I'm at the precipice of rebranding my side business, and as I research how to rebrand successfully I thought I'd share my research here with you.
The tips I share can be applied to coming up with a brand (brand identity) or rebranding. Additionally, you can think of these tips in terms of branding a business or yourself. The key concepts of intent, consistency, and experience apply to individual branding and business branding.
Your brand is more than your name and logo - it extends to your interactions with customers and prospective customers. When establishing brand identity, you want to be deliberate in how your name, logo, and interactions communicate your brand.
Rebranding can be done for several reasons
A new company name may be the impetus for a rebrand (like in my case) but you don't have to change your name to rebrand. But you need to be intentional in the changes you make in rebranding in order to successfully create a new brand identity.
Visme has a great infographic showing different examples of company rebranding, from PWC to United Airlines to AirBnB.
work with existing branding
Develop a rebranding strategy that works with your existing branding. In deciding on your new brand identity, consider the time and financial costs associated with changing your brand across all products and services. In being intentional about rebranding, you will avoid making rash decisions, like rebranding for the wrong reasons, or choosing fad designs that will quickly become outdated, leaving you needing to rebrand soon. Changing brands frequently will foster mistrust and confusion from your customer base.
Think about the REASONS you're rebranding. If you're expanding to a new market, then changes you make should be to be successful in that new market. Start by doing research on developing brand identity in that new market, and then come back to your existing brand and see what changes you can make while maintaining some brand consistency for recognition.
Check out Hinge Marketing's "Rebranding Guide" if you're rebranding services.
name change at the same time
If you need to change your business name, do it at the same time as rebranding. Go through the same steps as you did when you named your business, and select a name that isn't too narrow or wide - if you do, you'll likely need to rebrand again.
I'm deciding to stick with the same style guide of my old business name with my new name in order to make the transition easier. Kodak did something similar - while they kept the name, they redesigned the logo to a modern feel with the same recognizable colors. It's important for my customers to know that the company is the same, just under a new name. However, depending on the reason you're rebranding/renaming, it may be better to start from scratch.
launch the rebrand
To reduce customer confusion when you rebrand, the launch should be planned out and part of your strategy. You can call this your (re)brand story. Tell your customers why you've rebranded. Include reminders in new packaging during at transition period that helps identify your new name as the old business.
Kabbage pitches the idea to turn your employees into brand ambassadors. They use Old Spice as an example - getting a new logo and tagline out there with t-shirts and sweatshirts that help market your new brand.
Of all the resources I reviewed about rebranding, all of the tips come back to the same underlying guideline: be intentional. Just as you should be intentional about creating an initial brand identity, the rebranding process should be intentional as well. Rebranding to shake things up without thinking things through will not go over well.
For more details on how to rebrand, check out these comprehensive guides.
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