Is your current brand getting a bit stale? Is it not connecting with consumers the way it used to? Are your competitors evolving their brands and leaving you behind? Has your corporate structure, culture, or business direction changed sufficiently so that your brand identity doesn’t seem to align anymore?
These are all good reasons to engage in a rebranding effort. If your customers aren’t really understanding who you are anymore, and the marketplace is punishing you for it, it’s likely time to take a hard look at what you say about yourself and make some modifications.
However, rebranding isn’t a process that should be taken lightly. Depending on the depth of the changes needed, a proper effort involves quite a bit of work and soul-searching. It requires you to examine your current brand identity in painstaking detail to determine which elements are still working, and which need refreshing. It’s a process that splays open the heart of your business and requires brutal honesty to be effective.
However, all of this effort is necessary and can pay huge dividends for the future of your company. A successful rebrand can help jettison baggage which is weighing you down. It can reinvigorate your identity, both internally and with your customers, creating a groundswell of excitement that can hurtle you past any current plateaus you may be stuck on. Just be ready for the process and be prepared.
Rebranding is Far More Than Simply Designing a New Logo
Your logo is only one element of your brand, albeit one of the most visible pieces. Rebranding also includes applying fresh eyes to all of your marketing collateral, your brand narrative, your internal brand dialogues, and the conversations your customers have about you.
If you think about brand identity as you would a personal identity, simply changing your hairstyle isn’t likely to influence the way people understand you very much. If you want people to radically change the way they define you and see you in a new light you need to update your overall style, the way that you talk about yourself, your priorities, and your overt values. You need to redefine for yourself who you are, believe it thoroughly, and then communicate those changes effectively and consistently.
This is why it’s so critical to approach rebranding with very specific goals in mind. You need to define precisely what’s wrong with your current branding, exactly what you expect to get out of modifying and updating it, how you plan to enact the required changes and then how you’ll communicate them effectively to consumers. Otherwise, you risk making unnecessary changes that can cost you goodwill without a counterbalancing gain.
It’s important to remember that rebranding success isn’t guaranteed. There are inherent risks to the process. Minor updates are generally easy to gain buy-in for from your customers, but if you’re engaging in a major rebranding, there’s a chance your customers won’t accept the new you. They may not have had the problems with your original identity you thought they did. Or your new identity might not feel genuine. It’s also possible that your current branding isn’t your problem, and changing it could do more harm than good.
This is why it’s so important to engage an experienced design firm when considering starting this process. They can help determine if poor or outdated branding is truly your issue, and if so, how deep the overhaul you needs to go, and how best to accomplish your goals.
How You Should Prepare for Rebranding
The goal of any rebranding effort is to convince consumers and your internal teams that who you were isn’t who you are now. You need to make people believe that the changes you’re making actually better align who you say you are, and how people perceive you, with who you really are as an organization. When you’re successful, people will accept that the new brand you’re establishing is actually who you’ve always been.
To get there takes thorough preparation. Here are a few of the most important steps you can take before embarking on the journey.
Make Sure the Likely Gains Outweigh the Risks
Be certain you actually need to rebrand and give careful consideration to just how far you need to go. It’s important to be very clear about why you and your team feel a rebrand is necessary. Major revisions are more disruptive and more prone to failure. If you don’t really need a complete overhaul, don’t engage in one.
However, if your brand is flagging badly, or your organization has changed enough that your current branding isn’t a good fit any more than it’s likely that the risks involved in not rebranding are greater than those in going through the process.
Create an Internal Rebranding Team
Rebranding is a cooperative process. Your design firm will do the heavy lifting in terms of creating your new brand, but they are going to be relying on key members of your staff to help them understand who you are as a company. Your internal team will engage in the difficult process of breaking down your current identity and deciding where it no longer feels representative.
It’s important to select people from every department likely to be impacted by the new branding, including HR, marketing, sales, and other key departments. You want a variety of perspectives in order to be sure every facet of your new identity is considered. It’s also critical to get buy-in from every department, including the C-suite before you begin.
The first task your new branding team should work on is determining the goals you’re hoping to achieve. They should create measurable objectives, and clearly elucidate them so that you know what you’re shooting for and can accurately gauge the success or failure of the effort.
Gather Your Current Marketing Collateral
Your design firm will need this to perform their initial brand audit. Through this audit, they’ll learn the current state of your brand, what’s working and what isn’t, how consumers and internal staff perceive you, and how you’re positioned among your competitors. This is a crucial step in determining the width of the gap between how your brand is currently performing, and how it should be doing.
Additionally, even light rebranding usually involves making changes to marketing messages and the visual language employed in your marketing efforts, so it’s important to understand exactly what needs to change.
Select a Strong Design Firm with a Proven Track Record
There’s a lot at stake when you engage in a rebrand, so finding the right partner is critical. You want a design firm that understands what you do and has a holistic view of your brand, and how it fits into the competitive landscape. You want to be sure they’ve had success with businesses like yours in the past, and with major rebrands generally.
Let us be that design firm for you. Within the industries that we serve, we are market experts. We can dissect your current brand and tell you exactly where it’s lacking and suggest effective strategies for building a new identity that will reinvigorate your whole organization. We know we can be successful because we have been successful, repeatedly and consistently.
Don’t worry if this all seems overwhelming. We’ll guide you and your team down the path so that the work you’re doing on your end perfectly complements the work we’re doing, helping to realize all the benefits you’re expecting from the process.
So, if we had only one sentence to sum up everything you needed to do to give yourself the best shot at a successful rebranding it would be, “Give us a call.”