This is How Marketers Do a Rebranding

Rebranding can be a very exciting or crucially terrifying time for a brand, depending on the reason for the need or desire to rebrand. Rebranding a take company to the next level, save a struggling company for going under, revitalize an outdated company to appeal to a modern audience, distance a company from a tarnished reputation, or even do damage and cause for a company to go under. With all this weight attached to it, it’s important to get it right.

The rebranding process involves research and analysis to understand your brand, the market, your customers, and your competitors. And then creating a new brand identity based on how you want to position your brand in the market by crafting a new logo, tagline, colors, and typography for your brand.

As easy as that may sound, it’s not. The rebranding process can take a lot of time and there are many pieces to the puzzle that all need fit in place right for you to get closer to the big picture that you would like to see for your brand. Let’s look a bit deeper into all of these things.

What is Rebranding

Rebranding is a strategy used by companies to reposition or refocus their brand in the market place by updating or changing its brand identity. This includes updating or changing all, or a combination of the following of the brand: name, brand positioning, competitive differentiation in the market, colors, fonts & logo, tagline or slogan, and messaging.

When to Rebrand

There are many reasons for when it’s a good time for a company to consider rebranding in order to stay relevant, expand its reach, appeal to a new segment of the market, distance itself from a tarnished reputation and many others.

Competition

It is often the case when companies start out, that they don’t always spend the necessary time and energy into branding and they might end up with a fairly generic brand look and feel. This might not be an issue for some time, but the company will hit a wall sooner or later as it struggles to stand out from the crowd of competitors.

At this point it could be a complete game-changer for a company to rebrand and reposition itself in the market to clearly define itself by claiming a space in the market, appealing to its customers in a new way and appealing to new customers.

Branding is Dated

If your company has been around for a long time but still carries its original branding from ages ago, or maybe a slightly updated version of it, then it would be a good time to consider rebranding to create a more modern look and feel. This is a great way to revitalize the brand and appeal to a new audience.

Most brands constantly refresh their visual identity to keep up with changing market trends and new technologies.

Reputation

Your company’s reputation might be unfavorable or damaged in the market. One of the best options available to revive your reputation and reintroduce a refreshed version of your brand is to rebrand. This can be a very effective way to distance the brand from a bad reputation.

A great example of this is Uber’s radical rebrand. Uber had a very bad reputation for its toxic work culture and its drivers were treated. The complete rebrand clearly showed their commitment to a new and improved work culture and it resonated within the market, making it a huge success and thereby changing the way the brand is perceived in the market.

Brand has Evolved

All brands change and evolve over time. Sometimes these changes can be small whereas other times they can be quite significant.

In order to stay relevant or expand your business, your brand’s philosophy and vision might change in order to accommodate changes in the market and in your business.

This evolution or your brand would need to be reflected in your brand identity and therefore would be the time to rebrand.

There are also more practical reasons like entering new markets, a merger or acquisition, the company’s business model might have changed or shifted, etc, which would warrant a rebrand.

Repositioning

Repositioning your brand in the market place can be a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition and appeal to new customers. This can be crucial if your company is losing market share due to increased competition or over-saturation of the market.

In this case, rebranding is an important element as your brand identity needs to reflect your positioning.

What You Need to Rebrand

Once you’ve decided that your company needs to be rebranded, that’s when the real work begins.

It’s not just as simple as changing your logo or name and there are many things that you need to understand and work through before you can get working on a new visual identity.

Understand your Brand

You need to have a good understanding of what your brand is about, the vision and mission it represents, how it would appeal to your target market and what makes you different from your competitors.

Working through these phases of creating a brand identity would include things like defining your vision, mission and values, your brand personality, the emotions associated with your brand, and your overall brand strategy.

Plan for Partial or Complete Rebrand

It is crucial for companies to understand the type of rebranding that is needed based on the requirements, objectives, and goals of the brand.

Very often brands just do a “refresh” of their visual identity in order to keep up with the times and stay relevant. This would be considered a partial rebrand and can expand beyond just the visual identity.

Other situations call for a complete rebrand, whereby you would change everything about your brand including the name, product packaging, new services, new brand identity, new target market, etc.

Understanding exactly what is best suited for your brand is a very important part of the process and can be detrimental to your brand is not done correctly.

Understand the Market and Competition

You need to have a clear understanding of the market, past current and possible future trends, and how your brand can benefit from these factors.

Having a good understanding of your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses is always very valuable in determining the areas in the market that might be underserved or where there are gaps for your to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Have a Passionate Team

Having a dedicated and passionate team managing your rebranding can be immensely beneficial to the outcome of your rebrand.

This would apply to the internal team within your company as well as the third party agency tasked to do your rebranding.

Have Patience

The rebranding process can be very time-consuming. It’s important to be patient throughout and to not rush the process as it could end up hurting your rebranding efforts and your brand.

Feel free to check out my article on how long it takes to build a brand, to get a better idea of how long the process could take.

How to Rebrand

Research

As mentioned earlier about the importance of understanding your brand, research is a key factor in this process in order to gather the relevant data needed to make informed decisions about your brand.

There are many different areas of research that need to be covered in this phase of your rebranding. These include, but not limited to:

  • Competitive analysis in order to gather information about your competitors and find potential gaps in the market
  • Market research in order to determine the demand for your brand’s particular product or service
  • Brand audit in order to determine your brand’s current position and how it’s perceived in the market

Define Your Brand

It can be very helpful to conduct internal audits within the company as well to get an idea of the brand perception within your organization. The internal audit along with data from the market place should give you a clear understanding of where your brand is at the moment.

Having this understanding lays the right groundwork for determining where your brand needs to go.

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary data, it’s time to define your brand.

Defining your brand involves determining the following foundational things, in no particular order, but all equally important and worth spending the time on to get it right.

  • What is your brand’s vision and mission?
  • What are your brand values
  • What is your brand personality
  • What is your brand’s emotional impact
  • What is your brand voice

Brand Positioning & Strategy

Once you have redefined your brand, you have to position yourself in the marketplace in a way that would differentiate you from your competitors. This is done by writing a brand positioning statement.

* This is a very strategic step and you need to have a clear understanding of the market, your competitors, your audience, the needs that are not being met currently and where the potentials in the market are.

How to write a brand positioning statement

  • Who – describes your target audience
  • What – describes your market category
  • What (unique) – describes the unique value you add to your audience
  • What (benefit) – describes what benefit they can get from you
  • Why (because) – describes why they should believe in you

For WHO, YOU are the WHAT that provides WHAT (unique) so they can WHAT (benefit) because WHY

“For creative professionals (WHO) with an eye for capturing and sharing beauty, Nikon is the digital point and shoot (WHAT) that delivers a window to their world (WHAT – unique), so they can experience deeper connections through a shared perspective (WHAT – benefit), because of Nikon’s 100-year history of developing new technologies that allow you to capture and share your experiences in their purest form, it’s as if you were there” (WHY) – Nikon

For a more in-depth look at the process check out my article on how to write your perfect brand positioning statement.

Visual Identity

A brand’s Visual Identity usually includes the following elements:

  • Logo (primary brand mark)
  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Design Element (secondary brand mark)
  • Imagery Style

Let’s examine these to help you understand why they are important and how to apply them in creating your identity.

Colors

Colors have an entire psychology behind them and you should keep this in mind when creating your visual identity. People perceive and experience colors with certain emotional and psychological connections and your brand will be no different.

This includes the color of your logo, primary brand color, along with all your secondary colors that will complement it. The below chart illustrates the different colors and how they can be used to convey your brand personality and values.

You might also consider whether to completely change your brand colors or simply update them and possibly introduce a few new secondary colors while rebranding.

Typography

Typography refers to the font or fonts that you will use to represent your brand. You have to choose your typography wisely because they say a lot about who you are as a brand and need to represent your identity accurately. There are generally six major groups of typography that I would consider as seen in the below chart.

Once again you also need to consider whether to completely change your brand fonts or simply update them to be more relevant to your new vision while rebranding.

Logo

A logo usually consists of either an icon or symbol and the company name. Or in some cases, just the company name by itself. Think of Netflix as an example logo with the company name only. Apple, on the other hand, has a distinctive icon to represent the brand along with the name.

Remember that your logo is the core visual element to represent your brand to the world, so it’s important that you get it right. Keep the following key things in mind when designing a logo for your brand:

  • Clearly communicate your brand new, or revised, personality and values
  • Appeal to your audience. Keeping it simple and clean, and avoiding over cluttering always yields the best results in my opinion
  • Stay relevant for a long period of time. Don’t design something based on what’s popular at any point in time, just for the sake of being fashionable. Trends will pass, yet you will be stuck with that design for a long time after the trend has passed.
  • Try to stick within what the industry standards are, cause they are there for a reason. If your goal is to go against the grain, then do so with intention and go all out with it.
  • Lastly, aim to create a logo that is memorable. You want your audience to remember your logo after they see it. You also want that impression to be positive, and to last, so keep that in mind.

Important extra note: Your logo will appear in many different places, formats and on different surfaces. Keep this in mind in the rebranding process. You don’t want to limit yourself in the future with where and how you can use your awesome new logo.

This is another situation to consider whether to completely change your logo or simply update it. This will depend on the type of rebranding approach you take, a partial (refresh) or complete rebranding.

Tagline

I’ve included the tagline or slogan as a part of the visual identity because it will form part of your logo in most cases.

A tagline is a short, memorable phrase that encapsulates the core of what your brand represents.

This is a very powerful tool that can take your brand to the next level, like Nike’s “Just Do It” for example.

The general rule is to try and keep your tagline limited to 7 words or less.

Brand Collaterals & Online Presence

Once you have created your new brand identity, you’ll have to implement it onto your brand collaterals and digital assets.

This would include everything from business cards, letterheads, envelopes, receipts, company brochures, email signatures, signage, office decorations, website, social media accounts, etc.

As you can see, rebranding your company has got a lot of associated costs when it comes to replacing physical items that your old logo appears on, and something that you have to factor into your rebranding analysis before getting started.

That being said, if your company has been around for a long time and you don’t have much of an online presence, rebranding might be the perfect time to invest in creating a strong online presence.

For more, check out my complete guide to creating a brand identity here.

Conclusion

If you are thinking about rebranding your business or wondering if it might be the right time for it, I really hope that this helped you in some way and answered some questions that you might have had.

Feel free to reach out if you need any help with your rebranding. We have many great teams of exceptionally talented individuals who can make the process a walk-in-the-park and to take the load off your back. Check out our AskAnything section or get in touch via our Consultancy section to find out more about how we can assist you in the process.

Happy rebranding.

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