When you start a new business, there are a million and one things that you need to think of and for some people, the initial branding can end up being rushed as a result. If you feel like your brand no longer represents your business, your values, or the audience you would most like to engage with, then giving it an overhaul might be something you are seriously considering.
But, is it possible to rebrand without undoing all of your hard work? And how can you implement so many new changes without scaring off your customers or coming across as indecisive / disingenuous? Read on and let’s explore the rebranding process in greater depth.
What is rebranding?
Rebranding, in a nutshell, is the process of rethinking your marketing strategy with a fresh name, logo, and design with the intention of developing a whole new identity for your business.
Why do businesses rebrand?
There are many different reasons why businesses rebrand (some better than others), such as:
- Moving to a new location: moving to a new location is as good a reason as any to rebrand. For example, if you are leaving your home in the UK and starting fresh in Dubai, you may wish to rebrand in order to appeal to a different audience. Just be prepared to adopt your digital marketing strategies accordingly (SEO in Dubai will mean targeting all new keywords and re-optimizing your website and its content).
- Repositioning in the market: if you wish to reposition your business in the market (whether to target a new audience or push different products / services), your brand will need to accommodate those changes.
- A new philosophy: perhaps you have decided to focus your energies on making your business carbon-neutral. If that’s the case, a rebrand could help emphasise those changes and encapsulate your new-found philosophy.
- Sheer boredom: some people grow tired of seeing the same logo and slogan and simply feel bored. This is not a very good reason to rebrand – particularly if you already have an established audience and your customers enjoy / resonate well with your current branding.
- Covering a crisis: we see this a lot, where businesses attempt to mask their failings and fend off bad press by rebranding their business entirely. Remember, most people are smart enough to see right through a move like this so always be sure to rebrand for the right reasons.
What does rebranding look like?
Rebranding your business can be as subtle or as extreme as you deem necessary. For example, it can include some (or all) of the following changes:
- A new logo: one of the most notable changes that rebranding often involves is creating a new visual identity. Just make sure that these new changes incorporate your vision, mission, and values.
- A shift in brand position: changing your logo and colour scheme might not be enough. It’s also important to change the way that you create content and communicate with your audience. A great way to do this is to establish a unique selling proposition.
- New adverts: with a new logo and a shift in market position, you will need to create adverts that clearly communicate these changes – including an explanation as to what this means for your customers. What’s changing? Should they be worried or excited?
- A change of voice: and of course, rebranding can often include an overhaul of the ‘brand voice’. Are you tired of being corporate and professional and wish to trade out the monotone for something a little more colourful and whittier? Think of your brand as a person – and indeed the type of person that your ideal demographic will be most attracted to.
How to rebrand without losing business?
When rebranding, if you don’t want to lose your audience, the important thing is to be crystal clear on why you are making the change (both with yourself and your customers). Do you have a good reason for rebranding? Or are you ultimately going to be creating more work for yourself simply because you are bored?
If you want a successful rebrand, then you should also re-establish your target audience and the market. With extensive research you can identify who your customers truly are (as opposed to who you thought they were), and maybe even discover a whole new demographic that you hadn’t previously thought about.
- Be inclusive: when rebranding, you don’t want to alienate your existing audience. If your rebranding essentially ‘blocks out’ your current audience in favour of a whole new demographic, you’ll only upset people – which can be damaging. However, if you create a new brand that resonates with your existing audience, but also makes it more accessible for other people, it can be far less detrimental to your business and indeed all of your hard work.
- Include your audience: rebranding can be an awesome opportunity for you to connect with your audience and help give them more ‘ownership’ over your brand. For example, you could shortlist some names and/or logos and take to social media to have your loyal customers vote on which they prefer. Not only is this a great way to get invaluable data / perspective, but it makes people feel valued and thus less unsettled by such drastic changes.
- Plan a successful launch: there’s so much that goes into a rebrand—adaptation, colour psychology, typography, logo elements, slogan, brand voice, mission, and values (to name a few)—so it’s important that you do your due diligence and plan for a successful launch. Don’t just drop the bomb on your audience overnight. Take the time to talk about the upcoming rebrand in blog posts, social media engagement, TV and radio, etc. and also consider running an exciting promotion alongside it. That way, when the time does come, not only is your audience primed, but they will be excited for the change as well!
Remember, the key to a successful rebrand is to:
- Be clear on why you are doing it (and do it for the right reasons).
- Be inclusive and don’t neglect your current audience in favour of a new demographic (simply make your new brand more accessible).
- Take your time to plan thoroughly if you want a successful rebranding launch. Introduce the idea early, engage with your audience and have them help with the decision making process, and consider running some kind of promotion to generate hype / soften the blow.
We hope you’ve found this article insightful and that you now feel more comfortable with the prospect of rebranding your business. Good luck!