Most businesses get to the point when they need to rebrand. It is, usually, a good indicator that the business is growing and making more impact or providing more solutions. Rebranding is a complex process and it is crucial to get it right. In this post we will talk about different situations that point you to rebranding and the basic elements of the process you need to take into account.
When to Rebrand
When you have outgrown your business name - Many small businesses choose to start by using the founder's name as a business name. No doubt, there are benefits to that, however, at a later stage, when the team grows, in most cases, this calls for rebranding.
When you have outgrown your product/service range - A large number of startups launch businesses in a very particular niche, which turns out to be a great recipe for success. When they are big and strong enough, though, they can afford to add products or services, which fall outside of their initial range, niche or even sector. That would mean, they will need to rebrand to accommodate the changes.
When your business values and mission have changed - You can never be successful in running a brand that does not reflect on its values and mission. I talked about this more in a previous post. When an organisation expands or changes direction, this most often means there is a change in its core values as well.
When your brand reputation has suffered significantly - In such a shipwreck situation, rebranding may be the only rescue boat. A particular event that wasn't necessarily your fault can damage your brand's reputation to the point that even loyal customers wouldn't want to buy from you and any prospective ones will turn heads to the side once they hear the name or see the logo. Although rebranding in such scenario does not guarantee 100% success, it does give a business a chance to rise again.
When you have got it wrong the first time - It is important to recognise when you haven't quite got your branding right from the beginning. If you are not making enough sales for a long time, chances are your brand doesn't look great in the eyes of your customers. It is even more important to take action when you realise you've made a mistake, so rebranding will be the main point ob your business agenda.
How to Rebrand
1. Prepare your mind. - You can't make significant changes to your brand or business if you are not mentally ready for it. Some people take longer to adjust to something new, whether it is big or small, so if you know you are one of them, sit down and go through everything in details, write down all the benefits from it, the reasons for which you are doing it and let all that sink in.
2. Get to know your new target market. - If you are expanding or changing directions, so will be your customer base. You have to spend the appropriate amount of time learning about them and their preferences in order to create something they will find appealing.
3. Choose the right name to reflect on your new range and values. - Let's say your brand used to sell skincare products only. Logically, you called it Totally Awesome Skincare. Two years later, however, you decided to introduce a hair care line and some make up products. You have now grown out of your initial niche and taken a broader position in the beauty sector. Your new brand name has to reflect on that, so it could change to Totally Awesome Beauty Products.
4. Update your logo. - Or create a new one from the scratch. Make sure you have done your due diligence and learn the meaning of colours in order to create a banging logo.
5. Change your website. - Redesigning your website is part of successful rebranding. You want to show that you are fully committed to bringing a meaningful change.
6. Introduce changes in customer service. - Rebranding goes beyond what your customers see. You have to make sure you also give them a new, better experience when they choose to spend their money with you.
7. Be honest and open about it on social media. - Don't be silent during the rebranding process. Let all of your followers and fans know what's going on. It's also a great hype creator, so put your marketing hat on and get the best out of your brand's makeover.
8. Send a personalised note to your existing customers. - You want to show your customers you value them and there's no better way to do that than keeping them in the loop in a very personal manner. Send them an email, in which you inform them about the planned rebranding at least a month before re-launch.
9. Send out a press release. - Spread the word about your new face using as many channels as possible. Press releases are perfectly fit for purpose, announcing something exciting that is about to happen or has just happened.
10. Organise a re-launch event. - Re-launch parties are always fun and yes, if you can afford it, you can go overboard. Make it glamorous, make it entertaining, make it all about the brand in its new clothing and upgraded personality.
At the beginning of these series, we talked about how branding is a representation of the values your company stands for. Based on that understanding, rebranding could be representative of a change, adjustment, subtraction from, and addition to the values that your company has been known to represent.