Rebranding is not a simple process and we can’t even imagine what a disaster it can be for our brand. Smart marketers evolve their brands over time to keep them relevant. Some do it well, while others become a target of cynical bloggers. (As happened with new corporate identity of Mtel – one of the most powerful Bulgarian mobile operators.)
The most important thing for the rebranding process is to understand that this will take money, time and energy and also each element of the process is part of the puzzle. If we can’t put all pieces of the puzzle together we have a serious problem with our brand identity and end consumers will see this.
1. WHY do we start with rebranding?
Maybe first of all we have to answer question: why do we start with rebranding? Is it necessary or not? It could be because our visual identity is too old-fashioned, because the end consumers don’t like it, because we expand our business and we need to say more about our brand/company. If we have the answers we can set the right goals and this will be a good start for our rebranding campaign. Navigating without an action plan, without creative brief won’t be effective at all.
2. Thinking that the logo or the corporate colors are EVERYTHING.
Many companies believe that with the new brand identity in the public area they make their best to show new values to the end consumers. Brands comprehend everything – from customer perception and experience, quality, customer care, retail and web environments, the tone and voice of communications, and more. Pepsi’s last logo did cost them $1 million to develop. Some experts said that this new logo is a real waste of time and money.
Here we can see some of the most famous logos that cost nothing or less than 40$ and some that cost a fortune.
3. Have you done a marketing research before starting?
People do know, that customer services are very important, but often that is neglected in the brand strategies. Current or potential customers are the important thing when creating solutions. After all, the customer will be your ultimate judge.
4. Limiting the influence of branding partners.
A good branding consultant is much more than just a graphic designer. The best ones help developing new products, expand demographic focuses and even streamline business operations. Rein them in when needed, but don’t limit their areas of influence.
5. Believing REBRANDING costs too much.
First of all define your budget. If you don’t have enough money, consider not doing it at all. Good thinking however doesn’t have to come with a multi-million dollar payout. You can get good thinking and solid strategies from small and talented branding agencies, consultants and in-house talents. Consider university students or small companies for cost-effective solutions.
6. When you start with rebranding change the old logo and identity as fast as you can.
When you make your public campaign and share more information about the new identity people will know about this. This is really great! – Good job for the communication department. But don’t forget to remove your old logo as quickly as possible from your official documents, shops, products and etc. People hate to keep seeing old logos and visual identity when they’ve already seen the new one.
7. It’s not a good idea to ignore your direct communication with the end consumers.
It is often ignored in the brand strategy sessions, but customer service and other front-line staff can yield valuable information. This is the place where customers are the most honest, no matter what research indicates.
8. Forgetting that people don’t do what they say. (They do what they do.)
Use caution when presenting rebranding strategies to the focus groups. Unless you’re physically in the customer’s environment observing them using your product or service, you’re not getting the full story. Actual observation, while not perfect, will get you a lot closer to the right solution.
9. REBRANDING is not only an advertising campaign.
An ad campaign and a new slogan do not equal brand positioning. Brand strategy should lead the advertising campaign – not the other way around. Sometimes the most effective rebrands don’t include traditional advertising.
10. IDEAS are not focused only in one industry.
Focusing solely on your own industry can be limiting. When rebranding, cross-pollinate your thinking with what leaders in other industries are doing in regard to customer experience, retail experience and customer care. Pull in thinking from different industries and encourage your agency to do so.