Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson
How to Successfully Rebrand Your Business
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Your business environment is always changing, and the competition is so fierce that you can’t afford to lag behind. New competitors, evolving customer tastes, disruptive new technologies, and many other factors modify the market dynamics. The company that fails to adapt loses.

The once-relevant design of your business website or logo can all of a sudden appear well-trodden, and the brand can become boring. This is when the question of rebranding arises.

What is rebranding?

what is rebranding

Rebranding is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. It represents the next step of brand development. It is closely connected to changes in business ideology and the company’s evolution in terms of values and general vision. 

Rebranding refers to a set of activities aimed at changing the brand and its components (ideology, name, logo, slogan, visual design, etc.). In the most general sense, rebranding helps to create a new image of the company and its products in customers’ minds.

Rebranding allows you to offer additional value, provoke a new wave of attention to the brand, reignite the public’s interest in its products, and contribute new emotions and fresh ideas to the brand’s image. At the same time, the old brand does not entirely disappear. You may keep the basic elements of identification and recognition while only changing the form of presentation of the brand.

Rebranding, redesign, restyling, or repositioning?

Rebranding is a complete brand overhaul. It is when you change everything: visual design, core values, the essential characteristics of the business, and its philosophy. The brand distinguishes the company from its business rivals. Rebranding is carried out when you need to do things differently than in the past.

You should not confuse rebranding with redesign or restyling (an easy, or even inconspicuous form of change), when the brand may slightly adjust the logo, corporate identity, or slogan. This is done by companies aimed primarily at a young audience. For example, McDonald’s changes their slogans, releases new tastes, and quickly replaces them with others.

Repositioning is a bit more complicated, but it is also not as radical as rebranding. Repositioning is aimed at changing brand focus, finding a new audience, improving the brand message, or introducing a fundamentally new product to the market. But the brand itself remains the same. 

Rebranding is about a long-term strategy, a complete brand upgrade. Meanwhile, redesign and repositioning imply minor, short-term adjustments of a brand to market conditions.

Do you always need rebranding? 

If you’re viewing rebranding as a tool to increase the sales or to grow your brand awareness among the consumers, you might want to reconsider. You can potentially solve these issues by building up a new marketing strategy or undertaking market research to determine effective ways of improving your company’s performance. 

Quite often, huge marketing investments aimed at repositioning the product do not pay off, lead to the desired revenue growth, or improve the brand image.

Rebranding requires substantial marketing investments. Therefore, it is essential to know exactly what goals you want to achieve when rebuilding your brand.

Main reasons to rebrand:

1. Ideological changes

If your company went through some significant changes in terms of values, strategy, attitude to customers, etc., then the best way to inform the market and consumers about this is to rebrand the company.

2. Internationalization

When you are expanding to an international market, your brand’s name may not be understood in a different country, so you might want to consider rebranding.

3. Change in the company’s activities.

If a company known for producing woodworking machines and tools for making furniture starts to produce, for example, the furniture itself, a rebranding of the company becomes a necessity. In this case, rebranding will highlight the company’s evolution.

4. Acquisitions and mergers

Most companies that do this need immediate rebranding to make the change visible and to comply with legal requirements.

5. Initial brand misconception

Sometimes a brand fails in the process of its creation. Perhaps the brand message was conveyed incorrectly, the brand’s mission did not match the real experience, etc.

In this case, rebranding will do a great job of making things right. 

Stages of rebranding

When you realize that updating your brand is essential, the first thing you need to focus on is analysis. To do this, you can carry out a brand audit, since the strength of the brand affects the capitalization and value of the company. A weak brand depreciates a company.

You can use the help of a rebranding agency that can give you major support in launching your rebranding campaign. Or you can do it yourself by gathering colleagues for a brainstorming session.

If you chose to bring in external specialists for your rebranding, you should make sure to contact a trusted company that has long been working in the market of design, communications, and corporate identity development. Make sure they are immersed in the process, aware of market trends, and that they provide a high-quality service. 

The next step is to determine which brand facets need to be transformed. This is the stage of strategic planning and the formation of a single concept. 

After you have a new strategy and vision of the business, you can work on updating the appearance of the brand and its communication components – the brand’s identity – corporate colors, logo, slogan.

The consumer’s reaction to your rebranding depends on how holistically the brand is presented. It is best if you reach complete harmony between all components of your brand’s identity. The key elements of the corporate identity should be captured in your company’s brand book.

After summarising and approving your rebranding options, it’s time to introduce the changes. It is necessary to communicate with your customers, with business partners, and with company employees, to explain exactly what will change and why. 

Creating a launch plan is recommended when rebranding. To ensure its success, you need to know how to unveil your reworked brand to the market and what promotional activities to use for it. Think about your website launch, digital promotion, events (real-life and online), customer notices, and collaboration with media, bloggers,press, social influencers. Build hype by letting your audience know that something new and exciting is coming. 

The high tide of your rebranding project is the launch. This is perhaps the most exciting moment for any company. The important thing here is to give clear instructions to your team, analyze all the feedback and metrics, and adjust and refine the strategy when required.

Rebranding pitfalls

Rebranding a company, in most cases, has much in common with bringing a new brand to the market. This requires re-examining your target audience and defining the new (or renewed) product features, which will be your main focus when promoting the brand.

At the same time, brand change is far from always the path to success. An incorrect evaluation of the reasons for the changes, an inaccurate understanding of the target audience, and other mistakes can lead to a negative result. But when done right, rebranding will mark a fresh, exciting phase in the life of your business. It can re-engage your existing customers or put you in a strong position to attract a new audience.

Brenda Peterson

Brenda is Technical Specialist at Ning