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How to Successfully Rebrand Your Business

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Mozilla, Mastercard, McDonald’s are all companies that have been around for decades. And by now, their logos are recognizable from miles away. But that doesn’t mean they have remained the same ever since their inception.

In fact, each of these companies switched up their corporate image throughout the years.

In 2021, McDonald’s redesigned its product packaging to instantly make each menu item recognizable and give off a simpler and more playful look.

Mastercard implemented a flat design within its logo, making it feel cleaner, sharper, and more flexible to represent its transition into the digital age.

And Mozilla’s rebranding strategy has been pretty clever; the company provided a set of several new logos and asked the user base for its opinions.
The reason behind this move is that Mozilla, being an open-source software company, wanted their branding to also be “in the open,” signifying that the internet is a public resource that should be accessible to everyone.

In other words, regardless of a company’s size or age, rebranding might be necessary at one point. As time passes, consumer behavior changes, and so does the market.

Consequently, businesses need to freshen up their image to realign with new consumer and market demands and stand out from the competition.

That said, let’s look at how to rebrand your business successfully. But first, let’s figure out what rebranding is exactly.

What Is Rebranding?

In short, rebranding is a marketing strategy that involves changing a company’s brand identity.

You can rebrand your business entirely or alter specific brand identity elements, like changing the company logo, name, website, slogan, mission statement, etc.

As mentioned above, rebranding is usually done to adhere to new market trends or changes in consumer expectations. But sometimes, this process can also occur whenever multiple companies merge together.

However, rebranding can often be a tricky endeavor, as it introduces extra costs and can significantly impact your business, either negatively or positively.

In other words, rebranding should only be done when necessary.

When Should You Consider Rebranding?

1. You can’t differentiate yourself from your competitors

It’s pretty safe to say that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of businesses competing against each other within any given niche.

As industries evolve, companies need to keep up the pace and adjust to new market trends.

But sometimes, rival companies tend to acquire similar traits without necessarily realizing it. This can cause businesses to look nearly indistinguishable from one another.

For instance, take a look at Netflix and YouTube. Both video-streaming companies use a black, white, and red color palette.

If that’s also the case with you and your competitors, you might need to consider adjusting your brand identity to make yourself stand out and steal the spotlight.

2. You’re pursuing a new target audience

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Branding plays a crucial role in making your business appeal to your target audience.

For instance, if you’re targeting a younger consumer base, using vivid colors coupled with a more energetic, playful language and maybe throwing a few slangs here and there might be a good idea.

That’s what makes your business appear relatable to your audience, allowing it to establish a stronger connection with your brand.

But as your business grows, you’ll need to make sure your products or services evolve as well and maybe expand your offerings.

More often than not, this means that you’ll also need to reach new audiences, like a slightly older consumer base.

If that’s the case, your current branding strategy might not work well with your new audience.

That doesn’t mean you should completely ditch your current branding strategy in favor of a new brand identity that appeals to older customers, though.

Your rebrand should instead improve your brand identity so it appeals to both segments of your audience.

3. Your brand feels outdated

Although Comic Sans and flashy colors were all the rage back in the 90s, these trends are no longer popular in the 2020s.

If your brand feels outdated, you’ll give consumers the sensation that your business is not taken care of, and thus they will likely go away. This especially stands true for your website’s design.

That said, make sure to constantly keep an eye out on new design trends and figure out whether your company might be up for a rebrand.

For instance, once 3D realistic-looking icons fell out of fashion, Instagram reacted by implementing a simpler yet more attractive design for its logo.

How To Rebrand Your Business

1. Understand your existing brand

Before rebranding your company, you’ll first need to understand where you are currently standing.

First off, start by understanding your company’s current mission, vision, and values. These elements represent what your brand is all about.

The mission encompasses what your company’s purpose is, the vision gives you an insight into what you want to accomplish in the future, whereas your values express your company’s ethics and principles.

In other words, these characteristics make your brand stand out from the others.

That said, having a clear understanding of what your current mission, vision, and values are will give you an idea about which direction your rebranding strategy should take.

Secondly, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What works for my brand?
  2. What doesn’t work for my brand?
  3. What growth opportunities does my brand have?

The answers will help you determine what needs to change with your rebranding strategy and what needs to remain the same.

Sure, rebuilding your brand from the ground up might seem like the easier way out. But in some cases, especially if you’re an established company, a complete rebrand will likely do you more harm than good, as you’ll become unrecognizable to your audience.

That said, a partial rebrand might be a better idea. In that case, understanding your current brand strengths and weaknesses is crucial for taking your rebranding to the next level.

2. Perform market research

Doing your homework before any significant business decision ensures your rebranding strategy’s success. That said, you’ll need to understand what your target audience thinks of you.

Start by conducting surveys on your existing customer base. This is an invaluable source and information. Besides, 90% of consumers will form a positive opinion on a company when asked for their feedback.

In these surveys, consider asking the following questions:

  1. Why do you purchase from our brand?
  2. What do you like and dislike about our product offering?
  3. What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about our brand?
  4. How would you describe our brand in a few words?
  5. How can we improve our brand?

These answers will give you precise information about how your customers view your brand and how you should go about your rebranding strategy.

But, if you aim to target a new audience segment, you’ll need to go a little more in-depth.

More specifically, you’ll need to build a buyer persona to help you envision your ideal customer and know how to align your brand accordingly. Again, an effective way to do this is by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. How old is my target audience?
  2. What’s my audience’s personality like?
  3. What are its hobbies?
  4. What problems does my audience face?
  5. How can I fix these problems?
  6. What does my audience value the most?

Also, don’t forget about keeping an eye out for your competitors. This will help you understand what’s working for them and what’s not, avoiding potential mistakes in the future.

3. Establish your new visual identity


Credit: Pexels license

The visual identity represents your brand’s creative assets, including color palettes, logos, fonts, illustrations, and photography.

When establishing a visual identity, you’ll need to align your brand’s personality and values with your audience’s.

Let’s start with the colors, as they’re the most important part. In fact, consumers form their first impressions based mostly on a brand’s colors. What’s more, if done effectively, your color palette can increase brand awareness by 80%.

Think of the emotions your brand is trying to evoke within your audience.

For instance, if you’re willing to inspire trust and security, you should primarily use blue. On the other hand, if you want your brand to bring out passion, power, and excitement, red is your best bet.

Don’t stick with one color, though, as that will make your brand’s aesthetics feel bland. But don’t use too many colors either. Otherwise, visual elements will feel too cluttered and straining on the eyes.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to stick with four colors.

In terms of your logo, it needs to be unique and bring out the essence of your brand. Again, color is crucial here, so make sure to pick something that summarizes your brand the best.

Also, emphasize uniqueness. Too many businesses stick to generic logos, making it hard to tell one company from the other.

That said, hiring a freelance logo designer might be a good idea. Or, if you’re the artsy type, you can use plenty of logo makers.

Like the color palette, the fonts you pick should also evoke specific emotions. For instance, consider the Times New Roman or Georgia font families if you want to convey trust and security.

After you’ve figured out your brand’s visual identity, it’s time to integrate it within your website and social media pages. If you’d like to learn about how you can do it effectively, visit here.

4. Establish your brand’s voice and messaging

This stage brings out your brand’s personality in written content.

Your brand’s voice and messaging have to mirror your target audience’s language while reflecting your brand’s values, personality, and mission at the same time.

This will allow you to relate to your customer base, establish a meaningful connection with them, and convey a powerful message.

Furthermore, establish various tones you’d use in different scenarios. The exciting way you’ll announce a new product launch wouldn’t fit with responding to a negative customer review.

That said, make sure to create style guidelines to define how you should use the brand’s voice in different scenarios.

5. Launch your rebrand

After all of that, it’s time to launch your rebrand. Let the world know about it.

Simply updating your fonts, logos, and colors without telling anything to your audience will do nothing but confuse them.

That said, make sure you prepare an announcement explaining why you made the rebrand and how it reflects your brand’s mission and growth.

You can announce it by issuing a press release on your website, posting across all of your social media accounts, and by emailing subscribers to share the news.

Final Words

All in all, rebranding your company is a decision you’ll have to make at one point or another.

Otherwise, you risk making your brand look outdated, having trouble setting yourself apart from your competitors, or not being able to attract a target audience.

But, before rebranding, make sure to assess where your company currently stands to give you an idea of whether you need a total rebrand or a partial one.

Furthermore, researching your audience and competitors is a crucial first step in determining your brand’s direction.

Harold Ader is a digital marketing specialist and freelance blogger from Manchester. New trends in digital marketing and digital commerce are his main focus. In his spare time, he writes a lot for Digital Strategy One.

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