What is rebranding?
Rebranding is the concept of giving a new look and feel to an already established brand. This includes changing the company logo, slogan, vision, and mission.
But that’s not it. When you’re rebranding your business, you also need to focus on refining your brand’s voice, its tagline, and the way it communicates with your audience.
Ideally, companies opt for rebranding when they want to appeal to a new set of target audiences. They try to adapt to the changing market and differentiate themselves from their competitors by tweaking their existing identity.
The entire process can be a complex one with various important steps to consider. So before starting your rebranding journey, you need to plan out the process carefully.
When do you need to rebrand
There can be various reasons why you would want to rebrand your business. Let’s look at some of them in detail.
1. Merger or acquisition
Companies frequently revamp their brands to stay relevant or to appeal to a new market or demographic, but choosing whether to do a brand refresh vs rebrand depends on your goal.
Most businesses consider rebranding on two major occasions. One when they merge with another business. Two, when they get acquired.
Whether you get merged or acquired, it becomes important that the identity of both entities are integrated together. Doing that helps you present a cohesive brand image to your audience. And the only way to do that is to consider rebranding.
2. Outdated or inconsistent branding
Establishing a business needs a lot of hard work, effort, and investment. In the midst of all of these, you often tend to forget how important branding can be for your business.
Over time you start feeling like your brand identity has started becoming outdated and inconsistent. You may feel that your identity no longer aligns with your core values, current market, or your target audience. At such times, rebranding can help you give a fresh touch to your brand.
Neal Taparia from Hearts.land explains, “We operate a multiplayer community for the card game of Hearts. We previously were named Hearts-Challenge but realized this did not communicate a fun, inclusive community. Changing our name to Hearts.land reflects what we want to be and has the added benefit of driving more users who find our name more inviting.”
3. Expansion to new markets
Another situation that demands rebranding is when you’re expanding to new markets. This helps you create a unified brand identity across markets allowing your new set of audience to resonate with your brand better.
4. Negative brand reputation
Sometimes businesses might go through reputational challenges due to various reasons. This can be due to declining customer trust, controversies, public recall, or anything similar.
You can consider rebranding as a strategic move to recreate trust and change the way people perceive your brand.
Let’s now look at some of the rebranding strategies that you can consider before getting started. But before that, you need to know whether to opt for a partial rebranding or a total rebranding.
Partial vs. total rebrand
If you are rebranding your business for the first time, you might be wondering whether you should opt for a partial rebrand or a total rebrand. Well, the answer to this is simple.
If your business is a well-accomplished one with strong brand loyalty, then it can be a good option to opt for a partial rebrand.
This will help you retain the trust you have built over the years while giving your brand a fresh perspective.
A very good example of partial rebranding is that of Pringles. Pringles’ logo has been widely popular for its iconic mustache man. So they retained it during their rebranding but managed to give it a fresh new look.
Having said that, let’s look at some of the rebranding strategies that you need to follow.
1. Work on your logo
Your logo is one of the major elements that need to be touched upon when rebranding your business.
People recognize your business through your logo. So when you’re considering rebranding, it’s important that you redesign it to align it with its new identity. You can use logo maker tools to inspire you with a new design but don’t forget to stick to your brand mission and vision.
2. Shift your position
The next important point to focus on when rebranding your business is to shift your position. You can do that by changing how you communicate with your audience.
You should also focus on changing the voice of your content. You can make it a more casual tone, make it humorous or make it sound more witty, whichever fits well with your new identity.
3. Create new ads
When your business undergoes rebranding, it’s important that you start promoting it for more people to know about it. For that, you need to run new ads.
Make sure that your ads should be designed in a manner that clearly communicates your change. You should also let your users know what this change means for them.
How to rebrand
Now that you know the points to focus on when rebranding your business, let’s take a look at where to get started.
1. Redefine your market
The first thing to do when rebranding your business is to redefine your market. Over several years of doing business, you might realize that there’s a shift in your target audience and the market. The people who used to buy from you are no longer interested in your products and services.
So now you need to redefine who your target audience is in the market. Do your market research and understand who you want to target. Once you do that, you can start rebranding to help them connect with you better.
2. Recreate your vision, mission, and values
A major part of rebranding involves recreating your vision, mission, and values. Doing this can sometimes feel overwhelming. But to make things easier, you need to ask yourself 3 important questions.
What are you doing? How are you doing it? Why are you doing it? Finding the answers to these three questions will help you get clarity on what your vision, mission, and values should be for your long-term success.
3. Recreate your brand identity
The next big step is to recreate your brand identity. This includes changing important elements of your business, like your brand name and your logo. But it’s important to remember that changing these elements can massively impact your SEO and can severely affect your sales.
The same goes for your logo. Your name and logo are your identities. So before taking the big leap, consider how to go about with the plan. It can be a good idea to keep your logo simple and try not to lose too much of your brand identity.
So you need to plan how to recover from these damages. The best way to do that is to keep your name as it is if it fits your business. If not, having a proper strategy to do that is extremely important.
4. Revisit your business terms
Rebranding also involves legal considerations. Changes in your brand may require updates to your terms and conditions and other legal documents. You should ensure they fully meet your new business needs and comply with all relevant laws and regulations.
5. Plan a successful launch
The biggest challenge of rebranding an existing brand is communicating the new message to your audience. But it’s not possible to go from person to person and explain what the new change means and how it can impact your brand.
By planning a successful launch, you can make this process easier. There are several ways of doing that. You can post advertisements online, run them on TV and radio, post about them on social media, etc.
Mold your message in such a way that it helps your audience understand what this big change means to you and how it can improve their experience with you. You can also distribute coupons or run a sale on the launch day to attract more footfall.
Successful rebranding examples
We have already discussed the rebranding strategy of Zara and Pringles in the above section. Let’s now look at two more successful rebranding examples.
Back in 2021, KIA, the car maker company, announced its rebranding decision to depict its transformation to electronic mobility.
Through this rebranding strategy, they also showed a commendable shift in their design and made their cars turn heads on the streets.
They changed their logo and made it more interesting by giving it the form of a handwritten signature.
2. Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret’s rebranding strategy is another super successful example to get inspired from. In 2021, they announced their shift from famous supermodel angels to the VS Collective.
In this strategy, they included 10 women of different skin tones, ages, and shapes. They wanted to send out an all-inclusive message to the new generation, which was a massive success. It helped them get away from their previous image, which consisted of skinny and pretty women alone. Through this rebranding strategy, the brand could break free from its sexiest image that faced huge criticism from the public.
When you plan to rebrand your business, you should know one thing for sure. You can’t appeal to everyone. The goal should be to appeal to your target audience, who are genuinely interested in your business.
So take your time to evaluate if your business needs a rebrand or not. And if it does, start strategizing so that you can have a successful rebranding process.
Frequently Asked Questions
The exact timeline needed for the rebranding process can’t be exactly specified. Sometimes it can happen within a month. But if the process is a more complex one, it might take up to years for it to complete.
Rebranding an existing company can be challenging and involves various risk factors. Some of them are loss of brand recognition, the resistance of customers to adapt to the change, the decline in sales, the need for substantial financial investment, etc.
Measuring the success of rebranding can be easily done by setting KPIs before and after the rebranding. It can help you understand the impact and effectiveness of the process.