Quick! Think about famous companies and their logos. What immediately springs to mind? Google’s primary colors? Apple’s apple?
Those two brands are worth the most of any company in the world. Alphabet, the company that owns Google, is worth $286 billion. The Apple brand is worth $279 billion.
To say branding is important is an understatement. Your company’s brand might not be worth the same as Google’s, but branding does drive revenue more than any other factor. In fact, 64% of consumers say they trust a brand more if they agree with what the company stands for.
So, what do you do if your current branding isn’t working, or if you’re ready for a change? We’ll walk you through the steps to learn how to rebrand your company without losing customers.
What Is Branding?
Branding is more than a logo, more than a product and more than a slogan. Those are all elements of your brand, and we’ll talk about them more later in this article. Your brand is bigger than all of them.
Your brand is who you are, what you stand for and why you do what you do.
Effective branding establishes a connection with your customers and your employees. It’s the why behind the what.
Your brand is a promise to your customers. It defines the quality of your product or service. It’s what sets you apart from every other company.
There are a million reasons why a company might decide to rebrand itself, but these are the most common.
The current brand isn’t working.
You may have created a branding concept when you started your company that served you well in those early years. Perhaps you identified your company as a start-up with a rock-star team of entrepreneurs who were ready to change the world.
A few years later, you’re older and more established. You might want to refine your brand (your image) to attract customers looking for an experienced business, rather than a scrappy start-up.
You didn’t create a brand at all.
This isn’t all that unusual. New business owners often start a company without giving a whole lot of thought to their brand. They’re more concerned with inventory, manufacturing and sales.
Once their company starts making money consistently, they realize they don’t have a logo, a mission statement or an effective marketing strategy.
Your company has expanded.
Let’s say you started your company to address a specific need in a niche market. Your company sells organic, homemade cookies.
After a few years and a wildly successful marketing campaign, you’re ready to expand your product offerings to include cupcakes and brownies.
You need to rebrand your company, so customers will know you offer so much more now. You might need to change your logo from a cupcake to one that represents a variety of sweet treats.
Your target audience has changed.
As the business changes, your demographic changes with it. You might have enjoyed limited success advertising to baby boomers and now want to reach millennials.
Your brand can change to reach this new audience.
How to Rebrand
Rebranding takes a lot more work than simply designing a new logo and ordering business cards. It’s a process to redefine your company and what its mission is.
The first step is to understand where you are right now and where you want to go. Dr. Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, advises business people to “begin with the end in mind”.
The idea is pretty simple. If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know how to get there. So, identify your goals before you start to rebrand.
Your goals might include a product expansion, a market expansion or a refreshed look after years with the same brand.
Identify your Mission, Vision, and Values.
This is a great opportunity to bring your leadership team together to identify the critical elements that define your company. What’s working? What’s not?
For example, this might be the time to launch a new strategy of corporate social responsibility to engage millennials. 64 percent of consumers say they’ll buy or boycott a brand because of its position on a social or political issue. This could be the right time for you to identify your company’s place in this arena.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- Why does your company do what it does?
- What problem does your company solve?
- What makes your company different?
- What do your current customers think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Create effective visuals
Once you’ve set goals and identified your mission statement and values, it’s time to focus on the visuals. Your rebranding will likely involve a new logo, website, branded company products and product guides for your customers.
It only takes 10 seconds for consumers to form an impression of your brand. So, your design needs to reflect what your company stands for and what customers can expect when they engage with your brand.
Engage your employees
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when they rebrand is not involving employees in the process. That’s not to say you have to put the whole thing up for a vote, but you definitely want your employees to understand the reason behind the rebranding.
Your employees are your ambassadors. They talk to customers, they talk about your company and they probably wear your company’s branded apparel. You want them to understand the rebrand and be able to talk effectively and intelligently about it.
Your brand is also reflected in the way your company handles customer complaints and social media activity. Your rebrand should include a crisis communications guide and social media policy for all employees.
And remember: the most important question to ask before you discuss how to rebrand your company is why.
If you need help with your new look, you can start by creating a logo in minutes using our online logo maker.