Branding

The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business

Maybe the time has come for you to rebrand your business. But how do you get started? Do you change your logo and then worry about the rest?

Rebranding can turn a brand into a magnet for new audiences, revitalize it, and give it a fresh and exciting new identity. But there is a catch. Rebranding is one of the most challenging marketing strategies to pull off.

When you rebrand, you need a plan of action. And you need to know your audience. Without a fresh, consistent, and inspired approach, rebranding can backfire against you.

This guide to rebranding a business will help you navigate the challenges and pitfalls of creating a new brand strategy. In addition, this guide will help you define your brand’s mission and position in the market. You will intimately know what makes your brand strong.

What Does Rebranding Mean?

Rebranding is the process of creating a new company identity. It’s more complex than a simple logo refresh. A complete rebranding strategy can cover all aspects of your company’s personality, from your logo, slogan, and website to your packaging and marketing materials.

On the web, rebranding is often used as a synonym to changing your logo and updating your website. But at its core, rebranding means much more than this. A company can refresh its logo or website without rebranding itself. When it rebrands, however, it changes its identity, and with it, it may also alter its mission statement and objectives.

For many companies, rebranding is a natural phase of their growth – a process through which they may have to go through more than once. It arises naturally as a need to align its objectives with market trends and customer expectations. On average, organizations change their visual identity once every decade. Rebranding is also common after mergers and acquisitions.

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Rebranding is usually done with customers in mind. No company wants to alienate customers with its rebranding. On the contrary, companies may rebrand to engage customers more and reach a wider audience. But rebranding can help a brand create a different identity in the minds of investors and competitors as well. It can help the company’s management and employees rethink their work and strengthen their commitment to it.

Your corporate identity and branding are closely connected. The first influences the latter. But your branding is driven by your company identity as well. The logo you choose, your slogan, your website, and your marketing – your corporate identity influences all of these. At the same time, a successful rebrand can make you feel proud about being who you are and doing what you do.

Developing a brand identity is a process that relies on internal as well as external factors. As the owner or manager of a company, you can control some of these factors. You can change the look and feel of your website, create a new logo, or opt for a different branding strategy that is more empathetic.

However, whether your rebrand succeeds or not depends on how your audience perceives these changes. Audience perception, in turn, is shaped by their interaction with other brands, market trends, and expectations.

logo design rebranding

Key Reasons for Rebranding Your Business

Companies that need rebranding experience many tell-tale signs that the time has come for change. Some of these signs are obvious. If you too are considering a rebrand, it’s important to pay attention to both the positive and the negative signs.

Negative Signs

  • Lack of Engagement

People engage more with the brands they like and buy more from the brands they engage with. Engagement between consumers and brands takes many forms, from the actual time visitors spend on your website to likes, shares, and follows on social media.

Today, when they are swamped with choices, consumers have only a limited time every day to engage with brands.

Every day consumers face up to 5,000 ads. Add to that the fact that the average person makes around 35,000 choices daily, and now you have to give your audience a very good reason to engage with your brand. Otherwise, it will be easier for them to choose not to, especially since making too many choices tires the brain and reduces willpower.

Do consumers leave you positive reviews? Do they comment on your blog posts and do fans and followers interact with your social media pages? Engagement is crucial for surviving online today, and rebranding helps with that.

94% of participants in a Gensler Brand study said they would recommend a brand they were emotionally engaged with.

  • Outdated Look

How would Microsoft look today if it still used its 1992 logo? Or what would Amazon be if the website looked and felt like it did ten years ago?

Not half as colorful. Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%, according to a University of Loyola study. What’s more, a signature color can further increase brand recognition by 80%. Just think of the green in the Starbucks logo.

Trends, technological developments, and customer expectations all shape brand perception. With so many brands today committed to relentless innovation, the pace at which websites, logos, apps, or products become outdated has increased exponentially.

Two years ago, your website may have been all the rage. But today, it may need rebranding. That’s how fast things move.

  • Loss of Relevancy

Remember the old Apple rainbow logo? Back in 1998, Steve Jobs changed it to a monochrome logo that reflected Apple’s elegance, minimalism, and competitive edge. While not unappealing, Apple’s colorful logo lost touch with the trends at a time when computers were making a huge leap forward.

The rainbow logo may have been a nod to the Apple II, the world’s first computer with a colored display. But in 1998, when the first iMac came out, the rainbow logo would have looked childish on the sky-blue computer.

Apple turned to a monochrome logo briefly, before settling on a more elegant, metallic logo that went through a few transformations over the years.

iphone Rebrand Business

  • Need for Differentiation

Customers constantly compare your brand to competitors. They do this every time they have to make a choice. Every time they shop for a product. Every time they look for a solution to a problem. When your brand identity is too similar to that of your competitors, customers are less likely to choose you.

Positive Signs

  • Brand Growth

One of the best reasons to rebrand is to celebrate the growth of your company. As your brand grows, so do expectations. Confining a growing brand to its old startup identity is like dressing a young adult in adolescent clothes. It can be uncomfortable. Besides, it makes the wrong impression.

  • New Vision

Many brands start small and need a few years to understand their position on the market and determine their unique selling point. Their vision changes during this process, often broadening and incorporating new elements. But a company may change its vision more suddenly as well. A string of bad financial reports coupled with customer dissatisfaction (or a period of roaring success, with high revenues), may also drive a company’s executive team to update their vision.

  • Globalization

When your business goes global, your existing brand identity may get lost in translation. Brand names and slogans can mean unfortunate things in other languages, making them very difficult to market abroad.

One example is Pepsi’s infamous “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” tagline in China, a translation for its catchy Western slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life.” But things don’t have to be this dramatic. Twix was once named Raider before its global expansion called for a more descriptive name that captured the spirit of the twin biscuit sticks.

An even more inspired name change, and one that would have a lasting impact on the web as we know it, took place back in 1995 when Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web – ahem! – became Yahoo! Yahoo! was a simple word that almost anyone in any language could remember.

The same can be said about Nike. The sportswear giant and lifestyle company was founded as Blue Ribbon Sports back in 1964 and initially only sold shoes for a Japanese brand. But seven years later, when it started selling its own products, it adopted a shorter and more appealing name. A name that many people today associate with the brand more than with the Greek goddess after which it was named.

Going global is great, but when it happens, you need to make sure that your new audience understands your brand name and marketing materials. For many brands today, creating a website has become the equivalent of going global and it often calls for rebranding.

If your website traffic includes visitors from different regions, you can use rebranding to provide a universal message and ensure nothing is lost in translation.

  • Mergers or Acquisitions

Rebranding is not always a choice. When two or more companies merge or when one company acquires another, rebranding may become a necessity.

Whether it’s a case of refreshing a logo, blending two logos, or creating a new logo from scratch that reflects the identity of a new business entity, branding is often indispensable after mergers or acquisitions. It’s one of the best reasons for rebranding while incorporating a dual vision.

rebranding services

The Pillars of a Successful Rebranding Strategy

Rebranding a company step by step is the best way to ensure a positive, inspiring, and ultimately successful corporate identity change. In the first stage, you have to ensure that you are moving in the right direction. You need to make rebranding a unified goal for your whole team.

It all starts with the purpose of your rebrand and the other key pillars that support your campaign. These help to define your rebrand at the concept stage. All successful rebranding strategies rely on the following pillars.

  • Purpose

Your rebranding campaign is purposeful when it is driven by clear objectives. Whether your brand is adopting a new vision, has been through a merger, or needs to increase engagement, the rebrand should be undertaken as a natural step in the life of your company. When rebranding arises only as a justification for the marketing department staying busy, the results can be disastrous.  

  • Consistency

A successful rebrand involves different online and offline channels, including social media, email, and local marketing. It may also require multiple teams in different locations working on the same campaign. For a rebranding campaign to bring the desired results, it has to be consistent from the start. Logo designs, visual guidelines, content marketing, and everything else – all need to convey the same message.

  • Emotion

The most successful rebrands focus on the people who make them possible – the customers. They emphasize the human element and celebrate it – they arouse emotions. A logo can convey emotion, and so can a website. But much of the emotional appeal of a rebranding campaign depends on the tone and voice of the marketing materials and whether these connect with the target audience.

  • Engagement

Brands that use emotional branding inspire and engage customers. They have the power to transform the identity of a company in a way that encourages people to interact with it more, online and offline. Engagement is not something you can plan, but you can create the right conditions for it to happen. When your rebrand addresses customer concerns and pain points, customers pay attention.

  • Commitment

When a brand is committed to changing its identity, this shows in its entire approach to rebranding. It doesn’t look for quick solutions and easy fixes. Instead, it uses creativity and empathetic marketing to solve some of its key identity problems – its bland social media image or outdated website, for example. At the same time, it believes in the purpose and value of the new identity it forges and can defend it from critics.

brand strategy

Steps to Rebranding Your Company

Rebranding a company can be a valuable experience for the entire team. And, of course, it can pave the way for better things to come. But to prove effective, rebranding calls for a thoughtful and discerning approach. It requires a well laid out blueprint that can give structure and a clear direction to the entire process.

1. Create a Brand Identity Questionnaire

What is your brand identity? Is it rich and luxurious? Or is it simple, minimalistic, and down to earth? A brand identity questionnaire can help you determine your brand identity and set the stage for all your rebranding efforts.

When your brand identity is not clear to you, your rebrand may end up confusing everyone – including your team. That’s why you need to make sure these questions make it into your brand identity questionnaire.

  1. What does our company do?
  2. What problem do we solve?
  3. Who are our top three competitors?
  4. How are we different from our competitors?
  5. Why should prospects engage with our brand?
  6. Why should prospects buy from us?
  7. Who is our ideal customer?
  8. What is our primary message?
  9. What are our subsequent messages?
  10. What are the three adjectives that best describe our brand?

2. Understand Your Ideal Customer

The brand identity questionnaire focused on your brand – now it’s time to focus more on your customers. It’s time to understand them better.

Use social media, email, and any other tools to learn more about your customers – their expectations, pain points, and the solutions they require. Break this information down according to each stage in the buyer’s journey.

  1. Awareness Stage – What are the best channels to reach customers at this stage?
  2. Consideration Stage – What information does a prospect require at this stage?
  3. Decision Stage – What can make prospects choose your brand over competitors?

3. Analyze Competitors

Competitors have an indirect effect on how customers perceive your brand. They hold the key to your strategic positioning in the market. More importantly, they can help you understand what makes your brand special. Analyzing competitors is an essential step in your rebranding process and one you shouldn’t skip.

  1. Find your competitors using Google, Amazon, and other search tools.
  2. Categorize primary and secondary competitors. Primary competitors target the same audience as you. Secondary competitors offer higher or lower end variants of your products or cater to a related audience.
  3. Rate their website for appeal, user experience, and value.
  4. Compare their logo to your own, considering its ability to attract attention and memorability.
  5. Follow competitors as a prospect on their blog, on email, and on social media to better understand their message and determine how effective it is.
  6. Review their social media accounts.
  7. Check their customer reviews.

4. Define Your Brand’s Story and Voice

Does your brand tell a new story or does it tell an old story in a new voice? Going back to the origins of your company can ground your rebrand and place it in context. Perhaps your brand’s voice has changed with time.

Maybe it has become clearer and more confident, and now you need a rebrand to distill it. Finding your brand’s voice doesn’t have to be challenging.

  1. Describe your brand voice in three words
  2. Explain each of these words using adjectives
  3. Match your brand voice to these words to become more persuasive

Write a Rebranding Manifesto

A rebranding manifesto captures the spirit of your new brand identity. It’s something you can go back to at any time to help you maintain a clear direction during all stages of the rebrand.

It covers your mission, purpose, the extent of the rebranding, the strategies you will use, and the timeframe for the whole process. Your rebranding manifesto shouldn’t be longer than a few sentences.

Rebranding Checklist

6. Create Rebranding Guidelines

Rebranding guidelines keep your new brand identity consistent across various channels. You want to create different types of guidelines that cover all aspects of the rebranding process. You can create as many guidelines as you think are necessary. What should your guidelines include?

  1. Logo size, placement, and variations
  2. Color palette
  3. Typography
  4. Iconography
  5. Imagery
  6. Stationery
  7. Social media assets
  8. Brand tone

7. Rebrand Across Channels

Rebranding a company step by step requires rebranding across channels. Online, it starts with your website and blog and moves to social media. Not all social channels are equally important for your brand, so focus on the ones that have the most substantial impact.

Rebranding

8. Focus on Emotional Branding

Brands that use emotional branding are more likely to inspire customers to act. Emotional branding attracts attention. It appeals to people’s hearts, not their pockets. It has power even over distracted, busy, inattentive customers.

When you listen to your audience and try to solve their problems, they pay attention to what you have to say. That’s why emotional branding is so powerful. It identifies the key emotions your brand can arouse in your audience and uses them to make your message stronger, clearer, and more memorable.

Emotional branding connects you to people like few other marketing strategies can.

Rebranding Checklist

So, what do you need to get started with your rebranding strategy? Make sure you don’t forget anything with this checklist.

Rebranding Checklist Brandsonify

Successful Rebranding Examples to Inspire You

Before you embark on your rebranding campaign, discover some of the best rebranding campaigns in recent years and the reasons behind them.

REI (2017)

For many years, REI has been America’s largest consumer co-op, but until a few years ago, this was not apparent to new customers unless they checked the company’s About page. Back in 2015, REI updated its logo, adding “co-op” under its brand name to highlight that it’s a store for the people. The update was followed by improvements to the website that created a richer visual experience for visitors and simplified navigation.

REI’s rebranding campaign was quiet but effective. It’s a good example of why you don’t have to make a show out of rebranding. While some scoffed at the logo change, it helped REI strengthen its brand identity. Later that year, REI’s decision to close shops on Black Friday and give employees a day off further consolidated its identity as seller of outdoor gear and clothing for the people.

REI has been America’s largest consumer co-op

Airbnb (2015)

Back in 2014, Airbnb was growing fast, but its logo began to feel a bit outdated. The accommodation-sharing website decided to embark on an innovative rebranding strategy that tried to distill the spirit of the company into a new design.

As part of the process, four designers visited 13 cities on four continents and interviewed more than 120 Airbnb employees. This led to the “Belong Anywhere” tagline and the Bélo, a marque that captures the value of belonging and that anyone can draw.

Despite some criticism, the Bélo design went on to win a heap of awards and refreshed Airbnb’s future marketing campaigns. Today, the Bélo is so much more than a logo for a global community of hosts and travelers – it encompasses a way of life.

Airbnb was growing fast

Mastercard (2019)

While the MasterCard logo has always been easy to recognize, this year the company has aspired to create an even simpler design that can be easily used across the web and beyond. In the age of mobile apps and online banking services, logos that are easy to scale while remaining recognizable have an advantage. Logo with text don’t always scale down perfectly – the text becomes hard to read. MasterCard recognized this and did away with the text to create an effortlessly simple logo.

Mastercard’s new brand identity emphasizes connectivity. According to the company’s CMO Raja Rajamannar, more than 80% of people recognize the Mastercard symbol without the company name. Mastercard’s wordless logo is an excellent example of globalization and digitization. It’s one logo that can be used universally across mediums and scaled as needed. It’s a perfect digital logo.

MasterCard logo has always been easy to recognize

Ravensbourne University (2016)

Before its rebrand, Ravensbourne University was a well-liked university, but to many students it did not look all that exciting, at least not judging by its logo and website.  

In one of the best rebranding campaigns in recent years, Ravensbourne University opted for a daringly creative rebrand. A winner at the 2016 Brand Impact Awards, the campaign raised this London-based university’s profile and turned it into a magnet for creative minds.

Ravensbourne University was a well-liked university

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Rebranding a Business

Rebranding doesn’t always work as smoothly as in the examples above. Sometimes things get messy, and brands find themselves on the verge of a fallout with their customers.

1. Changing Your Old Look for No Good Reason

In 2010, the iconic clothing brand Gap thought it could do with a logo refresh. Gap changed its logo without warning, causing a public outcry among customers. Angry fans on social media threatened never to buy a Gap product again – that was how much they loved the brand’s identity.

In less than one week, Gap went back to its classic logo. Gap made one of the biggest rebranding blunders possible – rebranding without considering its customers and their taste and disregarding the emotional appeal of the brand. New isn’t always better.

Gap made one of the biggest rebranding blunders

2. Thinking a Fresh Look Will Improve Your Reputation

Comcast is one of the largest cable and internet providers in the US, but it has a far from stellar reputation. In 2010, the company rebranded its consumer services under the name of Xfinity, promising a new era of entertainment, and better services.

The company did not explain the rebranding nor the name, and customers themselves were mostly clueless. The name stuck, but the rebrand didn’t help Comcast improve its reputation. It was a simple logo change and image refresh – nothing more. Comcast is still being dubbed “America’s most hated company.”

Comcast Infinity Logo

3. Giving Up on a Classic Look

Back in 2010, Seattle’s Best Coffee thought a new logo would connect with modern customers better. But its rebrand has gone down as one of the most insipid rebrands of the decade.

The new logo had nothing premium about it, and the branding message didn’t help either. The company used “premium” and “simple” in the same statements, with confusing results.

The old logo captured the brand’s identity better and gave it an authentic feel which the shallow new design could not.

Seattle's Best Coffee

4. Rebranding Too Much Too Often

Pepsi went through many rebrands since its founding in the 19th century, but the 2000s rebrands, which cost Pepsi millions, have been perhaps the most uninspired.

Pepsi reportedly paid $1 million for its 2008 logo redesign, in an effort to add a new twist to its classic image, and look cooler as a result. But the company still went on losing market share, and many fans of the classic logo were not pleased.

Like other marketing strategies, rebranding can be done for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes it’s really quite unnecessary – people love a brand with a classic image as it is, even if they may not buy it as much as in the past.

Pepsi Logo Design

5. Complicating Your Logo Unnecessarily

In 2010, Kraft wanted to make its logo more interesting, so it replaced its simple logo with a starburst. The new logo was immediately hailed as one of the worst logos in recent history.

Fortunately for its image, Kraft kept the old logo too. Two years later, it adjusted it slightly and endowed it to its foods group division. You will still find it in stores today.

The moral: it’s okay to be partly wrong about rebranding, as long as you don’t ditch the old look entirely. Reverting back to it should be an option if things go wrong.

Kraft foods

Rebranding a Business Best Practices

Add these best practices to your rebranding strategy to ensure customer satisfaction.

1. Validate the reason behind the rebrand

As the company rebranding flops from the section above prove, changing your company identity without having a clear understanding of the reasons behind the rebrand can end in failure. That’s why it’s crucial to validate your rebranding strategy before you rebrand.

The validation process should include not only the team in charge of the rebrand, but your whole team. At the same time, it must involve your target audience. Ask your team as well as your customers what they think of the rebrand.

Use surveys, questionnaires, and any other tools you find helpful. Ideally, you should offer a sample audience a few different versions of your new logo or tagline and measure their response to it.

2. Determine how much rebranding you need

A complete rebrand can transform the face of your company. But it’s often not necessary. Going over the top with your rebrand costs time and money and, in the absence of a strong reason to validate it, can work against you. Refreshing your brand with a new logo and a better website can bring the needed change without the uncertainties of a complete makeover.

Take one thing at a time. If your website needs rebranding, that doesn’t have to mean you need to redesign your mobile app or create a company-wide brand training program for your workforce.

empathy branding service

3. Calculate costs and duration

Projecting costs and keeping track of expenses gives you a better overview of your rebranding campaign. More than helping you stay within your budget, it can help you reduce costs.

There’s another advantage to being conscientious about your rebranding expenses. It makes it easier for you to identify tasks that burn too much money and look for more affordable solutions. For example, if you cannot create all the marketing materials yourself, you can outsource them. In many cases, this proves cheaper than having the wrong people work on tasks for which they don’t have the time nor the qualifications.

Note everything down, from the cost of graphic design and website optimization to that of printed promotional materials. To keep track of rebranding costs more efficiently, devote a section to this in your rebranding strategy. Update costs as you go. The costs of your rebranding campaign are closely related to the duration of the campaign.

How long does it take to rebrand a company? Rebranding doesn’t have to take more than a few weeks. But if you factor in marketing materials, online promotions, and customer satisfaction assessments, the process can take months.

4. Adjust your mission statement

Visual rebranding campaigns are the easiest to pull off. These don’t alter your mission statement. But when you’re rebranding more than your website and Facebook page – when you’re changing your company identity – you need to update your mission statement as well.

When your company identity and your mission statement are out of sync, your audience may become confused. It’s important to adjust your mission statement in the early phases of your rebrand. It goes without saying that your mission statement should reinforce your corporate branding guidelines.

5. Test your rebrand

Start with a small sample. Gauge user reaction on social media. Check out what people are saying about your brand identity change online. Go a step further and order a survey that focuses on a representative sample of your audience. Keep a close eye on key engagement metrics like comments, shares, and likes, and monitor the conversion rates across channels.

After the excitement of the initial rebrand, this testing phase may seem tedious. But it’s crucial to achieving a successful rebrand. It gives you the opportunity to adjust and change things before any serious customer dissatisfaction has time to settle.

6. Market and launch your rebrand

There are no hard and fast rules on how to launch a rebrand. It usually starts with your logo and website, and a statement that explains the reason behind the rebrand. But beyond that, you have to choose what you think would work best for your audience. You need marketing content across channels.

You can also create ads, pay for sponsored posts, or create a big event with champagne and fireworks and stream it on Facebook Live. It all depends on your audience and the objectives behind your rebrand. But one thing’s clear – your rebrand announcement is just as important as the website or logo redesign.

Market and launch your rebrand

Working With a Company That Does Rebranding

Should you work with a rebranding agency or not? This is one of the key rebranding questions and one you should ask yourself before starting a rebrand even if you believe your team can do all the work.

That’s because teaming up with a rebranding agency can streamline the entire process. It can help you overcome obstacles and, in some instances, may even reduce your costs.

Explore now the key benefits of working with a rebranding agency.

Benefits

1. Get expert advice

Companies who rebrand for the first time have the most to gain from working with a brand management consulting firm. This partnership brings them a deeper understanding of all aspects of the rebranding process, from the choice of a new logo to planning an empathetic marketing campaign that consolidates their brand message.

Rebranding is fraught with subtleties, and even a slight variation in the shade of a color or the typography of a logo can make a big difference.

2. Make your branding more emphatic

For many companies, the big challenge they face with branding is not so much creating a new logo or updating their website experience, but creating the marketing materials they need to support their rebranding efforts. You may be in a similar position.

Communicating the right message is crucial here to make people pause and pay attention to what you are saying. Conveying your message clearly and emphatically requires talent, skill, and time.

A rebranding agency fueled by a creative team can move people better than the average marketing department.

3. Finish the rebranding faster

Finding graphic designers, content writers, or web developers takes time. Also, coordinating all the different resources and elements you need to complete your rebranding campaign is in itself a challenge.

That’s why many small and medium-sized businesses turn to rebranding agencies. By providing a solution in one package, a rebranding agency takes the hassle out of planning, managing, and adjusting your brand identity on the go.

Working with an agency speeds up everything, from logo creation to marketing materials. It concentrates resources and allows you to use them more effectively where they are needed.

4. Crunch the numbers

Tracking the right metrics and analyzing data makes rebranding easier. It’s the only way to optimize costs and fine-tune your marketing. However, many small and medium-sized businesses don’t have a team of analysts for this task. So they monitor only views, conversions, or email open rates.

Rebranding agencies often provide data tracking and analysis which enable you to make better decisions at key stages during your rebranding.

5. Fill the gaps

Maybe you have a great design team but no content writers. Or perhaps you want to add video marketing to your rebranding campaign but don’t have a video team on board. Teaming up with a rebranding agency is a good solution to filling gaps in your team. Choosing the right agency means you don’t have to commit to full service. You can customize your service according to your needs.

marketing and rebranding questionnaire

What to Pay Attention to

It’s important to make the difference between brand management consulting providers and a rebranding agency. While a branding consultant may provide only guidance, a rebranding agency can offer a complete solution to your rebranding needs in one package. This includes consulting as well as logo design, content marketing, managed ad campaigns, and more.

Within rebranding agencies, there are notable differences as well. Some agencies provide only a few rebranding services, while they may outsource the rest. Others offer the whole package. Another important distinction is between rebranding agencies that specialize within a certain niche, or that work only with small or medium-sized businesses, and those that have a more varied portfolio of clients.

And remember that bigger is not always better. When you rebrand in a very competitive niche, it’s often best to choose a specialized agency that is up to date with the latest developments and trends in the industry. You may have to pay more, but you can balance the cost against the long-term benefits of working with an experienced team whose methods are more closely aligned with customer expectations.

Regardless of the rebranding services you choose, you should sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. This is important because you may have to share sensitive data with the agency you work with. An NDA will safeguard your data.

Questions You Should Ask

1. Can you help me define my branding and audience?

It’s good to get brand management consulting as part of the package. Clarifying your objectives and knowing your audience’s pain points gives you an insight which you can turn into a more accurate marketing strategy.

2. What marketing services do you offer?

Empathetic content marketing means more than blog posts and website articles. It means videos, infographics, and social media marketing. A creative touch makes branding easier.

3. Have you worked with clients in my industry before?

Yes is usually better. When the agency you work with knows your industry, they have more insights for you. Also, you save time explaining to them what you do and how you do it.  

4. Do you offer custom-fit services?

The ability to choose the rebranding services you need and scale them is important. Being stuck with a standard package for small business branding services limits your options.

5. How are you going to track performance?

A metric-driven approach works best, but you want to know a bit more than that. How often will you get reports? What channels will these include? Is it possible to set up automated responses based on those reports?

Get Started Now

Successful rebranding starts with a real need for change. It’s not so much a marketing ploy as a natural event in the life of a brand, a metamorphosis from one developmental stage to another.

Rebranding a company step by step takes time and gives rise to many challenges. But it can have a transformative effect on your company. In the long run, not rebranding can cost you more than going for it.

Should you rebrand or should you wait a little longer? Look for clues in your own audience’s responses to your brand. Ask your team about it too.

If your brand has outgrown its identity, or needs a fresh one, chances are you need a rebrand. And fast.

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Rebranding a Small Business

Successfully rebranding a small business is no mean feat – there are many aspects to consider and pitfalls to avoid. Still, creating a brand identity which resonates better with your audience is a monumental boon to business operation, which makes all the effort worth it.

While rebranding a small business certainly is a challenging task, there are ways to make it easier. One of the best ways is to learn from the mistakes of others. Certain rebranding errors tend to crop up much more frequently than others, and avoiding them will go a long way toward ensuring your rebranding efforts are successful from start to finish.

Whether you believe it’s time for your small business to go through a brand refresh or a comprehensive rebranding, steer clear of the following mistakes.

1. Changing the Name for No Good Reason

Probably the most dramatic rebranding measure you can take is to change the name. But, such a drastic change can hurt you if you don’t have a proper reason for it. If you’re just bored of the old name, you’ll get bored of the new one as well – the novelty will wear off, and you won’t have achieved anything.

Even more importantly, a name change is useless if you don’t fix the underlying problems which caused you to consider the change in the first place. If you simply try to mask them, your clients will see through it.

Still, a name change can work. For instance, Google’s search engine initially went by the name “BackRub”, and it is highly debatable whether the company would have grown into what it is today had the name not been changed.

So, if your name creates confusion or doesn’t differentiate you from your competitors, it’s good to change it. The same is true if it’s too closely connected to a single product but you’ve since expanded. Otherwise, you should probably look elsewhere.

In essence, the best names are those which are tied to an interesting story related to your company. To go back to Google’s example, that term is a play on words which symbolizes the incredible amount of information its users can access. If your brand name can already achieve something similar, then there’s probably no need to change it and your rebranding efforts should focus on other areas.

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2. Rebranding Only Your Logo and Website

Your logo and website are the most important visual representations of your brand. However, a brand is a lot more than just that – it is the overall experience a customer gets from interacting with you. For that reason, changing the aesthetics without going deeper will not provide the desired results.

Similar to the previous point – a change needs to be comprehensive and meaningful to succeed. So, if a brand is struggling with customer service, a fresh logo and a shiny new website won’t do much good if people still can’t get the support they need.

3. Sacrificing Simplicity to Appear More Interesting

A good logo doesn’t need to be minimalistic, although quite a few are (Nike, for example). However, a logo can rely on simplicity without being too basic, and that is often a winning combination.

For that reason, it is often a bad idea to do away with simplicity for the sake of appearing more interesting. Kraft is a good example of this. Of course, Kraft is hardly a small business, but it is an excellent example as it shows that companies of all sizes can fall victim to this mistake. When Kraft introduced a starburst logo, the reception was so poor that the company decided to continue using its simpler logo with slight modifications.

4. Following the Herd

When it comes to branding, it is not difficult to understand why companies would follow the most popular trends. It’s a matter of going with what works. However, that also makes it very difficult to stand out and attract new customers.

Instead, the ideal solution is to find a unique voice for your brand. Something that sets you apart. Whole Foods is a good example, even though it’s not a small business. It is a huge national chain which doesn’t treat itself that way. It focuses on thought leadership, sharing ideas, being healthy, and eco-friendly (they moved away from plastic bags more than a decade ago).

This is the blueprint to follow when rebranding your business – it needs to be different from the rest.

5. Not Having a Well-organized Timeline for the Rebranding Process

This is an organizational matter, but it’s important. The truth is, a rebrand will have a major impact on your day-to-day operations. And if you don’t establish a reasonable timeline to follow, things can get very complicated; costs can spiral out of control and your regular business can suffer.

An organized schedule can keep your efforts on track and ensure the rebranding goes in the direction it’s supposed to.

For example, choosing a new logo can feel like going down the rabbit hole – there is always something you could add or subtract to make it a tiny bit better. And if you don’t have a project plan, this can be never-ending.

But, if your logo isn’t done on time, you can’t print your promo material. You can’t finalize any other content which includes the logo (which will be just about anything). Then, you do things at the last minute, you work overtime, etc. All of this costs extra and prevents you from focusing on other affairs.

The solution is a good timeline – you have a final date for the logo, after which you move onto other tasks and don’t touch it anymore. The same applies to all other aspects of the rebranding process.

6. Not Having a Brand Style Guide

Finally, a brand style guide will help your new company identity take root. In essence, this is a set of guidelines explaining the ins and outs of your brand and how your brand needs to look like in various offline and online media. This guide will establish your company’s tone of voice, cover the use of the logo, typography, imagery, and more.

During a rebrand, a reference point like this is invaluable. Without one, your new image can be inconsistent, which will significantly diminish the effects of rebranding.

Branding Basics for Small Businesses

The above mistakes are one side of the equation. Below are the steps you should take to enjoy the benefits of successful branding and rebranding.

Step 1. Be Clear on the Reason

The first step is to determine the issues the rebrand is supposed to address. Reach out to your customers and see what you need to change.

Step 2. Determine the Scope

You may need a total rebranding, but it is also possible a smaller brand refresh will do. This is closely connected to the previous point, and you need to know this in advance.

Step 3. Create a Plan

As mentioned, a timeline is crucial for a successful rebranding. In addition, make sure to also calculate the costs so you’ll be prepared.

Step 4. Test and Market the Rebrand

Once the rebranding is done, see what people think about it before launching it in full. Once you’re happy with the reception, make sure to market your rebrand and show everyone what has changed.These are a few basic steps to take, and The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business can offer further insight.

Be Wary of Common Rebranding Mistakes

Every endeavor has its risks, and rebranding is no different. Fortunately, some mistakes are more common than others, meaning you can anticipate them. And once you’re armed with this knowledge, rebranding a small business becomes a less daunting task.

6 Critical Signs That It’s Time to Rebrand Your Business

Perhaps engagement levels have dropped across channels. Or maybe it’s just the look of your brand that has become a bit faded. Whatever the reasons, you may have been quietly harboring the idea of rebranding your business for quite some time now.

So, should you rebrand?

Paying attention to a few critical signs can help you decide when to rebrand. What’s more, these signs will remind you why rebranding is important and what makes a strong brand.

1. Your Brand Doesn’t Appeal to Your Audience’s Emotions

Does your brand inspire, motivate, or cheer up your audience? If it does, you’ll usually see a lot of engagement on social media, plenty of shares and comments, positive reviews, and, of course, good sales. If not, well, you may have a problem.

You may be selling great products and providing excellent customer service, but if you’re not appealing to your audience’s emotions, you could be quietly losing ground to your competitors. That’s because people are more likely to buy from, follow, and engage with a brand that connects with them on an emotional level.

Establishing an emotional connection with customers is more important than customer satisfaction, according to a Harvard Business Review study. It’s one of the major reasons why companies create a new identity.

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2. Your Brand Isn’t Memorable

On the one hand, there’s Apple. On the other, there’s the local garage doors company, which may not even have a name or a logo. People just call it “the local garage doors service,” or just the “garage door guys.”

The difference between Apple and the garage door guys isn’t just one of size and prestige.

The garage door guys could well be the best providers of garage repair services in the country. But because they don’t have a distinct brand identity, satisfied customers forget them as soon as the job is done.

The garage door guys don’t get many online reviews. People don’t talk about them on social media. And when they recommend them, they just use their first names.

When customers don’t remember your company name, it’s a clear sign that you need to rebrand. And fast. A 2014 study found that out of 100 students familiar with the Apple brand, only one could draw the Apple logo from memory. Less than half were able to select the right logo from a selection of altered logos. If people have a hard time remembering the Apple logo, imagine how much harder it is for them to remember a brand name that’s not memorable.

3. Your Brand Isn’t Credible

Credible brands sell more. They reduce consumer information costs, are cheaper to market, and have a higher market value. But according to the Association for Consumer Research, for a company, brand credibility means more than its reputation.

When a brand proves its expertise and reliability, it delivers on its promises and becomes credible. But the brand’s identity has an impact on its credibility too — everything from its website design to the quality of its social media marketing matters.

Your brand doesn’t need to go through a failed product launch or a public scandal to improve its credibility through rebranding. Creating a brand image that’s more in tune with what customers expect can help at any stage.

4. Your Logo and Website Look Outdated

In the face of new design trends, many websites become gradually outdated, which reduces their value and renders them slowly obsolete. Just think of the flat HTML websites of the early 1990s or the many complex, Flash-based websites of the early 2000s, which ushered in minimalistic design trends.

Logos can be more resilient – Amazon, for example, has been using its logo for 18 years now – but even logos can do with a refresh after a few years. This is especially true for logos that represent brands in competitive industries which continuously innovate and evolve.

Successful logos are meant to differentiate the brands they represent and not just over-define the company. This is, in fact, one of the crucial factors that makes the difference between a great logo and an obscure one.

Does your logo or parts of your website feel outdated? It’s time to rebrand! Choose a fresh logo that makes your brand stand out.

5. Your Business Has Matured

The main reas ons for rebranding don’t always have to be negative. The process through which a brand reaches maturity is a good example of this. Over the years, as your brand grows, it’s not only your products or your customer experience that gains depth. Your brand identity and look mature too as consumers become used to your brand and the new products and services you offer.

Back in the late 1990s, Apple changed its rainbow logo to an elegant and less complicated monochrome logo and then at the beginning of the new millennium to a silver logo as a sign of its maturity. You can read more about the Apple logo transformation over the years in the Ultimate Guide to Rebranding.

6. You Are Targeting a New Audience

Maybe you’ve changed direction. Or your business has outgrown its original audience and now has been expanding to a new market. Either way, attracting a new audience becomes easier with a fresh look.

Kipling’s 2018 gender-neutral design ethos is a great example of rebranding for a new audience. The accessories brand taps on its heritage to appeal to a younger audience.

The Bottom Line

Identifying the above key signs early can inspire you to refresh, improve, and grow your brand. You can’t ignore the essential benefits of successful branding: a stronger brand identity, a deeper connection with your audience, more engagement, more shares, and more conversions. At a time when corporate identity and branding are closely tied, rebranding your business online and beyond can help you connect with customers and keep evolving. It’s one of the best ways to strengthen your corporate identity and branding and send a stronger message.

5 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Rebranding

There are many reasons to rebrand your company. Perhaps your brand is outdated or doesn’t stand out from the competition. Or maybe the business has grown to the extent that you need a new corporate identity to realize its full potential. Either way, you shouldn’t think about rebranding as an expense, but rather as an investment in your brand.

How Much Does It Cost to Rebrand a Company?

There’s no simple answer to this question as rebranding can mean many things. Redesigning your logo can be a part of a rebranding, but so can a complete overhaul of your business practices – it’s obvious that these things do not require the same amount of resources.

There are two main factors which influence the costs of a rebrand — the size of your business and the scope of your needs and objectives.

A Fortune 500 company may need to invest millions in this regard, while a small business which only targets a portion of the local market will have much more modest rebranding expenses.

If you’re thinking about rebranding your business, keep the following tips in mind and you will keep the costs down.

1. Define the Scope of the Project

The first step in reducing the costs of rebranding is determining exactly what it is that you’re trying to achieve. After all, the best way to save money is to not spend it on something that won’t produce results.

While the distinction between them isn’t always clear, rebranding projects can generally take one of three forms:

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Brand Refresh

A refresh is the simplest form of rebranding. Essentially, you’re changing how your brand looks and feels without making fundamental changes to the way you operate. You may also make some changes to your services, but a refresh is mostly cosmetic. A brand refresh is for businesses which don’t have fundamental problems but simply want a boost to their image.

Brand Reboot

A reboot is more comprehensive and involves changing the way you approach your business. You may need a reboot if you’ve outgrown your brand or not updated it for a very long time. A brand reboot requires strategic changes, meaning a lot of research needs to go into it.

Brand Overhaul

An overhaul is the most comprehensive form of rebranding, and it involves cutting ties with your old brand. It requires fundamental changes on all levels. Companies may opt for an overhaul if they have deeply rooted branding problems or if they’ve been involved in a major scandal.

Finding the right scope for your rebranding project is thus crucial for keeping the costs down. Sometimes, a refresh truly is enough.

For example, Mastercard removed the name from its logo and instantly made it better for international use. Starbucks did something similar in 2011.

2. Set Up a Budget

A good budget is an essential tool for cost management. When you can see how much money you’re spending and where, you’ll be able to do something about it.

The main way a budget can help you save money is by allowing you to identify what to handle in-house and what to outsource. Once you calculate how much it will cost for your employee to finish a certain rebranding task and compare that to the costs of having it done by a third party (naturally, get quotes from different sources), you’ll see which option is more cost-effective.

Additionally, make sure to involve your customers. Ask them what changes they want to see and build your budget around that. If you think a change needs to be made but your customers disagree, you can scrap that change and instantly save money.

3. Factor in Any Legal Procedures

A rebranding can involve legal and licensing fees. You may need to trademark your new logo or pay to use a specific font. You may also choose to use other copyrighted material (images, songs, etc.).

By being aware of these costs, you can determine which of them are necessary and which can be avoided.

4. Set a Timeline for Implementation

Just like a budget, a good timeline is also crucial for preventing costs from getting out of hand. A rebranding will have an impact on your business operation, and it is important to make sure everything is on schedule to minimize it – a timeline allows for this. Without one, confusion can creep in and derail your efforts. And when you need to lose time fixing this, you’re also losing money.

5. Work with a Rebranding Agency

Rebranding agencies aren’t free, so it may seem counterintuitive that involving one can save you money. The sole purpose of a good rebranding agency, however, is to help you improve your business and, with it, your bottom line.

Perhaps you want to focus on emotional branding. Brands that use emotional branding are inspirational and engaging. But, you may not have the know-how to apply this approach to your brand. This is where experience comes into play.

Rebranding agencies do the legwork for you while allowing you to keep all aspects of rebranding under the same roof – research, strategy, and creative.

How to Successfully Rebrand Your Business without Breaking the Bank

The trick to keeping rebranding costs down is proper planning. Determine exactly what you need to achieve and create a budget for that – no more, no less. Look at any legal expenses, have a strict but realistic timeline, and get some expert help. A lot more info on these topics is available in The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business.

In the end, a successful rebrand will more than pay for itself, and these tips will help you with the funds needed to carry it out.

 

 

4 Positive Effects of a Successful Rebrand

All successful rebranding campaigns, whether they are a complete retooling of your corporate identity or a smaller brand refresh, will improve the way your audience perceives your business. But how do you determine whether you’ve succeeded in developing a brand identity which rates higher in the eyes of your potential customers?

Looking at your website traffic and your campaign click-through rate are two good starting points, but these stats are far from enough to provide a conclusive image. This is because just about any rebranding effort, even a bad one, is likely to generate a temporary boost in traffic – people will simply visit to see what’s changed. But if they leave your shiny new website with the same overall impression that they had before, then you will not have succeeded in rebranding your business.

Instead, the best measure of true rebranding success lies in brand perception and what people think and say about the change. This means you have to look at the results across several different channels.

Benefits of Rebranding Your Company

If your business has undergone a truly successful rebranding, you should expect to see the following four benefits.

1. More Engagement

Engagement is one of the key metrics for rebranding success. When done right, rebranding will boost your website and social media engagement. It will lead to more comments on your website, your social media content having more shares and likes, your branded hashtags being used more, and so on.

If people engage with your brand regularly, they’re likely to do business with it as well.

An excellent example of rebranding which generated massive amounts of engagement is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. What makes it even more interesting is that this is a “temporary” rebranding of sorts.

Whenever Coca-Cola decides to use this campaign, it releases Cola bottles and cans which do not have the recognizable logo. Instead, you will find names or similar personalized messages (it was lyrics in 2016.)

On the one hand, it is a very bold move to remove such an iconic logo. On the other, it is also safe as this is merely a temporary change. But the results are beyond dispute. Not only are people likely to buy a Coke with their name or the name of a friend on it, but they are also more likely to share this on social media.

“Share a Coke” campaign is a good example that shows how specific changes to your brand can instantly improve your engagement rates. Naturally, these benefits are also relevant in the long term. The increased engagement you’ll generate will lead to more conversions down the line and help you build a bond with your customers that can last for a very long time – perhaps even a lifetime.

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2. More Fans and Followers on Social Media

Engagement isn’t exclusively tied to social media. Customers can visit your website, leave comments on your blog, and interact with you offline. Still, social media platforms are so important for engagement that this benefit ties in directly with the previous one.

Not only should your rebranding efforts lead your existing followers to be more active, but they should also bring in more fans. All those likes, shares, retweets, and hashtags that come with your new corporate identity make your brand more visible. This allows you to gain influence and grow your following. And once someone becomes your follower, they are much closer to becoming a regular customer or a brand evangelist.

3. Higher Customer Satisfaction

Your logo and website may be the face of your rebranding campaign, but customer satisfaction is its heart. In other words, if the rebrand doesn’t leave your clients more satisfied, then it has failed no matter how nice your new logo may be.

That is why it is paramount for a rebranding to go beyond the aesthetics. It needs to focus on your audience and put you in a better position to answer their needs – you can read more on this in The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business. But if you succeed, the customer satisfaction levels will show it.

For an example of how not to do a rebrand, look at Comcast. The company had the same issue that plagues many internet and cable providers – a bad reputation. It rebranded its services using the name Xfinity in 2010 but failed to make any profound changes. As a result, its customer satisfaction didn’t improve, and the rebrand did little to help its unflattering reputation.

4. Better Reviews

A key component in a successful rebrand is empathy. If you show that you understand your customers’ needs and try to help, they will respond in kind. And one of the ways your customers can do this is by leaving better reviews.

Online reviews are the lifeblood of many businesses these days. Surveys show that 9 out of 10 consumers look at reviews before they visit a business. Furthermore, over 80% of people think that online reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations, and these reviews impact two-thirds of purchasing decisions.

With successful rebranding, you will create an atmosphere which encourages your customers to review you in a positive light. Once you consider these stats, the tremendous upside of this is plain to see.

What Makes a Strong Brand

Satisfied customers who leave glowing online reviews. Higher engagement across all channels, coupled with a growing social media following. These are all the hallmarks of a strong brand and the potential effects of rebranding if done right.

If you succeed with a rebrand, you can change and strengthen your brand identity. This creates the foundation for success and growth that your business can enjoy for many years to come.

4 Best Reasons to Work with a Rebranding Agency in 2020

A rebranding can be a pivotal moment for a company. If done right, it can help a struggling company turn its fortune around, or it can propel a growing business to even greater heights. It is a complex and delicate task, and you can approach it in several different ways.

You can choose to rely on your employees and do the work in-house. Alternatively, you can opt to use different outside companies and freelancers. However, there is another way which promises more benefits and greater security than the two already mentioned – that is to work with a rebranding agency.

Why Hire a Rebranding Agency?

There are numerous benefits rebranding companies can bring to the table. These benefits extend to all industries and companies of all sizes but are particularly relevant for small and medium-sized businesses which require comprehensive rebranding services at a reasonable price.

If you are thinking about hiring a rebranding agency, these are the four best reasons to do so.

1. You Avoid Common Mistakes

Sometimes a brand only needs a minor refresh and making too many drastic changes ends up hurting it. On the other hand, some companies choose to only make aesthetic changes while ignoring deeply rooted problems, and the result is a failed rebranding effort.

A rebrand can also backfire if it doesn’t do enough to differentiate a business from its competitors.

These are just some of the most common mistakes that can happen during a rebrand, and the reason they are so common is that companies often choose to attempt this without a branding expert on board.

There is a huge benefit of working with a rebranding agency – they have experienced personnel who have seen common errors countless times and can provide the guidance needed to avoid them. By warning you about these mistakes, these agencies will essentially be giving you a course on how to rebrand your company.

Additionally, business owners often make mistakes because they are not objective. This is not unexpected as their brand is, after all, their pride and joy. But regardless of whether you choose to work with a brand management consulting firm (which only offers guidance) or a rebranding agency which provides more comprehensive services, you will receive expert and objective advice which will help you steer clear of the common mistakes and succeed in your rebranding effort.

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2. You Integrate Branding and Marketing

A successful rebrand isn’t only about a redesigned logo and a modernized website. It isn’t even about altering your mission statement and making other profound changes. For a rebrand to truly succeed on all levels, your audience needs to recognize and appreciate that you’ve made these changes. And this calls for marketing.

Again, rebranding agencies have the edge here because not only can they handle your marketing campaign, but they can promote your new corporate identity better than anyone else for one simple reason – they are the ones who helped you create it.

With the help of a brand strategy agency, your marketing is guaranteed to be on point. By unifying branding and marketing in this way, you are ensuring every aspect of the entire process will move toward a common and clear goal.

3. You Streamline the Process

There are a lot of different aspects to rebranding – probably significantly more than you’d initially think. Attempting to manage all of that while also keeping up with your regular tasks can quickly turn into an organizational nightmare. But by partnering with a rebranding agency, you can take a lot of the stress out of the equation.

You will no longer need to worry about who’ll do the content writing, who’ll print the promo materials, and so on. You will be free to make the crucial decisions, the ones that determine your future corporate identity, while someone else handles the groundwork. And that someone will be an expert in the field, ensuring maximum efficiency.

4. You Optimize Rebranding Costs

Finally, a reliable rebranding agency will allow you to make the most of your rebranding budget. This can manifest in several ways.

  • You won’t need to use different providers for different rebranding tasks. This can prevent the costs from escalating and will give you better control over your finances.
  • All efforts will be fully coordinated and consistent. When you rely on external collaborators and freelancers, there is no way to ensure consistency.
  • It is the quickest way to get the rebranding done. Your employees may be able to complete rebranding tasks eventually, but their lack of experience or specialized skills will cost you time and money.

Far-Reaching Benefits of Working with a Rebranding Agency

From avoiding mistakes and streamlining the process, to unifying your efforts and keeping the costs down, the benefits of working with a rebranding agency are plentiful and extensive.

Rebranding is an investment, not an expense. Working with a rebranding agency is the best way of taking care of your investment and allowing it to produce the highest returns possible.

For more information, read The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business and learn more about the benefits of rebranding your company and how to work with a rebranding agency to achieve the desired results.

6 Tips for Creating a Better Brand Marketing Strategy in 2020

If your sales figures start to fall behind the curve, you’ll likely wonder how to rebrand your business and create a brand marketing strategy that will produce better results. When brands focus too heavily on themselves and fail to take into account what their audience wants, the result is obvious – they no longer fit into the lives of consumers.

This kind of mindset applies to rebranding as well. A company may create a rebranding strategy that centers exclusively on the changes the company heads think need to be made. Once again, the result is that a brand disregards the wishes and problems of their customers, resulting in a rebranding effort which will fail to truly connect with the target audience.

To avoid this, it is important to embrace a different perspective and put your audience first. The following tips can help you create a new corporate branding strategy that truly reflects this.

1. Focus on Your Audience

Everything starts by putting your audience in the limelight. When you first created your brand, you made it to suit your taste. But since you’ve recognized the need to make some changes, don’t make the mistake of turning your brand into a slightly different version of what you think it should be. Instead, let your customers show you what they want and how to rebrand.

Start by thinking about the best ways to reach your potential customers. Not all businesses benefit from the same communication channels. To increase the effectiveness of your marketing outreach, carefully observe current trends and develop a marketing plan that recognizes the target audience’s preferred communication channels.

Then, consider the information your potential customers need to make a decision. Once again, you know what you believe are the strongest points of your product or service, but the audience may have other priorities. Identify those priorities and center your brand marketing on them.

2. Use Customer Data and Feedback to Pinpoint Their Needs and Expectations

Focusing on your audience may sound easy in theory, but it requires a lot of data to pull off in practice. The good news is that you already have access to such data, you just need to use it.

Observe social media platforms and your followers. Also, look at your competitors and their followers. Notice what kind of content they like and what they share. Take notes of their feedback.

You can also use email to reach out to your audience or create short surveys to collect customer feedback. Offer discount codes or similar perks to incentivize people to take the time to answer your questions.

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3. Use Empathic Marketing

The dream of every marketer is to create a brand that customers trust and care about. The best way to do this is through empathy. If you show your audience that you understand how they feel, they will relate to your brand.

The first two points of this list naturally lead to empathy. Therefore, you need audience insight to create an effective brand marketing strategy. This means you need to understand the emotional motivation that drives your customers and the problems that are preventing them from fulfilling their needs. Don’t just offer products – offer solutions.

You can also combine empathic marketing with the previous tip to acquire even more customer data. For instance, if someone visits your website but doesn’t make a purchase, have a prompt that asks which problems you failed to address and if there is any way you could do better in the future.

Empathy allows your brand to connect with your audience on a more personal level. Listen to and understand their pain points, put them first, and try to help.

4. Make Video Marketing a Priority

Quality video isn’t easy to make. It also isn’t cheap. For that reason, you may prefer to steer clear of it. But that is a mistake.

Simply put, consumers love videos. More than 80% of them are willing to share video content that interests them. People also spend significantly more time on websites that feature videos.

There are many ways to apply video to your brand marketing strategy. Explainer videos, product demos, Vlogs, tutorial videos, presentations, interviews, customer reviews, promotional videos, live streams, and webinars are just some of the options you can consider.

By utilizing videos you can achieve top-of-funnel marketing awareness in just a few seconds. Another perk is that you can reach people on the go and across all devices.

5. Tell Stories on Social Media

Social media platforms are continually adding more ways for you to sell products or services through them. For instance, you can now add product tags to Instagram posts, and the platform is also introducing a “checkout” feature. But, that doesn’t mean selling is the only thing you should be doing on social media.

You should also engage with your followers. And telling stories is one of the best ways to do this. Find a way to inspire them, motivate them, or even tug at their heartstrings. A general rule of thumb is to follow the 80/20 ratio – 80% story and 20% hard sale.

Your followers know you’re running a business so you don’t need to remind them about this in your every post. These figures aren’t set in stone, of course, and you can focus a bit more on sales from time to time – just remember to not let your engagement suffer.

A few years ago, Budweiser ran a video ad about drinking responsibly. The story focused on a dog whose owner may not return after a night of partying (he does). It was such an effective story that it exploded on social media. This is the blueprint to follow.

Even though Budweiser’s video was a TV ad, you can use different social media platforms to produce similar results at a fraction of the cost. You just need a good story, and the audience will latch on to your brand.

6. Work with a Rebranding Expert

Finally, it always helps to get expert advice, particularly when it comes to topics which are as multifaceted as rebranding and marketing. You need to research your audience, plan an ad campaign, think whether you want to make changes to your logo, and so much more.

This can overwhelm anyone but is particularly troublesome for businesses which are going through their first rebrand. A rebranding expert can set the right tone, ensure you put your audience first, and help everything run smoothly.

Strong Brands Understand Their Target Audience

Rebranding your business and coming up with a better marketing strategy is a complex but worthwhile endeavor, and The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business holds even more answers. But to put it as briefly as possible, your audience holds the key. It’s about understanding their needs and catering to them. Once you do that, everything else will start to fall into place.

7 Things You Shouldn’t Leave Out of Your Corporate Branding Guidelines

Corporate identity and branding go hand-in-hand. Corporate identity focuses more on the look and feel of your company while branding helps your company establish an emotional relationship with customers. They are the pillars of successful business operation and help your company get noticed and recognized.

Inconsistency in branding can diminish brand recognition and hurt customer loyalty. Every time your company communicates with the public, it needs to build a consistent image and strengthen it. Well-developed corporate branding guidelines can help you accomplish this.

Take the Essence of Your Brand and Translate It into an Appealing Concept

Your corporate branding guidelines (also known as “brand book” or “style guide”) need to be comprehensive enough to cover everything your company stands for – its history, vision, fundamental values and personality. Your brand style guide should always contain the following sections:

1. Brand Message/Mission Statement

Your brand message/mission statement serves as a guiding light for your branding efforts and should be at the very start of your style guide.

What is your company here to do? What problems are you here to solve and how? Answers to these questions are at the core of your brand idea. These are the reasons that drive your company to deliver value to customers.

This section should also demonstrate your brand’s tone of voice. You may be courteous and professional – nothing else will do for a legal firm, for example. But a company which sells custom T-shirts may want to address their customers in a playful tone.

Your tone of voice can instantly draw in or alienate a potential customer. That is why you need to explain it and leave nothing to chance.

Additionally, including a little bit about the history of your brand will allow everyone to get a better understanding of where you are coming from and your brand’s core values.

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2. Logo Suite

Your logo is the most recognizable aspect of your brand along with the name. As such, it deserves special attention.

Your corporate branding guidelines should offer logo variations, color variations, and established recommended reproduction sizes for print and on screen. It’s best to include examples of dos and don’ts.

3. Color Palette

A predefined color palette guides every piece of visual content your company creates and publishes. It can be basic and consist of two colors, mainly ones that dominate your logo. It can also be more elaborate and include colors your brand uses for different printed materials (brochures, flyers, catalogs) or online (website, blog, social media.)

Also, keep in mind that colors affect people on a subconscious level – this is known as the “psychology of color”. Red is power, green is freshness, and so on. Take this into account when determining what message your brand wants to send.

4. Typography Guidelines

Typography is another essential element of your brand’s visual identity. Your typography guidelines need to include primary and secondary typefaces as well as their application. Make sure to think of all the different applications possible for both print and digital media.

There is also the matter of typographic hierarchy – your headings won’t be the same as the body of your text. Consistency is vital in this regard as it will allow your customers to become familiar with your style and recognize it, so make sure that your typography guidelines include relevant examples.

5. Image/Photography Style Guidelines

This section should explain and give examples of the style of images and photographs that are in line with your brand. You can also include pre-approved graphical resources that any external collaborators can use without worrying they’ll clash with your vision.

In essence, you want your visuals to be standardized — the style, the positioning of any product and, very importantly, the dimensions. Consistency translates into trustworthiness, and your customers will notice this. You can also create templates – these can save a lot of time for any team members involved while maintaining the desired look and feel.

6. Social Media Usage Guidelines

Your brand’s tone and voice need to be clearly defined and stay consistent across different channels, including social media.

Your social media usage guidelines need to cover your posting rules (how will you introduce the content, will you share videos, include emojis, etc.) and image guidelines (logo positioning and sizing, colors, etc.)

Additionally, your guidelines need to cover how you’ll interact with others on social media and how you will respond in certain situations (questions, public complaints, trolls.) Think about the use of hashtags as well, and set the rules for the creation of branded hashtags.

7. Additional Guides

Depending on your line of work, you may want to include additional guidelines that are relevant such as editorial guidelines, specific instructions concerning advertising, etc.

However, you should try to keep these additional guidelines as brief as possible. If something has a particular application, you may not need to include it in the general branding guidelines – your graphics department doesn’t need to know about your editing principles. Instead, you can create specific guides for these.

Corporate Branding Guidelines and Rebranding

While corporate branding guidelines are always important, their relevance is even higher if your business is going through a rebranding. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, fresh style guidelines will be used to target rebranding efforts toward the desired goal. Many people are involved in a company rebranding process, and they all need to be on the same page regarding the new brand identity. Your guidelines will get them there.

Secondly, a successful rebranding effort will bring fundamental changes to your company, meaning even veterans may need a reminder or two – particularly if you’ve changed certain technical aspects (logo size or color, for instance).

The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business contains further information about this process and can shed more light on its intricacies.

A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Rebranding Agency

There comes a time in the life of every business when making a change is not only a need but also a must. Whether you want to breathe new life into your brand with a few visual touch-ups, or need more comprehensive changes, one thing is certain – you need it done right.

Are you planning your first rebrand? Or perhaps you aren’t satisfied with the rebranding services you used previously? This quick guide can help you pick the rebranding agency suitable for your particular situation.

Rebranding Companies vs. Brand Consulting Firms

Rebranding agencies come in different shapes and sizes. And while each brand strategy agency is unique in some regard, you can generally divide them into two major categories.

A brand management consulting firm, as the name implies, offers advisory services. These agencies can help guide your rebranding efforts in the right direction. However, their services end after the advisory stage, meaning the brunt of the actual rebranding work will be on you.

If your goal is to handle as much of the work as possible in-house, then a brand management consulting firm can be the right choice. But since doing rebranding on your own comes with risks, you may require an all-inclusive service.If this is the case, then you need a rebranding agency. Not only can these agencies advise you on the best course of action, but they can also put it in motion. They can redesign your logo, provide written content solutions, handle the marketing campaign which needs to follow and promote your rebrand, evolve and modernize your online presence, and more.

How to Evaluate an Agency’s Portfolio

Once you’ve seen which services a rebranding agency offers, the next step is to take a look at their client portfolio – you’ll want to see what their work looks like in practice. Here, there is an important distinction to keep in mind.

Some agencies will have a varied portfolio with clients from different fields. If you’re not in a highly specialized niche and your rebranding could benefit from a diversified approach, this is good.

On the other hand, there are agencies which don’t have as many clients but are more experienced in one or a handful of areas. If you’re in a small or a highly competitive market (maybe your product has a limited application, or you have a lot of local competition), this type of experience can be invaluable.

Don’t evaluate an agency’s portfolio solely on the number of clients. Instead, make sure to look which industries they’ve worked in as well.

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Focus on Performance Rather Than Size

You may be tempted to go for the most prominent agency around. And if the rebranding project is massive in scope, that can be the correct approach. If a company has thousands of employees, numerous subsidiaries, and a global presence, then a big rebranding agency may be the only choice. But if you’re looking for small business branding services or something similar, then the size of the rebranding agency is far less important. What matters is their performance.

With a small agency, you get more priority. You’ll also have an easier time accessing their top-tier talent. And as mentioned previously, a small agency can specialize in the exact services you need. This isn’t to say that bigger agencies cannot provide this, but smaller agencies do have the edge in certain regards, personal touch being one of them.

Once again, it’s about finding the perfect fit for your needs.

Think Beyond the Price

It’s perfectly natural for the price to be an important factor when making your choice. However, rebranding has long-term effects. Do it right, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. Get it wrong, and the mistakes will haunt you for a long time.

That is why you also need to think about the price in the long-term. A big agency may offer a lower starting cost, but a small one may have more specialized services and better insight into what your particular audience expects. That is why you need to look past the figures and consider the big picture.

Simply put, rebranding is an investment – its costs are one-time, but the value is anything but. With the help of the right agency, a small business can take that all-important next step and move into a higher tier. You don’t have to grow in size, but you can grow past your competition. This can mean years, or even decades, of doing business on a higher level. Compared to that, the initial cost of choosing the right rebranding agency pales in significance.

Look for a Partner, Not Just a Service Provider

As mentioned in the previous point, rebranding is about the long-term. That is why you need an agency that will be your partner on that journey, instead of merely providing a one-time service before moving on.

After you’ve finalized your rebrand, you’ll need to market it. A rebranding agency which also offers marketing services can help you get the word out.

But what is more, such agencies will be able to tell you when you need to make some subsequent changes. Perhaps a certain aspect of your rebranding hasn’t resonated with the audience so you need to refocus your marketing efforts. A true partner will keep track of this and advise you on what to do.

Making the Right Choice

In the end, the right rebranding agency will offer the exact services you need and have the relevant experience to see everything through. It’ll be a partner you can count on and ensure that your rebrand gives the best results possible.

For more information on how to successfully rebrand, check out The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business.

 

Discover the Best Rebranding Campaigns of 2018

If you’re planning a rebrand, a quick look at some of the best companies that have rebranded themselves in 2018 can refresh your perspective and inspire you. Uber’s rebrand may have already caught your eye, but what about the other great rebrands of 2018?

A common thread runs through most of the successful rebranding campaigns that unfolded last year – emotional marketing. Companies and designers focused on connecting with customers in a more direct and meaningful way.

Another common thread is an emphasis on simplicity. Even brands that have enriched their visual image with new elements have for the most part kept things simple.

Top 4 Best Company Rebrands to Inspire You

Below are arguably the best rebranding examples from last year. From complete redesigns to simple logo updates, these rebranding campaigns have nailed it. Let them inspire you to refresh your brand identity and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Uber Brings Back the “U”

Uber’s 2016 redesign wasn’t what you’d call a flop. It had its critics, but it wasn’t as badly received as Gap’s or Kraft’s redesign was a few years ago (you can read more about these in The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business).

But judging by the online reaction on social media and beyond, users were not engaged or inspired by it either. It certainly did not make Uber look any cooler.

The ride-sharing network understood this. It listened to users and last year it did what few companies dare to do – it redesigned its redesign.

Uber brought back the “U” in the logo, reconsidered its typeface, and refreshed its iconography, photography, illustrations, and tone of voice.

Uber Brings Back the “U”

Inspired by the iconography of navigation systems and aerial photos of different roadways, Uber’s strong and confident redesign cemented the brand’s identity as a leader in the transportation market, and one of the most exciting social brands in the world.

While focusing on the black and white color scheme, Uber’s redesign incorporated safety blue and other colors to bring a sense of calm or to draw attention to certain parts of the ride-sharing process. It also introduced imagery that is warmer and that fosters not just positivity, but a deeper sense of connection between users.

In other words, this rebranding was a complete success.

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Airlines PNG Becomes PNG Air

Papua New Guinea’s second largest airline changed ownership last year. More than a brand refresh, it needed a new visual identity and a clearer positioning in the market.

The airline’s rebrand began with a name change to the simpler and more memorable PNG AIR. The brand then added a pattern of cultural icons to its design, creating a bolder and more visually striking identity.

Airlines PNG Becomes PNG Air

PNG Air’s marketing has become more authentic and more memorable, and now the company attracts attention like few airlines do.

The rebrand was hailed as one of 2018’s most inspired brand identity changes. Apart from a lot of media coverage, the brand has also been recording higher sales.

Tupperware Adopts a Refreshing and Empowering New Image

More than keeping food fresh, Tupperware has been helping women save time in the kitchen. But in the last few years, Tupperware’s image has become a bit dated, maybe because the brand’s message focused too much on the utility of its products rather than on its empowering effect on women.

Last year, Tupperware decided to rethink its brand identity to ensure it captures the spirit of all that the brand stands for. The brand adopted the slogan “Confidence becomes you” and changed its presentation, becoming more colorful, more friendly, and more vibrant.

The new Tupperware distills the heritage of the iconic brand into a fresh and playful new look that radiates confidence. It’s a look that appeals to modern women who have a lot more choices than their mothers used to have, in and out of the kitchen.

Baby Banz Matures into BANZ Carewear

Based in Australia, Baby Banz has been offering UV protection accessories for babies for over 17 years. But the lack of distinctive branding was beginning to make the company’s products hard to differentiate from low-quality, me-too competitors.

What’s more, brand research showed that the brand did not generate enough emotional engagement with parents or children. In other words, the products were good, but the marketing was not.

Baby Banz was rebranded to BANZ Carewear, shifting the focus to loving care as opposed to simple protection. Playing on the story of the three wise monkeys, the brand introduced a fun proposition: “see no glare, hear no blare, feel no flare” – a great way to prove the value of its sunglasses, earmuffs, and sun hats.

Baby Banz Matures into BANZ Carewear

Why Rebranding Is Important

Although these brands may have different philosophies and visions, all of them appeal to people’s emotions. Their rebranding has helped them distill their heritage and distinctive characteristics into a bold and confident new look that captures their commitment to their target audience.

Although some of these brands weren’t what you would call outdated, they still felt the need for a refresh. This is something that new brands need to remember – rebranding is an organic process that can help a brand refresh its identity and make its voice clearer. It is not just a marketing ploy.

The best rebranding campaigns of 2018 prove that brands need to constantly evolve and reinvent themselves to stay relevant. At the same time, they highlight the value of rebranding for companies concerned with developing a brand identity that gives them an edge over competitors.

Ultimately, the best company rebrands are the ones driven by necessity and infused with creativity and enthusiasm.