Companies rebrand for many reasons – being under new ownership, changing direction, merging with another company or to modernise their image. Whatever the reason, however, the basic principles of doing it successfully remains the same.
To rebrand in a manner that will see to it that existing customers are retained and new ones acquired, a project plan must be established. During this kick-off phase, key people from within the company must also become involved. The process moves from here to the final phases during which the look is updated and launched. These are the stages we’ll look at in more detail.
Build brand identity
A company’s brand identity comprises those elements that customers see during direct dealings with the business or in the media. Top of the list are the business’s name, its logo, colours and payoff line. These have to work together to establish the desired brand image within the minds of the customers. When everything is signed off, commission the redesign of business cards, notepads, stationery, vehicles and any other customer touch points.
Update the website
While the rebranded website can’t be launched before a company’s intentions have been made public, a new website must be developed and designed in the background. The importance is evident when one considers that many customers first make contact with a company online. This applies not only to the website, but social profiles on the web too. Be sure to also take these into consideration. Together, the parts must form a cohesive whole.
Change the face of the company
With extensive changes to a company logo and colours, the updates will have to be pulled through to the physical building. This could be as simple as contacting signage companies and wall cladding suppliers to replace the old logo with the new one, or it could be as extensive as getting interior decorators in to revamp the entire building. The first solution would be the most cost effective, but a proper business analysis must be completed before deciding on which route to take.
Strategise the launch
This phase is listed last, but should definitely not be left until the last minute. If the launch fails, it could jeopardise the future success of the company.
With that said, it’s vital to answer the following questions:
- What do we want the customer to know, i.e. what is the message the customer should take away from it all?
- Through which channels will the launch happen? Don’t pick any channel – go to where the customer is.
- When will the launch happen? Too soon or too late could be equally harmful.
Perhaps the most important question to answer at every step of the rebranding process is “Have covered absolutely everything?” To make sure that nothing gets left out, double check and triple check. The extra effort will be worth it at the end of a successful rebranding project.