Hey you, yes you there. If you are contemplating a rebrand and you need a bit of advice to ensure it is a successful one then you are in the right place.
If you’ve decided to rebrand your company, you probably have a lot of questions about the process. It’s going to be a journey and a half I wont lie but if managed in the right way it can be an enlightening and positive experience.
Keeping in mind we want you to keep your positive pants on we have developed this list of 10 bits of cracking advice to set you on the right track.
So I suspect we are best off explaining “What exactly is rebranding?”.
The process of reshaping how a company or product is perceived is known as rebranding.
Everything from your brand name and strapline to your visual identity and logo to your marketing collateral and website can be reimagined as part of a rebranding exercise.
Rebranding is a difficult task. It takes time and lots of energy to do it right. However, these two facts do not imply that your rebranding must be ominous and overwhelming.
A rebranding initiative can be an exciting, cathartic journey with a little planning and understanding of the process. Particularly if you follow the guide we have provided for you.
The following are ten key rebranding tips for making the most of your rebranding journey and creating a compelling, cohesive, and memorable brand.
1 “Preparation prevents piss poor performance”, in other words PLAN, PLAN and PLAN
When it comes to branding, as with most things in life, preparation is essential. Given the investment that a comprehensive rebrand entails, it’s critical to plan ahead to maximise your return.
The first of our rebranding tips is straightforward: the more planning you do ahead of time, the more efficient and impactful your rebrand will be.
A good preparation strategy should look like this:
The importance of senior leadership buy-in on the value of rebranding should be prioritised in your rebranding strategy. Before the process begins, decision-makers should be made aware of the impending need for, and practical value of, a rebrand.
Following that, you’ll want to identify the internal team members who will comprise your rebranding team.
We would suggest that within this team there would be the key decision makers, marketing, sales and hr representations as well as members who deal with the end consumer face to face on a daily basis.
When senior management is involved in the rebranding process, they have a stake in brand strategy and positioning and can implement brand alignment from the top down.
The final step in rebranding preparation is to gather existing branding and marketing collateral for the rebrand’ s discovery phase. The best rebrands begin with a thorough understanding of the brand’s current positioning.
By gathering a representative sample of marketing, advertising, and public relations materials, you enable your branding agency to conduct a thorough brand audit, providing you with an invaluable assessment of your current brand’s strengths and weaknesses.
2. A lick of paint as opposed to a house renovation? Determine the Required Level of Change you wish to achieve.
The following rebranding tip is to determine what kind of change you require.
If you’re ready to rebrand, you’re probably at a point where you know something about your brand needs to be fixed but aren’t sure how serious the issue is. Do you need a complete rebranding or just a reimagining of your visual identity?
The latter is referred to as a brand refresh. A refresh is a more tactical manoeuvre that is frequently used to ensure that your brand is relevant and appealing to a evermoving marketplace.
Refreshing a brand can be a large undertaking. After all, it entails reintroducing a new visual and verbal identity across all of your marketing touchpoints.
A rebrand, on the other hand, is a comprehensive repositioning of your company. It is a fundamental reboot for businesses dealing with deep-seated issues that frequently accompany rapid growth, a change in business model, or a dramatically negative public relations incident.
When you rebrand, you are letting go of what your brand was in order to become what it can be.
If your current brand is woefully misaligned with your business strategy, or if negative brand equity is actively undermining your objectives, a rebrand is the only solution.
3. Establish a realistic budget and timeline
Next on our list of rebranding tips is to make sure you have enough time and money to do it right. A rebranding can be an expensive endeavour, but when done properly, it is always valuable.
When you consider that a rebrand should be effective for the next five to ten years, you can see why rebranding should be viewed as a long-term investment rather than a line item on your marketing budget. Any rebranding expense should be spread out over the life of the brand.
Securing sufficient funds for each phase of the initiative is one of the best practises for rebranding. A rebranding project can last up to 6 months and includes research, strategy, and brand design.
Depending on the size and complexity of your business, brand activation can take another 6 to 12 months.
In our experience the business we work with have been contemplating this process for over a year on average yet as soon as that decision has been made they want to see immediate engagement.
Why rush the process of rebranding if it will last you five to ten years? Each of the many phases involved in a rebranding takes time to complete and deserves to be done thoroughly.
Each of the appropriate steps takes time and is often dependent on the timelines of other initiatives within the business. Carefully considered positioning, a cohesive brand identity, and a comprehensive website—each of these exercises takes time.
Cutting corners in any one area is likely to compromise the quality of the rebrand, costing you more time to redo it correctly in the long run.
4. Pick your branding partner strategically.
Choosing the right branding agency is one of the most important rebranding tips. It is critical to find a partner with proven results who understands your needs and with whom you can build a trusting and longstanding relationship.
Spending time vetting multiple agencies to ensure the right fit is a worthwhile exercise (trust me). When looking for the right partner, you should consider the following questions:
Do their values and culture align to yours?
Do they guarantee the right expertise and talent?
Is their method based on rigorous, objective research?
Do they excel at creative execution across multiple media?
Do they appear agile and adaptable to the inevitable changes?
As you can see, deciding which agency to collaborate with depends on a many factors, including work quality, industry experience, and culture fit.
However, the most important question should be one of expertise. Is the agency you’re considering solely focused on rebranding? Or is it a marketing firm that offers rebranding as one of its services?
5. trust in the process
Rebranding is a four-step process, with each step being equally important. It may be tempting to skip steps in order to save time and/or money, but trust us this will only cost more in the long run.
Taking the time to go through a tried-and-tested rebranding process will ensure that the end result—your new brand—is optimised for performance and ready to withstand the test of time.
Understanding the five stages of the rebranding process—and what to expect from each of them—is one of our most important rebranding tips:
All successful branding exercises, begins with thorough, in-depth research. Brand research will help you understand how your brand is perceived by internal and external stakeholders, as well as where it fits in the competitive landscape.
The process of defining a framework that best positions your brand for differentiation and growth is known as brand strategy. During the strategy phase, foundational elements such as your brand compass, brand personality, key differentiators, and brand promise are defined and used to create your brand framework.
The identity of your brand is more than just a logo. It is the visual and verbal manifestation of the strategy phase’s positioning work. A strong visual and verbal identity will capture your brand’s defining characteristics and infuse purpose and personality into all key elements of your brand experience (website, brand messaging, marketing collateral, etc.).
Brand activation is the process of introducing your new brand to the world. It is a comprehensive initiative that goes beyond simply launching your brand. It encompasses everything from internal brand training to ongoing brand management, ensuring that your brand is consistently and cohesively executed from the inside out.
6. Examine Your Goals
Rebranding necessitates an growth mindset. It is critical to think big and look forward. However, one of the most important rebranding tips we can offer is the distinction between aspirational and unrealistic.
Finally, your brand is a promise you make to those you serve. Making good on that promise forms the basis of customer trust, which forms the basis of brand loyalty.
If your rebranding goals are too vague, you risk creating a brand that your company cannot reasonably be expected to deliver on.
Authenticity is essential. Authenticity is a term that is frequently used in the branding world. But that doesn’t make it any less significant.
When it comes to the core values of their employees and customers, the world’s most successful brands are powerfully aligned. They are also in line with the real-world strategy and goals of the company behind the brand.
These alignments are indicative of genuine brand authenticity. They are also a sign of businesses that have created realistically aspirational brands.
It’s a problem we see in many of the companies we work with. When it comes to planning their new brand, what is the appropriate level of aspiration?
The ultimate goal is to create a brand that is both aligned with your business strategy and the values of those you serve.
7. Make a Complete Commitment to the Change
A lack of commitment is one of the costliest mistakes in rebranding. The last thing you want is for your new brand to be half-arsed.
Of course, there will always be unforeseen events; they have a habit of appearing when you least expect them.
An organisational crisis, a dramatic shift in priorities, or a loss of funding—if you must abandon your rebrand due to forces beyond your control, there is no shame in putting it on hold until you are ready to commit to the change.
However, there is a “point of no return” in every rebranding project where it makes financial sense to see it through, despite external forces pushing against it.
8. Launch Your New Brand
The following rebranding tip is crucial: the launch of your new brand is not the end of the rebranding process. In fact, this is only the beginning. You’ll never get the most out of your investment if you don’t actively get your new brand in front of the eyes of your target audiences.
Brand activation, like many other aspects of a rebrand, includes both internal and external aspects.
Internally, activation entails teaching employees and other internal team members how to communicate your new brand to the rest of the world. It entails incorporating your new brand into all employee materials, using your newly defined core values in hiring decisions, and actively fostering the company culture implied by your new brand.
Externally, activation entails introducing your new brand to all of your target audiences, implementing it across marketing touchpoints, developing a brand communication strategy, and establishing ongoing brand management to ensure that your brand is consistently executed in all of its various forms.
A successful rebrand creates a new brand experience that is specifically tailored to a specific audience or audiences. However, only brand activation can ensure that those audiences actually encounter your new brand.
9. Managing expectations
The final piece of advice for rebranding your company is to know what to expect—and to keep those expectations realistic. A rebrand has numerous benefits, but it is certainly not going to fix all of your company’s problems.
Three of the most valuable benefits of a rebrand are consensus, clarity, and confidence.
For starters, rebranding allows you to finally get rid of the hazy and ill-defined tenets that underpin your brand. Key team members will clearly define and agree on foundational pillars such as purpose, mission, vision, and values.
A clearly articulated competitive differentiation is another outcome of the rebranding process. By defining the unique benefits you provide to your customers, you can make a much more compelling case for why they should choose you over the competition.
Finally, a rebrand instils confidence in you and your company. When it comes to branding, few things are more important than confidence, from leadership to frontline employees to customers themselves.
A strong and consistent brand inspires internal team members to be proud brand ambassadors. It also inspires customers to align themselves with your brand.