Rebranding and relaunching can take many forms.
It can be a total change of a company or product, inside and out, including name, culture, values, behaviors, tone, visual guarantee. But, on the other hand, it may be a change from everything that implies without connections to the inherited entity to something less dramatic and more evolutionary in the form of a brand update.
However, in each case, the change to any degree affects a difference in the target market’s minds regarding their brand perceptions.
This change is a process of giving a company, product, or service a new image to make it more successful.
Correctly positioned and developed brands offer a means to generate sustained growth, allowing companies to charge a premium. Likewise, they also help a company to resist or recover from the attack of the competition.
Brands are critical to a company’s long-term survival and market leadership.
Accountants and auditors worldwide calculate the value of brands by determining book values on company balance sheets.
In solid brands, the brand can be 70% to 90% of the stock market’s value (intangible assets).
Rebranding is a complex process and should not be undertaken lightly.
You should conduct a brand audit to assess your brand’s pain points and identify new areas for innovation and growth.
If mishandled, rebranding can be detrimental to businesses. Similarly, as a Chinese proverb says, “If you don’t plan, you will get the next one,” and successful rebranding, relaunching, and revitalization significantly increase the long-term success.
Why rebrand, update your brand, or relaunch?
The reasons for renaming and relaunching a business, product, or service are numerous and should not be taken lightly without strong strategic reasons to participate in the process.
Brands are constantly evolving to ensure they are aware of the changing needs in the market. It is the level of change required that is the critical problem.
A brand audit and market research will help assess the required rate of change, among other things. Even some of the biggest brands in the world need a rejuvenation.
Brands like Guinness, Coca-Cola, and Kellogg’s are iconic, global in their state.
However, when you look at its market leadership over the decades, they have all changed, even if it has been in a more evolutionary sense over time, rather than radical revisions.
However, some brands require extensive change for the company to achieve the regeneration necessary for growth and profitable returns.
Revitalization maintains and celebrates the history and heritage of the brand but shows its target audience (current and future) that it adapts to change.
Change is necessary to remain relevant to the times when a brand exists and to ensure its future success.
Some of the reasons to rebrand, relaunch and revitalize a brand include the following:
Brands must stay relevant to their target market to keep up with the times and keep up with changing customer needs (e.g., services, accessibility, convenience, options, changing trends, technology).
A brand that has gone out of style in the eyes of its audience is in danger of stagnation if it is not already in a state of erosion and loss of market share.
2. The competition
In a fast-moving environment with aggressive competition, a rebrand may be required to shift the offering to the market to create a more compelling reason to buy in the target audience’s minds.
Rebranding can be used as a means to block or outpace competitors or to drive increased price competitiveness.
Sometimes a rebrand is required due to globalization. The same product sold in multiple markets is inconsistent or different, for example, the change from Marathon to Snickers, Opal Fruits to Starburst, the shift from Jif to Snickers Cif.
4. Mergers and acquisitions
When two entities combine, there are typically two unique audiences to communicate with. Sometimes this may require a rebrand or a relaunch in a way that appeals to both.
In other cases, one of the brands may be more dominant and require further revitalization or updating to become the sole dominant player.
Technology is constantly evolving, and the rate of change is often exponential. Therefore, if a brand is related to technology, such as the Internet, software, hardware, and product offerings constantly innovating, the rebrand often follows the natural and rapid rate of change.
The rebranding or revitalization becomes an outward expression of the evolution of the companies and ensures that customers hungry for rebrand changes come back to see “what’s new.”
Bringing a brand to a new position is an involved process, for example, from a cheap price fighter to a premium position, and invariably requires a rebrand to indicate a change in direction, focus, attitude, or strategy towards your target market.
Also, rebranding is used to block or outperform competitors or as a way to handle increased price competitiveness.
Rebranding can be used to lower business development and operating costs or as a way to counteract declining profitability or consumer confidence.
It can also be used where there are complex and sometimes confusing combinations of product portfolios that frequently undermine the impact of brands. Along with considerable publicity, brand clutter, and media proliferation, these lead to brand inconsistency and audience fragmentation. Therefore needing consolidation and rebranding to achieve brand impact and strong growth again.
When small businesses grow into larger entities, they and/or their products often require a rebrand or revitalization to meet the needs of large companies.
Typically, smaller companies start with a more modest brand offering due to budget constraints, which are inadequate to meet the needs of a larger, more sophisticated business and require a rebranding.
9. Legal requirements
Occasionally, legal issues may arise that require a company to make changes to its brands, such as copyright issues or bankruptcies, for example, similarities between names and designs.
For example, The Jelly Bean Factory became The Jelly Bean Planet in Ireland to ensure differentiation from the American brand Jelly Belly.
10. Morale and reputation.
If a company’s brand has demoralized employees or confused customers, a rebrand may be required.
A complete rebranding process will uncover the issues that need to be addressed and solved through crucial changes, including a completely new look and feel for the organization.
A rebranding, in this case, can improve a brand’s competitiveness by creating a sense of common purpose and unified identity, building staff morale and pride, and a way to attract new customers, improve relationships with existing customers, and attract new customers the best talent for the business.
The different aspects of rebranding
Branding and brand revitalization can be as small as some subtle changes to the company or product graphics, for example, brand identity, packaging adjustments, sales literature updates, vehicle design, staff uniforms, and website updates, both intangible and tangible aspects of the brand.
The rebranding can be categorized to include one or a combination of all the listed items:
a) A new brand
b) Brand identity, brand logo, trademark, slogan or slogans c) Graphics, brand images, online presence, i.e., website, Facebook pages, etc.
d) Design of the company or product, uniforms, stationery, digital presentations.
e) Packing or packaging (Packaging)
f) Product displays, exhibition stands, signage, and orientation systems.
g) Exterior and interior design.
h) Advertising, on and offline.
i) Movies, videos, and shows.
j) Launch of new products, differentiation, extensions, or improvements.
k) A change in the brand’s profile, values, mission, objectives, history, message, promise, offerings, personality, emotion, behavior, tone of voice, culture, brand experience, customer service, etc.
l) Potential change in the target market, brand positioning, brand architecture
What is involved in the rebranding process?
When considering a rebranding, you should typically include:
- Branding planning, a brand health check, research, and recommendations
- Design of the application for all points of contact
- Implementation, launch, and deployment of the brand
- External rebranding communications to all relevant stakeholders; clients, media, and shareholders
- A measure of impact and commercial profitability
Reasons for not making a rebranding or rebranding
While the debate, in terms of pros and cons, over whether or not to change the brand name can be as complex as the process itself, the following reasons for not being worth it are largely a reflection.
1. A young brand.
If a brand has only been on the market for a short time, say three years, considering that time can be measured differently depending on your market/industry, it is likely premature to make a rebrand.
It takes time to build a brand and turn it into something authentic and meaningful to your target audience.
A different approach might better serve rebranding to “sell” more in such cases to marketing or a new campaign unless the existing branding solution is seriously flawed.
2. Change for the sake of change.
It’s not a good idea to change the name just because “you want to” or because someone wants to stake their next career move on a rebrand.
If there is no compelling business reason, for example, innovations, behaviors, culture, and all the other reasons mentioned above, the target audience will be left with an empty experience. In addition, it has wasted a lot of money!
Trademark mistakes to avoid
1. Don’t think of branding or rebranding as just the logo, stationery, or isolated corporate colors.
Effective branding encompasses both tangible and intangible elements, a large part of what has been listed above, for example, target audience, customer experience and perception, product quality, appearance, online and offline environments, customer service staff, client, the tone of all visual, auditory and written communications, etc.
2. Don’t hold on to the old unless you have a crucial brand origin that is still relevant to today’s target market.
Powerful rebranding means staying connected to what your customer cares about. Don’t assume because it worked in the past, and it’s still relevant now.
Research, review, and analyze changes in your target market by investigating new repositioning, expansion, or revitalization opportunities.
3. Don’t overlook existing brand equity and goodwill.
You are ignoring brand equity when rebranding can alienate existing customers and potentially damage the perception of a brand.
A massive revision may be overkill when a minor evolution would be more appropriate. Make sure you are fully up-to-date on the mindset and needs of your target market before engaging in the process.
4. Don’t forget to step into your customers’ shoes.
Hire a secret shopper (“Mystery Shopper”) with a profile that matches your target market and have them engage with your brand at all relevant touchpoints, for example, call your receptionist with a query, browse your website, buy their products, file a complaint to see how it is handled or not as the case may be.
Ask them to write down their experiences in detail and to report on them. Insider perceptions are often a mismatch between reality on the ground.
It can be very revealing and is an essential aspect of your brand audit health check and rebranding research.
5. Do not rename without investigation.
How much do you know about your current and potential customers – their needs, wants, loves, hates, aspirations, behaviors, etc.? What is your compelling reason for buying? Do you need to reassess your buyer’s personas as part of your brand audit health check?
They must be at the forefront when creating new solutions and revitalizing old ones as well. They are your ultimate litmus test.
6. Don’t treat your rebranding process superficially.
A rebrand must be authentic and credible in everything, internally and externally. It should be a livable story that meets and exceeds customer insights and experiences.
You need to have credibility and deliver down to the last detail, both amongst your day-to-day staff and your target audience, and for the most part, tokenism is a waste of time and money.
7. Don’t rename without a well-thought-out plan.
The rebrand requires clearly defined briefs to keep everyone on track as the project evolves.
Your plan should include all aspects of the rebranding, for example, situation analysis, objectives, target markets, budget, resources, time frames, designated project leader, known parameters, approval structures, stakeholders, and metrics to evaluate—the results.
8. Don’t overlook the basics.
Having an excellent website, go-to-market materials, physical environment, or unique product solution is wasted if your customer service fundamentals suck.
Similarly, if your brand processing or purchasing experience falls short, the brand is undermined.
Consider all your customers’ primary touchpoints and interactions and the more glamorous aspects when switching brands.
Review, hone, improve, and don’t underestimate the everyday essentials; they are just as important.
9. Don’t ignore customer service staff feedback.
Staff who interact with your customers daily can provide valuable insights and information about your target market.
This is where clients tend to be most candid, and information gleaned from the real world is just as valuable, if not more so in some cases, than other forms of research.
10. Don’t think you’re too small to switch brands.
Every brand needs to be revitalized to stay relevant as markets evolve. Whether the brand is a global multinational or a smaller national brand, even nonprofits and craft organizations are not immune.
Like the more prominent brands, the smaller brands have target markets, positions, etc., that should be kept relevant and improved.
They too have to move with market changes and customer preferences or disappear in the mists of time.