A new year and a new brand can be an exciting proposition. It can also be somewhat overwhelming and painful. Where to start? Who needs to be involved? What’s the process? Who can help?
If you haven’t been through a rebrand before it can be scary. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. We can help. We know the mistakes and pitfalls – and how to avoid them. We know the successes too – and how to achieve them.
We’ve broken down the rebrand process into 10 steps to give you an idea of what’s involved, the questions you need to ask and how to approach it.
Step 1 – Why are you Doing a Rebrand?
Rebrands take a lot of time, energy and resources so the first step must be to answer ‘why are you doing a rebrand?’
There’s a number of different possibilities, including:
- Your brand looks, feels, sounds like everybody else in your industry
- Your business is targeting a new audience
- Your business has expanded or moved into new offerings/products
- Your brand doesn’t reflect your values and/or your unique selling positions
- Your business/brand has been dealt some very bad press
- Your business has merged or acquired
- Your brand is seriously outdated and no longer serves
Regardless, you’ll need to now delve deeper – what exactly is the problem? Now talk through that problem with your team and gain their insight.
Step 2 – Choose your Rebrand Team
To undertake a successful rebrand you’re going to need a team with expertise, knowledge and fantastic communication skills. The options you have are:
- In-house team – since no one knows your business and brand quite like you do, engaging your in-house resources – as long as they have the appropriate skills – can be considered.
- Brand agency – engaging an expert, outside perspective can be hugely beneficial to your rebrand being steered in the right direction.
- A mix of both – creative collaboration can also be beneficial.
Step 3 – Who are your Competitors?
Take a look at your competition using an objective yet critical eye – benchmark their brand, business, digital presence, logo, tagline, website, brand voice, messaging – what works and what doesn’t? This step should help you to identify opportunities to differentiate your new brand.
Step 4 – Who are you Doing it for?
Sure, a rebrand is about identifying who you are and communicating that, however it’s also important to remember who you are talking to. Your target audience or demographic won’t totally dictate your branding, but they do need to be considered – how will they take what you’re saying, looking like, presenting to the world?
If you don’t know exactly who your people are then you need to work on that first. Who are they? What do they want – overall, and from you? How do they absorb information? Where do they hang out?
The overall best stress-test is – does this new brand resonate with our buyer personas?
Step 5 – Do a Brand Audit
A great rebrand starts with great research. The more information, knowledge, stats and insight you have – the better your strategy and creative approach will be.
A brand audit will uncover what is currently working, what’s not and what you need to be successful. You need to understand who you are today, before you move onto tomorrow. It will take being brutally honest and diving deep.
Step 6 – Who are you at the Heart of it?
Being more specific, what is your:
- Purpose – why do you exist?
- Vision – what is the future you want to help make?
- Mission – how do you make that future?
- Values – who are you and how do you work?
These elements will work together to influence every aspect of your new brand so each of them needs to be clearly articulated and documented.
Step 7 – Clarify your Messaging?
It can be tempting to jump right into the visual assets or logo redesign however the visual identity is an extension of your messaging so this needs to be tackled first, including:
- Brand essence – voice, tone, personality
- Tagline or slogan
- Brand promise
- Technical descriptor
Overall, this needs to be consistent, cohesive and aligned to your goals.
Step 8 – Create your Visual Identity
The visual identity for your new brand is the face of your brand – it needs to represent you well at every single touchpoint as well as being comprehensive, flexible, intuitive and communicate your brand personality effectively.
This rebranding may mean that certain visual elements need to be revised, updated or even added to the identity – things like:
- Logo design
- Data visualisation
- Video and animation
Step 9 – Create your Brand Guidelines
A rebrand can be a lot for many teams to get their head around – change can be overwhelming and you can come up against some resistance. Empowering your team to apply the new branding correctly can be addressed by presenting it all together – in clearly set out branding guidelines.
Updated branding guidelines should be readily available to all team members, easy to understand and comprehensive, of course.
Step 10 – Launching your New Brand
Not to be overlooked as part of the rebranding process – you need to let people know all about the new you. Brief in your team, announce it to clients and the media – have a solid rollout strategy – internally and externally.