Rebranding is the process of changing the way a company is perceived. This may include a change in name, logo or slogan, but these changes are typically reflections of the rebranding, not definitions of the rebranding itself.
When you design a brand, you are trying to convey what the company does, what it stands for and what differentiates it from the competition. Your brand influences how potential customers view your company. If you decide to rebrand, the goal is to change something in the way your company is seen.
Rebranding typically falls into one of two categories: proactive and reactive
- Proactive rebranding is changing your brand to take advantage of a new opportunity… maybe you want to reach a new market segment or expand your target audience
- Reactive rebranding is changing your brand as a reaction to something that has happened. Reactive rebranding sometimes occurs as a result of legal disputes, or because a brand has become tied to something it doesn’t want to be associated with. In either of these cases, the changes caused by rebranding must go deeper than the surface level.
Like branding, rebranding should start by fostering an understanding of the company’s values and culture, and then figuring out how those values have changed and how that can be reflected in the company’s name, logo, slogan and personalised advertising
For example, if a company wanted to rebrand to include teenagers in your target audience, the change would have to start with what you are actually working on to include that target group, i.e. would a new product line be introduced?
Then those changes would be looked at external factors of the new brand. Research would have to be done to find out what types of colours, fonts and images appeal to teenagers to make the rebranding as effective as possible
All of these things fall under the umbrella of rebranding.
When is it time to do rebranding?
Rebranding is not just about the logo and tagline as most people think. It is simply more than that. Although, it doesn’t mean you need to change the whole business
If your company has been serving high quality products for a couple of years, but has still been lagging behind in the market, then the brand may need to add some sparkle to it
Rebranding is possible. Now comes the question, how would you know that it is the right time to rebrand?
You’ll know it’s time to rebrand:
When the market is evolving rapidly:
Your competition will continue to change and your company’s market position may have to change. Therefore, branding through modernisation is a key to simultaneously unlock brand success in this fast-paced competitive market.
The moment you want to change your business strategy:
When you are launching a new product or service:
These may include several positive features and arguments that the old brand cannot adequately represent.
When your brand is no longer differentiated from your competitors:
By redefining the key factors of your unique competitive advantages, you need to dive into rebranding.
You need to rebrand when your logo looks outdated:
Because a brand with an outdated logo design or a vague marketing strategy is more likely to fall in market value.
When the brand has emerged with or disassociated from another business:
Emerging or disassociating: both involve some notable changes in brand consistency, morality and diversity.
When the brand’s reputation is at risk:
Compromise on product or service quality or poor customer service management can put a brand’s reputation at risk.
When it comes to connecting with new customers to increase profitability. Rebranding allows you to stimulate brand loyalty and satisfaction among new customer segments and ensures that the brand is appropriate to their needs.
Steps to follow for rebranding
Step 1: Know the context
Has the world, your industry, your product, your funding, your customer, etc. changed? Articulate that change as clearly as possible. Articulate why it impacts your business success. Articulate why it demands urgent changes to your brand.
Step 2: Consider the cost
Rebranding requires not only introducing a new idea but replacing an old idea that may be well entrenched
If the change you identified in step 1 is clear to your audience, then the cost will be lower. If not, the costs of rebranding will be high, as you have to convince your audience that it is time to change
In either case, you will need to account for the time and resources that will be needed to build a new brand. This will be essential to get buy-in from decision-makers.
Step 3: Align your interests
If you know what has changed and what the costs of rebranding are due to this urgent change, then start aligning with internal stakeholders
Lack of alignment is one of the reasons why rebranding does not stick. Make sure all key brand stakeholders see the same changes and feel the same urgency as you do.
Step 4: Brand over and over again
Build a new brand that is appropriate for your new circumstances. Understand your audience, positioning, brand identity, etc. like any branding effort.
Step 5: Show everyone your rebranding
The rollout is key because you have to break the habit of the old brand. The rebranding must be complete at all touch points because any remnants of the old brand will be seen as a lack of commitment to the new brand.
Make a plan that includes internal and external launches and then follow up on the actions for about 6 months.
Step 6: Create a response strategy
Even if you have full alignment on your brand and rollout there will be some laggards who don’t like the change. Plan to handle the outcry and comments to your brand with public statements and have supporters ready to counter the naysayers.
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