Ready to Rebrand? Plan for the Future and Make it Last

Sep 11, 2019

Anyone who has ever worked on a rebrand can agree on one thing. It’s a LOT of work.

A rebrand can easily become an arduous process – from finding the right design inspiration to obtaining strategic direction to developing succinct messaging and finally to crafting the right finishing touches to make it all come together. And that’s not taking into account obtaining executive buy-in.

When you initiate and execute a rebrand, you’re not only changing the entire visual identity of your organization, but you’re reintroducing how prospective employees and customers will find, recognize, and perceive you. But fear not. There is a way to make this process and transition – smooth enough to stay connected with your customers, employees, investors, and prospects.

How to know when it’s time to rebrand

  • You’ve gone through a merger, acquisition, and/or divestiture
  • You’ve recently repositioned your business i.e: new sales strategy, etc.
  • Changing markets. Have you exited a former market? If so, your brand identity may no longer make sense for your current target audience.
  • Does your brand have a negative reputation? Is your NetPromoter score indicating client dissatisfaction? Have your win/loss studies found clients think your company’s message or position is disjointed?
  • Is there market confusion? Does another company have a similar name or brand identity? If so, it’s time to consider differentiating your offering.
  • Have there been recent changes to your executive leadership team? With new leadership may come new direction, and thus, a need for a new brand.
  • Is your logo/brand identity outdated or stale amongst your competition?

If you’ve answered YES to one or more of the questions above, it’s time to consider moving forward with a rebrand.

We need a Rebrand. Now What?

Audit. And audit once again.

Before you get too far over your skis, it’s helpful to conduct a thorough brand audit. This will improve the odds of success and ensure you’re operating from a place of “knowing” rather than “assuming” when it comes to the many, many aspects of your rebrand.

Through the execution of surveys, customer interviews, a brand sentiment analysis, and comparisons of NetPromoter Scores, you will gain a clearer understanding of how your organization is performing. Understanding where you are today will then enable a more informed decision-making process to get you where you want to be.

Build for change.

The struggle is real when it comes to building for change. During one particular rebrand I worked on, the healthcare technology company spent millions of dollars rebranding their organization to give themselves a “fresh look” without taking one major consideration into play.

Healthcare and technology are two of the fastest growing and ever-evolving markets in the United States economy. Suffice it to say, things change. Quickly.

After only six months of phase one roll out, they quickly realized their business model was changing due to a planned acquisition and the new branding no longer fit the expanded offering of the organization. They had inadvertently pigeonholed themselves into a brand they outgrew at a rapid pace.

My client had to invest even more time, resources and funding to ensure the second phase of their rebrand delivered a result that was not rigid or fixed. The most successful rebrands are built to withstand the test of time, allowing for the ebb and flow that is guaranteed when you’re operating in a consistently changing landscape.

 A Get real.

The best brands keep it real. Honesty goes a long way just think about the credibility McDonald’s earned years ago when they decided to reveal the ingredients in their burgers and French fries. Brands who stand for something also gain traction among clients and prospects.

Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear brand with a cult-like following, saw a jump in their annual revenue to the tune of $600 million after going public with their ecological sustainability initiative.

Whatever your “real” is, be that. Let’s get away from stale websites chock full of stock images, basic color palettes, and over-used marketing buzzwords. I think we’ve all read about innovative technology, tangible results, and dedicated account management.

Instead, use your brand as a springboard to add colorful depth to your offerings. Change the conversation. Create meaningful relationships. And carve out such a unique position for your brand that it becomes more effortless to rally your employees, customers, and investors behind that voice.

“A brand is no longer what you say about yourself. It’s really what a friend tells a friend.”  Tina Sharkey, co-founder of Brandless