Rebranding? There's a process for that.

Updated: Aug 24

Recently, collaborator of the Felice Agency, DesignRush.com published an article: Rebranding Your Business: How to Rebrand a Company and When to Do it?


The majority of our clients came to us with a re-brand in mind. Did you know there are times when a rebrand is ill advised?

Or did you know that a rebrand is contingent upon both short- and long-term goals?


It's true. You first have to do some dream work, to determine where you are taking your company. And then if you decide that a rebrand is appropriate (say you want to position your company for acquisition? Or you want to penetrate a new market? Or you are acquiring another company and you need to rebrand the whole kitten caboodle [old technical term]).


In any case, it's imperative that you understand where you are headed before hoping to determine where you should place your first foot forward (or paintbrush as the case may be).


Reprint of DesignRush.com's article, our thoughts are in green.

What Rebranding Your Business Means?


Rebranding involves the process of changing the corporate image of a company. It is a market strategy that encompasses several activities such as giving your brand a new name, logo or changing the design of an established brand. The idea or purpose is to create a separate identity for the brand and let it stand out among competitors in the market.


Before considering rebranding your business, you must create a strategy with solid reasoning to motivative people toward this rebranding venture. At the same time, you need to involve your customer base throughout the process constantly.


Questions to ask:


Where will I be in five years? Do I want to sell this company? If so, would they be investing in my performance (no rebrand necessary) or will they be absorbing me into something else (no rebrand necessary) or will they be investing in the power my brand has in this marketplace (yes rebrand).


If, for example, you are being acquired by a husband and wife who intend to leave a legacy for their children, then rebrand.


Penetrating a new market? A rebrand may be valid. Deepening your relationship with customers or employees? Rebrand!


Overcoming a poor reputation or under new management and have bad yelp review? Rebrand!


NOTE: A REBRAND WILL NOT MAKE ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE ALONE. You will be working twice as hard for a short time until the new or rebranded company gains a foothold.


Rebranding can take multiple forms, from renaming the organization to creating a new business model. But first, let’s start with how to rebrand a company in a few steps using the right strategies.


How to Rebrand a Company?

For organizations considering rebranding, here are some of the most crucial steps to follow:


Step #1: Decide on a New Identity

Ask questions before doing anything drastic. You’re going to want to evaluate your current company identity and make inquiries to both your consumers and employees on how they think you can improve. This information, in the long-run, will be invaluable when creating your strategy. After all, you wouldn’t want to fix something that isn’t broken. The strategy should be to consider the corporate culture by trying to foresee how the current brand can fit better. It is also the time to lay out the goals and mission statement of the business and repurpose them. These will give a clear picture of what to expect to achieve from the rebranding. Consider our branding process, and we will ask you questions essential to align the art - the science that will move your brand forward - and the belief (your core values).


Step #2: Audit the Prospective Changes

Once you have decided to change certain aspects of the brand identity, you need to document these changes more so that the employees are on the same page about the expectations from this new image or identity.

There should be a detailed plan of action in place, which should comprise all that is wrong, how you will fix it and the changes that will accompany it. The best way is to start making a list of all the marketing parts of your business that need updating, such as websites, signs, logos, social media, invoices, and more. Researching your competition can prove to be very helpful in this regard. A good trademark attorney who specializes in your kind of intellectual property is essential. Do not skip this part!


Step #3: Research the Consumers

As the brand is already going through subsequent change, it is ideal to look into the customer base and determine if part of overhauling the company is targeting a new market. If this new brand can appeal to a new demographic, the company can get an entire range of loyal customers.

In this way, the overall vibe of your brand will change, automatically boosting business growth. Reaching out to a more extensive consumer base will help your bottom line significantly. The business location, too, will stay fresh and exciting. Remember our discussions about the camp fire and the needs wants and desires of your customers overlapping with what makes you different and your soul urge or your the why of your brand? In that space your brand is borne.


Step #4: Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors

People are a huge part of any organization’s culture and brand identity. Rebranding is an exciting process, and by involving the employees in it, you will excite them too. An example of this is making T-shirts and sweatshirts with the new brand logo. Your employees and clients can wear these to promote your brand.

This is not just a great but also an inexpensive market strategy for businesses going through rebranding. If you claim great customer service but treat the employees like crap you have what's called brand confusion or brand disconnect. The brand promise has to equal the brand experience at all levels.


Step#5: Communicate the New Identity

Before the final launch of the new brand, ensure that all your employees and managers are in sync. They should be comfortable will all the changes that have been made. It is necessary for your team to live up to this new brand identity.

Finally, set an official launch date and communicate the changes via the social media sites, press releases or radio. Ensure your corporate branding initiative is thriving as you convey the new identity to the marketplace.

This scope of communication is the ideal opportunity for you to tell a story of why you wanted to rebrand your business and what you expect to achieve from the changes. Instead of boring people with news of your redesign, use the redesign or rebranding as a launch pad for more important key messages about your company, its offers or promotions or impact it has on the world.


When to Consider Company Rebranding?

At this point, you may be wondering how one knows that one’s business requires a complete re-brand. Here are a few instances where you may want to consider painting a new face on your company:


1. Differentiate Yourself From the Competition

Rebranding is essential when your company name is generic enough to sound similar to other businesses. A generic logo also hurts your brand. This becomes even more problematic when you use stock art in your marketing materials that are recognized by everyone.

In such situations, rebranding helps your business showcase everything that makes your brand different and better and, thereby, stand out from the competition. Sometimes you need to relook at who you are after 10 years and see if you've changed. Chances are you have.

2. Give a New Life to Outdated Branding

In this age of constant evolution, certain things like a color palette of the 90s or a flash-based website can drag your brand down. Statistics show that color improves brand recognition by 80%.

The solution is rebranding your business.

The smartest and the most successful businesses rebrand because they realize the importance of a good design. Rebranding also becomes necessary when new product lines are added, which customers need to know about. Ever look at a piece of clothing and think, "wow that went out of style a decade ago;" well look at your brand. Has it kept up?

3. Outgrow Poor Reputation

Sometimes, businesses get trapped in a bad reputation for whatever reason. Rebranding is an effective way to break ties with such a poor reputation and start afresh.

Rebranding enables consumers to see your brand in a new light while also helping you overcome the earlier negative reputation. A rebrand is part of a comprehensive crisis communication strategy. It is NOT the sole crisis communication STRATEGY.

4. Accelerate Business Evolution

Often, brands get an opportunity to expand and target a new market. When this happens, it becomes imperative to ensure that prospects and new customers are able to connect with the brand. Rebranding is crucial to assist an organization in its evolution to a new market or a new stage in business. If you won an Oscar, would you attend in a hand-me-down torn dress? If your reputation is moving beyond your existing brand, then REBRAND!

Business Rebranding: Avoiding a Few Common Mistakes

When it comes to rebranding businesses, mistakes are common, too, and organizations need to avoid these to leverage the rebranding process.

1. Changing the Name without a Reason

Changing the name of a company is quite a drastic change, and it is better avoided if there is no such reason to do so. Changing a name without fixing the underlying problems will hardly help.

A complete name change is advisable only when it can truly differentiate your business from the competitors. The new name should also tell an interesting story related to your brand. If you've invested millions into your name we will change it only after kicking and screaming and ONLY if we agree on the reason.

2. Rebranding Only the Website and Logo

This is another common business rebranding mistake to avoid. While the website and the logo represent the brand, there is much more to a brand than just those. Changing the aesthetics without going deeper is not advisable.

Also, the change in the brand’s logo and website, if at all, should be meaningful and comprehensive for the rebranding to be successful. This is like buying only a tie for a black tie event. There's a lot more behind the scenes to even bring one tie let alone an entire outfit to a premier.

3. Sacrificing Simplicity

It is a bad idea and also a mistake to do away with simplicity for the sake of something exciting and appealing. What is instead, a unique combination is simple but not too basic.

The logo of Nike is an excellent example of maintaining the simplicity and appealing quotient of a famous brand. The more elegant or expensive the brand, the simpler it is.

4. Not Having a Brand Style Guide

It could be a rather costly mistake if a brand undertakes rebranding without a brand style guide in place. The brand style guide is a documentation of how your brand should look in various online and offline channels.

This brand style guide will act as a reference point for your organization during rebranding. Without one, your company will fail to be consistent. Ugh for God sake, DO NOT use the font in your logo ANYWHERE except in the logo. It erodes the specialness of the brand to repeat the font in the logo everywhere, bleh. You must adhere to some basic brand standards, if you don't know what that means, hire us or at least Google it!


Rebranding Your Business Takeaway

Rebranding is an internal process to change the external view of a company. Using the right strategies and identifying the opportunities to carry out a rebranding plan is as necessary as committing to the changes and involving everyone in the business.

The ultimate way to guarantee a successful rebranding of your business is to react to the rebranding needs as and when they arise. Taking the right action then will bring tangible results.


Ultimately you are branding an IDEA not a company. AND the smart business owner understands that the IDEA is from their customer's perspective not their own.


Think:


"When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight."

Hint: Well done: "Oh My God, you get me! It doesn't matter WHO I am you will still kill yourself to get my stuff where it needs to go, which means: you love me!"


Versus:


"Since 1879, the number one on-time delivery system in America."

Hint: no one cares, they only care about themselves. Show you understand that. Try again.