Thinking of rebranding to strengthen your marketing efforts and generate a buzz? Here’s all you need to know for a successful rebrand in 2023
Rebranding is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal that can help you reintroduce your brand to both loyal and potential new customers, reposition yourself in the market landscape, and keep your company relevant and fresh in the minds of consumers.
Whether you’re planning on a major overhaul that sees you completely revamp your brand identity, or you’re envisioning slight tweaks to your logo, company colors, and brand voice, embracing change is critical for ensuring that your business moves forward with the times and evolving customer preferences. Seasonal rebranding, which sees your business launch its new look at the end of the year, can help you maximize your holiday marketing campaigns.
Here’s what you need to know about successful rebranding for your business to reach new audiences and optimize your market impact.
What is rebranding?
Rebranding is a catch-all term that refers to a decision to revamp a company’s brand identity, which typically includes visual aspects, such as its logo, colors, typography, website, and product images. However, rebranding often means more than an aesthetic change – it can cover a new brand voice, messaging, pain points, and other fundamentals that demonstrate a business’ value proposition for its clients and customers.
What is the purpose of rebranding?
There are a number of reasons why rebranding a business may be a necessary step. From getting a leg up on your competitors to communicating changes within your venture, rebranding is critical for making sure that your audience, competitors, and existing customers understand exactly who your company is, why they should care, and how you can bring them value.
1. Gain a competitive edge
One popular reason that businesses embrace company rebranding is to stand out from the pack in a crowded market. An eye-popping visual aesthetic, replete with clever or irreverent messaging on your site’s home page, can help you shine when reaching out to customers who are overwhelmed by multiple options in your industry.
Beyond the visual changes that come with rebranding, you can use your rebrand to more clearly and obviously communicate your company’s differentiators from competitors. A smart rebranding strategy will focus on your business’ strongest points and promote them, from both an aesthetic and messaging standpoint.
2. Your business has evolved
It’s likely that your company, its offerings, and its value for customers have changed since the initial launch. If your company has merged with or acquired a new enterprise, a rebrand can demonstrate this major change to the public.
It’s incredibly important that your branding accurately reflects your services and company values, so it’s a good idea to periodically update your branding. Rebranding products is also a great way to better express the benefits of your offerings to your audience, as well as make them more appealing to consumers unfamiliar with your business.
3. Reposition according to new goals and markets
If you’ve switched up your core operational strategy and functions – for example, switching from a B2B to a B2C model – or made dramatic changes to your core products or services, a rebrand is a critical move. The same goes for if you’ve decided to pivot and are now focused on a new sector or industry; you need a branding that’s specifically suited to your space.
When is it time to rebrand?
The answer to this question will be different for every company, depending on that business’s unique needs and market standing. But as a general rule of thumb, if your messaging is no longer accurately expressing what you’re offering to your customers, ownership or the composition of your business has changed due to a merger or acquisition, or your branding feels irrelevant, stale, and that it doesn’t resonate with modern consumers, it’s probably time to consider rebranding your business.
8 steps to rebranding a company
These steps can help you achieve an effective, powerful rebrand that will refresh interest and raise awareness around your company.
1. Identify your audience
Before committing to a new look or voice, it’s crucial that you figure out exactly who you’re speaking to and whose eyeballs you want on your brand. If you’re reaching out to a new geographic audience in a different country, market research is key to understanding what visuals and graphics will resonate with your target market.
Likewise, if you’ve pivoted your business model to focus on a new sector or industry, you need to understand the market landscape and branding used by your competitors in that space. Once you know who you’re attempting to reach and what branding is more likely to interest them, you can make smarter decisions and create an effective rebranding plan.
2. Ensure that you’re aligned on brand identity and core values
This is the time to buckle down and take stock of whether your current branding demonstrates what matters most to your company. If one of your strongest selling points is decades of experience and a classic approach towards customer service and your offerings, funky typography, eye-popping bright colors, and an ironic voice likely won’t be the right fit.
During this phase, it’s crucial that stakeholders and decision-makers sit down and hash out precisely the pain points and messages that you want to express to your existing customers and new audiences. Your whole team must be in agreement on core values and brand identity in order for your rebranding effort to be successful.
3. Analyze what’s working and what isn’t
Before rushing into a dramatic overhaul and scrapping the branding that your company has used for years and is familiar to your customers, you should conduct extensive research. An educated decision about what changes to make is key.
Rebranding your logo and producing something entirely new from scratch can potentially be the wrong decision, should it render your company unrecognizable to your clients and people who are already aware of the brand.
Mind the “little” details
Small changes, like capitalization, slight color tweaks, and using different shapes with your traditional wording and tagline, can have a big impact. Conversely, if you find that your current branding – perhaps created when your company was first launched and had a smaller budget for design and branding – isn’t cutting it, this is the ideal to start over and create something brilliant.
There’s a reason why startup rebranding is so common. Oftentimes, a company’s mission or target audience changes as the business grows to scale. Make sure that your business’s current value proposition is clear in your branding.
4. Get creative and have fun
Effective corporate rebranding can mean thinking outside of the box and expressing your brand identity in an imaginative, unexpected way. While those in more traditional and regulated industries – such as finance, insurance, and law – might feel like they need to stick to more conventional branding, there’s still wiggle room to show some personality and create a distinctive voice and visuals for your business.
5. Look to the future and long-term shifts
While you definitely want your rebranding design to be relevant in terms of what’s trending in the modern landscape, you should ultimately choose a look and voice that have staying power. It’s a tough balance to strike, but you need to find a rebranding design that is fresh and up-to-date, yet isn’t overly “of the moment.” Beware of embracing visuals or a voice that will seem dated a decade from now.
You can also identify and follow trends that have emerged in your industry in recent years, given that they’re part of a sector-wide shift in how companies brand themselves and relate to their customers For example, the person-first brand identity of many tech companies, which includes both friendly visual design and a casual voice, shows no signs of going away anytime soon.
6. Consider retaining rebranding experts
While you may have awesome marketing and graphic design teams within your company, a large-scale rebrand could require you to recruit external professionals who provide rebranding services. They can give you expert guidance on choosing the right rebranding design for your organization, the ideal timing for your rebranding launch, and other aspects of rolling out your new aesthetics and messaging for the best possible results.
7. Fully commit to the launch, including a comprehensive plan
Casually unveiling your new look one day is not going to be enough to create buzz and excitement around your company. Successful rebranding requires a plan of action beforehand, which sees you engage with your existing and potential customers and hint about the rebranding before it officially launches.
That could look like social media campaigns teasing your followers that something big or new is coming, creating a video reintroducing your company to the world, or even recruiting influencers in your space to help you unveil your rebranding.
Ensuring that the public is aware that important news about your company is on the horizon increases the likelihood that your rebranding will make a bigger impact.
8. Don’t forget about internal branding
Rolling out a rebrand means making sure that everyone in your organization is on board with your new look. That means crossing all your T’s and dotting your I’s, down to email signatures.
This often-overlooked aspect of branding is actually a very important one – when you’re sending emails to existing clients, vendors, or industry colleagues outside of your company, your email signature should include the most up-to-date logo and typography of your business.