How to Rebrand (the right way!)
I know, I know. You’re freaking out about this rebranding. You know you need to get it over with but you’re stuck on how to do it properly. I’ve been there. And so many of my clients come to me, feeling deflated before they even start the process. On the other hand, I’ve also had clients concerned about what a rebrand will say about their brand reputation. Are we failing? Are we washed up? Reputation is definitely considered but a rebrand doesn’t have to be seen as a bad thing (unless that's the obvious truth and hey, players mess up too! *yeezy shrug*). But truth is, nearly every brand will encounter a rebrand sooner or later in its history. All brands have to adapt to changes, shifts and cultural leanings of their audience. So cheer up about this! The rebranding process can be fun, new, and exciting. That’s why I’m checking in to make sure you have a successful rebrand.
If you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve considered hiring a branding firm to help you with the nitty-gritty details of the rebrand such as visual elements and messaging. Please keep in mind that each brand roll out is different. So what the next person did, won’t necessarily work for your rebrand. Be sure to hire a professional branding firm to help you manage your brand roll out effectively. Below I explain how to rebrand (the right way!).
Know your WHY.
Why are you doing this? What problem is this rebrand solving? If done for the wrong reason, rebrands can be an expensive nightmare. You need direction for this rebrand. Period. For instance, how major is this rebrand? Are we completing gutting the place or is this more of an upgrade? These 5 types of rebrands helped me decide on my WHY, while doing research. Below are questions that can help you determine the type of rebrand you may be facing:
- Have the demographics shifted in your space? (.ie target audience is maturing, expanding to international, etc)
- Is the technology in your industry advancing, chasing expectations?
- Have you grown the company and evolved it without remembering to evolve your brand along the way?
- Have you entered a new line of business or market that is not cohesive to the existing brand identity?
- Are you simply driving sales (while failing to take a clear stand to make your mark on all the channels available today)?
- Are you so busy, you never stopped to identify who your public really is and you lack a foundational vision as a brand?
Start research and preparation early.
Simply put, you need to know what you want your brand to represent. Once you know, stand firm on that. Throughout your research process, you’ll discover lots of different avenues that will appear to be amazing. But you must stick to the plan or you’ll keep starting over again and again. Aim to gain an understanding of your brand, your customers and your market. Have an overview of what specific things you’ll need to update/create. Do you need an entirely new logo or just revamped a bit? Do you need a complete website redesign? Asking yourself these questions before you start can save you a lot of time.
Scout out the best players for your team.
It truly does take a village to build a brand. At this stage, if you have an in-house team of people that handle things like web design, graphics, etc. then kudos to you! But if you’re like me and you’re outsourcing services to do this rebrand, then you’ve got to pick the best. Find the best contractor to do the job, find out pricing, processes and turnaround. The one thing I can’t stand when I hear it, is when people swear they “want/need” certain things but haven't even looked into it yet. Like, if you don’t even know how much something costs or where to get it… You don’t really want that it bad (my opinion!). Once you know what you’re dealing with, then you can make and plan for real moves to be made. If you’re low on funds and can’t outsource, get your DIY on.
Effectively LEAD the team.
There will be lots of moving parts during this process. Guess who has to stay on top of it? You. So it's extremely imperative to be organized and to document everything. That way, just in case things go wrong, you’ve got a clear, organized blueprint for folks to follow. Directions need to be clear and all information necessary for everyone to do their jobs should be provided/included.
When I did my rebrand in 2016, Victor Group got a new logo, website, brand identity, services/offerings, photos, bio and more. I needed to outsource other people to handle half of those items because I couldn’t be too close to my own project. In addition to that, I’m not an expert at ALL things - So I hire those who are! I also needed a CLEAR idea of what I wanted, that way I can effectively delegate to the team of people that would make this rebrand a success.
I started out by mapping out what I wanted my company to represent and who I wanted it to appeal to. That understanding directly affects my brand identity (logo, color scheme). Then I needed to figure out their problems so that I could provide solutions to those problems. That’s how I revamped my services/offerings; Thus my website needed to be updated with information (using with my new brand identity). I knew that my website would introduce my company to people before I could and needed have the right conversation with them to answer all of their questions. New website? New photos, duh. So I needed an amazing photographer. Think your done? Nope. Now create a mood board to tell this photographer exactly the types of images you want.
Now that you know how to rebrand (the right way!), it’s time to act.