Your company has decided to rebrand itself. Perhaps a merger has occurred or your brand doesn’t differentiate you from the competition. Before diving in and recreating a logo willy-nilly, follow these steps to ensure a successful business result.
Determine the Reason for the Rebranding Need
The first step is to determine that there is a need for rebranding. According to Forbes, reasons to rebrand can be:
- You’re embarrassed to give people your business card.
- The brand name no longer evokes its vision.
- The brand doesn’t stand out from the crowd.
- The brand has become too complicated.
- The organization is undergoing (or have recently undergone) a merger or acquisition.
- The company is unable to attract top talent.
A rebrand should be data-driven, and as such research is crucial. What you might think about your company is not always the perception of others. Conduct outreach through focus groups, surveys, and interviews to fully understand what others think of your brand. The opinions of clients, customers, employees and prospects need to be considered as well as community members. Make sure the competition is also evaluated as an understanding of all aspects of the marketplace is essential. Gather and analyze all of your brand assets including stationery and business cards. Based on the research, you can establish your rebranding strategic goals and define who the stakeholders are internally and externally.
Review your positioning statement and ensure that it is still in line with your new brand. You may need to draft a new one. The positioning statement should describe how your service fits the needs of your target market. This is not a tagline; rather, it is a statement of how you want the brand to be perceived. When crafting the positioning statement, make sure it is brief, unique, mirrors the firm’s core values, and communicates how your business is different from the competition. It should be able to be used as a guideline to evaluate if business decisions align with the brand.
Once rebranding goals are determined and research is done, you can dig into creating the new brand identity. Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand. Included in your brand identity are the firm’s name, logo, tagline, color, typography, and marketing messages. For online branding, your website URL and social media pages are also part of your brand identity. All of these elements create a perception of your company and should deliver a cohesive message about who you are. Design elements of color, imagery, and font choice all affect your brand identity. When establishing color, keep in mind how the color translates both on-screen as well as in print. Some hues look vibrant onscreen but cannot be matched with ink on paper.
Before writing new or editing existing content, keep your rebrand data-driven by sifting through your Google analytics. Take a look at what content performs well, what pages have the most traffic, and which pages have the highest bounce rates. This will also give a baseline for measuring the success of your new rebranded site. Review your SEO keywords and see which rank the highest. If you don’t have keywords established, create a list of keywords in order to optimize your content. The goal is to draft content that is search engine optimized without keyword stuffing, the practice of loading a webpage with keywords to manipulate a site’s ranking. When drafting the new copy, be sure to keep your content relevant and engaging. Besides the website, you will need to adjust all of your brand assets. Print collateral such as business cards and stationery will need to be redesigned and printed, as well as any corporate signage, brochures, etc. Don’t forget to look at eSignatures and social media pages as well.
Create a style guide for the new brand. This is the manual for your brand identity and is an essential reference tool for designers, writers and developers. According to Forbes, using a style guide keeps messaging cohesive and consistent and helps to build brand awareness. Included in the style should be:
- Color palette: Include breakdowns for both on-screen (RBG-Red, Green Blue) and print (CMYK-Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) as well as any PMS spot colors (specific color formulas that will reproduce accurately in print).
- Typography: What fonts are used and when to use them, along with their sizes and weights. Include web fonts if necessary.
- Logo usage: Include information about sizing, spacing, what to do and what not to do with the logo. You may need different logos for various applications such as a stacked logo or square logo for social media.
Activate the Brand
Once the new look is established it is time to activate the brand. Launch the website, but before announcing the new brand publicly, allow for some time to work out any kinks of uploading pages or linking links. Make a public relations event out of the launching of the new brand, possibly tying into a corporate anniversary. Host a new brand party internally and/or externally, and send press releases to media to get coverage. Make the rebrand roll-out exciting and be sure to include this as a subject in your firm’s blogs, newsletters and eAlerts.