Rebranding: A task not suited for the faint of heart. Over the years, many major companies have attempted to rebrand themselves only to make themselves a punchline. Take Gap, for instance: in 2010, the clothing giant replaced its classic logo with helvetica and a paint sample. The new logo was so ridiculed it only lasted a week.
Similarly, Radioshack attempted to revive its dying brand (and possibly ride the coattails of NBA star Shaquille O’Neal) by renaming itself The Shack. However, the cords-to-replace-ones-your-dog-chewed retailer switched back to its original name after losing both brand recognition and sales.
Don’t let these horror stories scare you away from rebranding, though. They are examples of poor attempts to rebrand, but many companies find great success in a rebranding campaign. Before you attempt to do so yourself, however, here are
5 Things To Consider Before Rebranding Your Business
Why are you doing it?
Businesses tend to rebrand every seven to ten years. Some businesses almost never rebrand, but hone in on their recognizability. Others completely change their face. There are a few reasons you might think it’s time to rebrand:
- Your business model is changing. Perhaps you’re pivoting to a new market. You might be consolidating services, tightening the focus of your specialty, or expanding what your business offers.
- Your business has merged with another company. You might be considering combining the branding of your companies to gain the recognition of both. When United and Continental Airlines merged a decade ago, they chose to use the United name and Continental livery and logo in an attempt to capitalize on each brand’s strengths.
- The market you operate in is changing. We all have to keep up with the times. You might be moving into a new market, or perhaps you’re going after a new demographic.
- Your brand is going stale. Maybe you’re losing customers because they think you’re outdated or not keeping up with the competition. Maybe you need some modernization to stay hip. Maybe you need to differentiate yourself from the competition, or even rebuild your brand in the wake of bad publicity or a scandal.
What do you stand to lose?
More than just immediate sales are at stake: your brand has been cultivated over time and carries weight. It should cut to the core of your company’s identity. A rebrand should show a renewed focus and reflect changes to that identity. Simply changing a name or logo can make your brand look as though it’s having an identity crisis, confusing customers and losing sales.
How will you approach it?
No matter what your rebranding entails, it should be thoroughly researched before it’s rolled out. You could play it safe to try to hold onto brand recognition, but your return on investment may be lower. A bold, out-of-the-box revitalization can net you recognition or even go viral, but you run a greater risk of alienating current customers. That’s not to say you should throw out your big ideas, but you should research them first. Competitive analysis is a good method of learning how brands like yours have implemented similar strategies.
What does your team and your customer base want?
The people impacted by your brand probably have worthwhile opinions on rebranding. Input from your team, a focus group, or even an online survey could help you hone your brand identity. Of course, even a room full of people can come up with a bad idea. Perhaps you should open the windows and let some fresh outside opinions in. Rebranding experts can help you in every step of the process and have seen enough companies succeed and fail to tell you if your campaign is a surefire success or a bad idea.
How will you measure your success?
Put a plan in place to measure your brand recognition changes as your rebrand unfolds. Here are a few ways to keep track of it online:
- Measure mentions and hashtags. Integrating a hashtag into your rebrand will help you measure the public’s reaction. Tools like Hashtagify can help you keep track of it on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites.
- Mine opinions. AI-driven sentiment analysis is a new method of parsing through online opinions to find the ones that matter to you. Gavangi is a prime example of one of these tools. It scores opinions related to your brand then gives you an outlook on the overall sentiment.
- Track your ROI. Tracking clicks to your site and email opt-ins alongside your sales before and after your rebrand are perhaps the most effective ways of monitoring the effect your changes are having.
Rebranding is a crucial moment for your business. Keep these tips in mind before you roll out your new company image, and they’ll help you ensure a successful revitalization.