in order to reflect that and stay authentic.
Market repositioning – Changes in products or services.
You may have decided you want to start exploring a new market. If you’re thinking about this, whether it may be through products, location, or price; a rebrand may be crucial in presenting yourself to a new customer profile.
Managing a crisis
Legal and PR crises happen all the time. You could be stepping on the toes of someone else’s name, logo or slogan, meaning you may need to take a few steps back and rethink your branding to ensure it’s original and consistent.
You may be in hot water about something controversial you have put into the world or associated with which has tainted your name.
A recent example of this is the P&O Ferries PR crisis which has also seen a backlash towards P&O Cruises; a company that is actually completely separately owned but that wouldn’t be obvious in the mind of many customers.
A brand refresh
A refresh is all about giving touch ups to different elements of your brand. It’s mainly a cosmetic solution such as modernising the logo, website or slogan which can have a huge impact on a brand and its place in the market.
A partial rebrand
This will change more aspects of your brand that reflect around its core. This could be things such as changing all your visual elements but still keeping with the same colour palettes and themes which were established. You might want to widen your brand to welcome new products or fit into new markets.
Total brand overhaul
A total rebrand is forming your business a brand new identity. Stripping your brand back completely, and changing everything, including your name and the way you are positioned in the market
Steps to a successful rebrand
There is a lot of planning and research to be undertaken in order for your rebrand to be successful. Let’s break down the steps one by one:
Now is the perfect time to take a step back from your brand and assess the vision, mission and values of your brand. If you haven’t quite figured it out yet, now is the perfect opportunity to do so.
To break it down, answer the following three questions:
What are you doing?
This is the vision for your brand and has control over all actions the business may takenand your brand identity will want to mirror any change of. Everyone involved in your business needs to have a thorough understanding of the brand’s vision.
How are you doing it?
This is the mission, it’s what you’re actively doing to achieve your vision. It’s important that you have a clear roadmap to visually see how you are going to achieve your vision.
Why are you doing it?
This forms the value’s of your business . This is why you have been working towards your vision. If your business has grown, you may find previous value’s aren’t as important now, you can update those values to reflect your changes.
Audience and market research
In order to ensure that your rebrand resonates with the people who are buying from your company and your market, you will need to talk to your target audience(s). The most important thing i n branding is to realise that your brand is not what you say you are but how you appear in the mind of the customer.
Information you may want to consider when undertaking your research to establish your audiences include:
- The age bracket of your customers
- Their gender
- Their location
- Their professions
- Their economic status
- Any hobbies and interests they have
You can gather this information by undertaking different surveys, holding focus groups and looking at any website and social analytics. Then analyse any data gathered and work out who your business is specifically selling to, and implement this into your rebrand.
Next is your target market:
Your competition could have a huge impact on your research. Are they doing something you’re not? Do they have anything in common which you may have missed and could influence your rebrand positively? For example, Social media can be a great tool, so is building an online presence relevant in your market area?
If you take any inspiration from other brands that you’re staying original, and not at risk of copying. Be original and stand out in your market.
Figure out your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
If you don’t already know your USP, now is your perfect chance to really establish this. Here’s a couple of questions to help you figure this out.
- What is it that you’re offering that none of your competitors are?
- What aspects of your offerings can be copied or reproduced?
- What are the emotional needs that your offerings meet for your customers?
- What do your customers get out of your business offerings?
- Are you the only business offering your products or services in your area?
Establish your niche, and embrace your uniqueness into your branding.
List and redesign your brand touchpoints
Brand touchpoints are anything a customer interacts with within your business: a reception desk, office, store, website, packaging, posters etc. These are the physical elements which will be affected by design updates during your rebranding.
Now is time to delve deeper into the different visual components you may want to consider changing:
Your logo is your ultimate brand identity and has the power to represent your brand on its own. Your logo should be memorable, simple and fit with the personality of your brand.
Your signature colour can have a huge impact on the recognition of your brand.
Oftenthere are 3 colours that will make up your colour palette. Your signature colour, along with an accent and neutral. Your base colour and accent colour should pair visually together, and your neutral colour should be used as a background colour which enhances your base and accent.
You can use colour psychology to work out what signature colour will work best to fit your brand identity.
The typography you use can be just as important coordinating with your brand identity as your colour palette, and something you should make sure your audience resonates well with.
There’s different types of fonts to think about: Logo font, Main text font, headline font, accent font.
Imagery and visuals
The imagery and visuals are very powerful when connecting with your target audience and should ultimately support your core message. If your target audience has changed, the imagery you use should represent your new customers, as well as your established ones.
New brand guidelines
Your brand guidelines are an important information source for people involved in your company such as: employees, contractors and stakeholders. It’s important you give these people an updated copy of the guidelines, for a better understanding of changes which have been made, and how to use them to promote your business effectively
Planning a successful launch for your brand
To make your rebrand a success, here are some steps you can take to prepare for your launch:
Create a launch sequence
Before you launch your rebrand to the public, internal audiences will need to be informed of the rebrand, then followed by external audiences in order of how important they may be.
Launching your rebrand internally, aka a ‘soft launch’, can give you a chance to get your employees on board, and start representing their new brand effectively. It will also be a good time to fix any small teething issues that may be picked up on.
Create a narrative
Think about the story behind your rebrand; why you chose to do it, insight behind your updated look and what the future of your company might look like as a result of this.
You want your narrative to resonate with the audience you are selling to. If they believe this rebrand was the best move, then they are more likely to invest themselves into your services.
Build a hype
If your customers know something is coming, this will create a conversation around your brand, causing a sense of anticipation, and creating a hype. This will give them the chance to think and talk about your brand.
Create a communication plan
There are different mediums that can be effective in spreading the word that your brand has gone live:
- Creating content for various social media platforms
- Press releases
- Direct mail
- Emails to subscribers
You will want to ensure that your launch content is released as swiftly as possible, leaving as little time for your previous branding to cross over, avoiding confusion with your audience.
Read one of our previous blogs for more tips and tricks to marketing and PR success : https://astleymedia.co.uk/services/5-steps-to-pr-and-marketing-success/
Track and measure brand sentiments
It’s important to stay in tune with how your customers emotionally feel about your brand.
You can look at any customer feedback, through social media posts or feedback sent straight to you. If the conversation is happy, it’s a good chance to interact with your customers and draw attention to your business.
It’s daunting to know if your rebrand has been a success, you can look into gathering further feedback to continue measuring your successes. You can send out surveys, look at website analytics, sales and more to give you an insight into how your new brand is doing.
Undertaking a rebrand most definitely isn’t a walk in the park, but hopefully this guide will be your big bright star to guide you through the process. Embrace this opportunity for a brand new chapter in your business. Good luck!