8 tips to a successful rebranding process
Sometimes the rebranding process can be an overwhelming task that can be perceived to be expensive, time consuming and ultimately not deliver what a board or business owner desired. Below are eight tips that should help your business make the process beneficial.
1. Set objectives, why are you doing this?
Might seem like a rather obvious one, but when we first start taking to a client about rebranding our first question is ‘Why are you doing this, what’s changed?’ This question can be really telling, is your brand holding your business back, has the business grown or merged with someone? Or do your competitors seem to have the edge on you? Going back to basics and really asking what is motivating a rebrand will help you to create a clear objective. Sometimes clients think they require a massive change when actually an evolution is more appropriate to deliver on the business objective.
2. Engage with your staff
Understanding where you are in the market place and what people think of your business is crucial to any rebrand. This can take many forms, for larger businesses this could involve significant research. Let’s start inside your business: It’s very easy when at the top of a business to assume you understand what your staff think or believe. But remember they are on the ground, dealing with the day to day, taking to customers: what do they think is good or bad about your brand right now? What have they heard customers say? What do they think should change? Not only will you get some valuable insights you will also involve them in the process. As a result they could well start to feel ownership of the challenges, excited about the future and be more engaged to embrace changes.
3. Find out what your customers think
At the same time talking to your customers by running a survey or incentive for comments will reveal information that could give you valuable knowledge about what they think of your business and what it stands for. If you’re a smaller business getting a friend to call some of your customers to get a more objective view is another good method to finding out what your customers really think. Again if you involve your customers in your rebranding process in some shape or form this could result in them feeling more valued and build on your brand loyalty. At Glued we work with a consultant who calls some of our customers on a regular basis which feeds into our review of our offer and our brand proposition, we see this as an ongoing process not just when a rebrand is on the cards.
4. Create an inventory
Planning out what you need to apply your rebrand to upfront can save lots of time later. You may discover new places you need to communicate and have a brand presence that previously wasn’t required. You may also find that much of what you currently use for marketing is no longer used on a day to day basis. By really understanding what you need will help you to budget for the work, plan to fit the work in and have a simple list of what’s been done and what is still to be achieved. A rebranding can sometimes be seen as complex to complete and this simple approach helps to priorities tasks and see key milestones.
5. Appoint a champion to manage the process
If you are rebranding the process could take a while, the larger the business the longer it can sometimes take. To keep on top of the process appoint a champion in the business to keep track of progress. When it comes to rolling out your updates it’s important that someone is the authority on progress. If you are the business owner appointing a champion to manage the day to day progress will help you focus on the big picture. It’s also great that your staff have someone to go to with ideas or feedback. That person might be you but sometimes your staff might not want to bring up issues about core business values directly with you, but what they have to say could be of real value to the process.
6. Involve your team at every stage
Sometimes staff can become a bit cynical of the whole rebranding process. Over the years we’ve heard it all, things like ‘well they did that a few years ago and I didn’t like it then’… ‘What’s wrong with what we’ve got’… ‘I don’t like that colour anyway’… ‘What’s the point of this’ … ‘it’s a waste of money’ …as you can tell the process can disengage staff and create a culture of negative thinking, the precise opposite of what you’d hope for. Try building in feedback into each stage of your process: so perhaps show teams some of the design options to get feedback, ask them if ideas reflect what the staff feel is important. Ask them to help shape your vision or values. Helping people see the progress of your rebrand and adjusting things following feedback is likely to avoid some of the common negative comments. You’ll build staff engagement, take them on a journey with you and ultimately your staff are more likely to be brand ambassadors for your business.
7. Be inspired
When it comes to rollout, rebrands often result in brand values and brand guidelines. Often these seem to be seen as rules and restraints on what you can’t do with your marketing through your brand rather than an inspiration to achieve great brand communications. Your brand guidelines should be a platform for great future growth not handcuffs that limit everyone’s thinking. If you end up saying to yourself ‘well the guidelines say you can’t do that’ then you might want to review why that is.
8. Continue to measure performance and adjust
Your business is a living thing, people with like-minded values coming together with a shared vision for delivering what your business does. Your brand should reflect that and be able to evolve over time. Going back to your objective that I mentioned in point one, if you are clear on that you can then devise ways of measuring that and decide if further work is required. Normally adjustments are needed as your business is always changing. The whole rebranding process should be a cycle of adjustments, tweaking what works in your current market sector and having a process that allows for flexibility.