This occurs when you make substantial changes to your identity as a business in an effort to better appeal to customers and reflect who you are.
There are pros and cons to doing this, however, and it constitutes significant risk. You want to be sure you are not only doing it for the right reasons but going about it properly.
Your company's entire identity rests on its brand, so it stands to reason changing that constitutes a significant risk. One sobering statistic would be rideshare giant Uber. When they changed decided to rebrand and changed its logo,44% of people did not recognize it. Changing a logo can create confusion or worse… significant damage to your company's finances or reputation to a point you may not be able to recover. Due to the seismic implications for your business, it is critically important to plan a rebranding operation before implementing it.
If your purpose of rebranding is in response to low sales or poor brand recognition, you may want to reconsider. There are other, less risky and more effective changes you can make that might solve these problems, such as improved market research or refining your marketing strategy. Your company should only consider rebranding in certain scenarios, which can include moving to a new location where you will not be recognized, refocusing on a different target demographic or if you are changing the entirety of your business' philosophy.
Once you have determined that rebranding is the best next step, you absolutely need to start planning your transition strategy. To do otherwise would be like changing a battle strategy on a whim in the middle of a war.
You should go into this with an exact purpose of what you are trying to accomplish and an actionable strategy to see the transition through to completion. A proper strategy will include all of the small details in addition to larger changes. For example, colors are important to branding: they can improve your brand recognition by up to 80%.
You will also need to consider critical details such as whether your target audience is staying the same, the layout of your website, how you will exemplify your mission statement and more.
One of the key questions you will need to answer is how will your business look different after this rebrand. Are you trying to accomplish a complete rebrand or a partial one? Are you going to change your name? Will you make substantial changes to your products? These are important aspects to consider so both your employees and your customers can have a clear vision of the direction the company is planning to take.
Many franchises rely on being a top global brand and stress the importance for their branches to stick to the essence of what that brand represents. If employees and customers don't understand why you are making changes or perceive it to be a negative one, they may actively push back against it.
For instance, globe leading brands such as Ace Hardware and Chick Fil A provide opportunities to own and operate your own stores with financial backing under their brand. Without a powerful (and consistent!) brand, franchises that allow people to start their own business would all be different – and the name of the brand would be different all around the globe.
This is why it is critical that if you make a change in your branding, it is company wide. Make sure to get feedback from your customers regarding what they like and don’t like regarding the change. You can gather this data with feedback forms and surveys with effective customer engagement through email marketing, social media, and other endpoints.
Part of your strategy should entail launching the brand internally a few weeks before it goes public. This gives you the opportunity to notice and repair any issues so the transition for the public will go as smoothly as possible. It also allows your employees to adjust to the change. You should unveil your new brand with much fanfare. Advertise about it. Have your employees promote it. Stress how it will impact your customers in a positive way. All of this works to prove that the shift you are making is a good idea.
Changing your company's branding is an intricate process that needs to be carefully considered before you start. Going in without a plan could negatively affect your business in many ways. Do research, consult advisors and listen to both your employees and your customers when developing a plan to rebrand your business for the better.
Disclaimer: The opinion of Insercorp Water Cooler Bloggers are of their own and do not reflect the official position(s) of Insercorp LTD.