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Four Essential Steps to Any Rebranding Process

Four Essential Steps to Any Rebranding Process

In our January newsletter, there was an article entitled When Rebranding your Company Might Be a Good Idea, outlining a few warning signs that signified when and how to go about a company rebrand. We discussed a few reasons that a rebrand may be considered necessary and recommended a few strategies that would be helpful in determining if a rebrand was in the cards.

Today, we’re operating under the assumption that you are, in fact, gearing up for your rebranding activities, and so we wanted to offer some advice on how to actually go about doing it. Make no mistake, a rebrand is not an easy process, and a formidable adversary will be fighting you every step of the way: your former brand identity.

Step One: Scope and Reason

Before you can do anything else, you have to firmly establish how far your rebranding goes. Are you giving your current company an updated look, or are you undergoing an intensive process to recreate your business and generate a new brand from scratch? These differences may seem minimal at first, until you realize how much actually reflects a company's brand and image.

Even if you only plan to update your appearance a bit, keeping your brand as a whole intact, you will still have to procure a new logo, and/or maybe come up with a new name.You may need to procure new materials that meet your new design strategy and color scheme. The process will become even more intensive when a full rebrand is in order, as that will require all of the above, plus a full rewrite of the copy on all documentation (internal and outward-facing) to meet the new brand’s tone, syntax, and vocabulary.

In any case, as you set out to rebrand your company, you have to understand why you are doing so. Is your brand no longer able to communicate as effectively as it needs to with your targets? Is your branding outdated and awkward? Has your company grown into something new? Understanding the reason for your change will assist you in going about it most effectively. Once your motivation has been established and your parameters are defined, calculate your required budget and prepare yourself accordingly.

Step Two: Do Your Homework

Or, in no uncertain terms, RESEARCH EVERYTHING. The entire purpose of rebranding in the first place is to become a more effective company. In order to do this, you need to know exactly what your shortcomings are, as well as what your strengths are, in order to enact more effective changes. In doing so, you can not only remedy your issues, but you may also identify and recycle the stronger points of your previous brand into your new one.

In order to do so, you will have to have a complete understanding of your current brand. Taking both your own objectives and external input into consideration will help to make this understanding more accurate, and assist you in making your next decisions.

For example, you will have to consider (or reconsider) who will constitute your desired operating market. Understanding your brand from all angles will help you decide whether it’s more prudent to continue pursuing targets from the same market, or if it’s wiser to branch out into other areas, assuming you are able. You must also consider if your rebrand will include reexamining which industry verticals you serve, and whether or not you plan to expand into others. A big part of making these considerations is to do a bit of research to find out what others have been doing with success, and surpassing them.

Step Three: Rebranding, Inside and Out

Of course, there will be many other actions to take in order to optimize your rebranding effort’s chances of success. Here are a few major questions you’ll need to consider:

  • Are you updating your website, or starting fresh? If you’re launching an entirely new site, you’ll want to maintain your old site for a time, with a highly visible announcement informing visitors of your move to the new one.
  • Is your social media properly updated to match your new brand? Just like your website, any and all social media channels should be modified or migrated to match your company’s new identity. If the page doesn’t allow you to completely revise your information, you will need to create the new page and have a highly visible announcement on the old page to alert your followers of the change as well.
  • Have you made all necessary updates to your collateral and deliverables? Any changes you have made to your brand must be made to your materials as well, in order to continue generating impressions for the proper entity. This should include updating the tone and vocabulary you use in your materials, as necessary.
  • Have you made the internal changes as well? Remember, your brand doesn’t just face outwards--it has influence over how your brand is presented to your current employees, as well as any prospective hires that you may encounter. Does your company culture line up with the impression you are trying to make upon your clients? Additionally, you will need to keep your employees in the loop, making sure everyone is on board and up to speed on any changes to ensure a smooth transition from brand to brand. This should go so far as to include even your internal documentation, as each and every facet should reflect your rebranding.
  • Has everything been attended to, prior to rollout? It’s especially important that you examine each and every facet of your brand to evaluate if it is affected by the change, and make those changes before you launch your rebrand. A staggered rebranding not only confuses the consumer, it also makes the rebrand itself less effective. Therefore, your entire rebrand should be released simultaneously, every consideration included before launch.

In order to give your rebranding efforts the best chance of success, and maximize their impact, you will have to make sure these questions and others are considered and accounted for.

Step Four: Additional Considerations

Of course, there are other things to keep in mind as you commence with a rebrand. As was mentioned before, you’ll want to maintain your old web presence for a time in order to ensure that word of the change gets to those parties that it needs to. Additionally, you’ll want to go through and set up redirects for each of your old site’s pages to send visitors to the corresponding page on your new site.

As you do so, you will want to make sure your new site is fully responsive and optimized for mobile devices, so your site visitors will have as easy of a time adapting to the change.

Finally, you will have to make sure that you communicate with any and everyone connected to your site during this process. If there are other parties with interest in your business and the web presence, such as boards and shareholders and other similar contacts, you will have to be sure to keep them informed. The same goes for your clients and/or customers, once the rebranding project has been announced. Preparing these contacts ahead of time will help to avoid confusion when the website they’re used to going to sends them someplace else.

Whatever it is you choose to do, make sure that it is done because it’s the right thing to do. Additionally, be prepared to stand in support of your newly minted branding, confident that your company is better represented by it.

For help with any of these steps, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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