The emergence of new technologies and changes in consumption patterns forced many companies to renew or die. And rebranding is a good strategy in this situation.
There are many reasons why you consider rebranding. Maybe you’re planning to expand your business to other markets or you decided to attract a new target audience, or your company changed its philosophy. Whatever the reason, you must know how to manage this change in order to succeed.
What is rebranding?
Rebranding is changing the name, visual elements and values of a brand, either by making variations of the original concept or changing completely the brand identity. The purpose of rebranding is to change the opinion of customers and investors about an already established brand. It's about making the necessary changes to reconnect with a target audience, changing the brand's personality, refreshing its image, adapting to new times and the natural evolution of the business.
This usually implies the modification of the logo, design, texts, typography, ways of working, etc. However, rebranding is one of the most complicated decisions you can make because it’s expensive and sometimes, it doesn’t go well. Consequently, you must concentrate on changing what does not work or what works but could work better anyway.
When is rebranding a good choice?
For rebranding well and effectively, it is important to first study the current situation. It will help you if you ask yourself the following question: Is your brand stagnant? If you really are at a point of no progress, it is a good option, but you must take into account that you can lose your previous efforts positioning your brand. Once, you’re sure you want to refresh your brand, Just get to work.
1. To differentiate and update your brand
Almost all brands update their image throughout their lives. The goal is to change the perception of your brand in front of your audience, seeking differentiation from your competitors. Your brand may belong to a market where companies hardly differ from each other. In this case, it is a good idea to find a position that helps your company to differentiate and your value proposition must show that difference. In fact, authenticity is the main factor for 86% of customers when engaging with a brand (Oberlo). Similarly, it works when the growth and sales strategy fails to attract and retain customers.
2. When the main goal of the business changed
If your brand needs to renew according to the trends or projections of your sector, you’ll have to do the pertinent studies regarding the repositioning of your business, your products and prices, as well as the means of promotion. And remember that an inconsistent brand affects customers but employees too (Lucidpress).
3. Loss of market share
If users or consumers no longer feel identified with your brand or trends changed, you have to change key elements of your brand by rethinking your branding strategy to reach their audience in a meaningful way. An example is the return of Steve Jobs to Apple in 1997. The brand changed from “Apple Computer” to “Apple” because that allowed it to sell products other than computers such as the iPod or the iPhone, and they followed the line of “Think Different” to describe the target they wanted to reach.
4. When the company seeks to overcome geographic boundaries
Will your brand expand? Surely there are some aspects that you must modify to reach your new audience, which will imply a partial adaptation, either of your image or your products to meet the needs of local customers.
5. If the brand image resembles another
If a legal impediment arises to continue with a specific brand, either in its corporate identity or in some central aspect, rebranding is necessary. Similar visual elements in your branding may bring lawsuits, for instance, having a similar logo to your competitors may bring economic losses. So, rebranding a company to differentiate itself is a good strategy (Entrepreneur).
Just avoid thinking of rebranding as the exit to a moment of crisis or simply because of the desire to change. Your brand is one of your most valuable assets, so it is always necessary to recognize what your objectives are when applying a process of this magnitude.
6. To improve your brand’s reputation
This process depends on the life cycle of a brand. The first stage in the life of a company begins at its birth (or introduction to the market). A second stage comprises its growth path. The third is the highest part of the curve that represents its maturity, and when the line begins, the decline indicates a period in which the company could go through difficulties.
In the vast majority of cases, it’s only a facelift if a business feels outdated, stagnant, or much inferior to its competition. A mature company that begins to observe its decline has the opportunity to revive with a rebranding.
Rebranding strategy is also useful in cases in which a company earned a bad reputation and it’s better to start from scratch. But, it’s useless to change the image if you don’t change your brand’s behavior. This is the case of McDonald’s, which was widely criticized for how unhealthy its "gastronomic" offer was. They turned green and expanded their menu, also selling salads and they did it because almost all customers (94%) keep their loyalty to transparent brands (Zimmercommunications) and 31% of customers believe trustworthiness is the main quality to choose a brand (Venngage).
How to make a successful rebranding of a company
To carry out a successful rebranding strategy, it’s necessary to start with the goals of your brand. Once you are clear about what you are looking for, you must define whether a total or partial renovation is enough. In any case, here you have some tips to help you during the rebranding process:
1. Know your brand and define it clearly
Establish the complete history of your business, but be clear about its trajectory to detect each of its stages and especially, to recognize the stage of decline. Also, define the unique value proposition compared to the competition to keep the difference in mind and express it in the rebranding work. Knowing the trajectory of the company will help you define the next restoration objectives, as well as the actions to take to redirect the corporate identity.
2. Know your target audience
When you throw a dart you know where you want to hit, and the same goes for a rebranding campaign. You need to know not only your target but also know how to reach it. That’s why a market analysis will help you discover how you have felt about the brand and what you expect from it.
- Ask your customers to find out in more detail the current effects caused by the presentation of your brand, and to measure the previous impact that the changes you want to make will have.
- Study your competition. Look at the design, images and fonts they follow to attract customers. Don't copy, just watch to get good ideas and see what is working in your Industry.
- Try without fear. Experiment without fear of making mistakes. The beauty of rebranding is trying all kinds of combinations until you find one that you really love.
- Listen to your customers. They can tell you what they want and what they would like. Pay attention to their requests, complaints and wishes. Ask for their opinion. The more people give you their opinion, the more points of view you will have, which will help you decide. Don't make the mistake of working alone or with a small team of people.
In short, rebranding will renew your brand and relaunch it like a rocket, but nobody said it was an easy process, since it requires carefully studying the market.
3. Make a list of priorities and a budget
This process will take time, work and money, so you should review what is the main objective of your business and calculate how much investment this project needs. There is no room for failure.
4. Prepare earnings projection
It's time to put all your skills on the table. Prepare a projection showing growth rates, comparisons of resources used in the past, and acceptance rates with other success stories. In addition, indicate the investment cost and highlight the benefits it will bring to the company.
5. Create a new concept
Develop a design project with the help of a creative team that manages to capture the ideas that adequately represent your brand. If it is a change in the way of working, you can establish, for example, new customer service protocols to build better relationships or create better environments for employees. In an image rebranding, don't forget that your visual content must have the best quality you can get. Adapt all assets to your logo, on the web, on the packaging or other audiovisual materials that give identity to the brand.
6. Communicate at the right time and medium
Establish when and how to deliver the message, so it is vital that you make a communication plan that includes digital marketing. When you already have a campaign plan structured, what you must define is the way or means in which you want to show the new changes.
… And this is only the tip of the iceberg!
Undoubtedly, rebranding is a strategy that, although it is valuable as a last resort, is very beneficial. It is not just a makeover. Your brand is the reflection of your business’ philosophy.
As you can see, this strategy is convenient and favorable if you execute it the right way, with a high organizational capacity and thoroughness in each step, without neglecting users and the target audience. Before taking each step, ask yourself: "What will the audience think of this?"
At PUNCHY, we are experts in branding. Contact us, you’ll be in good hands.