It's safe to say a brand is no longer simply a name and logo. It's so much more than that. It is a driving force for any business and that unique "intangible something" that comes to mind when your customers interact with you. Your brand is in essence the backbone of everything you do. This is why it's so important to grow and adapt with your consumers, and why rebranding at the right time, is a powerful tool.
First, what rebranding is, and what it is not
Let’s start off with what it’s not, a rebrand is not just changing your email signature or Facebook cover photo. It’s not a quick fix!
The base point for any rebrand is understanding why you are doing it in the first place. Pinning this down will be the driver behind your efforts. A rebrand is about taking a deeper look at your brand identity to see how you can best communicate with your customers right now. A typical rebrand will involve changing visual elements like the logo, design elements, website and sometimes even your name.
A rebrand can take one of two forms:
- A rebrand – will involve revisiting your brand’s messaging and design. You’ll need to reintroduce yourself to your audience.
- A complete company overhaul – an overhaul will happen when your brand has lost relevance with its customers. This could involve changing your name, branding and brand message to realign with your audience's needs.
Good, the bad and the ugly of rebranding
It really can be hit or miss when it comes to a company overhaul and rebrand. This is why it’s vital to determine whether you need to rebrand or not. Why fix something that isn’t broken – and potentially lose your customers in the process? Forty-four percent (44%) of consumers were hesitant about Uber’s new branding when it first launched. This alarming statistic is why you should do your homework before embarking on your rebrand journey.
A common mistake is to rebrand merely to be more ‘modern’, which can often take a turn for the worse. Take, for example, Tropicana, which went from wholesome and fun, to generic and bland because they wanted to appeal to a modern audience. Sales dropped by 20% because of the rebrand design flop, so the company decided to revert back to their much loved original brand.
Then, in contrast, you have Pfizer, where timing was everything. The company rebranded right in the middle of the pandemic. Their new logo offers a dynamic and sleek look, while still retaining the brand’s legacy and loyal clientele. Locally, Absa successfully had a complete brand overhaul. The trusted South African bank wanted to further position itself as a leader in the African banking sector, stepping away from Barclays and re-establishing its “connectivity”. The end product is one that celebrates “Africanacity” while still appealing to their diverse audience.
Sometimes the right time is never
For some brands, legacy is everything. Twinnings, Johnson & Johnson, and Stella Artois all understand the value of creating a timeless brand. What’s the tea? To create a much-loved brand like Twinnings, you need a loyal clientele, a clear vision and a great quality product. Although the UK tea company’s values and mission statement might have changed – their core brand has remained the same – and successfully so. But we can’t all be like the Twinnings of the world, sometimes change is just as good as a holiday, and a refresh might be the perfect solution.
Things you should keep in mind before rebranding
- Why are you rebranding?
This step is first for a reason. You need to fully grasp why you want to rebrand before going any further. Here are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself beforehand:
- Are you wanting to start a new chapter?
- Do you want to expand?
- Are you trying to fix a problem?
- Do you need an update?
- Are you wanting to redefine your audience?
- Is it the right time to rebrand?
Answering these questions will steer you in the right direction when it comes to the purpose of your rebrand. It will help you understand the level of rebrand you are hoping to achieve.
- Your brand message and mission
Your mission statement is essentially the entire purpose of your business, and your brand message is what defines all your communication efforts. Clearly defining or redefining your brand message is a vital starting point in any rebrand. The story behind your brand is what captivates your audience’s attention, so make sure the brand message is one that resonates with them and appeals to their needs and desires. It’s essential that you define your brand message as this will be the base from which all your messaging and communication is developed.
Whether you are a startup or have been operating for five decades, revisiting your mission statement is key. If not for a rebrand, then just to make sure your company strives to reach a common goal. Although your mission statement is the foundation on which your company was built, that doesn’t mean it won’t evolve with time.
The task of rebranding might entail rewriting or revisiting your mission statement, and ensuring all your communication aligns with this mission. FundingHub who has recently rebranded, shed light on their strategy “Rebranding is a chance to redefine your company's voice, face, and how it interacts with its customers. It’s about realigning your brand to your company strategy and goals - making sure you have a brand-market fit.”
- Your business type
The type of business you are wanting to rebrand is fairly important in the decision-making process. Let’s say you own a construction company that has been working with the same suppliers for 15 years, they are loyal to your brand but aren’t very tech-savvy. Rebranding could be too big of a change and your once loyal customers might feel excluded. In the same breath, a rebrand might open up new streams of business, and a new audience might bring in more revenue.
Fintech companies specifically need to be mindful when it comes to rebranding, particularly if they haven’t existed for very long. Their audiences want a trusted, and safe solution and are generally tech and mobile savvy. This means they are well aware of the ever-changing landscape, but still need a brand they can resonate with.
Simon Purdon, FundingHub CEO says, “A successful rebrand could allow your business to explore new opportunities that previously you would not have been given credibility in.”
- Target audiences
Your rebrand might involve redefining your target audience, or it could entail further resonating with your existing audience. Whatever the reason behind the rebrand, you’ll need to understand your customer’s needs and desires. A brand should always evolve as its people do.
Redefining your audience could involve appealing to a higher calibre of audience or a lower-income group that you never thought about reaching – don’t be afraid to dive into unchartered waters. Repositioning your brand will attract a specific audience, so you need to sit down and clearly define who this audience is. This exercise might mean cutting out your existing audience if, for example, the purpose of your rebrand is to increase revenue or change your pricing structure.
- Cost and time
A rebrand is not a quick fix to any problem. It needs to be well thought out, strategized, reviewed, and most crucial - a budget needs to be set aside for it. Execution is key in a rebrand, and you really need all hands on deck to make sure it’s successful. Purdon says “Whatever your reason for wanting to rebrand, you should only do the rebranding exercise when you have the time, energy and resources to commit properly to it.”
A rebranding workshop with your entire team will be beneficial when it comes to realigning your internal and external messaging. If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, you’ll need to partner with a marketing agency that is experienced in rebranding and will understand your company’s vision and culture.
Now that you have the full rundown, it really comes down to deciding whether you need a rebrand or not. If the time is now, then you’ll need to put your game plan into action by following these tips.