Rebranding a business can be a tricky situation to navigate. Usually, rebranding is a matter of either changing the company image to better suit what the company has become or plans to become or is a way of reflecting new management such as in a merger.
Yet, rebranding is more than just choosing new colours and a shiny new logo — rebranding is a chance to significantly impact the future success of a business. On the other hand, bad rebranding can have potential deleterious impacts on the company.
To help you avoid such a fate, here are some methods to keep in mind when rebranding your business for success in 2019.
1. Mind the Gap
Before the rebranding begins, take a careful look at the reason behind the rebrand. No company should rebrand on a whim. Rebranding takes a massive amount of time, energy and research in order to pull off properly. One of the biggest things you should do before rebranding is to mind the gap between what your company wanted to achieve and what it wasn’t achieving.
That gap between intended and real is where you need to focus your efforts in the rebrand. Make sure that the rebrand is aimed to strengthen any of those weak spots so the company will be stronger going forward.
2. Create a Detailed Plan
Once you know the weak spots, you need to create a detailed plan of action. The plan needs to include everything, including how the rebrand in certain areas will be better for the company than before, price estimates of changing elements, expected completion dates, etc.
A timeline of changes, dates, who is working on what, resource allocation and so on is crucial to staying on task and on time for completion. This is especially true if the rebrand is at a large scale or the company itself is quite large. Don’t forget to be realistic when creating the plan. A total rebranding of a company won’t happen overnight so don’t force it into an unrealistic timeframe.
3. Keep Your Clients in Mind
Of course, many rebrands have to do with better connecting to clients. Clients are the driving force of any business. However, clients may have very particular, strong feelings about a rebrand, especially if the brand has been around for a while and/or has gained a loyal following. In order to keep as many clients as possible, it is important for a company to complete small test runs of any new elements with a select group of clients.
It’s a great way to see if they absolutely hate a new name, logo, colour scheme, motto, etc. without already committing to those elements at a time where going back to the drawing board is impossible.
4. Name Yourself Carefully
Changing the company name may be completely necessary in the case of a merger, and potentially necessary in the case of a brand wanting to change its image. For the former, any new name should reflect both the old company and the new company or partner coming in.
For the latter, a company should choose a name which better reflects the ethos, mission, product or service of the company. Ideally, a name should represent the company and be easily identifiable for clients.
5. Design Simple Logos
In a rebrand, many companies choose to redesign their logo to better fit their new name or image. A few things to keep in mind with a logo is that in general, it is best to have no more than two colours in addition to white and/or black.
Also, the logo design should be simple enough that it can be recognized both very small (such as on a business card) and very large (such as on a sign). Keeping things somewhat simplified and easy to read is key for designing across mediums, ranging from papers to open neon signs to windows.
6. Make a Mission Statement
If the reason for the rebrand is that your company needed to realign itself with current actions or goals, then chances are that you’ll need a new mission statement. In general, mission statements need to be short, sweet and to the point. At first glance, a potential client should know either what your company does or what your company believes in.
7. Change the Company Culture
As your business shifts to realign with the changed name, logo, mission statement and so on, make sure that your company culture is also following suit. If you’ve changed the way things are done, then that should be reflected in how employees are expected to behave and work.
Make sure that employees know what is going to be expected of them, so they can rise to the occasion. Answer any questions and make sure your answers align with the new direction of the company when you do.
8. Switch Up Marketing
With a rebrand comes a new wave of marketing. Don’t waste your company’s hard work by failing to connect with audiences in a better way than before. If one of your business’ weaknesses was social media, grabbing audience attention or reaching certain demographics, then you need to switch up your marketing plan. Which marketing plan you choose depends entirely upon the needs of your company and the weak spots you want the plan to cover.
For example, if your business has trouble reaching younger generations then go where the younger generations are — specific social media platforms. If you don’t know how to best strategize and use the platforms to your advantage, then hire an expert or, even better, a young expert.
9. Re-Launch Your Vision
Rebranding needs to be seen as a positive action. As such, make sure to re-launch your new and improved business vision across all platforms and websites that your company uses. The idea is to get the greatest number of eyes on your new business, so it starts off from a place of high engagement.
Make sure to align the launch with your new mission, name and aesthetic and then send the message loud and clear to as many people as possible. Consider clever wording, funny images or timed releases in order to further help gain eyes on the re-launch.