Is it time to rebrand?
Branding is essential to any business’s success. A business with an effective, powerful brand elicits strong emotions from customers and employees and inspires trust and loyalty. It’s not only the image associated with your business, but it’s also the quality that defines how a customer perceives your business and the value it can provide for them.
Sometimes a business needs to change its branding, however. Whether it’s because of a merger or acquisition or to target a new audience, businesses often need to adapt to stay competitive in the market. For us, the need to rebrand stemmed from a desire to create more opportunities for people who are unable to work in a traditional office environment. We realized through some very fortunate hires that there’s a lot of talent out there waiting to be discovered if you are willing to be creatively flexible. We did a bunch of research and set a goal of becoming a B-Corp, or purpose driven business. To create the inclusive and adaptive environment we envisioned, it was best to hone our focus on what we do best- writing killer content. In the previous years we had focused on small business marketing packages, so we really had no choice but to rebrand.
There’s a lot involved in rebranding, but when done right it will bring your business closer to your goals and help accelerate your growth. Here’s some of what we’ve figured out, oftentimes the hard way, in our rebranding process.
Signs You Need to Rebrand
Before embarking on rebranding, consider your reasons for doing it to be sure it’s the right choice for your business. Here are some of the most common signs you should consider rebranding:
- Your brand name no longer reflects your vision.
- Your brand is outdated or unoriginal.
- Your brand isn’t distinctive or memorable.
- Your brand message is confusing or complicated.
- Your business model has changed.
- Your business is experiencing a merger or acquisition.
- Your business has outgrown your brand.
- Your business has moved or expanded.
- Your brand has a negative image.
- You’re targeting a new audience.
- You’re not attracting the right talent.
- You’re struggling to raise your prices.
Partial Rebranding or Full Rebranding?
Once you decide to rebrand, you should consider whether your business needs a full overhaul or a partial brand refresh. Partial rebrands happen quite often in the business world, but a full rebrand is something that only occurs a few times over the course of a business’s life.
As the name suggests, a partial rebrand is changing one or more aspects of the company’s image, such as the logo or messaging. This is primarily done to change the way a business is perceived by its audience.
Full rebranding, on the other hand, involves a full overhaul of the entire brand. On occasion, this may even mean changing the name or the core focus, and this process is a lot more complex than partial rebranding.
With either partial or full rebranding, here are the steps to ensure successful rebranding:
Step 1: Introspection
Successful rebranding starts with awareness. Before you develop the different aspects of your brand, you should know the answers to the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you provide?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- Why are you rebranding?
- What makes you special?
The answers to these questions help you develop your brand’s story and will guide the rest of the rebranding process.
Step 2: Market Research
Your business’s market position will help you develop your brand strategy. This is a description of where your business fits into the current market, which will drive your rebranding decisions. If necessary, research your market more to be sure you can support your market position.
Define your target audience and ideal customer using feedback from your current customers. You may want to appeal to the same audience, or branch out to an entirely new audience, but it should be separated into groups to help you understand who you’re trying to reach.
The best way to understand your audience is by asking them. You can use surveys, polls and focus groups to get opinions about your brand story, reputation and products from your current audience. This will help you align your new brand with your target audience.
Step 3: Find Your Brand Identity
Define unique selling points and use them as focal points for the rebranding. For example, how are you better than competitors? What do you pride yourself on? How do you want to be perceived by your customers?
As you develop your brand identity, keep in mind that you can’t appeal to everyone. This part of the process is about finding your ideal buyer and appealing to them.
Step 4: Redefine Brand Touchpoints
Brand touchpoints are any point at which a customer interacts or communicates with your business. Touchpoints are normally designed to engage the customer and provide them with the best possible brand experience, so they’re a vital part of rebranding.
Regardless of how big or small your touchpoints are, they need to:
- Clearly represent your brand
- Stand out to your customers
- Motivate your customers to take action
During rebranding, you should consider the impression your touchpoints make and whether they fit in with your new brand identity. If you’re hoping to target a new audience with your new brand, consider how the touchpoints will work for them and if the touchpoints differentiate your business from your competitors.
Here are the two main brand touchpoints to consider:
1. Online Presence
Your website is a vital part of your business development and communication. It not only tells your audience your own unique brand story, but it’s also the place where a prospective customer or employee can learn about what you have to offer.
2. Marketing Collateral
At this point in your strategy, you should list all your marketing materials that need rebranding. This could include websites, flyers, signs, blogs, posters, business cards and anything else that is used to represent your brand. These materials are used to communicate your message, so it’s important that they align with your strategy.
Step 5: Create a Cohesive Team
Your employees are vital to your rebranding success, so it’s important to be sure they’re on board. Get feedback from employees at different stages of the rebranding process to see if your new brand image aligns with your mission and values.
Once the rebranding is complete, have an internal launch party to drum up excitement about the changes. This will not only let your employees know that you’re considering them in this process, but it will also help to turn them into brand ambassadors.
If you intend to include new products or services with your rebranding, it’s vital that your employees have the proper training to feel confident in your offerings.
Step 6: Going Public
When you’re ready to go public with the new brand, make it quick and definitive. Transitioning slowly from your old brand to your new brand is only going to confuse your customers, and it’s unlikely to help you attract new ones. Ideally, the new brand launch should take place over the course of a few days.
Your public launch is also an opportunity to gain publicity and engage with both existing and prospective customers. Social media and email are great tools to generate excitement and anticipation for your new launch.
During this process, you should also give your customers an explanation for your rebranding that focuses on how it will benefit them. Transparency and trust are important to customers, so they’re less likely to embrace your rebranding effort if it happens out of nowhere.
Step 7: Feedback
After launching your new brand, be sure to get feedback from your target audience to assess the impact of rebranding and continue to improve. You should continue to monitor your business performance as well to see how it influences your revenue.
Rebranding can be time-consuming and complex, but it’s a fresh start for your business that can lead you to success. Done correctly, it can reinvigorate your customers and help you attract a new audience to accelerate your business growth and profits.