How To Rebrand Without Losing Your Identity
It is difficult to overestimate the power of reinvention. Tired ideas enjoy the invigoration of insight and innovation when they’ve been exhausted. Missed targets become opportunities when the perspective shifts and growth that exceeds or falls short of expectations must be used as a map for the future.
To rebrand yourself or your company, you must reimagine the message that is being communicated to your clients or consumers about what you do and who you are. You are shifting your current course in favor of one that more accurately represents your identity and intention as a brand.
Before you undertake a massive overhaul, you need to fully understand and take stock of what you currently do and represent. There is much more to reinventing yourself than changing your logo or getting a new website design. A host of brands suffer from improper planning, misevaluation of needs and an inability to execute across all of the necessary mediums. You must essentially create a “brand map”; a detailed account of your current brand, with its shortcomings, and a well defined, plotted course towards your desired brand image.
If you think you have a strong product that hasn’t done well for some time and is not connecting with current or prospective users, then redesigning your logo, packaging and marketing strategies can be a great idea. Look at companies like Dos Equis or Old Spice. With their “Most Interesting Man in The World” and “Smell Like A Man” campaigns, respectively, both companies took products that were once irrelevant and used modern humor, design and culture to embed them into the social consciousness.
Maybe your brand has outgrown its original brand promise. In this case, repositioning the brand and changing what customers have come to associate with it might better serve you. When CVS Caremark changed their name to CVS Health and stopped selling tobacco products – becoming the first corporation pharmacy in the United States to do so – they realized their new position and perspective, while speaking to the conversation points that would concern the health brand they’ve become over time.
There are a number of tactics that you might utilize in order to rebrand a part, or the whole, of your company. These might include:
- Changing the logo/packaging/public presentation
- Changing the name
- Changing the product
- Selling, producing or trading in a different market
- Repositioning the brand message and promise
- Utilizing and/or reevaluating new communication outlets (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat Periscope)
- Launching campaign that aligns with and highlights the changes
- Creating content to announce and solidify new image/presentation
Remember, though: there are things that must take place in order to give your rebranding efforts the best chance to succeed. These include, but are not limited to:
- Taking strict, detailed stock of brand, potential shortcomings and competition
- Researching what current and prospective users/clients/consumers think of the brand
- Identifying what problems in current brand/presentation exist
- Researching effective strategies
- Creating a plan, enacting systemically and executing required tasks across all platforms
- Staying consistent with new voice and avoiding perception of wavering message
- Becoming a brand messenger and spreading the word
- Consistently engaging and informing users/clients/consumers
In some cases, a complete rebranding project is unnecessary and much more of a detriment to a company or individual, especially if the endeavor misses the mark, breaks parts of your brand machine that didn’t need repair and leaves the rusted, squeaking components untouched.
Take a company like Apple, for example. The tech giant has often been lauded in the past for the extensive rebranding project that took the company from nearly bankrupt in 1997 to the most valuable company in the world. However, the company has come under fire in recent years, as they’ve struggled to carry on the tradition that created their rabid fan base and reputation as a leader of innovation. They are currently in the midst of ending their popular series of operating systems, OS X, in favor of the new macOS. macOS will join iOS, tvOS and watchOS as the splintered presentation of what should be (and hopefully is) the same product, in order to promote product integration. Maybe integration is Apple’s hope, but straying away from their brand voice and being unclear with consumers about their intentions has left their brand with serious dents in it.
Rebranding is not without it’s risks. For every story we hear about clear messaging and consistent connection with consumers, there are multiple stories of brands and reputations taking harder falls and getting bigger bruises because of missteps in planning and execution. Yet, as with many risks, there is a great reward for companies and individuals not only brave enough to pick apart and reestablish elements of themselves, but wise enough to know that having the right plan, executing and being consistent will lead to success.
Contact us to see how we can help you bring your brand up to speed.