Rebranding can be helpful, provided you’re doing it correctly. Rebranding generally signifies to people that you’ve gone through a major change, and that change will get people curious. It may be exactly what you need to strengthen your success as a business. You need to understand that this process may seem like déjà vu – you’ve already done this once, and now you’re doing this again. They key is to make sure you’re doing the right amount of rebranding, and you know what steps to take afterwards.
1. Make sure you’re rebranding the right things
A good rebrand keeps the core elements of a business intact, while updating the elements that could use some work. You need to understand what aspects of your business drew in your customer base to begin with, and make sure you’re not making any changes that could potentially alienate people. Don’t just make things different, improve them. You still need to be recognizable as who you were before the rebrand.
2. Start small
The best place to check the reception to your rebrand is by allowing it to creep into social media and onto your website first. If you’re changing logos, brand colors, or taglines, this is where you should debut them. Doing so will allow your customers to see the change is coming, and also give them some time to adapt to it. Never make a complete switch overnight. You may even get some valuable feedback about your transition if you deal with the small stuff slowly.
3. Consider your risks
People love upgrades, but not major changes. You need to be prepared to deal with customers who are set in their ways. It doesn’t matter how excellent your rebrand is – there will always be people who are absolutely appalled at the idea. Have a strategy for dealing with those customers, and make sure they know you’ve retained your core values.
4. Have a publicity strategy
You want people to know you’ve rebranded rather than disappeared. You need to be clear about what changes you’ve made, and what’s staying the same. An abrupt difference without an explanation will be very confusing to your customers, so don’t leave yourself a mess to clean up. Your transition should be smooth and easy to explain. Be transparent about what you’re doing from the beginning.
5. Weigh yourself against the competition
During a rebrand, it’s important that you maintain your competitive edge. You need to stick with the things you were doing that set you apart, and you also may need to update those things to make them even more competitive. Take cues from what everything else is doing, and use your rebrand to help you stand out.
6. Think about how you’ll apply new strategies
If you allow yourself to fall back into old habits, you’re rebranding for nothing. A rebrand isn’t a breath of fresh air, but a whole new oxygen system. What needs to happen to the inner workings of your business to make your rebrand effective? What policies need to change, and what additional services will you need to offer in order to make your rebrand consistent? You’re changing more than just the surface of your company. You may need to sit down with your employees and have an open conversation about their ideas, and outline any changes their jobs may face as a result of the rebrand.
About the author:
Clare Hawkins is part of Local.com.au with great interest and experience in small business marketing and web design.