7 Tips For a Successful Rebrand

Posted by Carolyn Crafts
7 Tips For a Successful Rebrand | FullSurge

In our previous post, Is Now the Right Time for a Rebranding? 7 Reasons It Might Be, we established that a rebrand might be right for you as long as it aligns with your brand strategy. If you decide that's the way to go, take care to approach your rebrand methodically and strategically.

Follow our seven rebrand tips to help things go smoothly if you're ready to proceed.

1) Identify key rebranding signals

We have already learned that knowing when to rebrand can be highly challenging. Set clear triggers to indicate well in advance when to initiate a rebrand.

Continuous monitoring of brand awareness, perceptions, and attitudes is key to establishing a barometer of overall brand health and can indicate if customers or the market demands changes. Additionally, setting key trigger points for when a rebrand should take place, such as the addition of a new product line, ensures business processes and protocol are in place for initiating rebranding discussions.

2) Solicit Input from the c-suite and beyond

It's easy to fall back on the C-suite to make all branding decisions. However, it's vital to gather meaningful feedback from additional stakeholders to ensure a successful rebrand. The C-suite is pivotal, however, input beyond leadership is vital. Companies should always se ek input from three key groups:

  • Customers
  • Prospective customers
  • Employees

These stakeholders are key to providing a wide variety of inputs and experiences that the C-suite and other stakeholders can use to evaluate a brand update. They also assemble an early coalition of brand ambassadors, without which your new brand can fall flat.

3) Anchor the new brand to customer expectations

A rebrand that aligns with customer expectations can increase market share, reach new audiences, and retain and delight existing customers.

Do customers expect your company to be intelligent and reliable? Warm and friendly? If your brand fails to align with these expectations, customer satisfaction and churn will dramatically increase. What's more, customers' perceptions of your brand do not exist in a vacuum—the larger landscape informs them of your competitor and adjacent brands that make up the entire market.

Companies can best assess customer expectation through customer feedback analysis and satisfaction levels and an in-depth dive into the current competitive landscape to understand their position in the context of the market. It is important to note that customers consider some components of a brand critical (e.g., a color or logo) and should not be changed. These elements must be identified and maintained separately from the rebrand.

4) Thoroughly test key branding concepts

A rebrand involves significant time and resources, and an unsuccessful rebrand is a costly mistake. Each component of the rebranding process should undertake comprehensive testing to ensure effectiveness. A rigorous testing protocol ensures that your:

  • Visual identity resonates
  • Logo is intuitive
  • Messaging is not obscure or offensive
  • Marketing and advertising campaigns resonate with the audience
  • Customers recall your brand and messages accurately
  • Brand and messaging are persuading your audience to take the desired action
5) Lead with the brand

Successful rebranding initiatives require a cultural shift in the organization that includes the creation of a new corporate brand identity with a personality, values, and traits.

Often, a rebrand is erroneously thought of as simply creating a new logo and tagline. While certainly the most visible outcome of a rebranding process, logos and taglines should be created as the result of a thoughtful rebrand rather than the primary driver behind it.

Simply designing a new logo while continuing to deliver the same value in the same way, will do nothing to address the underlying issues that made the brand update necessary in the first place.

Successful rebranding requires the development of a new corporate brand identity. This involves carefully examining positioning, messaging, and value proposition statements for all core audiences and understanding how that translates at every level of the company, from customer service to advertising campaigns. Once an overall corporate brand personality has been established, creative assets that reflect the new brand identity can be developed.

6) Build a structured rebranding framework

Once a company has decided to undergo a rebrand, establishing (and adhering to) a solid rebranding process is key to ensuring a successful outcome. Rebranding is a complex undertaking that requires significant time and resources and often involves multiple teams, internal stakeholders, and outside agencies.

Establishing a set procedure that all key stakeholders have bought into will ensure that the process runs smoothly and that critical components are not overlooked. Although each company's approach will be slightly different, but generally, rebranding begins with a brand audit, new brand identity development, refinement, materials creation, launch, and continues via ongoing monitoring.

7) Organize a clandestine brand launch

A soft launch to critical stakeholders tests new branding concepts and generates momentum before the full-scale launch. Most brands have two key stakeholder groups ideal for a soft launch: employees and engaged customers.

Employees can become a company's most steadfast brand ambassadors—advocating the new branding and messaging to audiences.

Similarly, key customers should be consulted as well. Preview various new branding assets with them, like changes to product nomenclature, service offerings, packaging, or new website designs. Including them strengthens their bond with the brand further and creates a legion of external brand endorsements that will help ensure a successful brand launch.

Today, a strong brand is imperative as companies compete with an increasing number of players across an expanding number of platforms. A solid brand presence can give a company longevity and recognition. However, over time most companies will need to update their brand to reflect shifts in the market or changes in the company.

If you need help, our brand strategy consultants have decades of rebranding experience, helping clients revive, refresh, and reinvigorate their brands.

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