Rebranding is tricky. It can look and feel as good as a fresh coat of paint, but it’s so much more than updating your logo and website. It’s about strategy; design needs to be considered across all media materials, which can be massively complicated, expensive and can introduce unwanted risks if you don’t have a plan.
When you rebrand, your brands’ mission, personality and values should permeate and become part of every customer experience (CX), It’s not only critical to get it right but to get it right everywhere your brand sees the light of day.
Before we get to the details, let’s look at why companies rebrand, their rebranding approach and how to launch (whilst ensuring your new brand assets get used correctly).
Why companies rebrand
A Rebrand or Brand Refresh project happens approximately once every 7 years. In fact, the average brand lasts shorter than the fridge in your kitchen (which has a lifespan of 12 years).
…but why do companies need to re-brand?
The Top 6 reasons for rebranding
Sometimes designs grow old (and not in a cool retro sort of way), or are not compatible with digital media and need to be ‘tuned’ to better fit online or digital channels. Chances are your brand was developed during a time when ‘Digital’ played a small part in a brand’s distribution and presentation. Re-branding whilst keeping digital placement and enduring design in mind can really add to the length of time your brand remains relevant before your next re-brand is needed, and if done properly can result in a timeless image.
Competitive pressure or repositioning
If a company seeks out new markets or has changed direction, a rebrand or brand refresh may need to be considered. Remember; design elements are closely aligned with your brand identity and where you sit in the Market. It’s imperative to allocate significant time and resources to create a comprehensive plan that touches each element.
Your customer has changed, and so should you.
When you created your brand, you designed it to attract a particular customer in a particular market. Are these the same customers you serve today? Has your audience changed? Odds are, they have, or have at least grown over time. Customer needs are drastically different than they were five or ten years ago. And there will be a consistent decline in revenue for brands that haven’t kept up with the times. In other words, your brand shouldn’t be the only one wearing bell-bottom jeans at the party. If your customers have evolved, your brand should reflect that.
Break free from a bad reputation
Sometimes, a rebrand can help you overcome a PR crisis, that has adversely impacted market share, or when a brand shares an unfortunate name that another brand now carries with negative connotations (i.e. several brands called “ISIS” were forced to rebrand). A rebrand can, after time, reduce or even eliminate negative associations. What’s important here is that not only the ‘exterior’ changes, but that the change is also implemented through all other aspects of the organization.
New mission or vision
Companies evolve, change and pivot. When your company has a new mission or vision, often it’s time to update your brand values, tone of voice and even design elements. Nothing calls out for a rebrand more than an evolving brand.
Merger or acquisition
When two companies come together they need to decide how to market the brands, separately or as one? If they are combined, do they fall under the existing brand, and if so do the brand values and mission adjust with new offerings, or is a rebrand required?
When not to rebrand
While there are many reasons to rebrand, there are of course times when a rebrand is usually not a good idea…
Sometimes if you are tired of your own logo, it usually means it’s working and there is awareness. Rebranding for the sake of getting fresh attention may just alienate and isolate existing customers. Remember; if it’s recognizable, it means it works. Do your research and establish a real, unavoidable reason for your rebrand. A rebrand should reflect a real shift in how you position your business and how you’ve evolved. Sure, a logo design is part of this, but the true reason behind the rebrand is the new outcome you’re hoping to achieve.
CEO or CMO wants to leave his or her mark
The old ‘not so funny’ joke; whenever a new CMO comes on board, the first thing they want to do is change the logo or packaging. While sometimes this is needed, it can often lead to rushed and poor decisions leading to unrecognizable packaging on grocery shelves, and of course, it’s super expensive and generally not worth it unless there is a sound strategy behind it.
Lack of bandwidth
There’s nothing worse than doing something half baked. If you don’t have time, budget or capacity to do a brand refresh or a rebrand properly, don’t do it. Wait to do it when you can resource the initiative properly because it’s an important one that has a huge impact on brand equity.
How to rebrand a company
- Start with your “Why”. Do a deep dive into your mission, your vision, your brand’s personality and tone of voice – is it the same as it was, or has this evolved?
- Articulate and amplify your competitive edge, brand personality and tone of voice – Create a robust and clear brief that can be shared internally and externally.
- Create design elements that encompass your why your personality and will make you stand out.
Launch an online brand portal
An online brand portal, such as IntelligenceBank’s Online BrandHub makes launching your rebrand, automating branded content, enabling your internal and external stakeholders to ‘self-serve’ brand assets and triaging brand requests a seamless process.
With BrandHub, your entire team can find marketing materials in an easy-to-find, shareable place, making brand consistency easier to achieve. And when you’ve just re-branded, and developed new brand rules – a robust platform that serves approved brand assets will make adoption so much easier.