A strong brand identity is crucial to the success of businesses big and small — and is one of your most valuable assets. In addition to differentiating your business from the competition, a strong brand identity creates a deep connection with existing customers and attracts new ones.
Many businesses mistakenly overlook the value of a strong and consistent brand, assuming that because they aren’t the size of Nike or Apple that they’ll never acquire or retain customers based on their brand alone. Younger startups, small businesses, and companies that have limited resources are the ones that typically fall prey to this mindset. Initially, these companies can grow despite not having a brand strategy; however, there will come a point where leadership has to face the music and recognize that poor branding is holding their business back.
Create a rebranding strategy plan
Leaders who aren’t familiar with marketing and branding strategies may underestimate the amount of preparation that is necessary if you hope to be successful with a rebrand. They may think the situation involves making a few changes to the logo, introducing some new talking points and finding new channels to disseminate your message, and then they’re all set! That’s when the harsh reality starts to set in and they realize, “This process is far more involved than I ever imagined.”
Embarking upon a major rebranding strategy should be approached the same way you would a significant new product development initiative: with a thorough brand analysis and preparatory exercises, such as quality testing, supply/demand analysis, market forces evaluation, and pricing analysis. To attempt a rebrand without putting in the work beforehand, analyzing and detailing various factors such as demographics, marketing channels, advertising content and visual style, will only hold your business back when it comes to developing a strong new brand identity.
Whether you are rebranding due to a marketplace shift or for a new business strategy, following the steps below will help you create a rebranding strategy plan that yields a brand identity that helps you achieve your long-term business goals.
Step 1: Identify a business reason
Making the decision to rebrand should always have a business reason backing it up. Rebranding for the sake of rebranding will always be detrimental to your business. Why? There are always going to be customers who identify with aspects of your current brand — and see no need for things to change. Having a business reason behind your rebrand will help you plan for ways to introduce the new aspects of your brand without destroying what it is that draws your existing loyal customers to you in the first place.
Step 2: Conduct a brand analysis
The business reason for rebranding will influence they type of brand analysis you conduct. For example, if your business is rebranding because you are moving into a new market to compete with more established companies you should have a thorough understanding of both your competitors and how your potential customers connect with brands.
Step 3: Commit to a brand archetype and guidelines
Once you have completed your brand analysis, it’s time to draw insights from your research and commit to a brand archetype. At its core, brand marketing uses psychology and the “collective unconscious” that everybody shares in order to connect with customers. Picking — and committing to — a brand archetype will help your business create a strong connection with your target audience through storytelling.
Step 4: Build your website and update digital marketing assets
Whether your business is B2C, B2B, has brick-and-mortar locations, or provides all services virtually, your website is the hub of your presence online. When current and potential customers are looking for your business online, the first place they will go is your website — which is why it needs special considerations when you are rebranding.
Step 5: Build a rebranding marketing plan
When the day finally arrives to launch your new brand, you’ll need to get the word out via proper channels. Depending on your business goals, the size of your rebrand, and the resources you have available, you should create a digital marketing roadmap both for the rollout and the new brand at large.
To ensure your next rebrand is successful in attracting new customers without alienating existing ones, you need to be strategic in the components you add, change, and keep. You must also think carefully about how you will get the message out so that audiences abandon their former ideas about your business and adopt the newer messaging you deliver. If you don’t have the capability to handle all your business’s rebrand internally, consider working with an agency that can help you with all elements of your rebrand.