Having gone through a couple of rebrands now over my career and on the cusp of another one here at Appnovation (stay tuned), I’ve been thinking more and more about what they all have in common, from a high level perspective. What are the key aspects to be considered by any business diving into this challenging process? Here are 7 things to think about for your next rebrand:
1. Overhaul the marketing
A pretty obvious one and largely at the root of any rebrand activity stemming from events such as repositioning, new identity, merger/acquisition/spinout, new products/services offerings etc. But within this overhaul, you need to look at EVERYTHING.
Things like messaging and creative are a given, the core of which should be addressed upon the production of a new brand guidelines document. Just as important though, is the strategies and tactics to market the new brand. What had been done in the past may very well carry forward, but take this opportunity during the rebrand to explore a “new way of doing things” to reach new audiences for your products and services.
The good news is that you may already be doing a lot of the strategies and tactics and it may simply be a matter of shifting more resources (time/money/effort) in those directions to focus on and take more advantage of them. However, if it’s going to be a completely new strategic and tactical endeavor, my next suggestion would be to take a look at the strategies used by direct and indirect competitors. On the off chance those don’t exist, look at other companies in general to see what they’re doing. If it’s something so completely new that you don’t really have the resources for, then research, plan, test, execute and evaluate, which is what you should be doing for all of your marketing initiatives regardless.
Lastly, overcommunication of the rebrand is key. Whether direct or indirect, do this in as many different ways as possible, and across as many different channels as possible. And, be prepared to keep it going to really make your messaging stick.
2. Address (or re-address) the digital
Today, your customer’s digital experience is just as important as their direct experience with your company, your products and services. The very best of brands recognize that their customer’s digital experience is a living, breathing asset that should be constantly maintained, supported, nurtured and grown. The days of “set it and forget it” are long gone, at least if you’re looking for any kind of lasting, meaningful engagement and loyalty from customers.
Things like simplicity and accessibility are key, but also providing the relevant information is just as important and in today’s hyper-privacy climate you are going to have to take a look at that too. Today’s brands should always be looking to personalize customers’ digital experiences as much as possible across all devices, and look for ways to extend the experience into the physical world as well, making it more interactive and memorable.
3. Learn about your company
Take this opportunity to learn about your company, what you’re doing and probably most importantly, what your customers (new, old, prospective, past), partners, employees and prospective employees think of you. Get both qualitative and quantitative data, using interview and survey methods ideally delivered by a third party provider to help keep things as objective as possible. Learn as much as you can and capture people’s thoughts and feelings about as many aspects of your current brand as you can. Use this as an opportunity to explore new ideas and key messaging for your new brand.
4. Know your industry and competitors
While every good company should be monitoring these things on a regular basis, this is another good opportunity to take an even deeper dive into your competitors and evaluate larger industry trends. Do a fresh and complete SWOT analysis to really identify all the key aspects that surround your current brand and then leverage this information for new strategies for the rebrand.
5. Focus on internal company culture
Hopefully you’re doing your rebrand because your company has grown and it’s time for a fresh new look, some repositioning, new product/service launches, expanding to new markets, etc. But even if it’s for the opposite reason and you are looking to rebound, a rebrand is a great way to really rally the company and bring everyone together moving forward in the same direction.
Get key team members engaged early and working alongside the marketing department on various aspects of the rebrand itself, including planning the launch, which should include activities that allow the entire company to participate and take part in. From driving social campaigns touting new visuals and messaging to being brand ambassadors sporting new company swag, employee involvement is key to the success of any rebrand. If you don’t have support from your internal team, it’s going to be a long rebrand cycle, or maybe, and more likely, a short one, meaning you’ll have to do it all over again in the near future.
6. Attract new talent
Use the rebrand to launch recruiting campaigns to upgrade your talent pool in whatever skill sets or depth you are lacking or need to beef up. Just as a new brand can reinvigorate current employees it can also make the company look more interesting to potential new hires. A new brand likely means new positioning and with new positioning in many cases means new opportunities that will require different or more skills that are not already in house. Leverage the new brand to bring to surface these employment opportunities throughout as many channels as possible (website, social media, hiring sites, advertising, etc.) and show a real human capital vision of the future with your company.
7. Upgrade the offering
Lastly, and certainly not least, a rebrand is a real chance to upgrade the offering whatever that may be, product, service or both. Many times the reason the rebrand is happening because of the upgrade to offerings and the need to be able to tell a new story and/or reach new markets. But regardless, a rebrand should not be just treated as new window dressing on the same old stuff, but an opportunity to elevate what the company does and the value that it offers clients or customers. It is also the chance to revisit your pricing or rates. With upgraded offerings rolling out and new positioning to go along and the talent behind supporting, it is a great time (and probably warranted) to revisit how much customers are going to be charged, but that doesn’t necessarily always mean more.
So that is about it with one postscript in case it wasn’t obvious from the list above, but extending the rebrand into everything is very important, especially if it is a corporate rebrand.