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
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
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.