Any company looking to stay fresh and relevant will eventually need to face the question of a rebrand. Maybe you want to attract a new target audience, remain competitive as new players enter the market, or change the way people think about your product or service.
While rebranding is the key way to reposition yourself in the market, the stakes can also seem high: after all, your brand is both your reputation and your visibility. For some managers, the prospect of overhauling their entire visual brand identity – or even just tinkering with it – can also feel like an insurmountable task, one that distracts from the important job of running the business.
But a rebranding process doesn’t have to be the chaotic, stressful experience it’s made out to be. By approaching the process smartly and relying on the right tools and strategies, there are ways to ensure that your rebranding process goes as smoothly and successfully as possible.
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Changing your visual brand identity is a delicate balancing act – it’s about finding the happy medium between what your customers know you as, and how you want them to think of your company in the future.
According to Pamela Webber, chief marketing officer of 99designs, rebranding should be a step forward, but it certainly shouldn’t alienate your original customer base or fundamental values. In an interview with Business News Daily, she says the idea is that your upgraded brand identity still resonates with your existing audience:
"You don't want to lose sight of that. Embrace the newness and evolution that comes with a new type of customer base or product, but also keep your core fundamentals. Make sure that whatever you do as part of your rebrand is authentic to you, your employees and your customers."
Look to global brand success stories for inspiration on how to strike that perfect balance between the old and the new. One famous example is Old Spice – an antiperspirant which went from a dowdy grandpa scent to seductive and alluring with a tongue-in-cheek ad campaign featuring a chiselled sports star telling women “look at your man, now back to me. Unfortunately, he’s not me.” The sense of humour was an instant hit with younger consumers and quickly went viral on social media. While a small business obviously couldn’t match a global ad campaign – the case is a lesson in how a brand can leave a product relatively unchanged so old customers still recognize it – Old Spice didn’t even change its logo – but completely transform its image to reach a completely new audience.
Have a brand launch plan
Of course, there’s no point in investing in a brand overhaul unless you make the effort to generate awareness – that’s why it’s crucial to develop a plan to promote and strengthen your new brand. We’ve covered three fundamental things you must do when launching a brand identity update here.
For some, a rebrand may mean that your exposure takes a hit – but you can minimize that risk by being prepared to re-educate your audience and rebuild your brand awareness in the face of change. Don’t assume that a new look will perform the job for itself – managers who take shortcuts on developing long-term strategies after a rebranding process often end up feeling like the process set them back. Strive to clearly communicate your new brand identity and where it puts you in the marketplace.
And don’t forget to strategize how to launch it internally: it’s critical for your employees to embrace your new brand. Marketing specialists will attest to the fact that what starts within spreads throughout. Employees are on the marketing front line and the best ambassadors for your product or service: a strong effort to communicate your new brand to your team effectively gives them the best tools to reach out to customers and spread your message to the market.
Ensure everything is on-brand
There’s something acutely embarrassing about having your old logos pop up around the office after you’ve gone through a lengthy brand overhaul – like when you invite clients for a presentation and find that the slides still boast your old tagline. At best, it looks sloppy. At worst, it gives the impression of a company with serious identity issues – and it could confuse your employees and customers alike.
So you’ve gone through all the effort to develop new visual elements with a designer – things like logos, tagline, colours and design – but how do you ensure you can roll them out across the board, including internally? It’s easy to throw out your old mugs, business cards and stationery and replace them with upgrades – but how do you put your new stamp on your internalcustom documents and templates to ensure visual identity is implemented consistently? Think presentation decks, contracts and spreadsheets, which often get overlooked in a rebrand.
Once, this might have meant endless manpower (and endless errors), but today, Templafy can automate processes and do the job for you. Templafy maintains visual compliance across your internal content, and by automatically updating any changes, it ensures all users have access to only current and compliant content by default. If someone happens to open an old document to edit from their desktop, which contains the old company branding, they’ll get an alert through the Templafy task pane that they’re breaking the guidelines. Sounds pretty great, right? It's the simplest and quickest way to get the whole company on board with the rebrand.
Keen to know more? Schedule a meeting with one of our consultants to learn how Templafy helps ensure a smooth rebranding process.