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Rebranding Your Business

A new name, a new logo, new visuals, and, the marketer hopes, a new customer base: Rebranding changes the associations with your business in the minds of your customers.

Whether you're rebranding to promote a new product line, freshen up your look, or going for a complete brand overhaul, there are a lot of components of a rebranding strategy to understand if you want to keep your existing clients while also expanding to a new market.

Let's go through the rebranding process so you can make sure you get the most out of your rebrand.

What does it mean to rebrand your business?

Rebranding is creating a new identity for your business in the minds of your customers, your competitors, your prospects, your investors, your employees, and at large.

Experienced marketers know that everything visual about your company, the totality of your brand identity, is essential to your success.

First impressions are very important. Neuromarketing tells us that it only takes seven seconds to develop an opinion of a brand. Sometimes, that is just enough time to take in your logo and maybe the image of a product. You usually don't get a second chance.

User experience is also an important part of developing brand loyalty. Even if your product or service is great, if a customer struggles to buy it, they might not complete the purchase out of frustration. Bad website design can doom your business from the start, and sometimes rebranding is necessary for starting over.

Brand logos are more memorable than advertising. If your brand is unmemorable, your ad campaigns won't work.

Today, you also need to add social media to your brand strategy. You can build customer loyalty to your brand before their first purchase if they have a positive experience with you on social media. If you did not take social media into account in your brand strategy, a rebrand is a great opportunity to launch accounts.

Branding is very important to financial success, and most companies devote 5% to 10% of their budget just to maintain their brand. But that doesn't mean that they always get it right.

Some companies rebranded their rebrands when they receive significant backlash about their new logos. Other companies rebranded after a scandal to give themselves a fresh start.

But if you need to rebrand, that doesn't mean you are doing anything especially wrong. You just need to improve your image.

Why would you rebrand your business?

A company might decide to rebrand itself for many reasons, both positive and negative.

Companies rebrand when they expand their product lines

Suppose you built a thriving online business printing photos onto coffee mugs, and you wanted to expand your business to selling custom-printed T-shirts and framed photos. Your new brand should reflect your expanded offerings.

Companies rebrand to overcome bad reputation

Sometimes businesses get a bad reputation after an event that was not their fault. Sometimes businesses get a bad reputation after an event that was their fault. Either way, rebranding helps them reset their public image and regain trust with a different set of customers.

In these situations, just changing your name is not enough. You will need to take a fresh look at your business strategy.

Companies rebrand when their mission evolves

Pabst Blue Ribbon was once a popular, inexpensive brand of beer in the United States. Have you ever heard of it?

If you live in China, you probably have. Pabst Blue Ribbon is now a premium brand of beer in China.

Companies rebrand when they are acquired by other companies or when they take on partners.

They might also rebrand when they decide to go after a different market segment, for instance, deciding to go after the luxury market instead of sticking with bargain basement products. Companies rebrand when they start serving a different location.

Rebranding can sometimes be a bad idea

But there are also times when it is not a good idea to rebrand.

  • New owners. Rebranding is not a good way for new owners to make their mark. This is a frequent challenge in family businesses when a new generation takes over. The new management makes its own brand, but at the cost of the brand loyalty the company has accumulated over many years.
  • Just because. Rebranding is not an outlet for boredom. Managers who find advertising too easy should focus on reducing the cost of goods sold or improving service, not changing the way their customers regard their brand.
  • PR crisis. Rebranding is usually not a good way to deal with a public relations crisis. Even after the company has rebranded, memories of the troublesome event may linger, while goodwill built by the brand is lost.

When you rebrand, you need to be all in

Just changing your company's name or logo without changing the way it relates to the public will cause a lot of confusion.

Are there risks to a business rebranding?

There are some predictable problems with rebranding your business.

  • You have to build customer loyalty all over again with a different set of customers.
  • As you are rebuilding your brand, your sales may go down. Old customers won't recognize you, and new customers will still need to be won.
  • For companies rebranding to overcome PR problems, you are working to reduce awareness of your old brand. Don't be surprised that it takes time to become aware of your new brand.
  • And the most important thing to remember is that half-measures don't work. You will appear more authentic, consistent, and reliable, at least in the long run, if you change your visuals, your motto, and your name all at the same time.

How to rebrand your business

Have a strategy in place before you begin your rebranding efforts.

Think about your “why”

Understand your company's mission, vision, and values. Thinking about your company's values and what about them is essential.

Consider your brand voice. Think about how you will have to change words, images, tone, and voice to convey the values of your new brand.

Re-imagine your style guide

Many companies don't have the luxury of starting with a clean slate. They have to consider which brand assets they want to carry over to the new brand.

Your style guide shows your designers, UX staff, and content creators which legacy elements continue to be viable and which define their new style. Make sure everyone is using your new fonts, color palette, logo, typography, and brand voice.

Check out what is—and what isn’t—working for your competitors

What's your value proposition? Do you offer something your competitors don't?

In marketing, there is a concept of optimal heterophily. This term refers to the fact that consumers are always looking for something that is different, but not too different.

Your new brand image must be fresh and relevant but still be something that your leads and prospects can recognize as the thing they are looking for, even if they just didn't know it.

Bring your teams together

It is easier to rally your team behind your new brand if it is a team effort. Seek input across your company. The most valuable insights may come from people you did not expect.

Remember, the people in your company will become the public face of your new brand.

Rebuild your existing branding

Consider if you need to change your name, logo, social media profiles, and so on. You may need to change these elements of your brand because your name is not sufficiently unique to be memorable. Also, you might need to make changes because of trademark issues. Or you may need to change your business name because it is hard to remember or hard to spell.

Don't forget to change your tagline. Your slogan is what will stick with your customers as you build your new brand. If you have a slogan or a tagline you can't do without, consider whether you really need reputation management instead of rebranding.

If you sell physical products, you will need to redesign your packaging. If you leverage your brand with illustrations, you need to make sure that your design styles don't clash with each other.

Consider audience segmentation

The next step is to look at audience segmentation and behavioral targeting for your new, emerging customer base.

By narrowing your focus on specific subgroups in your target audience, you can tailor your messaging and work to build trust with your refreshed brand.

Re-evaluate your marketing strategies

A rebranding might also mean new marketing strategies, so you need to re-evaluate your current marketing initiatives to make sure they align with your updated brand.

One way to evaluate your marketing is to get smart recommendations from surveys to see where you can improve your outreach and content. Depending on your rebranding, you might need to fully revamp your marketing, or you might just need to make a few small changes.

Connect your old branding strategy with your new one

To the extent you can, connect your old branding strategy with your new one. This means looking over your branding basics, such as voice, tone, brand identity, visual branding and storytelling, and values.

Depending on why you've decided to rebrand and how much, you might be able to keep your brand voice or other elements with your new strategy, or you might decide to completely update your strategy.

Plan your re-launch

A relaunch can have many moving parts as this is when you take everything you've updated—visuals, logos, slogans, marketing strategies—and put them out into the world.

Think about how these elements will be received based on the planned launch date and consider any global events occurring at the same time that might impact how your audience perceives your rebranding.

This is also a time to look into social media tools and running digital ads.

Handle PR around your rebrand

Because you are rebranding your company, it is possible that you will initially lose some recognition—but a rebrand is also an opportunity to regain customer loyalty and reach new clients. This is where public relations comes in.

Now that you have your branding ready, you need to distribute it. This can be in the form of social media posts, CEO interviews with news outlets, or another approach that fits the specific strategy you've established.

Rebranding your business for success

Company rebranding is a lot of work but it is a lot easier when you have the software tools and support you need.

Keep your entire team on board with your company rebranding business strategy as you integrate the best elements of your existing brand with the exciting aspects of your new business identity.

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