At first, glance, rebranding a company is fun, new, and exciting. If you have any experience in branding, however, you quickly realize that the fun parts – choosing colors, logos, and fonts – are a very small portion of an effective rebrand. In order to rebrand a company effectively, you need to have a strong understanding of the process of branding in addition to a keen eye for visual assets.
Getting The Rebranding Process Right
So how do you get the rebranding process right, especially if you’ve never done it before? You likely have a branding firm helping you with the nitty-gritty details of the rebrand such as visual elements and messaging, but who can help you make sure that the rebrand is implemented successfully within your company? Here’s a basic outline to follow when rebranding a company for the first time:
1. Always Start With Research
Before you even consider a rebrand, start with research. Don’t jump into anything too hastily. Make sure that you understand your brand, your customers, and your market better than anyone else. You’ll likely get some help in this department by your branding firm, but you should make sure that you’re just as informed as they are. Make sure you research all of the following:
- Your current customers’ wants, needs, and opinions on your company
- Your company’s current brand assets
- Your competitors’ products, services, and public sentiment
- Your employee's opinion of the company and its brand
- What lost prospects think of your company and its brand
- What do community and thought leaders think of your company and its brand
2. Communicate Effectively With All Stakeholders
All it takes to screw up implementing a rebrand is one director with an axe to grind. Prevent this by effectively communicating with all relevant stakeholders throughout the entire process. From the very beginning of the rebrand, you should communicate all of the following in writing to all stakeholders:
- Key objectives
- Relevant research as to why you’re making the decisions you’re making
- Changes in competitive positioning
- Implications for their specific department
This will help keep everyone in the organization on the same page and assist you later when you roll out the brand.
3. Document Everything
Remember when I said you should communicate in writing? There’s a reason for that. You need to make sure that you have documentation on everything you do during the rebranding process. It’s vital that you have this information in case something goes awry. In the ever-changing world of rebranding a company, the last thing you can afford to do is leave specific changes or decisions undocumented. We recommend using a tool like Evernote complimented with an inbox folder for all things brand related.
4. Plan The Roll Out Well
No sense in investing the money in a new brand if you’re not going to roll it out effectively. Start by getting your employees excited so they can act as brand advocates. This can be done in several ways- and best practices vary by the size of your organization – but regardless of what tactics you choose, getting this stage right is essential to success. A few ways companies successfully roll out new brands include:
- Internal PR campaigns – Featuring meetings, videos, and emails to employees announcing the change.
- External PR campaigns – Featuring earned and paid media mentions, emails to client lists, and rich media assets on their social media and blog.
- Launch Parties – Inviting clients, employees, the press, and the community to come to your space or a rented venue to hear more about the new brand that you’re launching.
Each brand rollout is different. Make sure to hire a professional branding firm to help you manage your brand rollout effectively.
5. Defend The Brand – Lest It Die
The final – and most critical – component of the rebranding process is ongoing. Once you’ve built and launched a new brand, you need to defend it at every turn. People will want to mess with your messaging, corrupt your color palate, and lose your logos, but you need to stand firm with the decisions you make. If you can’t defend your brand after it launches, you’re losing the most valuable asset your brand has – continuity.