Love it or Redesign it? When to Rebrand.
“The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” Until the pandemic hit, this was an expression we lived. But then there was the pause and we took inventory of our own marketing materials. The first thing we noticed was our logo which we designed when we first opened our doors in 1997. While we have a great affinity with the monogram, the typeface and icon itself felt a bit dated. It was time for a rebrand. It was fun to be in the client seat and it helped us understand what you might be considering right now.
Why rebrand? When considering a rebranding (which includes anything that modifies your brand), it is critical you understand the reason for the rebranding. Is your logo:
1. Outdated. Logo design is a bit like fashion—typefaces and colors come in and out of style. Rebranding can help your brand appear more relevant and current.
2. Lacking an emotional connection.
3. Not reflecting current ownership, leadership. Businesses change over time. Perhaps you’ve merged with a new company and need to reflect that in your brand or you have a new CEO who is breathing new life into the business.
4. Not updated for a name change. This usually requires an immediate rebrand to not only reflect the change visually but to comply with legal requirements.
5. Not reflective of additional products or new services. A rebranding can reflect your organization’s evolution and stimulate growth for these new products and services. It can also help you gain a market advantage.
6. Not helping you overcome a bad reputation. Rebranding can change the way your business is perceived.
7. Resonating with your current audiences. Businesses rebrand to attract new audiences or become more appealing.
8. Not looking good across all your marketing channels. Brands need to work across more platforms than 10 years ago—does your logo fit into the small circle on your Facebook page? How does it look as a favicon? How does your logo appear on a cell phone? Can you see all the detail? Long horizontal logos are very hard to work with these days.
If any of these ring true. It could be time to rebrand.
How do you rebrand? If you’ve decided to rebrand, what next? In my 20 years of branding experience, the projects that have been the most successful have followed these steps:
1. Know your customer – Don’t just describe them with demographic information (40 year female) but rather build a psychographic profile of your ideal targets and know what makes their pulses quicken.
2. Understand your business – If an outside organization or consultant is doing the work, it is critical they understand your business and audience. We like to do this with our Deep Dive during which we review all the existing marketing materials and business plans, talk with key employees and staff as well as take a look at your peers. This culiminates in a BrandMap TM and marketing plan.
3. Establish strong positioning. You cannot be all things to all people. Nor do you want to. Focus on what makes you unique and what messages are going to resonate the most with your target audiences.
4. Set a realistic framework. Set a budget, define all the tasks, select a launch date, build a timeline and continuously monitor the timeline and budget.
5. Build an effective team. Have the tasks covered by effective individuals who will yield good results and have the authority to make the tough choices.
6. Refine. Rebranding involves the logo or icon, fonts, color palette and a tagline. We start by creating several icon sketches and pairing them with organization’s name in several different fonts. Once that is finalized we add the color. Then it’s time to add some secondary colors and fonts to use with the marketing materials. It’s important you get this right as your new logo should last.
7. Be Consistent. A Style Guide is a good way to keep everyone on the same page. We also recommend sharing the new brand in a variety of formats and files to make sure it’s being used consistently. And then there’s the rollout.You need to replace the logo EVERYWHERE it appears. This means signage, stationery, uniforms, ads, listings, sales materials, social media and on your website. Be sure you set aside adequate time and resources to roll out the new look.
Brands build trust & engagement with your coveted audiences. They create a competitive advantage and last for many years (brand equity). Investments in a good brand return considerable rewards as well as competitive advantages especially during these turbulent times.
Have you gone through a recent rebranding? We’d love to hear your story.
Need some help? That’s why we’re here!