A lot of businesses wrongfully think that a rebrand is a natural step to take every now and then. In reality, it’s a tool for changing your brand in ways that’ll tilt a target demographic in your favor, a way to get a company that’s been through major changes back on track, or a method to align audience perception with what you want to communicate.
Sometimes, a rebrand is simply not the right choice for you, since it’s a pretty extensive, time-consuming, and costly project. Therefore, it’s important that you take a step back and ask yourself, “Is it really the way to solve our issues?”
Finding your way through the jungle that is a rebrand project can be really tricky, but there are some really easy ways of getting off to a good start – namely with the basics. When you have a solid base of data-driven brand material, the rest of the process is easily handled.
There are many different types of rebranding; each with varying levels of complexity. They all begin with redefining core brand material, analyzing the market, and a strategic look at the holistic process – working with key stakeholders and a consideration for your target audience – to move forward smoothly, every step of the way.
The scale of your project may vary, depending on the level of change needed, but as you start sketching out the key components – values, logo, website, and the message – everything else will fall in place. These are highly strategic decisions that should not be made lightly. Every choice needs to be in line with the culture of the brand, otherwise, you could create a situation where no-one can stand by it; the breeding ground for brand inconsistencies.
Make sure that you involve the whole company, as well as partners (and even your audience), in the foundational process. That way, you’ll have the buy-in from everyone affected and can feel confident about next steps. In the end, your brand’s worth is defined by other people’s perceptions of it. When the sum of a brand components are properly aligned, leveraging your brand’s authenticity and with the full support of stakeholders, your customers will feel it.
A lot of companies misunderstand the idea of a rebrand. It’s not just a redesign. In fact, it can happen without changes in visuals. Sure, a redesign can (and often is) part of a rebrand, but the rebranding project is something much greater. It’s a change in the company’s core, making what’s was previously perceived as company X, look like company Y.
Ideally, a rebrand never really needs to happen. A brand is a living entity, which needs to be nurtured accordingly. A company that’s well established and working on a high-level branding standard should always be iterating its brand – always changing. That way, the brand is evolving with the company, not the other way around.
It’s easy to start defining these two approaches as full offense vs. smart defensive – but it’s not really the case. There are a lot of underlying factors that play into pros and cons for both scenarios. ou simply have to know which one suits your situation best.
A proactive kind of rebranding is all about preparedness, and having the ability to anticipate necessary steps before needing to take them, while a reactive rebranding is a more responsive version, where something (often unexpected) happens, and you as a company need to react.
It’s not the most thrilling topic, talking about costs. More often than not, though, it’s a discussion you need to have. The scale of the rebrand will generally dictate the price you’ll have to pay, both in terms of money and effort. There are generally three types of rebranding, usually (but not always) depending on the company size and complexity.
A Brand Refresh is the most basic type, covering the core of a rebrand. A Brand Reboot holds some additional complexity in terms of strategy and research. The biggest, and most complex one is the Brand Overhaul – often used by massive corporations with a huge, global brand presence, involves a comprehensive strategy and in-depth research.
Regardless of the rebrand project scale, it’s likely a pretty big step in the journey of a brand. To understand what the change will mean for business is hard to predict, but you can create a structured plan for how to do it. That way, you’ll be working toward a clear goal that can help steer your efforts to success.
Regardless of how you test the various aspects of your rebrand, the most important thing is that you make data-driven decisions, and test what’s been implemented in order to actively renew yourself – creating the very best brand perception possible. By doing so, you’ll avoid a lot of bumps in the road such as profit drops, or the need to recreate whole segments of what’s been conceptualized, just because they don’t perform.