Branding is everything for your business. It encompasses the entire perception that people have of your products and services. Your logo plays a big role in brand recognition, but branding includes things like tone, voice, style, and even your company goals. That’s why rebranding is more than just switching a few colors and fonts. Whatever your reasons for rebranding, it’s not something you decide on upon walking into the office and expect to accomplish by close of business. Rebranding a company takes considerable thought, planning, and time. Here’s how to work out a rock-solid rebranding strategy that pays off in the end.
1. Arrange the Finance You Need
No businessman worth their salt ever embarks on a project without enough cash to do so. As you go through this to-do list of the rebranding process, try to estimate how much each stage will cost.
Then work out if you can afford to rebrand at all. Are you a little short? No problem, we can assist with a variety of non-bank finance options for businesses.
2. Determine Your Reason for Rebranding
Sometimes the reasons for rebranding are simple, as in the case of a merger between two firms. If this isn’t the case, spend some time figuring out why you feel your brand needs a refresh.
Some of the reasons behind this could be:
- Launching a new service line
- A need to compete in a new market Your brand is no longer an accurate reflection of your business
- Legal reasons
- You want to refocus or simplify your message
Rebranding your business is a costly affair, and you must have a clear goal before you start or you could waste vast sums of money.
Coca Cola’s classic slip up when they decided to convert to New Coke is a good example of wasted time, money and effort. The brand perceived that it needed to change its product, for no real reason at all.
Loyal customers became confused and enraged by the change, forcing the soft drink giant to back-pedal and go back to its original recipe for success.
3. Research Your Brand Positioning
Before you can figure out where your brand is going, you need to know where it is at the moment.
Independent research is the best way to do this. You need answers to questions like the following:
- What is that people love about your brand, and what do they dislike?
- Has your brand been keeping up with the times?
- How can it better connect with modern markets?
- Why have some customers abandoned you in favor of a competitor?
- You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know what it is, and it’s unwise to change a winning formula. Likewise, you need to know where to draw the line between attracting new customers and losing a loyal following.
Your new approach should appeal to both your existing audience as well as the new customers you hope to attract.
If you’re expanding into a new market or geographic region, research your new target market and what’s working for them at the moment.
4. Get Company Stakeholders Buy-In
People are naturally resistant to change, and you can’t expect your customers to get on board with your new look and feel if your own employees aren’t
Allowing your senior personnel to have a say in your brand refresh not only prevents resentment, and encourages them to become brand ambassadors, but you could also pick up some great ideas from them.
A no-holds-barred brainstorming session is a great place to start looking for rebranding inspiration.
You’ll also need senior personnel to assist you with rolling out your new branding to employees further down the ranks.
5. Develop Your Firm’s Positioning and Message Architecture
Try to personify your brand. There are 12 recognized brand archetypes based on human personalities. These 12 major personality types were first defined by psychologist Carl Jung based on the most oft-portrayed characters in stories.
- The Innocent is a simple, pure and trustworthy personality who wants only to be free and happy e.g Coca Cola
- The Hero fears weakness and failure and desires to prove it’s worth through superior performance and triumphs e.g Nike
- The Regular Guy seeks acceptance and a sense of belonging and is reliable, dependable and honest like Walmart
- The Nurturer, like Johnson & Johnson, needs to protect and care for others by offering safety and supportThe Creator desires to produce enduring, exceptional works, pushing boundaries to avoid mediocrity, like Lego
- The Explorer craves discovery and adventure engendering a sense of self-discovery and freedom e.g. Amazon
- The Rebel, like Virgin, seeks revolution and power and has free-spirited, brave nature
- The Lover wants only pleasure and has a glamorous persona like Victoria’s Secret. The Magician uses charisma and drive to get to grips with the universe and where they fit into it, like Disney
- The Ruler is confident, responsible and fair with a hunger for control and power e.g. Mercedes-BenzThe Jester, like Geico, lives in the present, detests boredom, and is affectionate and playful by nature
- The Sage despises ignorance and deception, seeking truth and wisdom, like the University of Cambridge
How would you like your brand to come across?
In the same way that these recognizable personalities make stories relatable for their readers, you can use them to create appeal for your brand. It’s easy to see how customers can relate to these human characteristics.
For example, when Apple adopted the Creator archetype, this approach helped to save the company from bankruptcy during the mid-1990s.
These early ideas will later form the basis of all your marketing messages, with slight adjustments according to each target market.
Be sure to balance these communication essentials to match the space you want your business to occupy market-wise.
6. Build Your New Website
It’s important that your website is up and ready to go when you launch your new-look and feel brand.
Your website is the modern-day shop window and the hub of your marketing efforts. As part of your rebranding efforts, you should make sure your website copy, images, and design fit in with your adjusted brand persona.
All your SEO efforts and digital marketing campaigns will center on your new website when you re-launch. A totally new website can have a negative effect on your current SEO standing, so it’s best to get expert advice while re-designing.
For example, any existing backlinks could result in 401 error pages, so you’ll need to set up redirects to ensure you still get the SEO benefits of these.
Along with your website, your other digital assets will also need to undergo a refurb. These include:
- Online reviews and ratings
- Social media pagesReferralsEmail marketing campaigns
- Directory listingsPay-per-click advertisements
- Create a checklist of all these aspects before you start, to ensure you update them all.
7. Think About Putting Your Rebranding Strategy into Action
Be sure to use the correct channels when you decide to let everyone know about your rebrand.
These will depend on how extensive your brand refresh is, your business goals, and available resources. There are two different ways to embark on a brand relaunch.
You can either tease out the changes gradually or announce it in one big hit.
Whichever of these you choose, it’s important to inform your existing customers, employees, and prospective customers before you start.
It takes a lot of thought and planning to erase your old brand from customers’ minds in order to get them on board fully with your new look. All of these aspects will affect the things you need for your final rollout as well as how you go about it.
8. Building Trust
Once you’ve rebranded, keep up the momentum and never go back. Stay consistent and be vigilant about backsliding into your old brand voice and tone. At first, you’ll need to increase the intensity of your marketing efforts to ensure your new brand sticks in the minds of existing and potential customers.
If you’ve designed a new logo, make sure all traces of your old logo are gone. Send all your old business stationery to the recycling plant.
Ensure that employees stick to your new brand guidelines in all their dealings with clients. This means you’ll need to micromanage things for a while until your new brand becomes second nature.
Communication is vitally important to keep your employees informed every step of the way. You can’t afford a slip-up by uninformed employees.
The Costs Involved in Change
Improving your business costs money.
You’ll need money to tide you over if you go through an unexpected slump in business due to the changes. You might need to pay for expert help in pulling off your rebranding strategy. Changing all your printed collateral, your website, and all your advertising costs cash too.
That’s where we can help. Getting in touch with Strategic Capital to apply for alternative finance is the first step towards making your business the best that it can be.
Checking for pre-approval will not affect your credit score.