The Art of the Rebrand

Cassie Smith

Just like everything else in this world, your business can change. And, quite frankly, it should. Your customers’ needs, your business goals, popular culture, and technology will continually alter your business. There’s just no way a company can stay exactly the same and stay viable over many years.

Some of these changes are small and don’t necessarily impact business positioning. Others are so big they may require a rebranding effort. These changes may include:

  • A merger
  • A need to better communicate who you are
  • A need to better establish your unique selling propositions
  • A significant expansion
  • An addition of new products or services
  • A realization branding is inconsistent

To communicate any of the above changes, rebranding will take much more than redesigning a logo. It’s a chance for your company to make strategic changes to its identity. It’s an opportunity to share your philosophy and differentiators, and connect with consumers in a new way.

If you’re considering rebranding your business, read the following.

Do Some Damn Research 
Market research is essential to the success of your rebrand. Where do you stack up against your competition? I don’t mean where you think you stack up, or where you hope you’ll someday stack up, but how you actually compare when you place your company shoulder to shoulder with your competition.

Once you learn that, you need to look at what other companies are doing. Look at what they’re doing well, what they’re doing poorly, what you admire, what you’d like to borrow, and what you know you’d toss to the wayside.

Then determine what your company does well or differently than anyone else.  How can you utilize the rebrand to better illustrate these differentiators?

It’s also important to talk about what your company doesn’t do so well, and how you think a rebrand would help change it. A rebrand can help you establish not only the place you are now, but also the future state of your business.
Talk to Your Employees
Your brand should also reflect your company’s culture. Who better to help you understand your culture in practice than your employees? If you’re not always in touch with the day-to-day movement of your business, you may be unaware of how company culture impacts your brand. So, it’s a good idea to talk to your employees.

And by employees, I don’t mean just Senior VPs and the like. Speak to administrative assistants and lower-level staff. Each person, no matter how small his or her role is, will have an impact on culture. Each person will also be able to tell you how it feels to come to work each day. Your employees may also have a good understanding of how consumers view your brand, culture, and identity.

Your employees are also invested in your business. They may have valuable insight into how to position it.

Update Copy
Use your rebranding effort as an opportunity to rethink what copy needs updating. Depending on the significance of the changes in your business, your mission statement, value propositions, and taglines may need to be updated.

You know your customers best, so you should know the proper tone and style that both matches your brand and speaks to your audience in the right way. Although most consumers probably won’t research your company’s mission statement, it’s important your overall business messaging is consistent with the outward facing brand. Everything should feel similar and should represent your company in the right way.
Design Thoughtfully
A rebrand does not necessarily mean you need to entirely redesign your logo. Maybe all you need is to simplify, or just bring a contemporary feel to an old logo. Whatever the case, your logo needs to help illustrate your overall goal for the rebrand and the future of your business.

Your logo should feel current, but should also age well. If the design or typeface is too trendy, you may find yourself out of style in a couple years. But, if you stick too closely to your original look, your consumers may not know anything is different.

Consider bold and conservative design strategies. Keep your competition, differentiators, and business culture in mind as you’re selecting. Your logo may be the very first thing a consumer notices and, depending on your business, what they remember best.

Execute Strategically
The history and popularity of your business has lain the foundation what we marketers like to call “brand equity,” or, in other words, the value of your brand based on consumers’ perception of your company—it’s what people think about when they think about your brand.

If you like your brand equity and feel it’s an important part of your future, then it needs to be protected. A smart execution plan should tease your updated branding while helping to retain the brand equity at the same time.

You can do this by keeping the most valuable aspects of your historical brand at the forefront of your new story. For example, if an important part of your business equity is that you’re homegrown, make sure it’s part of how you message your updated brand.

It’s also important to be tactical in how you announce your rebrand. Utilize all of your communication channels—email, social media, and signage—to hype the change and tell your new story.
Once you rebrand, use it consistently. It does you no good to use various logos. To ensure the success of your rebrand, stick to it.

Remember Your Purpose
As you move along in your process, it’s easy to get caught in the weeds. Although those details are important, it’s imperative to remember why you’ve decided to rebrand in the first place.
Keeping the purpose—and therefore the goal—at the front of your mind through the whole process will help you stay on track and moving forward.

Want some help with your company’s rebrand? Give us a shout! whatsup@116andwest.com