Your brand is NOT your logo!

January 2, 2021

“It’s time to rebrand our company, we need a new logo” is something we regularly hear but a new logo doesn’t constitute a rebrand, it merely represents one small part of what is a multi-step process.

Here we break down the 11 steps involved in a successful rebrand.

Step 1: Identifying the reasons for a rebrand

Something has led to the decision to rebrand but identifying the reasons is a vital first step and is incredibly important for establishing goals to measure the success of the rebrand against.

You may decide to rebrand if:

• The vision of the company has changed

• Legal intervention means you have no choice but to rebrand

• A PR disaster has occurred and you need to rebuild your company’s reputation

• Expansion of products and services mean your existing branding is out-dated

• Internal ethos has changed and you want to portray that to the public

• You want to appeal to a new demographic

• The business has new management/owners and the rebrand will represent new beginnings

• A company merger has occurred

A rebrand shouldn’t be confused with a refresh which focusses on just the visual aspects of the company without a change in the company ethos or messaging. A refresh would be more along the lines of a new logo, stationery and website update but without the core elements of the business changing at all.

Step 2: Self awareness

Once you’ve identified the reason(s) for the rebrand, a vital step is introspection. You have to be able to answer these questions about your business:

Who are you?

What do you do?

What do you want to be known for?

What happens if you don’t rebrand right now?

Answering these questions are vital before you spend a lot of time and money rebranding. It’ll help when creating your brand’s story and will also help you identify where you’re heading.

Depending on your business size, you may wish to seek assistance with this stage. Obviously we would love to help by offering our branding workshop which helps you to answer these questions and more but if you have an existing relationship with an agency then they may be able to help or if you’re a small business, the chances are that you can answer these questions easily yourself.

Step 3: Speak to existing customers

It is vital that a rebrand doesn’t just occur behind closed doors, after all, your brand is ultimately what your customers opinion are of your company.

The types of questions should be whether your current image fits their current needs and wants? Do you even want to be attracting the same types of customers or are changes in your business meaning a different demographic is now the target?

By asking questions and building up a picture of what your ideal customer needs means that your messaging can be tailored accordingly and improve the chances of a successful rebrand.

Step 4: What makes you unique

Listing your unique selling points (USPs) is an important step in differentiating yourself from the competition. Try and be as niche as possible in order to stand out.

For example you may be one of hundreds of companies offering bike tours but add in the fact that you offer them in East Sussex and that reduces the competition significantly. Refine that further to bike tours in Cuckmere (a beautiful area of countryside with a river located in East Sussex) and once again you’re suddenly in a much smaller pool of competition, you may even have one more level to niche down as your bike tours offer  a unique full day bee keeping experience as part of the trip! Suddenly you’re the only company to consider and whilst your target market is smaller, they will be highly engaged which is the ultimate goal.

Try and condense your identity down to a few keywords. What do you do better than your competitors? What sets you apart? Why should customers choose you over the competition?

Step 5: Customer personas

A customer persona is a made up person that represents your ideal customer. What is vital is the level of detail included in each persona. Male/female, age, married/divorced/single, kids, pets, likes/dislikes, hobbies, daily routine etc.

Think about your existing customer base, who are your most enjoyable customers to interact with and who are your most profitable? If there are customers that fall into both camps then what are their attributes? In an ideal world, your business will have a constant stream of profitable customers that are a joy to work with. By following this process, you’ll at least know what your ideal customer(s) look like in order to target similar people in the future.

Step 6: Brand messaging

Messaging has two prongs, internal and external.

One of the most important steps of a successful rebrand is the internal messaging and ensuring everyone within the company not only understands the reasons why there is change occurring but also buys into the changes. Including key members of staff from every aspect of the company during the process is vital in a successful rebrand.

Uniting your company around the same core values and refined messaging means that they will form part of the brand as every customer interaction will be met with consistency.

Step 7: Brand touch points

Using your customer personas, dive into what their daily routines are and where they may see and hear about your brand. By identifying the touch points, you’ll be creating a list of deliverables that’ll need to be created as part of the design portion of the rebrand.

Touch points could be things like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, podcasts, Google search, magazines, billboards, text messages, email, direct mail, office reception area to name but a few.

Step 8: Design

This is where the new messaging comes to life. Carefully crafted text and beautiful visuals will bring your rebrand to life. During this process, make sure you constantly refer back to your customer personas and ensure that what’s created meets their needs.

Try and remove personal preference from the equation, ultimately the individual or board of decision makers needs to ensure it is created for their customers not their personal taste.

Step 9: Testing and feedback

Once a design is agreed between decision makers, introduce it internally to the team but ask for feedback. Don’t get into a position where you’re asking for feedback on multiple design options as this’ll lead to conflicts of opinion and not everyone will have been privy to the  strategic plan for the business.

Take feedback on board and make design tweaks if points raised necessitate or explain reasons for not making changes. This is an important step in ensuring buy-in from the team prior to public release.

Step 10: Public launch

Be decisive when you launch to the public. Make it short and sharp, do not gradually phase it in as it’ll cause confusion.

Use it as an opportunity for a marketing push. Tell all existing customers so the changes do not come as a shock. Use your rebrand as a method of generating publicity and engaging with customers.

The most important factor to emphasise as part of the launch is the reason for your rebrand – most people do not like arbitrary change, and will be more inclined to trust you if you are transparent. Emphasise how and why the rebrand will benefit them.

Step 11: Constant appraisal

Constantly be aware of how the rebrand has been received. Is it resonating with both existing customers and your target audience? Over time messaging can adapt but always keep in mind  the original goals that led you to rebrand in the first place.

Done right, it will excite and delight your customers leaving you in a strong position to attract a new audience and grow.

What next?

We would love to help you through this exciting process and help your business thrive. One of our branding workshops could be perfect to jump start your rebrand. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

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