Every company starts out with a winning strategy. Over time though, things change and what started out as your brand no longer reflects who you are and what you offer. This can be for a number of different reasons, your company could be suffering from a bad reputation and it's time to make a change to turn this around. Your target audience may have changed and you want to align your business branding with the new audience that you've discovered. These are just a couple of reasons why you might want to rebrand your business. A true rebrand means much more than simply changing your logo, changing your name or redesigning your website - it's a complicated process that requires a lot of time and effort to execute perfectly.
If you're ready to rebrand your company then follow this expert guide and you'll be on the right path to gaining new customers and achieving more success.
FOCUS ON THE BIG PICTURE:
One main problem that companies can have when they're rebranding is that they get lost in the mythology of the story behind their brand assets. Branding experts are fantastic at telling a story through design but it's important to remain continually focused on the bigger picture. You might want to redesign your company from top to bottom but it's important to remember that the majority of your customers aren't going to pay attention to every tiny detail of your company's new logo.
Take a look at some of the most successful companies in the world; Google, Apple, Tesco, Amazon, etc., their logos aren't a complex design which is full of different, hidden meanings and this helps to make them easily recognisable to their customers.
One concept that many people fail to realise is that branding is as much about what you are not as it is about what you are. Many businesses fail to narrow in on what makes them special, what makes them unique and what makes them stand apart from other companies within the same sector. It's easy to forget about this and focus on including all of your customers and all of the markets that you operate in and then you end up with a brand that blends in with everyone elses and it's easily overlooked.
As Robert Sprague, President and CEO of PCI, said: "A brand that means everything is a brand that means nothing."
HIRE AN EXPERT:
Often when you're thinking about rebranding an entire company, you or your employees are too close to your brand to make a truly objective decision. For this reason, hiring a consultant, even if it's only for a short term project, can help you get an unbiased opinion which will be invaluable when you're moving forward.
By hiring a consultant, you're not only getting an objective opinion but you're also hiring an expert who will be able to understand your customers and understand what kind of branding will appeal to them and reflect them as well. This kind of advice will help your customers to identify with you much easier and it will make your rebranding a complete success.
THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE:
One of the biggest challenges for any company is understanding who their audience is and then identifying their customers. This is especially important when you're rebranding your company and you need to ask questions such as: "What new audiences are you trying to reach and who already loves your brand?", are you looking to attract new customers? Appeal to a new audience? Re-excite your current audience? When you're rebranding, it's important to gain attention for new look and feel while not losing your core customers who have held your bottom line intact this far.
STRATEGIZE YOUR ANNOUNCEMENT:
Many companies focus solely on the rebrand and then don't take the time to consider how and when they're going to announce the rebrand to the world. Developing this strategy is important and it's crucial to remember that people don't have an opinion on names and logos. Instead, they care about how the rebrand is going to impact on them and their experience with your company.
At the same time, it's not uncommon for people to fight against change. It's important to make sure that you're not leaving behind things which people appreciated the most about your company. That's why it's incredibly important to articulate that the change won't remove all of the positive aspects of you, instead they'll be getting the parts that they love plus new and exciting benefits.
MAKE SURE THAT IT'S LEGAL:
Throughout the years, many business owners have made the vital mistake of choosing a name or a logo with different branding efforts such as signs, websites, logos, workwear, etc., when they don't know who else might be using a similar name or logo. Consulting with trademark lawyers and conducting a search report done on the name and logo is one of the most essential steps that a business can take while they're going through a process of branding and rebranding.
CONSIDER USING SOCIAL MEDIA:
When deciding to change the name of a company, it's important to consider what implications this could have on your social media. How could this impact you? If you've decided to use a name that is already used by someone else, then it's possible that they could have also registered the names on their social media accounts which means that you won't have access to them.
This means that you could end up creating names on social media which don't reflect your actual company name and this could give your customers a bad user experience if they're going from one name on social media to a different name on your website. While this may not seem like a big issue now, it's important to think about how your customers will feel when this happens to them. It's also important to make sure that the domain name is available as well as you want to make sure that it's directing your traffic to a website URL and a company name that matches otherwise your customers will potentially leave your site as they don't see it as being trustworthy. Not only could this affect your sales figures, but it can also affect the bounce rate of your website which could potentially have a negative impact on your Google rankings.
DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING OUTDATED:
When it comes to rebranding, it's important to make sure that everything is rebranded. Do not leave traces of your old logo or design behind as it looks incredibly unprofessional and it could lead to your customers leaving as they don't have trust in your brand. When your customers see your new logo in one place and your old logo in another, they get the impression that your company is disorganised which gives them a negative impression of you.
This means that they won't trust your services or your products as, if you can't get your branding right, how are you going to be able to get their order right?
The compete rebranding doesn't stop at online assets either - it's important to make sure that all of your custom work uniforms are rebranding, the signs outside your building, where applicable new business cards are printed and anything else that may contain your old logo or design.
DON'T SURPRISE YOUR CUSTOMERS:
When you're going through a major change, it's important to let your customers, and your audience, know that something big is currently happening. Make sure that your social media team regularly updates your social media channels and that you send newsletters to your customers to inform them of the change. Don't catch them off guard. When rebranding is confirmed, start laying the ground work straight away by letting your audience know that you have something special coming in the future. Don't leave it there though, announce that the change is coming a couple of weeks before you roll out the complete change as well.
This way, you ensure that anyone who visits your site are certain that they're in the right place and that they haven't landed on someone elses website by mistake. It's also an excellent way to create engagement with your audience as you can ask for their feedback on the redesign to build better relationships with your audience and this will typically translate into more loyalty which will result in more sales in the future.
KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES WELL INFORMED:
It's crucial to ensure that your employees are kept in the loop when it comes to a new approach, vision and position. This doesn't mean that you have to email everyone in the company at the same time to let them know what's happening. Instead, it means educating your workforce on the rebrand and getting them on-board from the very-start. After the understand the reasons behind the rebrand it's then easier to get them to align with you towards a common goal and purpose and ensure that there is no confusion while the rebrand is taking place.
Are you thinking about rebranding your company? Why not read my useful guide on finding out the best time to rebrand your company?