What is Rebranding? Rebranding is the creation of a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof for an established brand with the intention of developing a differentiated (new) position in the mind of stakeholders and competitors. This may involve radical changes to the brand’s logo, brand name, image, marketing strategy, and advertising themes. These changes are typically aimed at the repositioning of the brand/company, sometimes in an attempt to distance itself from certain negative connotations of the previous branding, or to move the brand upmarket.
However, the main reason for a re-brand is to communicate a new message for a company, something that has evolved, or the ‘new board of directors’ wish to communicate. Reasons for Rebranding Proactive Rebranding: Sometimes a company sees a reason to rebrand to seize an opportunity or thwart potential threats in the future. Proactive rebranding might happen in the following situations: * Predicted Growth: When a company is preparing for expected growth, particularly international growth, it might rebrand products and services into a consolidated brand. This is often done for consistency and to save money over time.
This type of rebranding is also done when a company simply needs to create a greater sense of brand unity across its business. * New Line of Business or Market: When a company enters into a new line of business or market that is not cohesive to the existing brand identity, a rebranding might be in order. * New Audience: When a company wants to appeal to a new audience, a rebranding might be necessary. Keep in mind, the rebranding might not require an actual name or logo change. * Relevancy: When a company realizes its brand is losing relevancy in consumers’ minds, it might be time to rebrand.
The Yellow Pages rebranding is a perfect example. With the use of printed Yellow Pages directories declining, Yellow Pages rebranded to YP and began to focus more attention on the digital space making it significantly more relevant. Reactive Rebranding: Companies could also rebrand in reaction to an event that is so significant that the existing brand must be changed. For example, reactive rebranding might happen in situations like the ones listed below: * Merger or Acquisition: When companies merge or acquire other companies, rebranding is often required. Legal Issues: There are a number of different legal issues that could cause a company to rebrand. Trademarks are often at the root of these rebranding examples. Hence, it is imperative to conduct an exhaustive trademark search and obtain the trademark rights to your brand name before you launch it. * Competitive Influences: Sometimes a company’s competitors’ activities can be the catalyst to a rebranding. When a competitor renders your brand useless or dated, a rebranding could help you regain a foothold in your market and give you the facelift you need to effectively strike back. Negative Publicity: When the image of the corporate or the brand has been tarnished by a sudden happening or more so, a crisis that has arisen, companies adopt a rebranding marketing strategy. The mistakes when while rebranding 1. Do not rely only on history: Rebranding well means staying relevant. Assumptions made when the brand was established may no longer hold true. Analyze changes in target markets when exploring opportunities for brand expansion, repositioning and revitalization.
One must try and evaluate current market conditions before finalizing a rebranding exercise for the brand. However, one must ensure that the core offering is in line with the initial offering, the essence could be the differentiator. 2. Thinking the brand is the logo, stationery or corporate colors: The brand not only encompasses these elements, but also customer perception and experience to quality, the overall look and feel of the brand, customer care, retail and web environments, the tone and voice of communications, and more.
One must ensure that the new image, thus to be communicated, touches upon all the aspects of the brand. 3. Navigating without a plan: Effective rebrands rely on a creative brief to keep everyone focused as the project progresses. Include sections for a situation analysis, objectives, target markets, budget and resources, timeframe, point person, known parameters, approval structure, stakeholders and metrics for assessing results. 4.
Refusing to hire a branding consultant without industry experience: It’s ok to consider an agency that hasn’t worked in your specific industry before. Sometimes it is ideal – especially if you’re serious about a turnaround. Smart companies recognize the value of a fresh perspective. 5. Not leveraging existing brand equity and goodwill. Dismissing brand equity when rebranding alienates established customers, while unnecessary overhauls can irreparably damage a brand’s perception.
Consider the needs and mindset of the target market carefully before digging into the process. Sometimes a small evolution – or a new coat of paint – is all that’s needed to rejuvenate and make a brand relevant. 6. Not trying on your customer’s shoes. Simply calling your own 800-number or receptionist may reveal challenges customers face and inform your rebranding strategy. Take the time to navigate your own website, buy your products and return something. Better yet, ask a friend or family member to do so and learn from their experiences