In a fast-paced business world, knitted together by instant digital communication, things can get very old very quickly. In a bid to stay fresh and relevant, many businesses realize the need for change from time to time and that’s where re-branding can come in useful, providing a fresh energy and a chance to gain attention and momentum.
Re-branding can be successful, but it’s not something to take lightly. Here’s what to consider if you are to do this properly…
It might seem obvious, but the very first question you should ask is ‘why are we rebranding?’. What are you hoping to achieve and, in particular, what needs to change? Doing it for the sake of it won’t work – have a clear defined sense of what your rebrand will look like and, ideally, have all decisions backed up by data.
After that, you then need to consider what to do to deliver the change you require. Do you need a new name? A new logo? A new core message? Be careful of changing too much as you’ll risk losing some of the ground you’ve established in your market. Focus on one or two clear ideas and make sure they can be applied quickly across your operation.
Choosing when to re-brand is crucial. It’s probably best not to go into a full re-brand at the end of the financial year when you have other priorities on your hitlist, during busy trading periods or in the holiday season, for example. Getting your timeline clear will help the project run smoothly and picking the right moment should ensure that the timeline coincides with a good time to make the change.
When re-branding it’s easy to think of the sign on the door, the letterheads, business cards, web page, Twitter image etc, but larger businesses might also need to consider how to re-brand a fleet of vehicles. Rail operators and airlines often do this with trains and planes, but other businesses may well need to consider deploying the right surface preparation techniques to re-brand their vehicles too. The insignia on these vehicles help to spread awareness of a brand and neglecting these could undermine your efforts elsewhere.
In some cases, rebranding might well mean an entirely new website. This in itself can bring its own challenges. As Gecko points out, you need to be aware of the impact on SEO. Make sure your old website URL has a permanent 301 redirect to your new URL, that your meta titles and descriptions reflect your new branding and use a backlink checker tool so that you can look at the links coming to your site. Your online technical work is vital; get this wrong and you could lose a lot of visibility and business and your rebranding project could fall flat.
Rebranding isn’t simply about making a change and then carrying on. It must be accompanied by a marketing plan. Let people know about your new name on social media and every other platform available to you on and offline. Grasp the opportunity to attract new customers with offers and promotions related to your rebranding project and make sure it’ll all part of a wider push for new business (getting right back to the ‘why’ from the start).