What are the essential must-haves before rebranding your business?
Since your company is about more than just a new name and a new logo, you’ll need to do a bit of strategic development and planning before you switch brands.
Here are 3 absolute must-haves for any business that plans on rebranding.
1. A Good Reason to Rebrand
A good reason is one that is defined by the customers, not the business itself. When market research begins to discover a disconnect between the customers and the brand, especially one that affects the bottom line, then it’s time to rebrand.
But if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
To find out if your business needs a rebrand, it’s important that you ask yourself and your team hard questions about the reason behind the rebrand. For instance, there are good reasons to rebrand and there are bad reasons to rebrand.
If you can point to your brand as the cause of hiccups, obstacles, profit shortages, customer disconnects, or other problems, it may be time to consider a rebrand. These problems, of course, will need to be large enough to warrant a rebrand…because if you mess it up, you could lose a lot.
After weighing all the present and future variables, you should have no doubt in your mind that a rebrand is the only choice.
Once you decide to rebrand, be ready for change. A rebranding not only requires an internal change, it also requires rethinking your position in the market, rethinking your customer base, and rethinking your brand’s culture, story, and mission.
If your company does decide to go through with the change, be prepared to go 110%, because a half-change may be worse than no change at all.
2. Research into the Problem and the Solution
Your research should be a hundred times more thorough than you think necessary.
This stage involves two steps: researching the problem and designing a solution.
How to Research the Problem
The first place to go is to your customers. They will tell you what’s working, what’s not, and what they want to see from your brand.
Careful research should provide you with the data that you need to understand what’s not working about your current brand. In most cases, a brand simply falls behind the times and needs to update its image and philosophy to meet the needs of a changing world.
Measure your market and your competitors to discover how they have changed over time. Look for similar problems both inside and outside your industry to see if others have faced the same branding dilemma your company is facing.
Also, ask your employees about their concerns. Don’t just focus on the image, however, you need to research every aspect of the brand, from the company’s philosophy and mission to its culture to its design.
How to Research a Solution
If you research your problem correctly, your solution should begin to appear. When you’ve discovered the problem with your brand, your customers and employees will tell you what they don’t like about it.
Now, it’s time to find out how to fix it.
Use every bit of data at your disposal to discover what it is that your disconnected customer base wants, then look for ways to modify your brand to meet their expectations.
In-depth market research into your target audience and your target market is key to reconnecting with them.
3. A Story and Strategy for the New Brand
The solution should reveal itself through research and through the efforts of the teams involved in your rebranding process, from creatives to marketers to decision-makers. This brand should be built on solid, measurable objectives…not just a name change.
Radio Shack, for instance, realized the need for a rebrand in the early 2000s. But all they did was change their name and logo, without addressing deeper brand problems that were hurting their bottom line. That is, they didn’t modify their philosophy, their product offerings, or their underlying story.
Many brand problems occur because the brand’s current story no longer matches the needs and expectations of their audience. To fix this problem, a brand will need to develop or evolve its story to effectively communicate value to its customers.
If your brand is no longer meaningful, for instance, then you’ll need a story that infuses your brand with meaning.
But always ensure that your creatives and your marketers and decision-makers are on the same page.
Your new brand and its new story must be strategic. In other words, you must define specific marketplace objectives, such as:
- Long-term growth
- Marketplace expansion
- Gaining a competitive advantage
- Evolution or revolution
These strategic objectives should be at the heart of your new brand, and every aspect of your rebranding should be subservient to these goals.
Whether your company is a local business or a multi-national conglomerate, rebranding can be a necessary step for any company that wishes to keep up with the changing marketplace. With careful research, planning, and implementation, the right rebranding can rescue an ailing company, create a competitive edge, and ensure marketplace stability for many years to come.