A businesses brand is not just its company name and logo anymore. Branding encompasses everything from your website, your customer journey and your business values. It is all about how a business gets its message across to its consumers and communicates what it does and how it does it. In the lifespan of a business, you could decide to rebrand in order to fit with your evolving company. Whilst it’s not something that you should often do, it can be as big or as small a task as you want to make it. From revamping the website to a brand-new name, logo and colour scheme, switching things up can give your business a new lease of life. We are looking at how to prepare for a rebrand and what you need to have in place to change your brand successfully.
What is a brand?
Before you can begin thinking about changing your brand, you need to understand precisely what your brand is. A brand is the overall theme and look of the business to consumers, and it runs much deeper than your logo. Think of the biggest companies in the world, from McDonalds to Apple; they all have something in common — unique branding.
Logos and colour schemes are two of the most significant factors when it comes to branding. You want your brand to be synonymous with anyone who sees specific colours or lettering together. Your branding should make consumers instantly think of your company. Being instantly recognisable wherever you show up is how you build brand awareness, which hopefully turns into loyalty. How customers view you from an external perspective is down to your customer experience and interaction, which are all aspects that make up your branding. You can use a guide to develop brand image and to help you understand every part of your current brand. Branding is an investment, but you need your company to stand out in a sea of competitors to make it a success.
When should you change your brand?
It is always a risk to change your brand. Whether it’s a complete rebrand of the entire business or a few quick adaptions, there will still be a cost to the company. Think about why you want to rebrand and if it’s the right time. Here are a couple of reasons that might make you consider changing your branding:
- Expansion: If you’re planning on expanding your business on a national or international basis, then you will need to make sure that your branding makes sense across all new markets. There might be competitors with similar names or logos, or your current branding might not resonate with a new audience.
- New products or services: Whether you’re just offering new products or completely pivoting your business, it could be the perfect time to overhaul your brand. If your existing brand doesn’t fit well with your latest offering, then it is likely time for a change.
- Changes in the market: There could be a shift for just your business or the industry as a whole. The last thing you want is to get left behind if the market is evolving. Take the time to check if these changes are just a trend or permanent before risking a complete rebrand. A few subtle changes could be just enough to elevate you in a new market.
How to successfully change your brand?
Properly preparing to change your brand will set your business up for success. People across your organisation will have plenty of ideas of where they think the company is headed, and it’s a good idea to get feedback from customers too for any significant changes. These simple steps can help you to successfully rebrand your business:
- Begin by looking closely at your company mission and values. Decide if your current branding conveys what you stand for as a business? Could your branding be tweaked slightly, or do you want to start afresh? Make a note of all the things your new brand should include in order to encompass your business values.
- Do your due diligence. This could be anything from market research to competitor analysis. It is critical to know what’s going on in your industry and what your customers expect from your business and link all these pieces together in your rebrand.
- Hold brainstorming sessions. Gather key figures from across the company and allow ideas to be talked about freely and openly. This could be in the form of an anonymous questionnaire or a suggestions box to begin with, before in-depth sessions and focus groups across departments. Collaborative processes tend to have the highest success rates when it comes to branding changes.
- Plan as much as possible. Every member of your team needs to know the end goal and result. This requires thorough planning, so employees know who to go to for specific information and deadlines in place for each stage of development.
- Launch your new brand. Even with the biggest companies in the world, rebranding still requires tweaks and updates along the way. Make sure you have designated team members whose job it is to be on top of this and are monitoring the performance of your brand launch.
In order to successfully change your brand, your business needs to ensure that it has taken every aspect into account before making changes, both internally and externally. The key to rebranding is proper planning and research, so never rush into a rebranding decision without taking the time to think it all through.