A lot of entrepreneurs launch a startup business and sell their products or services for some time without any real attention to branding. Others start with a clear brand strategy, but over time the business evolves, diversifies, or merges with another company, and the original brand is no longer fit for purpose. In all these scenarios, rebranding a business is a risk, but a risk you must take to move the business forward. The key to any rebranding strategy is to ensure your decisions are based on research; this way, the new brand will bring you closer to achieving your business objectives. To help you map out your strategy, this article outlines 5 steps to follow when rebranding your business.
- Ask yourself why you are rebranding
Your rebranding strategy needs to be rooted in a clear objective, i.e., why are you rebranding the business? It might be for legal reasons, to accelerate expansion, to compete with other brands, to merge two brands, to focus your marketing message, or to better reflect your services/products. When you have the objective in mind, you can plan how to achieve it.
- Understand the current perception of your brand
Your next move is to carry out research about how your target customers perceive your brand now, whether they are your current customers or desired customers. Businesses are often blinded by internal perspective and inaccurate assumptions and can be surprised when they discover how they are perceived. This research will highlight where you are missing the mark in your current branding strategy.
- Capture your core marketing message
Now you need to position yourself in the market and develop your core marketing message. If you are positioning yourself as a luxury service or product, your brand will need to reflect this. If you are positioning yourself at the low-cost/affordable end of the market, you need to get this across. When you know how you will position your brand, you can create a key marketing message for your audience(s).
- Create your visual brand identity
Your brand’s visual identity is essential and includes the name of your company, logo, colors, tagline, and, of course, your website. Your brand style guidelines should permeate everything you do online from your website to your social media posts. Your website is of huge importance as it is your shopfront and your key form of communication with your audience. Customers make very quick decisions about a company based on the look and usability of a website, so it is worth hiring a web design company to ensure you get it right. Your printed marketing materials, including posters, flyers, brochures, business cards, banners, and promotional gifts, should always also reflect your brand’s colors and messaging.
- Plan the launch and promotion of the rebrand
When your new brand is in place, it is time to consider how you will launch and promote it, both internally and externally. Your employees should be ready to embrace the brand, and your marketing should highlight your core message. Rebranding takes a lot of consideration and time to increase the likelihood of long term success, so do not cut corners or rush the process.