Have you thought about rebranding your business, but you are not sure where to start? Rebranding is more than just a change of your company’s logo and freshening up your website – it is a natural evolution of a business that stands as an important milestone at one point in your company’s lifetime.
Rebranding comes with a myriad of perks, but also brings a level of risk to the table. When is the right time to rebrand and what elements are included in business rebranding? Here are the ultimate 5 questions you need to ask before rebranding your business.
What is a Rebrand?
A business rebrand is a process of changing the identity and image of your company to fit your new goals and/or changes in the market in relation to demand and competitors. Rebranding usually includes visual changes concerning the company’s logo, colours, website, social media appearance, and overall changes in design and also can include a re-positioning of the brand and strategic work.
A rebrand is defined as the change in the way a product or organization is seen and perceived by its audience.
There are 4 types of rebrand.
– The Overhaul
– The Pivot
– The Evolution
– The incremental
The Overhaul (full rebrand)
Does what it says on the tin. The overhaul is rare and can involve a complete change of name, direction and strategy. The overhaul might be undertaken to distance your brand from it’s former identity, it could be due to a merger or acquisition, or it could be due to expanding into new markets, categories or territories. An example of this would be Bourbn to Instagram.
The Pivot (semi-full rebrand)
Is all about repositioning your brand. This kind of rebrand might be done to drastically extend a product line, go after a new audience, or your brand might have moved so far away from its original mission that its a shadow of it’s former self. This semi-rebrand will look at the internals and the visual identity of the brand with a view to keeping the heritage of the brand intact while moving it forward. An example of this would be Kia’s recent rebrand.
The Evolution (or brand refresh)
This is the most common type of rebrand it’s designed to refresh and mark a new stage in the company. The evolution involves an overhaul of design, but not a huge change in the strategy. An example of this would be the US Open rebrand in 2016.
The Incremental (brand update)
Minor changes to the visual identity and messaging over time, with the internal brand remaining unchanged. Examples would include Starbucks, Shell and Mastercard moving to symbol only logos.
Analyzing Your Business: Does Your Business Need Rebranding?
Before a rebrand is recommended, there are five important questions to ask and answer so you can create impact and stand out from the competition. These five questions can help you determine the scope of the project, what type of rebrand is needed, and whether the rebrand is needed at all.
1. Why are you rebranding?
This might seem like an obvious question but is important to answer as it will help you determine the reason behind the rebrand and the scope of the rebrand, while also helping you find your focus. You may want to rebrand out for more than several reasons:
- Market changes
- Brand repositioning
- Acquisitions and mergers
- Expansion of product lines
- Internal and external operations
- Low engagement and low sales
Your rebrand strategy will greatly depend on the reason behind your decision to bring some changes into your business and the way your business is perceived.
2. What are the current problems of your brand?
This question may tie into the reason why you are rebranding but there might be many problems that you might be experiencing as a business. Perhaps your logo doesn’t work and doesn’t represent your business in the right light, or perhaps the messaging is confusing. It may be the case that your visual identity doesn’t represent your clients and audience. Your propositions and promises may also be different as your company is changing over time, and everything that was put in place before doesn’t represent your brand’s personality any longer.
It is of great importance to determine and identify all the problematic elements regarding your brand that don’t work for your company so that you can create a proper rebranding strategy.
3. What will rebranding mean to your customers and audience?
You also need to think about how this rebrand will affect your clients, customers, as well as your current and your future target audience. You want to think about the effects of your rebranding and even interact with your target audience to determine what problems are they perceiving. You want to collect as much data as possible through polls, interviews, and surveys. Perhaps there is a lack of alignment between what your audience needs and what your brand represents.
This way, you can address any possible miscommunication and see if there is anything you can do to help your audience understand your brand and your company. You also want to think about your audience before the rebrand and how you want to be perceived.
If you are looking to move into a new market, you should consider whether you need to target a new audience or keep targeting your current audience.
4. What are you trying to achieve with the rebrand?
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is “What are you trying to achieve with the rebrand?”.
This question ties into the reason why you are rebranding in the first place, but it also gives you a chance to get into the vision of your company’s future. You can start by mapping out your vision for your brand in the future, targeting results in one, two, and five years from now. That way, you can determine what you want to achieve with your rebrand in short-term and long-term plans.
We recommend taking time to flesh out the company’s vision plan. You start building out your rebrand plan and how it takes shape, so the vision directly impacts the way you are conducting your rebrand strategy, but also helps to reach your customers and lead your business after the rebrand.
5. What type of rebrand do you need?
Not all rebrands are created equal – so depending on the reason for your rebrand and the problems you have with your business, you should plan and move on with the rebrand according to your business needs.
In some cases, you want to do a full rebrand, which is, in general, to mark a new era for your company or organization, address a change of direction, repositioning, massive organizational changes, or acquisitions and mergers – this is where a full rebrand is often needed. In this case, you should not necessarily look into changing the visual identity of your brand – this is where you are looking into the brand’s personality, strategy, tone of voice, platform, the entire flow of the brand, and how it is developed and perceived. You can also do a semi-full rebrand, but what is a semi-full rebrand?
A semi-full rebrand is like a full rebrand but without substantial changes to the visual identity of the brand. You are changing the structural side of things, the platform, the brand’s messaging, the tone of voice, and other important elements, while the overall design and identity remain the same or similar, often being modernized for the sake of rebranding or adjusted for a new audience.
Another common rebrand type is brand refreshing.
Brand refreshing involves slight rebranding elements in small increments, including minor changes to the visual identity, usually transforming it over a longer period. You’ve probably seen this case at Starbucks or Shell – whenever they do brand refreshing, these brands are removing details from their visual identity, making it simpler but still iconic and recognizable.
In this example, these companies are already well-established, and their audience understands the company and recognizes their visual identity even with changes, which makes these brands iconic.
Brand refreshing is more about developing, adapting, and evolving, rather than about changing as there are no massive shifts in position, audience, or the market.
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How to Rebrand Your Business
To sum up everything we rehearsed within our 5-question journey, here’s how you can start working on planning a rebrand and rebranding your business.
Decide What Your New Brand Will Be
To start planning and organizing your rebrand strategy, you first need to decide what type of rebrand your business needs. This greatly depends on the reason you wish to go through with rebranding in the first place. By listing all the reasons WHY you want to rebrand, it will be easier for you to decide what your new brand will be. You might want to go through with structural or organizational changes, or you may want to change your visual identity – it all depends on your plans and reasons you consider this change a healthy push for your business.
Research Your Target Audience
It may be the case that you want to rebrand because you are tackling the potential of different markets than the one that currently encompasses your business. However, you may not want to see any radical changes in your target audience, and you would like to remain in the current market where you are already operating as a business.
Whatever the case, your target audience should be observed as your potential customer base, which is why researching your target audience is essential.
You can conduct the research in more than several ways, including interviewing and surveying your target audience, or sharing polls to get a clear insight into how your TA perceives your brand and your business.
Getting to know how your audience sees your business can help you make a perfect rebrand strategy and conduct it with success.
Redefine Your Value, Vision, and Mission
If you are planning to change the way your company is perceived, making only visual changes won’t be enough to convey an effective message of transformation. Keep in mind that you want to appeal to your target audience and stand out from the competition.
This is where redefining your value, vision, and mission is essential. In this case, the company’s values define your business relationships, the company’s growth, and the way you communicate with your customers and audience. The mission defines the purpose of your company, organization, or brand and describes what your company does and how it does it.
The company’s vision conveys what the company wants to achieve in the long run while materializing the mission statement.
Create a New Identity for Your Brand
Your company may not need a full makeover, so your brand can go through some minor changes or get a structural rebrand with no changes to its visual identity. However, you may still need to work on changing your brand, which is where you may want to come up with a new identity.
When building a new identity for your business, make sure to align your future plans with all solutions for existing problems that you or your TA audience can note in your brand identity. That includes a vision and mission statement, the tone of voice and language, a tag line, or a new business slogan, while it may also include structural, organizational, and even changes in targeting different audiences. Align your rebrand plans with your business plans and include your short-term and long-term vision for your brand.
Create a New Logo
Creating a new identity for your brand may also include creating a new logo for your brand. You may be looking to modernize your logo or change your brand colors, or you want to create an entirely different version of your visual identity for a different audience. Whatever the case, note that your company’s logo needs to be recognizable to help users identify with your brand and recognize it in the sea of competitor brands. However, your rebranding strategy doesn’t need to involve radical changes to your visual identity – you can make minor changes to your logo to refresh it or leave it intact if your rebranding strategy revolves around internal transformation.
Create a New Website
Creating a website is a MUST in the digital age where your web address basically stands as your business address for the online world. The Internet makes it easy for people to find you and show interest in your products and services, but only if you have a form of an online presence. Having a website for your business makes up for a great way to establish your online presence aside from running social media accounts for your brand. Your website should match your visual identity and help you convey your brand message easily and attract your TA.
If you are already happy with your website, you can always work on regularly updating it to fit changes in your company and help you engage your target audience.
Plan a Launch
Launching your new or renewed brand should involve a healthy dose of hype, however, you should definitely take your time with planning and strategizing before the launch. While you should work on gradually introducing your audience to your plans to rebrand, you should also consider organizing an interesting and engaging event to fit the launch and give it some needed hype.
For example, you can organize a sale, a contest, or a promotion. Whichever way you choose to engage your audience, it has to be something that will help you highlight all the ways your TA will be able to benefit from the rebrand, all while engaging your audience.
What Happens with the Company After Rebranding?
Rebranding should help your brand stand out from the competition, build a stronger relationship with your target audience, and improve your brand awareness. If properly done, a rebrand will also help your business stay relevant in its respective market and industry.
Once your new or refreshed brand is launched, your work has only begun as you will need to maintain your brand identity and use it to connect with your TA more effectively.
In case you need help with planning your rebrand and rebranding, contact us and we will help you identify problems and plan a successful rebrand for your business.
Should I Hire a Professional Brand Agency?
A professional brand agency should help you build an effective and efficient brand strategy with tools, resources, experience, and knowledge that you might not have at your disposal.
If you are having difficulties building your own brand strategy, Schedule a discovery call with Elements Brand Management and unlock your brand’s potential so you become the brand your audience loves, stand out from the competition and grow your business.