What is rebranding?
Rebranding is a term that generates confusion and often gets thrown around loosely. In common vernacular, it can mean anything from a change to your brand's look and feel prior to the launch of a new campaign, through to a complete overhaul of your brand strategy and the launch of the new company name and logo.
The reality is that a true rebrand is a journey and a process - not a short-term project. It involves identifying what has changed within your organisation and its strategy, translating the essence of your new organisation into a clearly defined brand positioning and brand strategy, and signalling the change to your internal and external audiences, often via a new logo, visual identity and key messaging.
When you rebrand, it is a signal to your audiences that they need to reassess their preconceived notions of your brand. It is not a trigger that should be pulled lightly. Rebrands launch with a bang.
What's the difference between a rebrand and a brand refresh?
Rebranding is one approach businesses can take to tell audiences about a change in their organisation. Refreshing an existing brand is another. What's the difference? To rebrand is to significantly change your brand and tell your audiences that you have done so, while to refresh your brand is to adjust it: to tweak it to align to a subtler shift in direction. For many companies, a rebrand could signal a merger or important acquisition; a change of strategic direction; the introduction of new products and services; or the need to more clearly differentiate itself against its competitors in a cluttered market.
Why consider rebranding?
Some of the reasons your organisation may consider a rebrand include:
- it has a new strategic direction
- it has new products or services
- it has a new audience
- it is preparing for growth
- it wants to attract talent
- it needs to maintain relevance
- it is undertaking a merger or acquisition
- it needs to react to recent growth
- the business environment is changing
- it is experiencing trademarking or legal issues
- it has experienced negative publicity and/or reputation damage
Read our blog, The business case for rebranding.
The benefits of successfully rebranding your organisation
- You are able to easily and concisely explain not only what you do but how you are different. As a result, your employees, partners, intermediaries and other stakeholders are all aligned and delivering a consistent message to your clients and prospects, and sales and marketing efforts are more effective.
- Referrals come more easily because people can succinctly explain what you do to their friends and colleagues.
- You are more visible and appear more dominant than you previously did, and as a result, you win a greater percentage of new business.
- You are considered a thought leader in the market and professional publications seek you out for comments and advice.
- Top talent seeks you out and wants to work for you.
What's involved in rebranding?
If you've decided to rebrand, you'll need to:
- Develop a business case and project brief. See our blog: The business case for rebranding, and our Project Briefing Tool.
- Ensure your stakeholders have bought in to the rebrand and are engaged.
- Conduct brand research. A thorough research program is the cornerstone of an effective rebrand: if you don't understand your customers and your market you will not be able to build a brand that truly resonates; and if you don't understand your internal stakeholders you risk alienating your employees. Download our Guide to Brand Research for more information.
- Confirm your brand architecture, define your unique brand positioning, develop your brand story and your supporting brand strategy.
- Develop your brand design - this may involve a new logo and visual identity system.
- Develop your key messaging and tagline if you've decided to adopt one.
- Develop your brand launch and go-to-market / brand activation plans.
- Launch your new brand!
- Undertake ongoing brand management and measurement.