For this reason, a lot of people wonder if rebranding is the answer to increasing their business’s bottom line. However, there are some warnings to follow in a company’s decision to rebrand. It isn’t always the answer, and you could go too far and make your company unrecognizable to your existing loyal customers.
Want to know more? We know you do, so keep reading to find out when and why rebranding should be done!
What Does Rebranding Mean?
Many people erroneously believe that a logo is their brand. This is a mistake that a lot of businesses, even big ones, make. While it’s true that a logo is a big part of your brand (it’s one of the most visible parts of your brand) it isn’t the whole pie.
Rebranding means going a new experiential direction for you or your business, or refining the direction you’re already going. A big part of this is knowing who your customer is and what they want. Your successful rebrand efforts are directed squarely in the center of fulfilling their needs and wants in a satisfying way.
Let’s take Mastercard’s rebrand for example. They are still recognizable, with or without lettering, because they built on their existing look and feel without reinventing themselves. In fact, in a subtle way, Pentagram (the design firm) gave a nod to the original 1968 Mastercharge logo, after their change from Interbank.
You might not be able to replicate Pentagram’s masterful Mastercard heritage boost in your own business, especially if it doesn’t have a long history. However, you can tap into your field’s traditions and acknowledge them while standing out as different.
How? That’s a great question, which we’ll cover next.
How to Rebrand
Your logo is the face of your company, but a big part of the brand is the experience and story you offer your customers and not only some artwork. The traditions of your business can be acknowledged and you have a chance through marketing assets to express what makes you different from what they know of others in your industry.
A way to do this is to complete a competitive analysis to see how the cultivation of your brand is holding up to your competitors.
This is a good time to mention that a brand is the perception of your company by customers and the public at large. Even if someone is not a customer, they will have an opinion of your company based on its actions and how it interacts with the public. These non-customers are the family and friends of your potential customers.
If you can align yourself emotionally with them it’s like having your significant other’s parents on your side.
Back to the analysis, think of any and every competitor—not only your main competitor. This also includes brands that seem out of reach for the moment. Take the example of a local shoe designer listing as a competitor K-Swiss or Puma, even though the other brands are global.
Throw in your vision, purpose, mission statement, and values, along with your competitors. Some other things to add are:
- The look and feel of your brand
- How you each talk about your customers
- Core products and services
- Sales channels
- Marketing channels
- Customer acquisition
Make sure to cover at least a little bit of each brand, including your own. You can go as detailed as you like, but there should be at least something to say about each category.
There will be trends in your industry you can exploit. Another example: Messaging apps tend to be green, social apps use blue along with many finance apps, streaming competitors tend to use red, etc. Standing out of the crowd, like Snapchat with their yellow background and white ghost, could be a simple matter or a little harder to crack depending on the diversity in your field.
Warning: Some Examples of Bad Branding
With almost anything in life, there are also downsides to refreshing. One of them is changing so radically that you are no longer recognizable to your longtime or potential customers. You also don’t want to look (in most cases) so different from your competition that no one knows what it is that you do or sell.
This famously happened to Gap when they rebranded in 2010 with quite possibly the worst and most confusing logo ever invented. With the effect that after more than ten years, people are still talking about a logo that was used officially for only three days. Gap went back to their initial 1986 brand intentions, thankfully, before they got too far into rolling out a large scale marketing campaign.
Still, they lost a lot of brand trust in a failed logo, which is a priceless asset. Gap isn’t the only one to fail at attempts to rebrand around ten years ago. One of the big mistakes these companies often make is that they change the face of the company first (the logo), rather than change the direction of the company and customers first.
Changing the look of the company has to be a reflection of where you are now, not completely where you want to be and who you want as your customer.
It Got Real: Time to Decide
There’s a lot of work in rebranding, right? It’s tough to go it alone through this process, ask all the right questions, and avoid the pitfalls.
There’s good news, though—you don’t have to go it alone! Bianca Frank Design has been designing websites, logos, and partnering with businesses in their brand strategy, content, and social media services for over 15 years. Since 2005, we’ve been providing Anchorage with premier strategies for entrepreneurs, owners, and managers to push the boundaries of your brand message.
Are you ready to find out if your brand could use a little freshen up? Get in touch with Bianca Frank Design today!