What is a rebrand?
Rebranding, or a brand refresh as we like to call it, refers to the process of changing visual elements such as the design of a company website, graphics and/or logos. A brand tells people exactly what they can expect and is derived from who you are, who you believe in, what you want to be and who you are perceived to be.
Your brand is more than a memorable name or an attractive logo design. To build a brand identity is to communicate a story and ethos, as well as your mission and values. This helps to mould your reputation, and to solidify your marketplace position. For all intents and purposes, if it separates you from your competitors, it’s part of your brand.
A rebrand for a business means to take it in a new direction. It’s about discovering what you stand for and bringing together your aims and vision, to rework your image to reflect these changes.
You may decide to rebrand if:
Your businesses vision has taken a different path
You want or need to appeal to a new demographic
You have merged with another company
The stages of rebranding
This initial stage is key to a successful rebranding project. It’s important to know who you are, what you do, what you want to do, what you want to be known for and exactly why you want to rebrand.
Before you go investing a lot of time and money into rebranding, you need to have a good idea of what you want your end result to look like and also have a good understanding of your brand’s story. You need to think about whether it’s worth working with an external design and marketing team to help you as it can be a very daunting task.
Speak to your clients. Does your current brand image appeal to their wants and needs? Are you wanting to keep the same customer base, or do you feel you need to meet new people? Can you categorise your audience into groups and demographics to create buyer personas?
Getting feedback and input on your current brand story, products and existing reputation from your target audience is invaluable. Make the most out of surveys to refine your target audience. This information will help you align your new brand identity with your intended audience.
You need to think about how you can use your Unique Selling Points (USPs) as a focus of the rebranding process. For example, do you pride yourself on selling only high-end products, or are you keen to market yourself as budget friendly?
Don’t forget though, you shouldn’t be aiming to appeal to everyone – that’s just not possible. You need to focus on finding your niche and servicing their needs. A good way to do this is to distil your identity down to a few keywords or to find out what you do better than your competitors. You may need to undertake further, competitor, research here if you don’t already know the market inside out. This will help to align your offering within the industry.
4. Brand touchpoints
A brand touchpoint is any bit of interaction or communication made between a brand and its customers. Touchpoints are normally used to engage customers, giving them the best possible brand experience. For example, if you run a hairdressers, the reception desk is a touchpoint, so you may need to redecorate this area so it fits in with your new branding.
The easiest way to find your brand’s touchpoints is to make a list of all your marketing material that needs rebranding. This includes flyers, websites, business cards, signs, and posters etc. Every time you experiment with a new design, check that it aligns with your broader brand strategy and business values. You could also ask your colleagues or other businesses for their opinion.
5. Going public
This stage needs to be handled with care and attention. We advise not to try and phase the rebrand in gradually, because this will only cause confusion with your customers. Ideally, it should be implemented as soon as possible after every aspect of the project is complete.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to generate publicity and engage with new and existing clients. For example, if you have a mailing list, drop a few teaser emails in the run-up to the launch. Get people excited about the change – they are more likely to become brand ambassadors!
Most importantly though, let people know the reason for your rebrand. Most people don’t take well to seemingly random changes, so will be more inclined to trust you if you’re transparent about the reasons.
A rebrand doesn’t just stop at the point you unleash your new image. Feedback from your target audience, colleagues and other businesses is key to gauging the success and impact of the project, but also being able to analyse your business performance since going public.
Completing a rebrand can be a massive undertaking, but it will also allow for a fresh approach in your business. Done properly, it will excite and re-engage your clients, leaving you in a much stronger position in growing your business further.