Your business is probably many years old now, and things seem to be going fine. But you still feel some disconnect between you and your potential customers. Maybe, your company has recently raised a considerably large amount from a recent round of funding. And your investors expect you to make significant changes in your branding. Or you are not as happy with your business logo now, as you were years ago. You feel it’s time for a new direction, and some fresh thoughts.
Whatever be the case, you could be thinking about rebranding. That is, changing your business image, by giving it a new brand identity and stronger ways of differentiating yourself from competitors.
Sure, there are many ways rebranding can benefit your business. If done well, rebranding can do wonders. But before going for it, here are some vital things you need to keep in mind – so that things go smooth.
First things first, get clear on exactly why you want to rebrand. Put down the reasons.
Your ‘why’ matters and will decide the approach of your rebranding process. The process is different for every business, because every business is unique.
It is also crucial to understand that rebranding is not only about changing the logo. It could even involve changing the brand/company name. It changes the image your business projects, and the feeling people get when they interact with your brand. This makes it all the more essential to have strong reasons for rebranding.
It is important to know exactly what your customers like about your brand – why they keep coming back. These things can be retained or accentuated in your new branding. Also figure out what they are not liking about your business. Though hard to admit, there is a small bunch of things that could make them choose your competitor over you. You may have to understand this from customers themselves. They can be changed, eliminated, or improvised on.
It is equally essential to know what your stakeholders and employees like and don’t like about your current brand. What changes they think are required, and also how receptive they will be to any kind of change. Many companies use questionnaires, surveys, elaborate meetings and telephonic conversations – to get a clear understanding of these nitty-gritties before starting with rebranding. When they need a brand redesign, they may not completely scrap what they have already built. Or they could let it all go and start fully afresh.
Rebranding is a process, a journey involving several steps. Of course, you will not be able to know exactly how things will turn out, and you can figure things out on the way. But it helps to have a plan in mind. And experts in the field of rebranding can devise that plan a lot better. They will help you get clear on what you can achieve with the rebranding, and how to get there.
You also need to understand that rebranding changes things quite a lot – for your business. Anything and everything from your stationery, brand colors, brand personality, to the way advertisements are designed – will change. And that means you will need to have a considerable budget, and plan your finances accordingly.
The cost will vary from business to business – depending on its size, type, and popularity. However, rebranding must not be seen as a cost or expenditure, but rather as an investment. If done well, it can lead to great returns over the business’ life.
A great brand is built by unifying both the emotional and rational aspects involved. You may be inclined to one over the other, but you should consider balancing them both. Everyone will have a different perception and perspective. Be it of your logo, brand colors or graphic style.
People can choose what they want to see, and they might see something else when they take another look. Their perspective can change in a few months, too. Create a healthy mix of rational and emotional aspects in your rebranding. While making it easy to recognize and recall.
Rebranding is a subjective process. Some say it can be done in a few weeks, some feel it takes several months. The truth is, you are thinking of answers – a lot of risky answers and ideas – that are not easy and will take time to unfold. And it is advisable to take a considerable amount of time. Because this rebranding is for many years to come. Your current and potential customers, stakeholders, the media, the general public – they are all going to see it and experience it. Moreover, it takes time to go through the various stages and steps.
In 2014, Airbnb unveiled a new brand identity. A lot of things were new – typography, a signature color palette, and a fresh brand mark called the ‘Belo’, among others. The mark was created with insights from the community at large, as well as employees in the company.
The creative proposition for all internal and external audiences was ‘Belong Anywhere’*. The case study by the agency Design Studio, mentions that their creative strategy aimed to communicate the sense of purpose and affection that people felt towards the community – when they came into contact with the brand. They had a new visual brand and re-imagined their digital products.
New versions of the iOS and Android apps were created, along with a new website. Also, new marketing collaterals. The app was made into a key brand experience – with new photography, typography and colour. The entire rebranding process took them a whole year!
Rebranding can be complex and elaborate. Every business will need a different strategy and approach, and a brand redesign can’t be done just for the sake of doing it. Whatever you do, must be done responsibly and for the right reasons. It helps to find ideas by diving into your organisation’s culture, or creating a new culture.
We live in a world that is getting more image-driven everyday. Customers will form opinions about your brand in a jiffy. Rebrands are big events, they should be done with care. Consider these important aspects, make informed decisions, and go ahead to revitalize your business!