The Business.com community members have questions about how to make changes to a company's brand. We got answers.
Rebranding is more than just changing your logo or your filter on Instagram, although those are popular questions in the Business.com community. It is a process of changing what people see and think when they look at your business's marketing efforts. Companies rebrand for various reasons, including new leadership, a new target audience or a new company vision, but no matter the reason, rebranding is a big deal.
"Rebranding (or at least one that is done right) will energize your company," said Mike Jones, CEO of brand agency Resound. "Staff will be clearer on your purpose, vision and values. Potential customers will resonate with your personality and communications. Sales will get easier. Marketing will be more efficient, as designers, writers and creators for your brand will have clear guidelines."
Here's how to tackle a rebranding.
1. Ask yourself the tough questions.
Michelle Barry, founder of Mesmerize Media Consulting, said that it's important to really think about your company and get a strong understanding of who your company is, what you do better than anyone, and what you want your customers to know about you.
"I often suggest doing a customer focus group to kick things off, to get a better idea of what your customers think of you right now," she added. "That can help you inform the strategy for how to get your brand to where you want it to be."
2. Decide who will execute what.
Jones suggests asking the following questions:
- Who needs to be involved to create a clear purpose, vision and values?
- Who will redesign your logo?
- Does the company name need to change?
- Who will create the guidelines for colors, fonts, writing and design?
- Who will implement all the new elements (website, signage, collateral, intranet, invoices, etc.) across the company?
"In this process, consider the different roles required: leadership team, marketing team, design, copywriting, legal and HR," Jones said. "If you haven't led a rebrand before, it's probably wise to engage a brand agency or consultant to help guide you through the process and provide an outside perspective and even additional resources."
3. Create your new brand.
It won't, and shouldn't be, a fast and easy process. You want to make sure you get it right the first time around, or else it could impact the credibility of your business. Jones suggests involving different perspectives at each step in the process. Seek input from customers, employees, partners, vendors, etc. to make sure you're on track with a new brand that paints your business in the right light.
When creating your new brand, also think about why you're doing it. If you are doing it just to make the news and get attention, you might want to rethink it. In Barry's words, "I can't think of a worse reason to rebrand."
4. Prioritize and set goals.
Since rebranding should be a slow, calculated process, you can't do everything at once.
"Complete a brand inventory," said Lauren Craven, director of communications at Imperial Dade. "List everything that is branded, from marketing materials to delivery vehicles to forms and invoices. Prioritize the rebranding of each item, create a timeline, and assign the person responsible for execution."
Having a plan written down for when you want each part of your rebranding completed can help all those involved stay on track for the announcement, so write down your goals and feelings about the rebranding.
5. Make the announcement.
Once you've completed the processes above, it's time to announce your rebranding.
"Send an email to your customers letting them know that they're going to see some new things," Jones said. "Clearly explain your goals and reasoning for the rebrand, and assure them that the great service they've already been receiving will continue. Get the media involved. Draft up a press release and get it in front of key media outlets in your industry. Write a blog post (or two). Put out the word on social media. And prep your sales and customer service for how to inform current customers of the changes." [Interested in email marketing services? Check out our best picks.]
Barry echoed this sentiment, saying that it's best to start with customers and partners because they've probably gotten used to the way your business has conducted things thus far, and they will want advance knowledge of the change and why it's occurring.
The best way to announce a rebranding is with a sale, promotion or contest, according to Claire Jones, co-founder of digital marketing agency Witty Kitty. She added that it needs to be something engaging that gets your customers involved and highlights all the ways your rebrand will be best for them.
"You also want to announce it in phases and not jump to dump it on people – slow and steady wins the race," Jones added.