It’s easy to want to cling on to an old logo or branding strategy that has been with the business since day dot, but as businesses and audiences evolve, branding needs to adapt too. Sometimes brands just stop resonating and fade into the background, other times businesses decide to change direction and seek out new audiences. In either case, a good rebranding is needed. Facebook are always rebranding (okay maybe not always, but it feels like it’s happened a lot), Uber made some changes in 2018 and Weight Watchers are now WW. All three are big brands, and all three needed to freshen up in order to move forward.
But where to start? There are many moving parts to rebranding, and plenty of elements to take into consideration. Rebranding is a process that requires research, discussion and a deep understanding of a businesses, it’s certainly not an overnight change. Here are our five steps for rebranding:
1. Prepare your company and stakeholders
Change is harder for some than it is others. All stakeholders have to be on the same page; otherwise, all the hard work can get abandoned in the final stretch. Involve executives, investors, your internal marketing team and legal. Anticipate what your teams will want to know and clearly communicate how the changes will impact them.
Everyone in the company will have an opinion, and they all need to know about the rebrand. Mixed messages or poor communication will only create confusion.
2. Know who you are
Having a clear idea of your goals is a good starting point in identifying your brand identity, this should also be matched with extensive research and competitor analysis. Company values are also crucial, so any branding consultancy or agency you’re working with should be asking a lot of questions about what a business really stands for.
Knowing who you are as a brand will help form a strong narrative, and also guide the aesthetics of your typography and creatives.
3. Understand your audience
Your audience may have changed since your last branding activity, so separate any personal or historical biases to determine what your audience wants to see. Look to the data for guidance and understand who your audience is, what matters to them, and how they connect with businesses.
This step is really worth spending time on and can have a huge impact on your ultimate brand strategy.
4. Take your time
Rebranding should never be rushed. Quality research, strategy, and typography all take time and will have a huge impact on your business. Rushing through will only make that impact a negative. It can be tempting to go straight to the logo are start coming up with creative concepts, but your branding agency should ensure that these concepts really reflect your brand.
Done right, a rebrand should stand the test of time, attracting customers and partners alike. Stepping outside the process or racing through may leave you with a rebrand that feels out of date within a few months of launching.
5. Don’t rebrand every year
A successful rebrand is timeless and should only take place once every six years, at most. Sure, you may need a brand face lift or refresher to avoid becoming outdated, but during refreshes your core colour palette, typography and logo should be maintained.
Constant rebranding puts you at risk of confusing your customer and losing your identity and direction. A well thought out, carefully constructed brand strategy will work hard for your business year after year.