Rebranding your company could be high up on your list of priorities. But why?
We live in a world where everyone is talking about branding and the power of brands.
But rewind only a few years, and the power of branding wasn’t half as recognised as it is today.
Here’s the thing:
Companies like Apple have used branding as the powerful marketing tool that it is, to significantly accelerate sales and increase customer buy in and awareness.
Even though branding isn’t a new thing, a lot of companies have simply glossed over it’s importance in the past.
This leads us to the situation a lot companies are in today:
Assessing their brand, it’s identity, and considering whether they need to rebrand or not.
The Importance of Branding
Look around you. What are the first brands that you see?
I’m looking right now, and I see:
Each of these companies are wildly successful. And each of their branding efforts is undeniably strong.
You would recognise every single one of these brands or, at least, one of their products.
The iPhone is instantly recognisable.
Google’s famous coloured letters. Recognisable.
The blue colour of Playstation and it’s futuristic typeface. Recognisable.
Ford’s swirly lettering and oval blue badge. Recognisable.
The most questionable brand on the list is probably Vans. Their logo is emblazoned on any number of products, and especially if you’re in “the scene,” then you’ll know the company.
But even if you’re not, you’ll know one of their main flagship products.
Black and white checkerboard slip-on shoes. Recognisable.
The most famous companies in the world have grown, in no small part, thanks to their brand.
Branding is an important marketing tool, because it helps people associate your products with your business. In turn, building brand awareness.
The definition of branding can be a little loose at times, but;
With your brand, you’re giving people something to buy in to. You’re making sure people recognise you, and want to be a part of what you’re all about.
You’re creating a culture, as well as an identity.
When to Consider Rebranding
If your brand isn’t inspiring customers or building awareness, then it might be time to rebrand.
There are several points in your business’ life that you should consider rebranding.
Below, we’ve listed out some key things that might throw up the question of a rebrand, as well as the benefits a rebrand can bring to your business.
Your Target Demographic Has Changed
Things change all the time in the world of business. And the more you’re in business, the more you get to learn about the people who buy into your brand.
If you started a vegetarian friendly restaurant 3-5 years ago, you were probably in quite a niche space.
However, with the growing popularity of veganism, you’re probably finding yourself switching to more vegan friendly food.
At this point, it might be worth re-evaluating your brand.
For all your brand identity may not change, the brand values, brand mission, and brand story, might need updated.
Another example of this, is when a company rebrands to appeal to a new generation.
Over the last few years, fast food franchise McDonalds has been slowly converting their red and yellow kid friendly dining spaces, into more chic, hip looking McCafes.
This is because in recent years, coffee culture has risen. The once young Happy Meal munchers are now all grown up, and prefer a coffee over a cheeseburger.
Of course, McDonalds haven’t done away with the fast food altogether. With just a slight transition in physical appearance, as well as the addition of comfortable seating and WiFi, brings lost customers back to the brand.
This allows you to go after new business and encourage different people to buy in, or in the case of McDonalds, remind old customers you exist, and welcome them back into the fold.
There’s New Competition or Technological Shifts
In the ever changing world of business, there is always new competition appearing or technology advancing.
Now, I’m not suggesting you run out and rebrand every time a new competitor enters your market space.
But think of it like this, when Airbnb entered the travel space, it caused a huge amount of disruption.
If you owned a hotel or a booking website when Airbnb entered the market, it would’ve been a good time to take a look at your business and branding efforts.
Then, you could decide whether your branding still works when faced with this new competition and technology.
You can move in and make your play. Are you going to align with them? Are you going to go in a completely different direction? Are you going to attempt to work with them?
Or maybe, you just want to stand out completely.
Your Business Has Changed Significantly
This is the biggest reason that your company should consider rebranding.
As we’ve said already, things change rapidly when you’re growing and scaling a business. Don’t let your brand fall behind!
We’re currently working on a project with a tuition group based in East London.
When they started up around 3 years ago, they were called RTG Tuition. Now, it’s Redbridge Tuition. They worked on their own brand in house.
After successfully growing their business, they realised they were looking to expand further than they first thought, as well as introduce a franchise model into the business.
To do that, they needed to make their business look desirable to potential buyers.
At this point, they realised that the only way to do that, was by going through a complete rebranding process.
This is a significant change in business. From a small, family run tuition centre, to the possibility of growing into a National tuition chain.
On a larger scale, look at Burberry.
For a long time, clothing company Burberry was associated with hoodlums, thieves, and gangs.
Originally started as a luxury fashion house, they wanted to recapture some of that popularity.
New leadership at the top of the company, combined with savvy new product design allowed Burberry to recapture their original magic.
Now, celebrities like Emma Watson and Kate Moss are associated with the brand.
And recently, Burberry rebranded, to further distance themselves from the identity of their troubled past.
The benefit of rebranding is that it allows you to put that right. You can bring your company’s new direction to life through your branding.
No Effort Has Been Made With Your Branding
When a new company is started, budget is quite often tight. This means people skip over the decision to do their branding properly from day one.
And that’s absolutely fine. It’s typical of startups to quickly to evolve past their original brand identity anyway.
But you shouldn’t let your branding go ignored when you start to succeed.
It’s at that point, you want to step in, work on a rebrand, and use that to catapult your business into the future.
If you’ve made no effort with your branding, it’s time to stop, take a look at where you are now, discuss where you want to be, and see if rebranding is on the cards for you.
You have more insight into what does and doesn’t work within your business.
You have a better understanding of your customers.
This allows you to rebrand and create a structured and cohesive brand identity.
In turn, this gets noticed by your customers, and allows you to “re-launch” the business, taking one step closer towards your long term vision.
Your Brand Has Become Dated
If you’ve followed the fundamentals of branding from the start, then this shouldn’t apply to you.
There are a few things that can make a brand become dated:
- It was poorly conceived from the start, based around design trends, rather than business logic.
- Technological advances have left your brand in the dust.
- Your customers have moved on, and you’re failing to attract new customers.
A dated brand is a sure sign that you’re in need of a rebrand.
One of my favourite examples of a dated brand changing for the better is greetings card company, Moonpig.
At this point, I’m talking about their brand identity, rather than the underlying values, mission, or story.
Moonpig’s old logo design and website was designed at the back end of the 90’s and launched in 2000.
The new Moonpig identity ditches the tired “pig in a spaceship” logo in favour of a clever typographic solution that utilises the “double O” as a pig’s snout.
Combined with a vibrant pink and green, Moonpig really brought their brand identity up to date.
Their new website design is a lot easier to navigate, and I find it a lot nicer to use.
The Moonpig rebrand was well received with their customers, and made a lot of noise in the design community when it launched.
It also brings new customers to the brand, as well as reminding existing customers that you’re there.
If your company is of a certain size, and you get your rebranding right, you’re quite likely to find yourself on the positive end of some press coverage too!
How to Rebrand Your Company
So, how do you successfully rebrand your company?
Well, as you’ll have gathered by now, it’s not as simple as having a new logo designed and slapping it on all of your branded goods.
Branding is much deeper than a logo design!
When it comes to rebranding, the first thing you need to do, is lay all of your cards on the table.
And you do that, by conducting a brand audit.
The first thing to do when considering a rebrand is to stop.
Yes, stop. Stop and think about it.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you rebranding? (There’s 5 good reasons above!)
- On what scale are you rebranding? (A light refresh, or a complete overhaul?)
- Have you put any research together?
- Does our brand convey the story we want to tell?
- What exists in the way of a current brand identity?
- These are the first questions to ask yourself when beginning to audit your brand.
For a deeper dive, we’ve already written in-depth about carrying out your brand audit.
Once you’ve completed your brand audit, you have a few choices to make.
- Are you going to push this rebranding further on your own? Or…
- Are you going to hire a professional to help you?
Let’s explore both options.
Pushing Your Rebrand Further On Your Own
If you’d like to push further into the rebranding process on your own, then keep reading.
If you’re prepared to hire a branding agency at this point, feel free to contact us, or scroll down to the “Hiring a Branding Agency to Help You” section.
Start With Your Brand Values, Mission, and Story
Your brand values, mission, and story are the foundation used to rebrand your company.
If your brand hasn’t been well considered in the past, then you might not be clear on what each of these are.
To make sure your rebranding project gets off to the right start, you need to nail down each of these brand pillars.
We go into more detail about each of these in The Ultimate Small Business Branding Guide, but here’s a quick refresher;
Your brand values are a short list of 5-10 values that your whole company ethos is based around.
It’s what you tell new employees, to instill your brand in them.
And it’s what you use to make decisions and hold yourself accountable.
To see examples of brand values from a range of companies check out 190 Brilliant Examples of Company Values.
Often called a mission statement, or brand statement, your brand mission is a short paragraph that talks about what you’re setting out to do, and how you’re going to do it.
At Canny, our mission statement is simple:
“Outstanding design, every time. We want to help companies grow with branding, web design, and digital marketing. We believe that collaboration and the deep relationships we build with our clients results in the outstanding.”
It outlines what we do, and how we do it.
Where your Brand Values and Brand Mission tend to be inward facing, your Brand Story is how you communicate that with clients.
A great example of a brand story is Toms Shoes, who tell their brand story through a page on their website.
Your Brand Story, is how you communicate your business to your customers.
Decide What You’re Keeping
When you ran through your brand audit, you should’ve pulled together all existing material that your brand has.
Now, you need to decide what does and doesn’t work. And not just from a purely visual perspective.
Do you really need branded mouse mats? (Do people even use mouse mats anymore?) Bin.
Is there a standout item that makes you think “our customers loved it when we did that!” If so, keep it!
That’s an idea to explored further!
From a visual perspective, most things will end up going the journey.
But, you’re bound to have had some good ideas and thoughts along the way, so make sure they’re not discarded.
Research and Analyse Your Market and Competition
The market is ever changing.
What’s different now to when you entered the space? Who else is now operating in the same circles as you?
It’s worth looking at the first few pages of Google results for your space. You’ll discover a lot of new things about the industry you’re in, and new companies that have broken into the scene.
Once you’ve conducted your research, you need to decide how to use it.
Are you going to go head to head with these companies? Are you going to try and partner with them? Or are you going to pivot and change your offering?
If you’re going to go head to head, it’s important that your brand conveys why you’re unique.
If you’re going to try and partner with them, then you need to speak their language.
If you’re going to change your offering, then you need to communicate that.
Competitor and market research can be a daunting task. But don’t get overwhelmed!
Compile notes and thoughts as you go, and keep relating them back to your brand, and ask yourself “how are we going to react to that?”
Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate!
It tends to be the Marketing Department and Executives that work on rebranding a company or are involved in the rebranding process.
But it’s important to bring in other voices from within the company.
HR will have a completely different view on the brand, to Sales. Accounting will view things different to Engineering.
You get my point.
Another thing to try, is reaching out to 5-10 of your best/most desired customers, and ask to bring them in for lunch, and bend their ear about your rebrand.
By creating a trusted feedback loop of people within the company combined with your best customers, or desired customers, you can really steer your rebrand in the right direction.
Create the Creative
And this is the part where honestly, you want an agency to help you.
You can do all of the theory and thinking behind the rebrand, no problem at all.
But unless you’re also a multi-talented designer, a professional branding agency that offer rebranding services should really be brought in to help bring your new brand to life.
From your brand identity, through to your website, marketing materials, and brand guidelines, there’s a lot creative output needed.
So make the right choice, and bring in a professional to help.
Hiring a Branding Agency to Help You
Hiring a branding agency to step in and take the reins on your rebrand can be a daunting task. However, it’s a vital step if you want to get your rebranding right.
Here’s a handy post that sets out how to go about choosing a branding agency.
There are always questions when it comes to the rebranding process. Especially if your company has never went through a rebrand before.
From budget, to timeframe, to how the branding process works, questions about rebranding are never ending.
Budget’s are subjective, as are timeframes. Each and every project is going to be completely different.
It’s natural to have questions.
Here are the top questions we see on a regular basis;
- How Much Will It Cost to Rebrand?
- How Long Does It Take to Rebrand a Company?
- How Does Rebranding a Company Work?
- How Do We Choose the Best Branding Partner for Our Company’s Project?
- What Information Does a Branding Agency Need From Us?
- Will Our Company Rebrand Improve Our Bottom Line?
We’ve answered these questions and more in our post, 7 Things Your Boss Wants to Know About Rebranding.
The agency you choose to help you rebrand, should have your best interests in mind.
At Canny, we act as an extension to our clients’ team, rather than a separate entity with their own goals.
Our collaborative process lets us stay true to our own Brand Mission, outstanding design, every time.
Launch Your Rebrand
Launching your rebrand to the world, is an entirely different blog post that’ll be coming in the near future.
As a quick primer, you don’t just want to quietly float your rebrand out into the public.
Here are some things to consider when launching your new brand to the world.
- Start teasing your rebrand before it launches through social channels.
- Write posts on your own blog or website about the rebrand.
- Invest in PR or try to generate enough buzz that you get press coverage without it.
- Leverage paid ads to target existing customers and new customers alike.
- Send out mail shots to your existing customer base.
Rebranding your company is a big deal, and you should treat it as such.
You’ve put in the hard work, be proud of it, and stand by it!
Conclusion: The Benefits of Rebranding Your Company (and How To Do It!)
The importance of branding to a company cannot be overstated. The world’s top companies are successful because they use their brand to communicate their products.
If your branding isn’t right, then it’s important to consider rebranding your company. It might seem like a long and difficult task now, but by following the pointers in this post, you should find it a lot easier!
Your brand is the core of your business, and it’s important you get it right.
Whether you push ahead on your own, or work with a branding agency from day one,, getting your branding right will play a key role in the success of your business.
Now that you know the benefits of rebranding, and how to run your rebranding project, what do you think?
Does your company need rebranding? Let us know in the comments below.
reading time: 17 minutes