5 Critical Steps of Rebranding

5 Critical Steps of Rebranding

Rebrands happen for all kinds of reasons: acquisition, reputation, or strategy shifts. In the long-run it could have a major payoff. In the short-term, however, it’s costly and time-consuming. A rebranding is no small task, which is why MarketingProfs offered the 5 to-dos of a rebrand. Below, we delve into what your brand needs to do, step-by-step, for a smooth rebranding.

1. Gather Relevant Information.

Before making any decisions to rebrand, gather all of the necessary information first. Survey these four:

  • Stakeholders: Stakeholders have a firm understanding of your company’s strategy and position. They’ll offer insight regarding the performance of the current positioning.
  • Employees: Collect demographics, for instance, their position or length of time working with the company. You’ll have a better understanding of their perception of the company. They may even have ideas on how to approach a rebranding.
  • Customers: Use this data to understand the consumers’ current perception of your brand. Does their perception match what you aspire to? Does it match where you’d like to take the brand?
  • Experts: Use marketing experts and analysts to understand the future landscape. Is there a place for your current brand?

One of the key questions you need to answer with this information is whether or not you’ll need to rename. Is it going to be too difficult to shake away the current perception to adopt a new positioning? If so, your rebranding may require a new name. Another important insight you can gather from these surveys is your competitive landscape. Use this knowledge to decide how to differentiate your brand.

2. Develop Positioning.

Do you seek to change your brand positioning? Is your position going to be entirely different and new? How much of a departure will this new strategy be? Or are you going to re-focus on the original position? Has a competitor taken a brand position that you must react to? These are the initial questions your company will need to ask when developing your rebranded position. Be sure to use all the acquired knowledge from Step 1 to create a positon that is both relevant and distinctive. Also be sure to appeal to your customers both emotionally and rationally.

Once you’ve decided how you want to position your brand, create an internal positioning statement. This will clue in your entire company to the brand changes your company will undertake. In the statement, be sure to include the brand’s:

  • Frame of reference
  • Target audience
  • Points of differentiation
  • Value

Make sure the entire statement is concise and measured, but clear in its meaning. It’s crucial that everyone involved understands the company’s new position.

3. Create a Brand Identity.

This is the step that turns the intangible to the tangible; create your brand’s visual identity and tagline. Here are five tips for creating your brand identity:

  • Remember core values. Be sure that your values are infused into the brand’s identity.
  • Research the marketplace. We have placed emphasis on differentiation in every step so far, and it’s for a reason! Differentiation is what sets you apart from your competitors, and it’s going to be the reason customers want to buy your brand rather than Brand X. Research your competitors before you design your new identity.
  • Never underestimate color. Keep in mind both your values and your points of differentiation when deciding your palette.
  • All about location. Think of where your logo will be placed- social media, your website, on the products; craft a few icons to fit visually in every scenario.
  • Test it out. Test your new brand identity on target personas. Are the core values clear? Do they capture attention? Collect feedback in a way that can be easily shared with stakeholders.

The previous steps built to this important step; the next two involve rolling it out.

4. Develop Content.

Once you have a brand identity planned out, your company will face a long list of branded assets that need to change- website, email signatures, stationery and business cards, signage, collateral, messaging; virtually anything that has your old branding on it. Be thorough; inconsistent branding can be confusing and make the rebranding look disorganized. Also create Identity Standards and Usage Guidelines and/or manual, and distribute to employees and business partners. Provide necessary digital files and templates, and ideally, conduct brand usage training. This will help users understand the new brand, and can inspire an emotional connection with the new branding.

5. Activate the Brand.

Once you have the branded assets ready, it’s time to launch the new brand. The aforementioned Identity Standards Guide or manual will be key. Next, designate brand ambassadors; this way, employees will have resources to reference as they understand the new brand. FAQs can address standard questions, while brand ambassadors can offer brand enthusiasm and address any confusion. Also consider revealing the rebrand in an exciting way. This can be as small as some rebrand swag to something as creative as turning the reveal into an event. Build buzz and get employees excited about the changes.

As the rebranding becomes public, use all of your employees as brand ambassadors. By ensuring they are informed and excited, your company can offer consistent rebranded information to the general public, and, ideally, get them excited for the rebrand as well. Be sure to also publish blogs, newsletters, news releases, and other forms of communications announcing and describing the rebrand. Inform customers with email campaigns, and updated presentation tools.

Don’t Underestimate the Task of Rebranding

Rebranding is a difficult task, and in some cases, a risky move, depending on how drastic the change is. It’s important not to underestimate its burdens. Companies need to research and develop a new positioning and identity, create new brand assets, and build buzz with both customers and employees. Properly using the gathered insights, and with employee unity and cooperation, your rebrand should be on-track for success.

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