5 minute read
Rebranding a company is to marketers what the Prom is to high schoolers. Love it or hate it, you’re going to have to do it at least once in your life. In may ways, rebranding your first company is a rite of passage, so you want to make sure you do it right. The good news is that, while every rebrand is unique, the successful ones always follow the same pattern: You start by analyzing your current brand, you then define a space that your brand can own, craft your new brand, and finally, launch the new brand into the marketplace.
Before you start on the rebranding process, make sure you have a documented plan for the following four steps:
1. Analyze Your Current Brand
What is your current brand like and how does it compare to the rest of the marketplace? How do your consumers view your product or services? What about your competitors? These are all vital questions to ask as you take a look at your brand, but there’s one question that not enough marketers ask during the first stage of rebranding their company...
Why are we doing this?
Far too often, people start rebranding a company because they’re bored. If you look at your logo every day, it probably seems stale to you, but is that a fair and justifiable reason to embark on a rebrand? There are plenty of great reasons to rebrand a company, but boredom isn’t one of them. Before you embark on a full rebrand, make sure to perform a full brand audit.
2. Define Your “Ownable Space”
This is, arguably, the most important part of any company’s branding efforts. You need to research your current customers, your ideal customers, and your competitors to figure out who exactly you want to be. What is it that makes your brand a special snowflake in a blizzard of competition. There are several incredible resources on this subject, including Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, so I won’t go into too much detail, but here are some great questions to ask in the process of finding your ownable space:
- What are our value propositions? What are our competitors? Where do they overlap?
- What adjectives do our competitors use to describe themselves? Got a list? Great! Those words are now off limits.
- Where do we rank among our competition in price? What about in features? Service?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll have a much better idea of how you can find your “blue ocean.”
3. Craft Your New Brand
Now comes the fun part. Yes, crafting the brand gets all the glory, but your new brand should be crafted based on the research you did earlier. Everything that you do in crafting your brand should stem from the space in the marketplace that you want to own. Before you even consider a color pallette or messaging, you should think about how these elements support that unique positioning that you w0rked so hard to find. Now, on to the fun stuff:
- Primary Color Pallette
- Brand Messaging, including a brand boilerplate and elevator pitch
- Replacements for any printed or digital assets that your team will be using in the future. This includes everything from stationary to your website.
Nice-To-Haves For Your New Brand
- Alternate marks
- Tertiary Color Pallette
- Custom Iconography
- A Brand Voice Document describing how your brand sounds
- Guidelines around branded photography
You’re going to want to make sure that your new brand is omni-present throughout your customer’s experience. Everything from your receptionist’s desk to your CEO’s office should scream your brand.
4. Launch and Maintain Your New Brand
Finally, we launch our new brand - hopefully with a launch party! This part should be fun for everyone involved and allow your team to celebrate your company’s new identity. In order for the brand launch to go off without a hook, you’re going to want to ensure that you’re involving all the right people internally with the brand launch. The last thing you want to do is to create a new brand that the head of sales hates and subsequently sabotages. Make sure that you’re effectively communicating with all relevant stakeholders internally before you launch the new brand.
You will then spend the rest of your life as the brand police. It’s not your fault, but it’s going to feel like everyone in your organization is going to want to compromise your brand guidelines and do their own thing. DO. NOT. LET. THEM. Stay strong, and if anyone gives you flack, know you’ve got me - a complete stranger - in your corner!
If you follow these four steps, you should be well on your way to an effective rebrand! Whether you’re starting a brand from scratch or merely refreshing a classic design, this is your recipe for success.
If you think you may need help with your rebrand, don’t be shy! We’re always here to help.