Rebranding is exciting! It’s a new beginning and a time for change, but it can also feel scary and overwhelming. So, while there are many things to think about as you consider rebranding, here are five key questions to get you started down the right path of creating your rebrand strategy:
1. Why are we doing this?
There are many reasons why companies may decide to rebrand, but you must stop and consider what you need first.
Maybe there’s a lot of equity in what your brand has created, but you’ve outgrown your current look (evolving). Or perhaps you had a culture shift and where you were and doesn’t match up with where you’re going (reinventing). What do you want to hold onto? What do you need to let go?
A rebrand doesn’t happen on a random Tuesday afternoon. Oftentimes, there is a significant change that is a catalyst for it. There is a reason your old brand no longer fits, and it’s important to pinpoint exactly what you’re overcoming with this adjustment AND if it’s a step along the way, or if it’s a total reinvention. Take the time to consider why a rebrand is needed.
2. Who are we?
This may sound like the easiest question, but often it is the hardest to answer. That’s okay! There are a lot of things to consider and ask yourself when it comes to defining the essence of your brand.
Deep down, you know who you are and your reasoning behind why you do what you do. But it can be difficult to take a step back and distill who you are into just a few words that embody everything that makes up your brand.
It’s a loaded question. Start breaking it down by asking:
- What is our story?
- How do we want our story told?
- What are our core values?
This is where an agency can be a valuable addition to your team. They can bring a fresh perspective and offer new insights into how you’re communicating your brand story and identify what could be getting in your way. Joining forces to create an internal “North Star” will help guide your decisions moving forward as you rebrand and navigate what fits your brand and what no longer serves you.
3. Who are our customers?
Your customers are why you exist, so it’s important to also take stock of what they value. Ask yourself:
- Who are they? Are we speaking to consumers directly (B2C) or to businesses (B2B)?
- What messages are they connecting with?
- Where are they and where do they expect us to be?
- What do THEY value?
- Are we even attracting the RIGHT customers? Or maybe our audience has changed in some significant way?
Even if you think you know them well, taking the time to define your customer profiles is critical to ensuring that your rebrand will align with what your customers need from you.
This is where market research comes in handy. It can help you understand more about how to connect with your customers by telling you exactly who they are, where they are, and what they want. You don’t have to guess!
So, take some time to ask yourself who you want to believe in your brand, create those personas with the help of market research, and make sure that it all aligns with what you ultimately hope to achieve.
4. Who are our competitors?
It’s imperative to know who you are competing against in your market space so you can sell what makes you special. If you get lost in a sea of sameness, you won’t be successful. Or, by contrast, being a radically different outlier could be alienating some of your potential customer base.
Identifying your competitors helps you embrace, shape, and refine your differentiating factors. Look at what they are doing right (and wrong) and how you can adjust your brand and offerings to be in line with what your customers want.
You may learn that brands you previously focused on really aren’t your competitors at all, or perhaps something they are doing is reaching an audience that you haven’t yet tapped. If you haven’t already, now is the time to identify any changes in market trends that affect you. By analyzing the real competitive landscape, it will help show you where you need to go.
5. Can we do this well?
Repeat after me: A brand is so much more than just a logo. Full stop.
A brand is a promise, and a rebrand gives you the opportunity to renew that promise to your customer base. It’s your voice, your colorways; it’s everything that makes you you.
Rebranding is also a significant investment, and it doesn’t — and shouldn’t — come cheaply, quickly, or lightly. It’s an investment in the right people to do the job, your hard-earned money, and your time.
Hiring an agency is just the start of your investment in the rebranding process, and whoever you choose should be a great partner for championing your brand. The right agency can even help you define and calibrate your new brand voice, personality, mission, and values, which are all critical to your rebrand.
In addition to the creation of your new look and feel, your agency should also help you identify what to expect on your rebranding journey. Since you’ll likely need to update items such as your website, building signage, and social media updates, an agency can also help you map out your brand rollout effectively while mitigating any potential risks.
Each touchpoint that your brand has should be consistent, and your agency will help outline how you translate your visual identity, brand voice, and values across multiple platforms. This can include anything from what type of photography to use on Facebook to how you present your voice on your blog posts or your website.
Once your in-house team takes hold of the new brand, ensure that they are equipped to continue being the brand stewards you need. This last part will be critical — if you don’t own your brand completely, it can cause confusion in the market and sow distrust among your customer base.
As part of your rebranding process, you must also consider all of the components that need to be refreshed. A new brand often leads to new everything — a new website, new signage and print materials, new social avatars, new guidelines… and the list goes on. Making a clear list of everything that needs to be adjusted will help you prepare.
The Bottom Line:
If you are tempted to just get a quick new logo, think about how much it can cost you to get it wrong: customers, time, money, etc. So make sure you take the time you need to think through these questions and consider the investment required to tackle your rebrand well.
It will require a real, holistic overview of who you are and where you want to go. So give your rebrand the attention that it deserves and reach out if you have any questions or want help getting started on this exciting new journey.