Building a brand from scratch is one thing, but rebranding an existing company with a long-standing reputation is a different beast entirely. If you’ve determined that your business truly does need a rebrand in order to stay relevant and in line with its evolving values, you can certainly take on the challenge with the help of the right approach. Since every business is different, you’ll need to be mindful of your brand’s needs and keep an open mind in order to stay flexible. While there are certain steps that are a must for each and every rebrand to occur successfully, you should be able to make changes on the go.
But before you embark on this complex business journey, you might want to take a moment to check if your rebranding strategy includes the following key steps. As soon as you start adding these to your own rebranding mix, you’ll be able to tackle the transition and help your new brand identity emerge.
Determine your rebrand driving force
The why that precedes the how is a vital piece of your rebranding puzzle. Knowing what has inspired (or forced) you to choose to rebrand will ultimately determine how to tackle the process. Without understanding your reasons, you’ll find yourself struggling with finding ways to change successfully and in order to meet your new goals. For starters, try answering a few questions to give you a clear idea of what is driving your rebrand:
- Are you looking to change your target audience, or expand your brand reach into a new pool of customers?
- Has your brand become too similar to your competitors and you need to reposition yourself in order to stand out in your market?
- Has your business merged with another company and you need a unified representation of that new brand as a whole?
- Has your management changed drastically and you need to change your key messaging as a result?
Cover your digital and your print needs
No stone left unturned is a policy your rebrand strategy must follow. Simply put, you cannot risk leaving a portion of your old brand DNA stranded amidst your new identity, and you need to make sure that your new brand image is consistent across all channels of communication, external as well as internal. You’ll need to see if your office design corresponds to your new brand vision and mission – everything from wall colors to the floor plan should reflect your brand’s new “self”.
Make sure that your digital presence, including your website, each and every social media profile and page, and your presence across various digital business directories is in line with your new brand image. And of course, you’ll need a batch of branded business cards that reflect your change in identity, so that you’ll be ready to tackle any event you go to, and your employees will be brand ambassadors from day one. Make sure that all print materials, including your brochures, flyers, and other items are reflections of your new brand image.
Craft a detailed strategy
Upon determining the whys, you should move on to the how. Every rebrand requires a strategy that will help you make the most of your current brand identity, analyze what has gone wrong and how you can learn from those mistakes, and determine the new traits and values your brand should represent. Since you cannot put a stop to all of your internal operations during the process, you need a strategy that will make the transition as smooth and as manageable as possible for everyone involved.
That means you need to prepare your online and offline image, your launch strategy, train your employees on what needs to change and how they can best represent those changes, and test the waters when it comes to your audience. Your current and previous customers are an invaluable source of information to find effective ways to rebrand and keep your audience happy – and make sure they recognize your brand in this new suit.
Tease your audience for the new launch
Teaser campaigns don’t work for everybody, but they sure bring a dose of fun and playfulness into the process, especially for your audience. Teaser campaigns are not just there to inform or prepare your audience for a rebrand. They are so much more than that: they serve to build suspense and hype around your new identity, thus inspiring more visibility, feedback, and increased engagement from your audience. This wave of interest and communication that will educate your audience on this upcoming change can help you tweak the process so that you ensure success.
The pre-launch tease serves as a way to test your new identity, to check if it will be well-received by the public, and to make sure that the levels of brand recognition are high so that you can retain your audience during the transition. You can use blog posts, curious imagery, and of course, quick social media tidbits to generate this buzz around your new brand.
After creating the strategy, the testing process, and ensuring that everyone’s ready to move forward with your new brand, all that’s left is to launch. Use these tips as your most essential checkpoints to verify how far you’ve come with your rebranding efforts, and the process will be all the easier for it.