The world is constantly changing, especially in business. Therefore, many of them will feel the need to rebrand every now and then. However, rebranding is no walk in the park, and could quickly go wrong if not carefully managed. Obviously, you want your rebranding process to go smoothly. So what are the key points you should pay attention to?
Most businesses understand the need to adapt and refresh their products and services regularly. Yet, few realise how their brand image and identity can boost or hinder their business growth and long-term success.
Rebranding is a bold move. It shows your intent to stand out from competitors and fully deliver to your customers’ needs and wants. Maybe you are even planning to dominate your marketplace in a few years, leaving your competitors gasping?
Once you’ve decided to rebrand, you know that you are only at the beginning of the journey. It’s one that fills you with excitement at the thought of what the future holds for your new brand.
However, rebranding is never an easy ride. After almost 25 years of advising businesses on their rebranding, I’ve looked back to find five most important points to keep in mind when rebranding.
1. Vision, Mission, Values
Rebranding is a long and in-depth process, which involves re-focusing, revitalising and strengthening your business for many years to come.
Your brand should clearly reflect your vision, mission and values. Therefore, this is the perfect time to check if they are still relevant to the marketplace.
Your vision describes how you see your company in the future, but also the world in which you’ll operate. As you rebrand, you should show your customers where you’re going and why they should care about it.
Your mission as a business states what you do, how you do it and how you add value.
Finally, your values should be shared within your company, but most importantly with your customers. After all, your customers are more willing to trust you if they feel they can share and associate with your values.
Rebranding is about re-focusing, revitalising and strengthening your business for many years to come.
2. Your core target audience and market
When communicating with your audience, you must make sure that every aspect of your business resonates with them.
It’s important to remember who your customers are and what they care about the most. In other words, you need to demonstrate your brand strategy and how it meets their needs. If your target market evolves or changes, your brand strategy must also change in order to stay relevant.
The main focus here is to be customer-centric, and to always listen to their needs. Create personas to gain insight in order to adapt your strategy and plan your rebranding process.
In terms of your market, you should also ensure to regularly identify possible opportunities and threats. Keep an eye out for new opportunities that could benefit your business, but also stay aware of potential threats so you’ll know how to handle them in future.
In the end, your final goal will always be customer satisfaction. Therefore, it’s vital to capture what attracts and retains them.
In other words, rebrand for your customer, not yourself. You can never be too customer-centric.
3. The competition
Remember that you are not alone in the marketplace - quite the opposite in fact!
Check what your competitors have been up to and carefully analyse their brand positioning and marketing strategy.
If you find some competitors have recently rebranded, find out why and how they did it. That being said, don’t be a copycat and follow everything they do. Remember --your business and brand are unique. So as a result, your rebranding strategy and plan should be innovative if you want to cut through the noise and stand out.
Your brand needs to highlight all the distinctive features that distinguishes your business from the rest.
Think about the benefits of your business and what you are offering, and how they are unique. Use them as a turning point to succeed and become the leader in your market.
4. Actionable data insights
Words and images together can result in beautiful creations, but are nothing if they don’t help you achieve tangible business objectives.
The important point here is marketing research. Use it to collect valuable data about your market and core audience. From there, you’ll be able to define key performance indicators for rebranding success.
In this stage, this can be done in-house or externally. The latter gives you the benefit of an outside perspective and specialist expertise, which guarantees an innovative and unique result.
Investing in brand workshops can also be a constructive way to define more concretely what you can achieve by rebranding. This will help plan the whole rebranding process more easily and efficiently.
Your ultimate goal should be to become irreplaceable in your customers' minds in a way that competitors can't match or imitate.
5. Embracing change
Change is something we should embrace, not shy away from. After all, it’s what you need to do in order to get ahead of your competitors.
Don’t get the wrong idea. Rebranding doesn’t mean that you did everything wrong before. Rather, you are willing to adapt to better answer your customers’ needs. Make the most of your rebranding journey by creating meaningful and long-term engagement with your core audience.
This means that your growth might take you much further than what you originally planned. This can be scary, but don’t let it stop you from making the changes needed in order to succeed. Overall, rebranding demonstrates that your business can reinvent itself to fulfil its audience’s needs and wants, as well as beating the competition.
Your ultimate goal should be to become irreplaceable in your customers’ minds in a way that competitors can’t match or imitate.
In today’s fast-moving world, don’t take anything for granted. Businesses at the top of their game are agile and are always ready to adapt. They welcome change with open arms and adapt themselves to not only benefit their business and knock out competitors, but also to fully captivate their customers.
You should also remember that there are no shortcuts to successful rebranding. Every business is different and unique, and yours will be too. Building a strong, unique and easily identifiable brand isn’t easy. It requires focus, commitment and seeing branding as a long term investment rather than a quick-lived short term win.
If you are in doubt about your brand’s current positioning and survival in the marketplace, the most crucial insight you need is brand clarity.
Start evaluating where you are today by taking Acacia’s brand performance scorecard.
It is confidential, free and will give you more clarity about your brand and how to prioritise business growth initiatives.
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