Sometimes a full rebrand isn’t needed, and a brand refresh may be a better option. For more information on brand refreshing, check out our previous article here. Your decision depends on your brand equity, and your growth potential.
What is a Rebrand
A rebrand is a strategic decision to change a business’ identity. This can include the name, visual identity, verbal identity, and all existing collateral. This is a useful strategy to engage new markets and attract new customers to your company. Within this article, we’ll break down the benefits of branding, outline the process of rebranding, and analyse a few companies that have been successful in their rebrands.
The Benefits of Rebranding
There are many many benefits to a rebrand, but they must be weighed up with considerations.
You may need to rebrand to meet ever-changing needs of your customers. A full rebrand can update outdated ideas associated with the company, and align them with the modern needs of your target audience. One of the biggest switches right now is the emphasis on going green. Brands are updating their message and vision statements to align with a new sustainability-focused future.
Read our report on how you can become a more purpose-driven brand here.
Brand Recognition and Connection
Your existing brand may not evoke the right emotional connection–resulting in your brand not resonating with your target audience. If you want to be a more human brand, you may want to update your positioning, values and structure to create a specific reaction in your audience. This could be about connecting to your roots and becoming more transparent, or even telling the story of your brand in a more compelling and engaging way.
It can be costly and time-intensive
To conduct a rebranding process, you need to dedicate time and investment to ensure it’s done right. There’s no point in cutting corners or rushing through. Errors at this early stage could have major repercussions. It’s worth investing in insights, focus-groups, and consumer testing along the way–so you don’t get to the end of the process and find that the result does not meet the need.
Stakeholder engagement is key
With a change of direction, you can expect to see dropoff. This may be internal staff who are not aligned, or with customers who no longer relate to the brand. You will need to manage the engagement process and let your stakeholders feel part of the change in order to keep the right people on board.
Beyond a launch campaign strategy, you’ll need a rollout strategy (and to accept that there will be two brands–the old and the new–co-existing for some time until the full update is complete).
Steps to rebranding
1. Research: Establishing a Case For Change
Your discovery will determine the success of your rebrand. Here you’ll answer the big questions: Why does your business exist? What is the need you are meeting in the market? What new audiences you could engage with, and could a change alienate your existing audience?
Take the time to conduct audience, competitor, and market research. Through this you will uncover insights and understand your brand’s equity and future trajectory. If you follow your consumers and their needs, you should be headed in the right direction.
2. Brand Strategy: Rethink Your Strategic Framework
If your research indicates that a rebrand is the right decision, then you will need to align your brand strategy to get you where you want to go. This will involve reviewing your brand purpose, positioning, values, story, and personality. This will affect your overall brand message, for more information on writing or rewriting your brand message check out our previous article here.
3. Naming: Frame Your Offering
To signify a major shift, your brand may need to change it’s name. Think of it like the frame that goes around a picture. It’s important to consider your vision and brand plan, as you don’t want to limit your opportunities and need to rebrand again in a few years.
Consider what directions your brand may want to go in, if you have different products or services, or if you want to house sub-brands. There is a process to naming, so ensure you undertake the steps and complete verification and legal due diligence.
4. Visual Identity: A new look
You will need to build a visual identity that reflects your new brand strategy. This includes selecting the right colour palette, typography, graphic elements, and photography that, when combined, create a relatable brand world that resonates with your target audience. Logo design is part of this process, but not the defining action–your entire brand should work together holistically. Your logo should be seen as a period at the end of a sentence, a sign-off for your brand communications.
Our Top Rebranding Examples
There are many examples of rebranding. However, these are some of our recent favourites:
Visa is much more than what we see on our baking cards. As a business, VisaNet provides a global network capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, in 200+ countries, to a value of over $12 trillion. Last year Visa announced a global brand evolution and released the “Meet Visa”, highlighting the diverse capabilities of its network and commitment to enabling global economic inclusion.
The new identity takes a 60+ year old company and modernises it for a human world, scales it for the digital world, all whilst maintaining the heritage and equity of the Visa brand.
When Robert-Jean de Vogüé shared the craft of sparkling wine beyond french borders–it sparked creation across the globe. Chandon aimed to infuse this adventurous spirit into the brand, and change the brand narrative.
“Our work updating the brand codes was about reinforcing the credibility of the product as well as celebrating this new sense of purpose and adventure. It was important that every design decision we made, every code that we developed, intimately and intrinsically linked back to the broader brand story.” –Radek Wojcik, creative director Made Thought.
Post-pandemic, we’re sure Deliveroo is a household name. The business had many considerations in going from a London startup to a global brand.
The process included a semiotics analysis to check that the symbol meant in various countries and cultures. Beyond ‘The Roo’, an extensive colour palette, typography, and illustration style were developed to all work harmoniously together. A verbal identity was established with a Tone of Voice guideline to convey the spirit, vibrancy and energy of the brand.
Closing thoughts on When to Rebrand
It’s a big decision to decide to rebrand and when to rebrand, but it could come with many potential benefits. Rebranding, when done efficiently and correctly, does take time and investment. You may lose some of your current customers and staff, and this is natural, as it makes room for growth in the right direction.
Rebranding opens up opportunities to engage new markets and positions your brand for future success. Understanding your brand equity and having a creative expert is integral to running a successful process. Make sure you engage an objective third party that understands your goals and values. Conducting the full process from strategy, through to development and execution–even better.
For more information on rebranding, or if your brand needs to change contact us.