As time goes on and businesses evolve, the time eventually comes for them to consider rebranding. Services come and go, business focuses change, mergers and acquisitions occur and at some point, an organization’s brand no longer accurately reflects who they are.
It’s at this point that a business should consider a rebrand.
The challenge that most organizations run into is understanding the right time to jump in. It takes many years for a business to develop a trustworthy and recognizable brand which can cause a business to be leery about rebranding. This is understandable and why we want to help organizations understand what’s involved with rebranding and the appropriate time to do so.
MOJO had recently undergone its own rebranding and was a huge success for the direction and vision of the company. We want to help other businesses experience that same success with their rebrand.
The Right Reasons to Rebrand A Business
Branding is the heart of a company. It’s how consumers perceive a business and what creates an emotional attachment for consumers creating loyalty and trust to the organization.
When organizations rebrand themselves, they risk disrupting the brand equity they’ve developed over time. If not done right, a business can confuse consumers and even lose customers. This is why it’s vital to ensure you are rebranding for the right reasons.
Here are some good reasons to rebrand:
- The business has a new/updated business mission or focus
- There have been an acquisition or merger
- PR has been bad for the company
- New leadership or ownership is changing the shape of the business
- Services or various branches of the business have been consolidated
- The brand is outdated or no longer relevant to the target market
Companies have many legitimate reasons to rebrand themselves. However, sometimes organizations jump the gun and rebrand for the wrong reasons.
Bad reasons to rebrand:
- Just to “shake things up”
- The company is rebranding in hopes of improving sales but has no strategic growth plan
- To attempt to avoid dealing with bad PR or internal problems
The purpose of rebranding is to change or revitalize how consumers perceive your business. It’s also about revitalizing a company’s image based on who they are in the marketplace.
When a company rebrands, they are essentially saying “Look, here is the new and improved version of our business!” So, if you are thinking of going through a rebrand, you better have a good reason and you better do it right.
The Right Time to Rebrand Your Business
Many worry about whether the timing is right and there’s good reason to approach cautiously. When it comes to timing, there are two things to consider. The purpose and the actual timing. Rebranding too often or without purpose can cause confusion amongst clients.
If you’ve rebranded your business in the past or you have a relatively new company you may be wondering if it’s too soon to rebrand. An appropriate amount of time for a company to do a full rebrand is 7-10 years. This gives time for your company to solidify its voice and presence in the marketplace.
However, brands can have refreshes, logo recreations, and website updates more often. Simple refreshes that won’t significantly change how your company is perceived, such as a website update, can happen every 3-5 years.
When you have a legitimate reason for a rebrand and your company has given ample time between its last change, then it is likely time to go through with it.
Things to Consider Before Rebranding
1. Do you have a legitimate purpose for rebranding?
Many businesses want to rebrand because it’s been a long time or they think that it will reinvigorate their business efforts. While this can be true, a rebrand in and of itself will not cause business to all of a sudden boom.
Rebranding takes a lot of time, energy, money and effort, not to mention it can confuse current customers if not carefully done. So, if you’re thinking of rebranding, make sure you have a sound reason and plan to do so.
2. Do you need a Rebrand or a Refresh?
It’s true that outdated company branding can hurt business, but that doesn’t mean that your entire corporate identify needs to be changed. Some organizations have a strong brand and are recognized leaders in their space, but their look is outdated.
In this case, the organization may want to do a refresh opposed to a total rebrand. A refresh can consist of a number of factors to bring a business’s look and feel up to date:
- New or updated website
- Redesigned logo
- Creation of new designs for marketing materials and promotional items
- New employee uniforms
- Even a new interior look for local businesses
Here’s a good rule of thumb to help you determine if you need a rebrand or a refresh. Has your mission, vision, values, business focus or business model changed in any significant way? If not, then you may not need a rebrand but rather a refresh.
3. Count the costs before you decide
A total rebrand can be time consuming and expensive. Remember, a brand is more than a logo. Having a new logo created can be a relatively painless and affordable process. While a complete brand overhaul takes much more effort.
There’s a lot that can go into a new brand:
- Style Guide
- Marketing and promotional materials
- Digital marketing assets
- Vision and mission statement
- Announcing and promoting your new brand
At some point, a rebrand is essential. Just make sure you’ve taken the time to understand and properly plan for it before you jump into it
4. Rebranding requires planning
It’s not just enough to count the costs, but you must also plan for your rebrand. You will want a strong launch of your new brand so that customers are educated and that there is no confusion as to who your business is.
A plan will involve the initial communications and PR involved with letting the world know of the changes you’ve made. But after the initial launch, there still needs to be a consistent reinforcement of the new image. Your business needs to be proactive and plan accordingly.
5. Is your internal team up for the job or should you hire a branding agency
Many organizations have a talented marketing team, but even with an internal team, pulling off a rebrand can be challenging.
After counting the costs, discuss what your team can reasonably handle. Your internal team may have their hands full with every day marketing and sales initiatives that they can’t handle every aspect of it. In this situation, you don’t have to give up on a rebrand all together. It may be in your best interest to hire a branding agency to help.
Not only will they have the expertise to ensure a successful rebrand, they can also take the work off your internal team’s hands.
Steps to Rebranding Your Business
Your company has reviewed their positioning in the marketplace, considered the costs of a rebrand and has decided that the time is right. But where do you even get started and what needs to be done?
There’s 6 steps you should follow for a successful rebrand of your business
- Review and Reestablish your market and target audience
- Review your company’s mission, vision and values
- Create your new brand identity (slogan, logo, mission statement, etc.)
- Test new brand identity with focus groups
- Create rebranding launch strategy
- Launch your rebrand plan
The process seems simple, but there is a lot of time and energy invested in each step of the process. It’s also important to note that each step is going to look different from company to company. Some require an entire brand overhaul, from the name of the company to service offerings and even how they do business while others will require a “facelift” to modernize their brand and appearance.
Remember, your corporate identity permeates your entire business. When going through a rebrand process it’s important that no stone is left unturned and that the new brand is launched well so that there is no confusion among your audience as to what is going on.
A successful rebrand can be a challenging feat for any sized business. Many rely on outside help to ensure the process is done well and that nothing is missed. If your business is planning on hiring a marketing company or branding company to help you rebrand then make sure they not only handle the creation of digital assets such as your website and logo design but also can help you to communicate your new brand to the world.