Building and maintaining a strong brand requires continuous attention. The end product is never really "finished". From time to time, your brand and positioning need freshening up. If only to adapt to newly developed standards in the market. Marvia lists five crucial considerations for when you are about to rebrand.
What is rebranding?
Rebranding is the development of a new name, logo, design, or a combination of these for an existing brand name to create a different or new image, according to Wikipedia. Many people think of rebranding as restyling; renewing the visual identity of a company or product. But rebranding goes much further than just a graphic innovation.
To make the difference between rebranding and restyling even brighter, you can see two examples below: the rebranding of Postnl and the restyling of Amazon over the years.
1. Reasons for initiating a rebranding
Since rebranding is quite a time-consuming business (not to mention the financial side of things), make sure you are doing it for the right reasons:
- You are entering a new market/markets.
- Launch of a new vision/mission for your company.
- A merger or acquisition that merges companies and house styles.
- There are legal reasons to change your brand.
- Your brand has built up a bad reputation.
- Back to simplicity: your message has become too fragmented.
Regardless of the reason, once the choice is made to start rebranding, it's time to go big or go home as regards of controlling the process. Follow the next four steps that will undoubtedly help you if you are going to rebrand.
2. Investigate and plan ahead
Rebranding is a complex project in which many parties are involved. With so much stakeholder's in the process, communication is crucial.
- Start by making a tight "backward planning"; think about what needs to be written the moment you roll out your brand, and make sure that the "pre-production" is started on time.
- Talk to industry people or find partners with experience to ensure that you don't step into the known pitfalls.
- Select a group of 'ambassadors' within your company and involve them early in the process. That involvement will later help you with a smooth rollout.
- Make sure you start asking your customers for feedback as early as possible, preferably when you are still in the concept phase. Their feedback is crucial because they are the ones you want to target and reach with your new brand.
3. Rebranding is more than renewing your logo
As stated before, rebranding is more than restyling. A real rebranding is carried out on all materials, from off to online, from audio to video. Make sure that you are complete in your rebranding by applying it directly to all your (marketing) materials. First, determine what your new payoff or promise is and then translate this into your marketing resources.
4. Launch your new brand through storytelling
A brand only comes alive when people understand your story. It is, therefore, vital to ensure that people adopt your brand story immediately. Make it emotional and inspiring wherever possible. Plan an event where you launch your new brand, perhaps invite customers in advance, and announce your new brand through all the channels you have at your disposal to maximize your momentum.
5. Ensure that your organization/stakeholders are familiar with the new brand identity
After putting so much time and money into your rebranding, it is a shame to see that the adoption of the new brand leaves something to be desired. It is, therefore, crucial to bringing the new brand to life. You do this by letting your ambassadors roll out the new brand within your company and creating new "fans". Allow the oil slick to spread slowly.
Don't do this from your 'ivory marketing tower':
- Make sure you update your brand guidelines. Digital brand guidelines make your new brand identity accessible for everybody who works with your brand.
- Make sure your house style guide links easily to the right brand assets such as logo's, photos and icons.
- Place your brand materials in a well-arranged database (Digital Asset Management system).
- To ensure all materials are on-brand, you can use predefined templates that obey your brand identity guidelines. Because users only have to focus on the content and not on the layout, time is saved, and relevance for the target group increases.
As you can see, the rebranding of your company is not something that you can implement overnight. With excellent and careful planning, it can be a good starting point for a new phase of your company.
Unfortunately, we see all too often that after the creation of the new brand, the follow-up leaves something to be desired. By using digital brand guidelines, a DAM system, and a template manager, we ensure that you will gain control over your new brand identity.