Rebranding: 10 Steps (Part II)

Rebranding is “a natural part of a company’s evolution”. As a business evolves, its priorities and beliefs change too, and these changes should be reflected in its brand. Despite many challenges, rebranding is an exciting endeavour: it gives a unique chance to refresh one’s public image, strengthen one’s market position, increase one’s market reach or even improve one’s business performance. Still, despite its potential, rebranding disrupts the consistency that regular branding activities provide across various touchpoints where customers come in contact with a product or service. Rebuilding that consistency takes time and effort. Here is the second part of the list of key steps that could facilitate the rebranding process: 

Read Rebranding: Key Steps (Part I)

Step 6: Focus on your new audience. Many rebrands happen because companies seek to attract a new audience. To better reach their new target audience, companies first need to focus on addressing the needs and challenges of that audience, which, in many cases, are different from existing customers. This is important because then companies have a better understanding of how to present their brands in an appealing way. To even better understand the needs and challenges of their new target audience, companies should consider conducting customer research. They could simply talk to their new customers directly, on the phone or via different platforms. Another option is to create customer surveys and gather data from analytics. It is also recommended creating personas based on different audience types. This could help a designer or agency decide how to better project their clients’ brands. 

Step 7: Limit the decision circle. To make the right rebranding decisions, companies should seek their employee feedback. Employees from all the departments should be heard, as the most valuable insights might come from the most unexpected places. Although all employees should be given the chance to share their opinions, the final decisions should be limited to a small group of people. Harvard Business Review recommends having no more than 8 people to make a final decision. If there are more than 8 people involved, there is too much conflicting input, which can further complicate the decision-making process.

Step 8: Plan the roll-out of a new brand well. There is no sense in investing money in rebranding, if it is not executed well. Rebranding will not be successful if you do not have your employees on board. If you manage to present rebranding as an exciting opportunity to your employees, you are more likely to turn them into brand advocates, which will have a tremendous impact on the success of your rebranding project. There are different tactics used to roll out new brands. Start with launching an internal public relations (PR) campaign which includes meetings, videos and e-mails announcing a rebrand to your employees. Then focus on an external PR campaign which includes media mentions, e-mails to existing clients, social media posts and blog posts. Finally, invite your clients, employees, the press and your community to a party during which you will introduce your new brand.

Step 9: Communicate clearly. Despite its potential, rebranding is a risky endeavour. If you change your brand too much, existing customers might start questioning if they can still trust your company. To prevent that, you need to clearly communicate to your existing customers why you have made changes to your brand. This is a necessary condition for implementing rebranding successfully. If there are any other changes to business that might affect customer experience, they should be communicated alongside rebranding efforts. Companies often use rebranding as an opportunity to announce restructuring or a change to their service. Some of them even use rebranding as a means of promoting or re-launching their business to increase sales. Regardless of the motives, rebranding will not be effective without clear communication.

Step 10: Market your rebranding. Throughout the rebranding process, companies need to market it. Marketing can take different forms such as making public appearances, explaining the rationale behind rebranding, highlighting the value that rebranding will bring to customers, etc. The success of marketing one’s rebranding has a direct impact on one’s market share and revenue. Furthermore, it determines the success of the rebranding process itself: the better you market your rebranding project, the more attention it can attract, which in turn has more potential to generate revenue. Rebranding marketing campaigns should also be seen as a means of distinguishing one’s brand in a highly competitive market and attracting publicity, thus gaining an edge over one’s competitors.

References:  Kerstin Reichert, | Tim Ito, | Kate Shokurova, | | | Sabine Wolf,