No matter how long your business has been in the game, it’s important to keep apace of the changing market. Target audiences may be shifting, expanding, or contracting faster than ever before and it’s all you can do to keep up with them. Sometimes this is easy, but sometimes it requires a radical shift on the part of your business. With the new year approaching, it’s time to take a look at one high risk (but potentially very high reward) moves: rebranding.
What Does it Mean?
Rebranding can be done many different ways, but the ultimate goal is the same: to create a new identity for your brand. We’ll talk about some of the strategies for this later, but the first step to successfully rebranding is to identify what your current brand is.
You can do this by looking at your brand elements. This includes everything about your brand from the name down to the logos and catchphrases. We’ve laid out everything you need to know about brand elements here. Rebranding means that some or all of these elements are going to change.
If your business is steadily growing, reaching new audiences and turning them successfully into customers, a rebrand may not be right for you. Rebranding works best when there are opportunities for you to seize that no other strategy will reach.
Perhaps your original target audience was too narrow, and a rebrand will broaden your appeal. Perhaps as you move into larger markets, competition is stronger and you need to evolve stand out more. Or perhaps feedback from customers shows that some of your brand elements are confusing, BLANK, or downright boring.
Rebranding Dos and Don’ts
If you’ve decided a rebrand is the best option for your company, there are a few things to keep in mind as you move forward. Rebranding is a risky move—you want to proceed carefully and make sure you analyze every decision.
- Keep what worked from your old brand; a new logo might be in order, but you don’t always have to change your brand’s name, or vice versa.
- Try and be consistent. We’ve discussed how crucial brand consistency is before, and you don’t want to lose any loyal customers as you rebrand.
- Give your audience something to talk about. A new slogan to try out, a new story to experience—anything that gets them thinking and talking about your brand.
- Alienate your current audience. Focusing on new audiences is great, but remember who supported your brand first. Brand loyalty works both ways.
- Toss out your entire brand. Starting fresh may sound like the right idea, but with an original brand identity you carefully crafted, there are many elements you can and should recycle. Maybe a new logo, but consider using the same colors, fonts, etc. This will also bridge the gap between your old brand and your new one in the audience’s minds.
- Just change one element. Remember in 2009 when RadioShack became “The Shack” but didn’t change anything else about their brand? Yeah, neither do we, because it was a really bad move and they’ve since changed their name back. We found that gem in this article from entrepreneur.com—they have tons more golden rules of rebranding backed with real-world examples.
Your brand is a reflection of your business’s heart and soul. Changing it may be necessary to keep up with the rapid shifts in today’s markets, but remember that your company’s appeal will always come from the core of ideas and strategies that you first dreamed up. If you’re considering an extreme makeover, business edition, get in touch with us today to talk about how to make your brand stronger in 2017. And from all of us at Infinite Reach, Happy New Year!