Rebranding is a tricky business. There’s a lot to consider – undergoing a rebrand is about so much more than getting a new logo, as some people might believe. Right from the look and feel of your new brand identity, to how it is implemented, to how customers will feel about it, rebranding encompasses many complicated factors that require careful consideration and planning.
That’s probably why so many businesses get it wrong. Even global organisations have been known to fall victim to a rebranding fail, from Tropicana’s infamous package redesign to Pepsi’s new logo that got people asking what exactly did they spend $1 Million on?
While rebrands shouldn’t be taken lightly, even when you spend lots of time and money it can be hard to gage whether it will be a success. However, there are a few things that every business looking to rebrand should consider that should put them in good stead.
With that in mind, here’s what to do and what not to do to in order to rebrand successfully.
Rebranding just because
There are many reasons that businesses might consider a rebrand – from a merger, a new CEO, wanting to move away from a bad reputation, a shift in audience, or simply an outdated image. The biggest mistake a company can make, however, is to rebrand because …well, just because.
As any business owner knows, there’s a goal at the end of any activity a business undertakes. This includes rebranding. Fulling understanding your reasons for making the change will help you to make better decisions. Rebranding because you’re bored or because you can will likely mean that you don’t know what you want from your rebrand. And not knowing what you want will never help you to achieve anything.
Thinking a rebrand is just about your logo or name
Often when we think about rebrands, we think about the physical components, such as a name and logo. What many people don’t realise is that a brand is about so much more than that. A brand is everything from your logo, your website, and your name, to your company’s culture, your story, and even the way your employees answer the phone. Everything that your audience can perceive about your company makes up your brand.
In this way, a rebrand can be particularly powerful. For example, if your business is looking to part from its past, then a new logo – and even a new name – probably isn’t going to cut it if you stick to your old ways. Equally, if you’re simply looking to refresh your brand and look towards the future, it’s worth revising how you can update things such as your processes or your philosophy to match with your new look.
Not understanding your customers
Arguably the most important – and the most difficult – thing about knowing how to rebrand successfully is being able to understand how your customers are going to react. We’re not talking about mind reading, but rather understanding your market, your product, and how it fits into your customers’ day to day lives.
Earlier, we mentioned Tropicana’s 2009 rebrand fail. After customers complained that the rebrand looked like a cheap imitation of the juice they were used to, Tropicana made the move back to the original packaging. But why were the customers so averse to the new look?
To them, it signalled a change in the product they knew and loved. We tend to attach emotional significance to the things we use and enjoy, and this causes us to react, sometimes negatively, when these appear to change. For Tropicana fans, the original branding was associated with quality and daily routine – things that we generally don’t want to change. The reaction to the rebrand suggests that Tropicana failed to consider how their customers perceived their product.
It can be difficult to predict how your audience might react to a rebrand, but data and market research can go a long way to helping to understand your customers’ feelings. While this can’t tell you whether or not they would welcome a significant brand change, it can certainly help influence what things need improving and what things are perfect the way they are. Additionally, depending on what your business is, it might help smooth things over to warn your customers that you’re going to be making some changes. How you do this is up to you, but we thought Yahoo!’s 30 days of change campaign where they showcased a new logo every day for a month was pretty cool. While the new logo might now have been ground-breaking or even that novel, the campaign definitely would have helped users ease into it and not be taken by surprise.
Not being committed to the brand
Failing to properly integrate your new brand is the ultimate rebranding sin. Implementing a rebrand is just as important as having one, and that means it should be implemented across every aspect of your business.
If you’re looking for tips on how to rebrand successfully, one of the best things we could suggest is to develop a systematic plan for implementation. Sticking your new logo in a few obvious places and neglecting others is a sure-fire way to confuse your customers. Why? Because to them it looks like you’re confused too. When it comes to physical manifestations of your rebrand, make sure it’s displayed consistently so your flyers match up with your business card, which matches up with your website, which matches up with your shop front. This gives the impression that you have everything together, because, well, you do.
But committing to a rebrand doesn’t stop there. Like we said, a rebrand is about more than your new look. Making sure your logo is consistent is one thing, but change only really happens when you change the way you work. Evaluate your processes and your strategies – do they align with what your brand promises?
Ultimately, knowledge is the crucial factor when it comes to successfully rebranding. You need to have know why you’re rebranding, what a rebrand entails, what your customers think of your brand, and how to implement it.