What’s in a Name? A Lot. Here's How to Successfully Rebrand Your Business
Rebrands of companies, products, and services are not uncommon. A company may choose to rebrand to refresh a stale image. Often a rebrand is triggered by a merger or acquisition. A scandal is also a catalyst for a rebrand. For example, increased focus and sensitivity surrounding brands with controversial roots like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's have led to recent rebrand announcements.
Successful rebranding, regardless of the impetus, starts with a thoughtful assessment of why, what, how, when, and where.
- Why rebrand now?
- What aspects of the brand need a refresh?
- How will the rebrand work be done?
- When will the new brand launch?
- Where will you represent your new brand?
Why Rebrand Now?
A new marketing leader or executive looking to institute change may request a rebrand. But is that the right reason? Your brand wasn't built in a day. Before rebranding, it's worth taking stock of your brand, its history, market perception, and current value.
Weigh the pros and cons of moving forward with a rebranding effort along with the anticipated cost. Get input from a cross-section of the company along with end customers.
What Aspects of the Brand Need a Refresh?
Most people outside of the marketing community would associate a rebrand with a name change, but there's much more to it. Determine if you're reimagining the brand's visual representation, language, story, or a combination of these elements. Create a complete list of all the brand aspects you wish to revamp.
How Will the Rebrand Work Be Done?
Companies of all sizes have been through the rebranding process. While many, such as Google/Alphabet, have significant in-house marketing staff, that doesn't necessarily mean that a rebrand should be executed entirely by an internal team.
Outside perspective and expertise can provide an unbiased point of view and more in-depth experience related to rebranding. This sounding board and external counsel can also help to sell through ideas to leadership and management without jeopardizing relationships.
When Will the New Brand Launch?
Unless you're a household name, most of the general public will have little interest in your new brand. However, employees and loyal customers may be more invested. Be sensitive to the audiences that will care most and consider timing the rebrand to something meaningful like a corporate anniversary, large company or industry event, or another milestone.
Where Will You Represent Your New Brand?
Orchestrating the new brand launch requires a coordinated effort across your brand channels. If you send a customer email introducing a new brand, but your website still aligns with your retired brand, the rebrand is incomplete and ineffective.
Take stock of your current marketing resources – both digital and offline – as well as your internal materials and training efforts. Ensure that all of your employees, especially those within sales, marketing, client services, and leadership, understand how to express the new brand. An end-to-end rebrand can't happen overnight. It will require support from many departments, from HR for training and onboarding to technology for digital representation.
Be Thorough and Patient.
A rebrand is typically a massive undertaking. Make sure you have a plan and secure buy-in from the critical stakeholders. Take your time to do it properly and ask the right questions from the start.
Jessica Nable's blog is focused on how companies can manage and improve their corporate reputation. With over 15 years of corporate, B2B, financial services, and technology communications experience, Nable is an experienced senior strategic communications consultant who helps organizations build deeper relationships with press, clients and prospects, current and prospective employees, and lawmakers. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with her on LinkedIn.