September 29, 2020 | By:

5 Smart Tips for a Successful Rebranding for Your Business

During the course of your business’ lifespan, rebranding might be something to consider in order to attain continued success or to open new opportunities for growth.

Rebranding, in simple terms, means changing the identity of your brand.

Rebranding Basics

Rebranding often includes changing some or all of the brand elements to shift a company’s brand identity: the company name, logo, website, color palette, fonts, icons, tagline, etc.

Sometimes, a rebrand can be simultaneously done with a brand repositioning (pivoting)— changing the direction of the business.

However, rebranding can also be done partially—refining and bringing into sharper focus what your business is about, not entirely changing it.

A company rebrand may be called for in the following scenarios:

  • Your brand’s image is outdated and does not fit with current trends that will resonate with your target audience. For example, today, a minimalistic approach to logo design is generally more popular.
  • Your target market is expanding; for instance, when you scale up from being a local brand to international.
  • Your current offerings are lacking and you must align with your audience’s changing needs. For example, today’s modern consumers prefer to have online options on top of in-store experience.
  • You have new mergers or acquisitions so that the two (or more) companies have a cohesive brand identity.

However, rebranding is a decision that must be taken with careful consideration. Failing to strategize your rebranding well can result in loss of revenue and customer trust.

5 Smart Tips for a Successful Rebranding

1. Assess and deep-dive

The first step before deciding to rebrand is to make a careful assessment of where the brand is now, and where it’s been—that is, start with a comprehensive brand audit.

Conduct stakeholder interviews to determine the context of the rebrand. Stakeholders include both your employees and your clients. During the interview, discuss about the following, at the very least:

  • The business and market in general: How is your business’ overall performance? Are your current products/services fulfilling the needs of the market? What’s working well with your company right now? Which areas can you improve?
  • The competitive landscape: What are your competitors doing? What are they not doing? How can you outperform them? Are there any new market opportunities you can leverage?
  • Personality and culture of the company: What does your target audience/employees think of you? How do they feel about your brand? Are your current brand values and culture aligned with what you want to achieve?

During this phase, it’s also recommended to deep-dive with a SWOT analysis—assessing your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—and a competitive analysis. Arm your rebranding with thorough research so that your strategy will be well-founded with concrete facts.

It’s also crucial to create a detailed action plan to address the issues you’ve highlighted in your assessment. This should include your expected results and a timeline of when you want the action to be completed.

2. Solidify your UVP and messaging

The next step is to solidify your unique value proposition (UVP)—a powerful message that defines who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you’re not like everyone else.

When you rebrand, it’s important that every element of your brand identity should align with your brand message. Most importantly, your message should resonate with your target audience, because in the end, your brand is not just about you but about them.

Determining your brand archetype is quite helpful in crafting a comprehensive brand message. A brand archetype translates to your brand personality and ensures that your messaging is consistent throughout every aspect of your communication.

There are 12 brand archetypes—the Innocent, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Everyman, Hero, Ruler, Caregiver, Jester, Sage, Magician, and Lover—each with corresponding “personalities” that define not only your brand identity but also relate well with specific customer personas.

How does this affect branding?

Take for example Crayola. Their brand archetype is the Creator: imaginative, creative, and inventive. As such, their archetype also affects the psychology behind their color palette: predominantly yellow and bright hues to denote happiness and fun.

Their voice also radiates the same cheerful disposition, which is apt for their target audience: children and those young at heart who love to create.

Through the years, Crayola’s slogan has changed, but all these circles around their UVP and messaging: about creation and imagination, their brand archetype.

3. Rebuild your identity while staying familiar

For a rebranding to be successful, the changes you make for your brand should relate well with your target market (new and prospective customers), but at the same time still remain familiar with your current customers.

When you rebrand, your visual brand identity must have a good balance between the new and the old.

As we discussed earlier, determine what worked well with your current branding, and preserve that in your rebranded identity. Assess which parts didn’t work, and focus on changing that in your rebranding.

This is especially crucial when you decide to change your brand name. Your current market must be able to recognize you despite the changes.

Take Google, for example. When they rebranded from being called BackRub to Google, they made sure that certain brand elements stayed the same, such as the font and color palette:

Source: Crazy Egg

4. Communicate your rebrand

Let your rebrand be known not only to your customers but also to your vendors. Make an official announcement and explain why you decided to change things up.

Let’s take Google again as an example. When they rebranded to a more simplistic, flat-color design in 2015, they did a wonderful job explaining the changes in a comprehensive blog post.

They not only talked about what each design element meant, but they also explained the “why” behind the rebrand.

And most importantly, assure your audience how they can expect the same great quality of product or service, or even anticipate something better (for example, “New look, same great taste!”).

5. Create a revised style guide

Last but not least, update your style guide or create one if you haven’t already.

This one step is most often overlooked, but it’s essential so that everyone involved in your business is on-board with the changes—your employees, especially those in marketing and design, your business partners, vendors, etc.

A brand style guide is a rulebook on how to implement every aspect of your brand identity—from the typography, color palette, logo and logo variations, brand voice and tone, imagery, down to your buyer persona, editorial style guide, and your vision, mission, and values.

Some examples of great brand style guides for inspiration are those of Spotify, Skype, and NASA.

Ready to rebrand?

If you’re ready to start the arduous yet fulfilling journey of rebranding, but you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help!

Our Ilfusion Brand Architecture can help you define your branding with more meaning and clarity through a comprehensive, research-based, and fully customized process.

Give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email at creative@ilfusion.com to learn more!

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