The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Rebranding Strategy
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business’s communication plan. Your branding paints an image of what your company stands for to everyone – it can be equated to an individual’s personality. Your brand can influence many aspects of your marketing outcomes including your target audience's decisions. Ultimately, your brand is your reputation and you need it to be spot on.
Businesses make big and small changes to their brand image over time, but sometimes they decide to completely rebrand. This isn’t a bad thing to do, but there are suggested guidelines to do this while keeping your current audience. The thing about branding is once you have a brand established and a following, it can be tricky to just change up everything without a strategy. This can create fear or uncertainty for your customers, and that’s the last thing you want to do. Here are some guidelines for building a rebranding strategy that will help to keep your customers’ and followers’ peace of mind.
Establish the Reasoning Behind Your Rebrand
As we said earlier, rebranding isn’t always a negative thing. Even extremely successful companies will rebrand. In fact, 74% of the S&P 100 companies have rebranded their business in the first 7 years. People change and over time their views and mission may also expand based on experiences. The one thing you have to do is be clear on your purpose: establish the reasoning for the rebrand and what you want to accomplish. Without this, the rest of the strategy could get lost. This also defines a structure for you and your marketing team or sales team to follow when talking to customers about why the rebrand is happening. Some reasons for rebranding could be:
To separate yourself from a similar brand in your area
To appeal to new customers with a new image and mission statement
To roll out or showcase a new product or service that adjusts your firm’s identity
Your current brand no longer reflects who you are and your vision
New management is in place that has an updated or different vision
Plan a Strategy Before You Begin
Rebranding isn’t a simple task. There are many factors that go into a rebranding strategy. If you forego major components, it could backfire. A name change doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that means new logo designs, establishing a new domain, possibly varied messaging strategies, and new taglines. Another thing to consider is how this affects your website and social media. Do your current website and social profiles complement your rebrand? If you are going to do a rebrand, you have to make it cohesive with everything you have visible to the public. (This even translates to your physical space if you have a physical location or retail store.) Some things to consider for your rebranding strategy could be:
Typography and color palette
The brand aesthetic
Values, mission, and vision
Logos and taglines
Brand tone and language
Social profile messaging and posting strategies
Prepare Your Existing Customers and Be Prepared for Questions and Concerns
The key to not losing current clients during a rebrand is to keep them in the loop. Of course, you don’t have to supply them with every bit of information regarding the internal process, but the basics behind the rebrand’s goals are important to share. Planning to just launch your rebrand and not informing any of your customers first could scare them and cause a lot of questions. If they trust your current brand, it's your job to inform them that this rebrand is a positive thing and include them as part of it.
With the rebranding, there will come a lot of questions and concerns from customers. You need to address their fears head-on and reassure them of the positives. Also, keep in mind that your employees may be dealing with these concerns as well. Make sure your entire team is aware of what they could be asked and what responses they should give. You don’t want to start your rebrand off with different answers from multiple people. Some questions to be prepared for could be:
Why is the rebrand happening?
Does the rebrand change anything for current customers?
What should we expect to come in the next 6 months?
Make Your Rebrand Known and Publicize It
Keep in mind during your rebrand that no matter how small your company is and how long it's been open, people still know about it. After you’ve prepared your staff and current customers, it’s time to publicize your rebrand. Keep in mind a few things: Announcing that you are rebranding once and then just changing every post after that to match your rebrand won’t work. It is unlikely that every single person associated with your brand will see your one-time announcement. You need to take a few weeks to really push the message that your rebrand has occurred. Even though your plan is to rebrand, you don’t want your old images/logos to completely disappear right away. You need to remember that people may still currently associate you with your old brand. Take a couple of weeks to keep reminding people that your new brand is still you, just updated. Always include an adjustment period in your strategy! Some ideas to consider when publicizing:
A landing page on the old domain that directs to your new domain
2 weeks of social posts talking about the transition including introducing the new logo, new social handles, new mission statement, new colors, etc.
If you’re creating new social pages/accounts, consider posting on the old ones for a month
Email campaigns to current customers who may not have social media
There can be a lot of project chaos during the rebranding process. Out of all the craziness of rebranding, staying consistent is key. When rebranding, a lot of exciting new ideas can come your way. It’s important not to disclose anything until you are ready. Brainstorming ideas may vary day to day during the planning process. It’s completely okay to keep changing your mind while your team is working internally, but make sure it is set and solid when you are ready to publicize. This is the new you, and you want it to be consistent and right! Don’t forget, when your plans are finalized, inform all members of your company so they know how to handle it. A rebrand guide can be a great tool to compel employees to take ownership, provide guidelines on how the branding should be used, and get everyone moving in the same direction.
Even though rebranding can be a stressful task, it can also be a lot of fun! You are creating a new vision for your company and it should be an exciting time. Don’t let the stress overtake this exciting new adventure. This may feel like a lot of information and 30I90 Marketing is here to help! If you are considering rebranding, reach out to us today to see how we can make the process easier for you.