The greatest problem with making a rebranding strategy lies in the fact that you’re not starting from scratch. This means that you already have some baggage, reputation and traits that could either benefit you or hold you down. Moreover, some of your loyal customers have certain expectations, while others may raise the bar, seeing as how they’re suspicious towards this sudden shift in image. All in all, here are some tips that could help you form a good rebranding strategy that is capable of achieving all the goals you’ve set for this endeavor.
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What’s the reason for the rebranding?
The first thing you need to consider is the very reason why you’re starting with this rebranding. The first and the most transparent issue is the change of direction in the company’s business strategy. Coca-Cola was initially a medicine, long before it ever became a flagship for the soft drinks industry. In order for it to change its purpose, it had to rebrand. Another great reason for rebranding is moving with the times, which is something that every major company has done at least several times throughout their history. This is particularly true during the period of massive growth, where your business needs to transition from a small to a medium business in more than just workload.
Then, there are some external reasons for rebranding, like a merger between two companies or a take-over. The perfect example of this can be seen in the logo change of Instagram, which resulted from its takeover by Facebook. Sometimes, on the other hand, this happens merely so that it’s easier for the audience to differentiate your brand from those of your competitors. It’s vital that you know what your end goal is before you start actively working on these changes and start trying to make them come to life.
Doing some research
Previously, we talked about the issue of the end goal, and yet, a goal can’t be determined merely based on the reason why it’s necessary. Instead, you need to do some research of the market in order to see what is feasible and what is cost-effective. To do so, you need to start by surveying your target audience, often presenting them with several alternative paths for the future of your company and asking them to pick one. Sometimes, however, this survey is done a lot earlier (before you even have the blueprints), which means that you would have to ask a bit more abstract questions, based on which you can make these presumptions.
It’s also a good idea to do some research on your competitors, especially those who did some rebranding of their own (especially if this took place recently) and check out the direction that they have taken. The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that you need an end-to-end rebranding strategy, a way to tell the world what makes you unique and why they should do business with you instead of going for your competitors. This research helps you discover what kind of message your audience is most willing to listen to.
Deciding on the degree of rebranding
Finally, you need to understand there are two different forms of rebranding that you need to consider, seeing as how not every rebranding effort is the same. First of all, you have partial rebranding, which mostly works for well-established businesses, without any pending PR blunders. In other words, it’s merely meant for those who need to bring their brand up to date. Aside from this, they might also be looking for a new focus or prepare for a launch of a new product, which is why they need to appeal to new audiences.
Besides this, there’s also total rebrand, which takes place only in the face of a major change in company’s direction. We’re talking about creating a fresh image that’s necessary for several reasons. For instance, your former brand might have been entangled in a scandal and it would be wiser to distance from your previous corporate markings as much as possible. If your company aims to pivot or repurpose their current operations, such a trend could also be beneficial. Lastly, in case of a merger, it’s often wiser to merely create a new brand than try to incorporate one organization into another.
Only when you cross all three of these factors off the list can you rest assured that your rebranding strategy rests on a solid foundation. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that every choice you make has its limits of possibility, as well as downsides. In other words, while rebranding may give you a fresh start or reinvigoration in some scenarios, it can’t provide you with a clean slate.