7 Things You Really Need to Know About Rebranding

Rebranding any company is a massive decision.

There’s a lot of red tape to bypass, and a lot of people involved in making the decision to press ahead with a rebrand.

However, rebranding can be a massive positive step in the right direction for you. Especially if your brand hasn’t been given the attention it deserves lately.

If you’re just starting out in the marketing world (or even if you’re an experienced marketeer) it can help to have some key facts at hand to take to your team if you’re thinking about a rebranding project.

So let’s dive in.

Your Brand is Much More Than Your Logo

This is the biggest misconception to do with the branding.

Your company brand is so much more than just your logo and identity.

It’s what you believe in, and it’s the strategy that gets you to where you want to be.

Your brand is the lifeblood of your business, and should be treat as such.

The things that make up your brand’s strategy include;

  • Brand values
  • Brand mission
  • Brand story
  • Brand positioning
  • Brand messaging
  • Brand identity

As you can see, your brand identity is the last thing on the list and there a lot of things to cover before getting to your identity.

But, there’s some good news…

You Can Cover the Fundamentals Yourself

A lot of the fundamentals of rebranding a business can be covered by you, or in-house.

You can start off by conducting a brand audit, which is the first step in any rebranding process.

You need to know what exists already in terms of your current brand.

Do you have a brand strategy document or brand handbook? What about your brand guidelines?

By carrying out a brand audit and getting everything out on the table, you can assess your current brand, and find out where you are versus where you want to be.

Once you’ve been through your existing brand with a fine tooth comb, you can decide on your next steps.

The first thing you’ll want to look at is your brand strategy.

What does it look like now? What needs to change? And why?

Then, you can get more granular and really start digging into your values and mission.

A lot of these things should start life as your brain child. Sure, bring in an agency to build on them, or tweak them, but your values and mission really are the core of your business.

So here’s an overview of how you can get the rebranding process started;

  1. Conduct a brand audit
  2. Decide whether it’s time to rebrand
  3. Identify your brand values
  4. Work out your brand mission
  5. Pull everything together

As I said in our brand strategy development guide;

A lot of businesses prefer to have a rough idea of their values, mission, story, and positioning before bringing in a branding service agency to help with their identity.

It’s really up to you to decide how far you can take your rebrand on your own.

I’d argue you should bring in an agency at this early stage, but others prefer to do a lot of the groundwork themselves

However…

Working with an Agency is Always the Right Choice

There comes a point when you’re working on your rebrand, that you need some external help.

And it’s at that point, you should consider working with an agency that provides branding services.

As I’ve already said, I’d bring your chosen agency into your world as early as possible. Some bring them in early, others later in the process.

Whatever you’re comfortable with will work.

But don’t be surprised if your chosen agency has ideas and suggestions that will require going back two steps to take three steps forward.

Bringing in expert agency advice is always going to improve your rebranding project and efforts tenfold.

A professional branding agency will offer great expertise and advice when it comes to your rebranding project.

As they do it day in and day out, you’ll want to pay close attention to what they’re saying, and take their advice when you can.

A great branding agency will;

  • Help you identify the problems your brand is facing
  • Create solutions to those problems
  • Act as a sounding board and “extension arm” of your business to help sanity check, test, and action new ideas

When choosing a branding agency to work with, you’re choosing a partner.

You want to work with them to build a trusting partnership that can be utilised to grow your brand vision.

The Rebranding Process is Similar to the Branding Process

In terms of the branding and rebranding process, there’s not a world of difference between creating a new business brand, or rebranding an existing company.

So, if you’ve been through the branding process before, you’ll know what to expect.

There’s one added step at the beginning, which is conducting a brand audit, to find out exactly where things have went wrong.

With rebranding, there’s two ways you can opt to go;

  1. A complete rebrand
  2. A refresh and tidy up

Let’s explore:

A Complete Rebrand

A complete rebrand involves overhauling every single thing to do with your business.

Sometimes, even the name might change! However, more often than not it’s the brand strategy and brand identity that take the biggest kicking.

You might opt for this approach if your current brand has become completely outdated and irrelevant.

Or, perhaps you’re trying to escape from a PR disaster, reach new markets, or are merging with another company.

A complete rebrand takes what you currently have, evaluates it, throws it away, and starts again.

Essentially, you’re hitting the hard reset button on your brand.

Recently, the following companies went for a complete identity rebrand;

From the case studies above, you’ll be able to see that the brands have totally overhauled their identity and are looking to try something completely different.

A Refresh and Tidy Up

The second way to go is to opt for a refresh and a bit of a tidy up.

Nothing has changed in terms of the business strategy, but your identity has become dated.

This is a less drastic approach, but is a quick fix that can help make a brand appear relevant and current when compared to their peers.

In recent memory, the following businesses went through a brand identity refresh;

As you can see, these companies have changed. But their brand identity isn’t a complete overhaul, it’s a refresh, and growth, rather than a reset.

Which route you decide to take, should be based on the problem you’re trying to solve.

The way you approach your rebrand should be discussed ahead of time with your branding agency.

Rebranding Should Increase Your Bottom Line

There’s no reason to rebrand your company if it’s not going to have a positive affect on your bottom line.

The money you put into rebranding your company should make a return.

After all, rebranding isn’t just an exercise in looking pretty. It’s a way to solve the problems your company is facing.

There’s simply no point in doing it, if it doesn’t generate a return, or improve something for your company long term.

Common reasons we hear from clients when asked why they want to rebrand are;

  • “Our identity is old and dated” – what they’re actually saying is “we’re not connecting with the right audience anymore.”
  • “We’re merging with, or have acquired, another company” – meaning their whole brand architecture is under review.
  • “We’re growing, and we need to ditch old perceptions” – yes, yes, yes!

All of the reasons above are perfectly acceptable reasons to rebrand.

“We need to look better” isn’t. There’s a bigger underlying issue there, so what is it? You need to take that to your branding agency if you want them to help improve your bottom line.

In this post, we answer the question “Will our company rebrand improve our bottom line?”

Remember, branding (or rebranding in this case) is a marketing tool, you want it to make you money, not cost you money.

The Positives Should Outweigh the Negatives

Getting to work on a rebranding project for the company you work at, is a marketeers dream.

We hear it all the time;

“I’ve been asking them about rebranding for three years, now I’ve finally got the sign off to go and do it!”

When it comes to rebranding, you’re always going to meet resistance. But the positives should always outweigh the negatives.

Here are some common objections we hear, and how to overcome them;

“It’ll cost too much money.”
It doesn’t have to cost the earth. But having a weak brand will cost you more in the long run, than investing in changing your brand now.

“It’ll take too much time.”
Not necessarily. Depending on the agency you choose, and the resources you have, you could be rolling out a rebrand within eight to ten weeks.

“It’ll not make any difference.”
See above. Branding is proven to have a positive ROI.

“It’s too big of a risk.”
Business is risky. Running consistent marketing activity with a brand that’s out of date, and doesn’t connect with the intended audience is an even bigger gamble.

“We just can’t. There’s too much stuff out there with our identity on!”
Of course you can. Everything is possible if you put your mind to it. That’s why you start your rebranding project with a brand audit!

The benefits of rebranding can’t be overstated.

But you need to ensure everyone is on board, otherwise you’ll encounter difficulty after difficulty when trying to cut through the red tape.

Conclusion: 7 Things You Really Need to Know About Rebranding

Deciding to rebrand a company is a big deal, and the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There are always objections and questions asks, so I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to answer them.

If you know that you’re going to rebrand, then you need to go in all guns blazing, with your team on your side. You can’t be one foot in, one foot out. It just won’t work.

Conduct a brand audit, iron out your brand strategy (with agency help), create the new identity, then roll it out.

With a fresh new brand and high team morale, you’ll be all set to conquer the world.

What do you think? Has rebranding worked for you? Are you looking to rebrand? Let us know in the comments below.

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