Making sure a company rebrand goes well

I’ve seen a few rebrands, some bad and some good. I a regular reader of the Brand New blog to see what is going on and been surprised by a few decisions made by companies about when and how they update their brand.

I applaud those who have managed to keep things consistent since incorporation, people like Coca Cola (since 1886), IKEA (relatively consistent since 1967), and Apple (since 1977).

What is a company brand?

Brands are a set of company assets that make up your persona, this includes your logo, imagery, associated designs, fonts, and colours. Occasionally people get it confused with the company logo, but this is just a single par.

Sometimes rebrands go a bit awry.

Occasionally people feel they need to refresh their branding if it goes a bit stale, it only has a certain amount of charm for a period of time. Pepsi goes through one as regularly as the weather changes, they’ve not quite got there with stability yet.

Gap thought they needed to change things around a bit, getting rid of a stable and well-known branding for.. not that, which they quickly changed back. Royal Mail decided that it’d be a great idea to change, briefly, to Consignia. The public disagreed.

The controversial GAP rebrand which was removed as quickly as it was unveiled.

Other times rebrands work really well.

Airbnb (2014) where they introduced the questionable “Belo”, the rest of it worked wonders and took them out of their bubble stage. Uber (2016, then again 2018) which was less successful the first time, then refined in 2018 and Comedy Central which was a global alignment of image.

All of these worked because they were well thought through, the ones that didn’t work weren’t. Which brings me onto making a rebrand successful, what are the key things you need to do and know before, during, and after.

Rebranding is about time, impact, and uniformity.

Make sure the time is right

When it comes to rebranding, you need to have a clear reason why. Rebranding because you feel your logo looks outdated, or you want to reach the “younger crowd” isn’t going to work.

Your timing has to be right, are people falling out of love with your brand? Do your competitors have a more tied up look and feel? Would it improve your business to look better? Do your customers have a strong connection to your current brand and would a rebrand do more harm than good?

Some of the times an image update, rather than a rebrand could be the answer instead of completely changing how you look – introducing new elements would be a better idea.

Don’t stagger your rebrand or half-arse it, do your rebrand right.

This annoys me so much, many times I have seen companies rebranding and they’ve created an amazing logo for their new brand – great, but completely forgotten about sub-brands or other things they do.

Before you can successfully rebrand your business you need to make sure you have all your bases covered – everything that needs a new logo is catered for, not just your main brand.

This is also covered under half-arsing it. Rolling out your brand, during and after the rebranding initiative has started. Make sure as many as your main outlets (if you are a store) and your main communications channels are covered in the rebrand – flagship stores, website, social media. All of these need to have the new branding first.

Uniforms, liveries on vehicles, and company stationery are also important. Make sure all of these are not forgotten in your new brand rollout.

Make an impact with your rollout, fading isn’t an option.

Don’t just let a new brand sit there, there’s a lot to do once you have your rebrand. Planning and rolling out is one thing but ensuring your customers, prospects, and employees know what is coming is as important.

Advertising is one of your key avenues in this instance. Don’t let your new brand fall aside in your marketing strategy. Making a big thing of your new look is a must.

Your Social Media channels should be singing about this thing for weeks to come. Look at our flashy new things, grab some goodies by emailing us or entering a competition. Things to make people fall in love with your brand over again.

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