Let’s face it, times change. Every year, month, day, hour, and second, new and exciting things are happening. New innovations are made, new products come out, and people form new ideas that change the way individuals and businesses think. After many years in business, it is unlikely that your original mission and target audience is exactly the same as when you started, and sometimes there is startling difference. Take Starbucks for example. When Starbuck was founded in 1971, its original intent was to be similar to a European-style coffee shop, where people came in for specialty, high-quality coffee and stayed to chat with the workers and neighbors. Today, we all know Starbucks for its more corporate, multinational image as the place to go for your convenient cup before hitting the office.
Even the largest brands in the world change overtime, and that’s okay. What you need to be aware of is if it’s time for your company to rebrand. Rebranding can involve something as simple as just giving your website a fresh, updated look, but more often than not it could include a new name, logo, color scheme, branding guide, and/or website, along with a new mission statement and a newly defined target market. This is a time consuming endeavor, so you want to make sure that you do it in the most productive and efficient way possible, and will give you the results you are looking for. Here are some things to consider when you are rebranding.
Look To Your Past For Pros And Cons:
At the beginning stages of the rebranding process, you need to sit down with your team and look back on the past several years of your business. What went right? What went wrong? What achievements did you have? What problems did you have? What caused all of those? Are you going in the right direction with your brand? All of these, and more, are valid questions. Make sure to have a long session to take an in-depth look at your company’s history to really weed out the strengths and weaknesses.
Think About Your Mission And Message:
After you’ve looked at your past, you need to envision your future as a company. Get a small team together (you don’t want too many people as we all know what happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen) and try to analyze what you want your brand to be and how that is different from your brand before. Are you bold whereas before you were traditional? Are you minimalist whereas before you were fun and playful? Is your main customer base different and do they want to hear a different message than the one you currently have? Come up with a new mission and message for your company and this will lead you in the right direction for your other rebranded content.
Get A Designer To Help Once Your Mission Is Set:
Getting a graphic and/or web designer to help you with rebranding your website and graphics is a great idea, as they will have a better idea than your average employee about how to design your new website to be functional and aesthetically pleasing, as well as how to create impactful graphics that portray your brand image. But before you try to hire a designer, make sure you have an idea about your mission and the personality of your new brand. A designer can create almost any kind of website and graphics you want, so in order to make you happy they need your help in understanding YOUR vision for the company. The designer’s job is to take your abstract ideas and turn them into a polished final product. For an example, check out Fanta’s 2017 logo and packaging redesign here.
Take Your Rebranding To Your Employees Before You Take It To You Customers:
When you still only have the basic ideas and designs for your rebranding, make sure to take it to your employees first before anyone else. Employees, whether they are executives or hourly workers, often know your company better than anyone else, so they have the best insights to whether a change in design or mission will be beneficial or not. If you take your rebranding internally first, oftentimes employees can give feedback and point out problems that the rebranding team would not have noticed, and this feedback is essential to making the rebranding process as successful as it can possibly be. Also, it is important to include all levels of employees in big changes that happen at a company. The employees are the backbone of the company and it is worth it to make sure they feel like they have a say and like they are truly part of a family, not just a business.
Plan Out Your Timeline For Implementation:
Rebranding is a long, arduous process so it is important to stay organized. Make sure before you official start your rebranding that you set up a timeline for all levels of the process. It’s important to spell out everything from when you want the website changed to when you want everyone to have new business cards. Timelines are necessary for any big project and rebranding is no different, so make sure your timeline is spelled out at the very beginning of the process.
Make Sure To Publicize the Rebranding:
If you’re going to rebrand, all will be for naught if you don’t publicize it. Most of the time companies rebrand because they have a new target market or they don’t feel like their true message is reaching the public. To make sure that everyone know about your new brand, you need to make sure to publicize it as much as possible. This means writing about your updated website on your blog, posting on all social media outlets, and even trying to go to relevant newspapers and press companies to try and get the word out. A rebrand is for the benefit of consumers as well as the company, so make sure consumers are actually aware that it’s happening. You don’t want to lose people because they can’t find your new brand.
Check out this excellent video Airbnb created to explain their new logo and what itmeans, both for customers and for the company itself.
Be Ready For The Unexpected:
Rebranding is a scary process, mostly for the reason that nobody knows exactly what will happen. The employees might love the redesign but customers might not. Rebranding is a risk and as a company you have to be willing to take it, and subsequently you need to be willing to deal with the consequences. Many things can happen when rebranding so in the process make sure you have a plan for any possible consequences that could happen and be ready to deal with problems as they come up. It might even be beneficial to have a contingency budget for little, unexpected problems that could be costly. But no matter what, just remember that while being organized is good, being flexible is essential.