8 Things to Consider When Rebranding Your Organization

brand marketing materials

As a busi­ness pro­fes­sion­al, you already know that new and exist­ing cus­tomers are mak­ing snap judge­ments about your com­pa­ny, vir­tu­al­ly every moment of the day. And if your brand­ing doesn’t mea­sure up, they’ll just as quick­ly move on to your com­pe­ti­tion. Ask your­self this: is your cur­rent brand iden­ti­ty suc­cess­ful­ly rep­re­sent­ing your mis­sion and con­tribut­ing to your organization’s suc­cess? Can your cus­tomers instant­ly tell what your com­pa­ny does or stands for? The quick­er they get to that answer, the more con­fi­dent­ly they make their buy­ing deci­sions. The bat­tle of brand­ing is over in a mat­ter of mil­lisec­onds. Everyone’s brains are high­ly trained to ana­lyze and make those deci­sions quick­er than ever, so if your answer is any­thing less than a resound­ing yes, it might be time for a com­pa­ny rebranding.

Maybe your orga­ni­za­tion has out­grown its brand, or per­haps you’ve won­dered if your brand­ing was the wrong fit from the start. Your orga­ni­za­tion might have recent­ly rede­fined the prod­ucts or ser­vices you offer, or maybe it’s your audi­ence base that’s shift­ed. What­ev­er fac­tors have pushed you to start think­ing about a com­pa­ny rebrand­ing, it’s not some­thing to take lightly.

Here at Page Design, we’ve heard plen­ty of hor­ror sto­ries about rebrands gone wrong – which is why we’re step­ping in to offer our exper­tise. Instead of suf­fer­ing through the headache of an unnec­es­sar­i­ly dif­fi­cult rebrand­ing (or worse, a full-blown fail­ure), you can arm your­self with the right approach. Before you jump into the work of rebrand­ing, here are the eight things you’ll want to consider.

1. Make Sure You Know Your Mission Statement

Your mis­sion state­ment is the foun­da­tion­al idea on which your orga­ni­za­tion was built, but that doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean it won’t change over time. Regard­less of whether your busi­ness has been around for five or fifty years, con­sis­tent­ly touch­ing base with your mis­sion state­ment is key. If you find it dif­fi­cult to describe your mis­sion, the odds are good that your cus­tomers would also strug­gle to do so – and that’s def­i­nite­ly some­thing you don’t want.

Before the con­ver­sa­tion ever turns to col­or schemes, fonts, or web­site designs, solid­i­fy a mis­sion state­ment that fits your orga­ni­za­tion­al vision for the present and future.

2. Pinpoint What Is And What Isn’t Working 

You might assume that a rebrand­ing means start­ing from scratch, but that’s not always the case. In fact, a clos­er look might reveal that there are cer­tain aspects of your brand that are work­ing just fine. By break­ing down your brand into its sim­plest parts, you can eval­u­ate what’s worth keep­ing and what should be left behind.

A few ques­tions can help you draw the line between the ele­ments that should stay and those that should go:

  • Does your cur­rent mes­sag­ing gen­er­ate a pos­i­tive response?
  • Are there cer­tain “sig­na­ture” ele­ments that peo­ple wide­ly asso­ciate with your organization?
  • Where are you see­ing a break­down in cus­tomers’ per­cep­tion of your brand?
  •  Are there ele­ments that still rep­re­sent your brand’s mis­sion, offer­ings, or values?

3. Use Your Core Messaging as the Foundation

branding core message

Behind every suc­cess­ful brand has to be an excel­lent core mes­sage, estab­lish­ing exact­ly what the brand stands for, how it’s unique, and why con­sumers should take notice. A clear, focused core mes­sage is what dif­fer­en­ti­ates you from your com­pe­ti­tion, catch­ing cus­tomers’ atten­tion and help­ing them under­stand how your orga­ni­za­tion offers some­thing they want and need.

Now a core mes­sage is dif­fer­ent from a mis­sion state­ment. Your core mes­sage is much more defined to your prod­uct or ser­vice offer­ing and includes the rea­son “why” you are in busi­ness. It is spe­cif­ic. It is much more con­cise than a mis­sion state­ment. It can be more of a tagline or a com­bi­na­tion of no more than 6 words. A mis­sion state­ment is a more broad state­ment defin­ing the mis­sion of the com­pa­ny. Some­times they can be very sim­i­lar but the core mes­sage speaks direct­ly to the con­sumer and pro­vides them con­fi­dence in their deci­sion to engage with your organization. 

Your core mes­sag­ing is a fun­da­men­tal neces­si­ty to any rebrand­ing efforts, par­tic­u­lar­ly because of the rip­ple effect it has on vir­tu­al­ly every aspect of your brand. From your slo­gan and logo to a wide array of mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als, your organization’s core mes­sage should be clear­ly rep­re­sent­ed every step of the way.

4. Align Your Brand Identity with Who You Are and Where You Want to Go

Your new­ly debuted brand iden­ti­ty shouldn’t just stand for who you are right now; it should also rep­re­sent your vision for your organization’s future. Ide­al­ly, your rebrand­ing will serve both your present needs and future goals, giv­ing your orga­ni­za­tion the flex­i­bil­i­ty, space and foun­da­tion to con­tin­ue to grow into what you want it to be.

Now that you’ve nailed down your mis­sion state­ment and core mes­sag­ing, you already know who you are. Pair that with where you want to take your orga­ni­za­tion in a few months, years, and even decades, and you’ll have a well-aligned brand iden­ti­ty that’s built to last.

5. Prioritize Both Your Present and Future Customers

If you want your brand to tell a sto­ry that con­nects with both your exist­ing and poten­tial cus­tomers, under­stand­ing your audi­ence is key. The needs and expec­ta­tions of cur­rent cus­tomers may vary con­sid­er­ably from those of the new, and the goal should be to keep both in mind dur­ing rebranding.

With a con­sci­en­tious approach, it’s pos­si­ble to both main­tain your present cus­tomer base and extend your reach to an expand­ed tar­get demo­graph­ic. Bal­ance the desire to rein­vent your brand with the val­ue of the cus­tomer con­nec­tions you already have, and you can craft a new brand iden­ti­ty that scores approval across the board.

6. Give Your Logo Careful Consideration

You’re already well-aware of the sig­nif­i­cant weight a logo car­ries when it comes to brand­ing – after all, we’d be will­ing to bet that you can visu­al­ize at least a hand­ful of icon­ic logos with­out a sec­ond thought. The most suc­cess­ful logos are those that make a mem­o­rable visu­al impres­sion, cement­ing both the image and the brand itself in con­sumers’ minds. Be sure to work with a rep­utable graph­ic design­er to ensure a suc­cess­ful solu­tion to this crit­i­cal step.

Think of the logos of respect­ed brands such as Nike, Apple, Microsoft, and McDonald’s. Any­time you see one of their logos, no mat­ter what the con­text, the famil­iar image imme­di­ate­ly calls the brand to mind. This is because they have 1) cre­at­ed (and pro­tect­ed) their unique and sim­ple logo, and 2) they have invest­ed to keep that logo in front of our eyes for decades. By pos­i­tive­ly con­nect­ing those sym­bols to our cul­ture, the val­ue of that impact rarely sub­sides. This is what makes glob­al brands so valu­able. Ulti­mate­ly, that should be the goal for your organization’s logo.

7. Keep the Full Scope of Your Marketing Materials in Mind

brand marketing materials

The last thing you want to real­ize mid-rebrand­ing is that you’re in over your head, but it’s a dilem­ma that far too many orga­ni­za­tions encounter. But the good news is that you aren’t going to let that hap­pen to you – because you’ll be well-pre­pared with a project scope in hand.

Con­sid­er how far you want your rebrand­ing efforts to go before you get start­ed. Will you be reprint­ing all com­pa­ny mate­ri­als with a new logo, col­or scheme, font, and oth­er visu­al ele­ments? What about often-for­got­ten spots where your exist­ing logo is print­ed, like com­pa­ny shirts, vehi­cles, and even your phys­i­cal sig­nage? Once you have a plan and a bud­get in place, your approach will be far more orga­nized and informed. 

8. Avoid Compromising Your Brand Reputation

As excit­ing as a rebrand­ing can be, it comes with its fair share of risks. Chang­ing your brand too much (or for the wrong rea­sons) can raise alarm bells for your exist­ing cus­tomers, leav­ing them ques­tion­ing if they can still trust your orga­ni­za­tion. Your brand’s cred­i­bil­i­ty is non-nego­tiable when it comes to suc­cess, and upend­ing that sta­bil­i­ty through a rebrand­ing is a mis­take you don’t want to make.

As with many of the chal­lenges that face your busi­ness, clear­ly com­mu­ni­cat­ing why you made these changes to your exist­ing cus­tomers is the key to suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ing your new brand. This is also a good time to com­mu­ni­cate any oth­er changes in the busi­ness that may affect your cus­tomers’ expe­ri­ence. Often­times orga­ni­za­tions use a rebrand­ing effort to announce a restruc­tur­ing or a change to the orga­ni­za­tion or ser­vice. Some orga­ni­za­tions also cap­i­tal­ize on this com­mu­ni­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ty as anoth­er way to pro­mote or re-launch their busi­ness to dri­ve more sales. Get cre­ative with that outreach!

Once you’ve made the deci­sion to under­take a com­pa­ny rebrand­ing, you’re prob­a­bly feel­ing every­thing from excit­ed to over­whelmed. When you’re not sure exact­ly how to rebrand a com­pa­ny, the process is often a risky one – but it doesn’t have to be that way. With an expe­ri­enced brand­ing and design agency like Page Design on your side, you’ll have every­thing you need to tack­le your organization’s rebrand­ing project with confidence.Don’t start your company’s rebrand­ing jour­ney alone. Set your­self up for suc­cess by part­ner­ing with the brand­ing experts at Page Design. Gain the advan­tage of our step-by-step cre­ative brand­ing process and indus­try-lead­ing experts by con­tact­ing Page Design today. We have suc­cess­ful­ly built dozens of amaz­ing brands over our 40-year history.

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