After a few months of radio silence, we’re finally ready to bring back our A-game and keep the conversation going on all things digital marketing. But we didn’t spend the last months hidden in the shadows with our arms folded.
Instead, we’ve been working like busy bees in our own rebranding.
Now, from reading about rebranding and taking all that information into practice, we realized that there isn’t a single magical formula to guarantee that our new face will be an immediate success. It takes months of deep thinking, planning, and executing to get it out there, so marketers shouldn’t take it lightly.
We’re proud and happy with our work, and hope you will be too in the coming weeks, but it is a doozy!
Rebranding requires investing time, money, and brain juice that, if carried out well, can take your brand to the next level. But on the other hand, even if it’s planned, researched, and tested to perfection, rebranding can be a gamble.
We’ve seen far too many examples of companies with rebranding strategies that were rejected by the very audience they were looking to charm. Changing up your brand can’t save you from a terrible sales quarter or from a mediocre product.
So, before you tear out your old image and start painting the new one, make sure you have two things:
- A good team ready to make it happen.
- A clear gameplan.
Got those? Then you’re ready to start!
In this post, we want to share with you the five key elements for a successful rebranding process. If you’re in the middle of it, we hope they can serve as inspiration to keep going. If you’re not ready yet, don’t be scared and read on. Knowledge is power after all!
Ready for our tips? Read on!
1. Know What You Want, and If It’s Right for Your Brand
Rebranding isn’t something that comes out of thin air. We surely didn’t wake up one morning and decided to change things up in a heartbeat. It’s a process for which you need to prepare for, as you’ll see in later points.
But before you start anything else, think about what you’re looking to achieve with this shakeup. Changing the color of a soda can doesn’t have the same rebranding needs as a company that went through a major acquisition process. Earlier this year, Jon Simpson outlined in a piece for Forbes the difference between a partial and a full rebranding process.
Only when you have a clear idea of what type of rebranding is appropriate for your brand, you can get the wheels in motion. Start by setting timelines, making to-do lists and assign responsibilities to the staff that will handle the process.
2. Do Your Research
You should always pay attention to what your competition is doing, but how about broadening your scope for inspiration? Spend some time looking at other companies’ successful revamping strategies: their designs, their writing style, the things they added and what they decided wasn’t worthy.
But, be careful. The key word here is inspiration: This is not about trying to be someone else’s carbon copy.
Use their insights as a compass that can lead you towards where your brand wants to be. Don’t use it as an excuse to renounce what makes your brand unique. Instead, find ways to integrate those inspiring elements into what you want to represent.
Don’t forget about the lemons! The lessons you can pick up from rebranding failures can serve as cautionary tales for what NOT to do.
Finally, keep your eyes and ears open for what your own audience wants. and likes. Don’t hesitate to ask your most faithful followers about their thoughts and needs. They may have changed considerably since the first time you two got together.
3. Is Your Core Clear?
This third item is closely related to the previous one.
Working on fresh new ideas and presenting them to the world in a shiny new package sure feels exciting. It’s almost as good as peeling the plastic off your new laptop or tablet.
I bet you’re hearing that sweet sound in your mind as you read this, am I right?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Don’t forget about what’s truly important, which is the core message you want to put out there. It needs to be crystal clear so that it can reach your audience accordingly. So don’t take your research lightly.
Novelty alone isn’t going to cut it. It may bring you some extra likes and comments in the first weeks, but if it’s not aligned to what your brand truly stands for, then your rebranding plan won’t work.
During the process of rebranding, you should allocate some space to test things out with a fresh pair of eyes or two. Specially ones that aren’t deeply involved in the process. This is important, because sometimes us marketers can be too focused in the details and miss out on how the big picture is painting itself.
Whether you decide to run a full fledged focus group, or run a survey with your closest clients, listen closely to their feedback and tweak it accordingly before launch time. Don’t discard this step, as they are the ones you’re looking to impress with your new image.
4. Get to Work, but Acknowledge It May Take Time
Step 4 is pretty obvious, but it can feel exhausting when you’re in the thick of it.
If you’re thinking about rebranding, it’s because you already have a decent trajectory in your niche. So you know that projects, especially the big ones, don’t just magically appear finished in your desk.
Rebranding is a process, and every process needs the right timeline from idea to launch. This doesn’t mean that it should last forever or that it should be ready in a week. Set reasonable deadlines for every step, and check up on their progress from time to time.
5. Get it Out There!
If you’ve made it to step 5, congratulations! If you’ve made it without any new gray hairs in your head, you deserve a standing ovation.
Either way, you won this battle. The rebranding is ready!
Notice that I said battle, and not war. The final step is to prepare a clear plan to let your audience know and get familiar with your new image. Once your process is about 80% in, it’s time to prepare a communication strategy to spread the good news.
This last step is crucial, regardless of how amazing your new branding is keep in mind that your audience is used to a specific image of you. Changing it can come as a shock, particularly if it’s poorly communicated. Your messages should be clear and close to what your customers are seeking from you.
Another thing most forget to do is to not expect immediate adoption overnight. Unless you run into a big stroke of luck, the results of your efforts will come out in time. Don’t feel discouraged if your brand doesn’t get an insane amount of buzz right away from your audience.
If your team did its homework, and you reach out to your audience via the right channels, you’ll eventually see how all those months of hard work pay off.
Now, let’s hear it from you! Is a rebranding process in the cards for your company? Are you in the middle of it? Tell us in the comments below.