When does a company need to rebrand? The answer is “it depends” – but first it’s important to consider how the company has evolved over time and ask the following questions:
- Is the business continuously growing?
- Are new products or services being offered?
- Is the logo outdated?
- Could the current brand do a better job at accurately reflecting the company’s values?
- Has there been any bad press recently?
If the answer was “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to rebrand!
Rebranding is an exciting (and emotional) process. It is a chance to create a fresh and up-to-date image. However, a rebrand takes time and strategic planning to be successful.
A rebrand process includes several major steps, highlighted below.
How well do you REALLY know your brand? When beginning the rebranding process, it is imperative to look at the existing brand from not only a conceptual perspective, but a visual perspective as well. It is essential to understand how the company is perceived by:
- internal team members
- company leadership
- brand advocates
- general public
- and any other key audience
This research is helpful because it determines how the market views the company and what differentiators set it apart from the competition. A full understanding of these factors will help build a powerful brand that is both credible and authentic.
What’s the competition’s key message and what marketing tactics do they use? A competitive analysis can help uncover these points which could also impact the success of the rebrand. By taking a closer look at a competitor’s websites, social media and logo, a better understanding of how their audience perceives them is gained. It is key that the new brand persona being created stands out from competition to get the company noticed. By understanding what the competition is doing, distinctive messaging and marketing materials can be developed to get results that meet the strategic objectives.
Brand Positioning and Buyer Persona
Who are the target audiences and what messages appeal most to them? The next step in the rebranding process is developing messaging that will reach and attract these target audiences. Messages should be compelling, striking the audience on both a rational and emotional level. Now is the time to develop buyer personas, find their pain points and speak directly to them.
Colors, fonts and design choices all play a vital role in a brand’s visual identity. The logo, color palette, and textures act as the foundation to the “feel” of the brand. Sometimes a logo refresh is all that is needed. (In other cases, a new color palette or an updated font will better match the company’s positioning and reputation.) When evaluating the current logo, it is essential to be honest and look at the brand from all sides – the good, the bad and the ugly. Having a strong understanding of who the brand truly is, how it is presented and the strategic direction is vital in identifying a logo that fits.
Once the rebranding is finalized, it is time to roll it out. Prior to rollout, review what inventory showcases the logo (i.e. letterhead, business cards, signage, website and social media profile images), and create a list of what needs to be updated. If the old and new logo are being used simultaneously, it can create confusion and send mixed messages to target audiences. Creating a timeline at the beginning of the rebranding process can help phase the old brand out at the launch of the new brand.
GRIT strongly recommends launching the brand internally first. When launching internally, explain the “why” behind the change before reaching out to customers and prospects. This will ensure everyone is speaking with one voice and the message being carried out externally by employees is consistent.
When launching externally, it’s a good time to showcase your company strongly throughout all communication vehicles whether that is an appreciation party for valuable clients; an open house for the community; a campaign on social media around the rebrand; offering employees discounts or “company cash” to purchase company-branded clothing; an internal email campaign; a donation to a charitable organization to celebrate the rebrand; or writing a letter to all customers to share the excitement around the launch. Take advantage of this moment to continue to build awareness and the company’s reputation!
Deciding to rebrand is not a decision to make overnight. It should be calculated with purpose and a complete understanding of the process. We know as we recently underwent our own rebrand to highlight our values and what we are known for as we’ve evolved over the years. Our team at GRIT can provide professional advice and conduct a brand audit to give you an outside view of your business and an analysis of your overall brand image. And if you should find you are ready for change—we are here for that too! Contact us today at 717.885.0014!