Branding is much more than just a distinctive logo, color palette, typeface, and motto. While these are great identifiers, branding encompasses the entire public representation of a company. It also includes, but is not limited to, communication style, client experience, and reputation.
So, when rebranding a company, there's a lot to consider. It can't be done overnight. It takes much planning and testing. Whether or not you hire a marketing agency to tackle the top level tasks for you (researching, renaming, logo and style guide creating), you will still have a lot of work to do before the process is over.
Entrepreneur.com's article, 4 Ways to Survive Your Company's Rebrand, highlights four big pictures considerations when rebranding.
- Test and test again.
Sent out emails and surveys to a select audience, but most importantly host focus groups. Getting groups of the right people together in a room and asking them strategic questions will bring clarity regarding the path your company should take. Listen to both internal and external people as well as those who are familiar with the company and those who are not.
- Be clear on the reason for the rebranding.
Rebranding is a hard and often long process. Be sure that you're taking this road for the right reasons. Clearly define why you're rebranding. A few good reasons include a fundamental change in the business, mergers/acquisitions/demergers, and a way to remain relevant to consumers.
- Clue everyone in on your vision.
Get transparent and personal. Talk directly to those who will be impacted the greatest by the change, be it investors, stakeholders, important clients, members, etc. Cast vision, share reasons, explain benefits, and present a timeline. A solid plan that is communicated properly will make the transition much smoother.
- Be prepared for resistance.
Once it has been decided that rebranding will happen, try to involve your team and VIPs in the process. If they feel they have some ownership in the direction of the rebrand, they’ll be more excited to accept and share it.
Now for a quick and dirty look at the granular level. Because rebranding has many, many details, it's important to think through all the items that need to be updated with your new logo, and if applicable, new name and website address. Make an extensive checklist. Review the items below (or download our worksheet) then add company-specific items to the list as you and your team think of them.
- If you're considering a name change, familiarize yourself with these steps. Most of them are required by law, but others are simply good business practice.
- Update voicemail messages
- Change hard copy templates like invoices, estimates, vender letters, etc.
- Add new logo to administrative manuals, HR materials, job descriptions, etc.
- Order a new company address stamp
- Update staff e-mail addresses and add new logo to e-signatures
- Order new name badges
- Order new building signage
Print & Collateral
- Update and print new staff business cards, letterhead, and envelopes
- Update packaging
- Update company PowerPoint, Press Release, and e-blast templates
- Update and reprint sell sheets, folders, Thank You cards, giveaways, and anything else that has your logo on it
- Update all social platforms
- Post at least once on each platform regarding the change
- If you have a new website, install analytics and re-route website (expected a 30% drop in SEO initially)
- Update on-page SEO (titles, keywords, meta descriptions)
- Double check to make sure there are no leftover logos or references to the former brand
- Update SEM keywords
- Update social links
Many items on this checklist require money, so before the rebranding process begins, work to gauge how much money will be required to make these changes and budget accordingly.
Remember to send e-mail notification to everyone who needs to know about the change -- members, consumers, vendors, clients, etc. You may even want to send periodic updates so that they feel "in the loop."
TIP: Keep your new style guide nearby. Until you have everything memorized, be sure to refer to it often.
If you're considering rebranding or just want to talk through the process, contact us. We're happy to help you think through your specific needs and requirements. If you're interested, we even offer a free marketing assessment. What's a great branding without great marketing, right?