Rebranding isn’t for the faint at heart.
First of all, it takes guts to realize that what you’re currently doing isn’t working, and it takes even more guts to decide to do something about it.
While a lot of people will just close up shop and go on to the next, there are a blessed few who refuse to let their dream die. So they re-adjust, refocus and rebrand to better reflect what the market wants.
If you’re among that number, you’ll need to think strategically about how to reinvent yourself. Let’s discuss what you need to know.
1. Pinpoint Why You Need a Rebrand
Research why your original brand didn’t fit the audience, and use that to inform your rebranding strategy. To do this, you need to do two things:
Reach out to customers (past and present). Consider forming a focus group to find out what works and what doesn’t work.
Your customers are usually happy to help, if you make it easy for them to participate. Respect their time and ask specific questions to get the answers you need.
Take a look at your nearest competitors. Determine what they’re doing right and where they may be missing the mark.
Use this knowledge as a starting point for brainstorming your rebrand. Perhaps you can reposition your business to answer a problem that no one else has thought of.
2. Have a Plan
Don’t start rebranding without planning it all out in precise detail.
After you’ve researched and brainstormed, come up with a solid plan for how you’re going to unveil your new brand.
How will you (re)introduce your brand to your employees, to your current customers, to your prospective customers and to the press?
While you may not roll out your brand all at one time, you’ve got to have an idea of what that final roll out will look like.
Develop a strong brand identity. This includes logo, web design, color schemes, tone and voice. Create an identity that’s consistent with the message you’d like to convey, whether it’s trust, honesty, relatability, freshness, compassion or some other idea.
3. Galvanize Your Employees Behind Your Rebrand
Sometimes, employees are the last to know about a rebrand. That’s not good for morale, and it engenders the same type of feelings you may get from your current customers. The last thing you want is for your employees to feel confused, alienated or even left out of the revitalization of the brand.
You want your employees to be excited and energized about therebrand.
So, instead of discussing the rebranding campaign behind closed doors, get your employees involved early on. Even before you even have a solid direction of where you’d like to go, why not invite your employees to the conversation.
4. Don’t Scrap It All
Although you are reimagining the brand, that doesn’t mean you should throw away everything. There may be some parts of the old brand that you can save, and maybe even amplify.
For example, let’s say you’ve created a brand voice that resonates well with your audience. Perhaps it’s laid-back and conversational. Instead of scrapping that tone for a completely new one, develop it more.
Rebranding isn’t just about reinventing, it’s also about understanding what works and emphasizing that.
5. Build It For The People
Jazz Bezos once said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
While you can build a business that you’re proud of, the brand’s reputation is ultimately in the perception of your customers— both prospective and otherwise.
For this reason, it’s so important to build a brand that is deeply human and relatable.
People trust other people. People want to buy from other people.
People don’t trust soul-less corporations. And people don’t want to buy from big businesses that care more about the bottom line than they do about the customers.
6. Brace Yourself for the Fallout
Your current audience won’t be a fan of the change, even if it’s for the better. Most people don’t like change, especially if they’ve grown accustomed to a certain design.
The best way to minimize this fallout is by getting your current audience to participate in the change. Get them involved in the conversation. For example, ask them which logo or color scheme they prefer.
If necessary, be sure to create a bridge, too. For example, if you’re revamping the product with the rebrand, make sure that your current customers know how to use it. Create and distribute educational materials just for your loyal customers so that you don’t lose them in the process of the rebrand.
7. Create a Cohesive Appearance Across All Platforms
The new brand image should be everywhere. Don’t just roll out the new logo on the website and not have it on social media pages, too. Not only will this confuse your customers, it also makes the brand look disjointed.
Be sure to have the same logos, colors and brand voice in the following places:
- Your website (including your blog)
- Your social media pages and profiles:
- Other social media platforms you’re on
- Your email signature
- Your business cards
- Your letterhead
- Printed literature
- Online directories
- Online advertisements
- Signage (marketing and educational)
Of course, this is only a basic list. The point is that you should have a consistent presence both online and offline.
8. Go All Out with Your Rebranding Campaign
You’ve dedicated so much time (and money) to rebranding the business. Once it’s ready to launch, launch it with gusto!
Do an internal launch
Host a company-wide party for your employees. Invite everyone on your team, and give out rewards such as T-shirts. By doing this, you build excitement around the new launch and promote good will.
It will also make employees feel like they’re part of new vision you have for the business. It’s so important to make your employees feel valued and considered.
Do an external launch
Contact news outlets and bloggers way ahead of the launch. Share with them a compelling story of why you decided to rebrand and what’s new and unique about the new brand.
Host a launch party. Invite everyone you know, including influencers in your industry. Just like you did with your internal launch, make it a festive event that celebrates this new phase of the company.
9. Hire a Professional
Rebranding is tough work, and something you definitely need help with rolling out. If you’d like to create a successful rebranding campaign, we can help.