Our Guide to Rebranding
If your business has been around for a while, chances are things are a little different to when you first set out. Evolution in business is inevitable. Whether your company has undergone a complete overhaul or small tweaks here and there, evolution is the key to staying relevant.
If this is not the case of your company, your business is stationary and a static business isn’t going anywhere. But if this is the case, you need to ask yourself; does my brand image communicate my company’s growth? As my business has evolved, has the brand evolved with it?
Change your thought process…
One of the most difficult challenges I face is trying to guide a client through a rebrand of their company who is reluctant to embrace change. As we mentioned earlier, change is inevitable and being precious about things you’ve held dear for so long but that may not be relevant anymore isn’t going to do you any favours.
The key is changing your outlook on your business and to start thinking differently about your brand. This can be difficult for those who have been in business for a long time and it can be hard to break out of the habit of looking at your company through the eyes of an insider.
However, once you start looking outside the organisation and open your mind the environment that surrounds your business, you may be surprised with what you find. Look at your competitors, influencers or even businesses that you yourself are loyal to and ask yourself;
- What are they doing?
- How are they successful?
- Should my business be like that?
For many, this is the most difficult stage of a rebrand but once you have mastered it, your business suddenly becomes an exciting window of opportunities.
Define your message…
Before you start playing with typography and choosing colour schemes, there is still a lot of work to be done. Your brand message will create the foundations of your company image and is fundamentally the most important stage in a rebrand.
The best way to start is to ask yourself a series of questions. Who are we? What do we do? What do we stand for? Who are our customers? What do they think of us? What you need to remember is that undergoing a rebrand isn’t solely about creating attractive logos and fancy websites. It is about engaging with your audience and communicating your brand values to create a strong connection with consumers. It’s about developing the personality you want to portray to the outside world and creating the voice you want to push your message across.
Think about the personalities of your customers, look at how they interact with other people and companies and from there start to think about your own company and how they would like to communicate with you. Do your research, define your strengths and unique selling points and shout about them to your customers.
Start from within…
Rebranding starts from within the organisation. In order to embrace change, you must ensure that your business model can communicate your vision. Begin by evaluating the processes and procedures within your organisation; are they still relevant? Do they need tweaking? Do they fit within our new message? Is there an easier way of doing things?
Equally as important is ensuring everyone within your organisation is behind your message and passionate about your new branding. This will create the strong backbone to drive your message to market so it is crucial that you have everyone on board to help generate passion amongst the wider environment.
Remember your brand is anything and everything your audience will come into contact with from visiting your website to a telephone call with your receptionist, so you need to ensure that everyone is thoroughly briefed and prepared to take your rebrand forward.
Find your voice…
As we’ve already established, the personality of your brand is key to creating an engaging environment for your audience to interact with your company. Personality is at the centre of human interaction and is the fabric that builds relationships in society. This should not be ignored by companies who want to build meaningful, long lasting relationships with their audience.
It can feel like a bold move for a business who has always taken a formal approach to communication to start introducing a more human voice to the business, but this will ultimately be the key theme which will set you a part from competitors and give your brand originality.
Letting your personality shine through will make your company more relatable and help you to build longer lasting impressions in the minds of the consumer.
Consistency is key…
Consistency amongst messages is vital to ensure you are portraying a strong and unified brand image across all channels. Shifting messages and varying communication will be viewed as unstable and erratic which can be a big turn off for consumers and could hinder the opportunity for relationship building. Communicating a strong and confident message throughout will show conviction and stability within your company and will create a much bigger impact.
Chances are, not everyone is going to like your rebrand. This can be disheartening and you may begin to second guess your initial decision. The bottom line is you can’t please everyone, try and you will please no one. If you’ve done your homework right and you’re communicating confidently with your message, you are likely to find that for every person who has switched off, you could be gaining 10 new followers who like what you’re saying. It’s all about perspective.
Yes, you may receive negative feedback from individuals, but chances are these people are not part of the audience you want to reach. Some of your current customers who are not ready to welcome change may be turned off by your new image, but looking at the bigger picture and exactly who you are looking to target and the overall response you are receiving will offer reassurance that you made the right choice.
Measure, monitor and evolve…
It is absolutely paramount that you measure the effectiveness of your rebranding strategy. Fail to measure and there was little point in the exercise in the first place. Look at your initial objectives, and the questions you asked yourself in the beginning. Have you achieved what you set out to do? Have you changed perceptions? Are you connecting with your audience?
Set yourself benchmarks, speak to your customers both old and new and review your messages and levels of engagement with your audience. This will help you discover the impact of your rebrand and allow you to iron out the kinks along the way.
Sometimes you won’t get it right first time, but like business, branding is an evolutionary process and this demonstrates the need to monitor your efforts to ensure you are maximising your potential and staying relevant to your market.