Four Things to Consider For Your Rebranding Effort
This week on the Digital Millennial, we are offering some tips for your business’ rebranding effort. But before you do, don’t forget to check out last week’s post by Sherry Wynn – Level Up Your Network: Go Deeper….Go Offline.
Many businesses get to a point where a rebranding is necessary. Whether you’re shifting gears on your product line, aiming for a different customer base, keeping up with the times, or changing your overall strategy – there’s a lot to think about when it comes to relaunching your brand. So, you’ve already decided what you want to do differently with your business? Here are four things worth considering:
1. Build Your Core Message
It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement of a rebranding effort. Maybe you’ve got a sweet new logo and you’re ready to start doing business with a fresh look. Well, that’s cool – but it may not get you very far.
Arguably, the most important part of your rebranding effort is defining your brand’s core message. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why provides some excellent food for thought that'll help as you work on that message. There's obviously a reason for your rebranding and more often than not, past failures are often rooted in the communication of your core message and tying the customer back to that message. Think about the message you've been using and make the changes you need to make in order to define where you are trying to go next.
While your business may have the same name, the message needs to connect the business to its values, its values to the mission, the mission to the product or service, the product or service to the customer, and ultimately the customer right back to the business.
2. Get Your Employees Involved
Don’t forget to talk to your employees. Getting employees on board early is a good idea as many are on the front lines with the customer and likely have a wealth of insight on what is and isn’t working. You don’t want to go through all of this without their input only to find out that you missed something that could make or break the rebranding effort. This will similarly benefit developing your core message and help you figure out how your customers may view your business after the rebranding.
A word of caution - it might not be the best idea to relaunch your brand while your employees are still trying to wrap their heads around what the rebranding effort means for them. Get them on board first so they are empowered with the right message to deliver to your customers and other stakeholders. Employee advocacy is a valuable component of any strategic marketing and communications plan. With the changes you’re making to the brand, your employees need to understand what is happening, why it is happening, and how they can best translate this to your customers and target audience.
3. Don’t Forget to Tell Your Customer
This part can be a little tricky. One likely reason for rebranding is to attract new customers. But you don’t want to alienate your existing customers in the process. As part of your rebranding strategy, there’s going to come a time when you need to tell both new and existing customers what is happening. You can tell them why this rebranding and new direction is a good thing, how it benefits them as a customer, and what they should expect. Look at all possible channels to best reach your existing customers while also focusing on the new customers you want to attract.
Consider any negative consequences your customers may have as a result of the rebranding and make sure to address them head-on. For example, perhaps part of the rebranding includes a price increase on the customer. Nobody likes paying more money, so that’s a tough one to navigate. But, you could focus on why the increase in price will result in an increase in quality or better service. Think about the value proposition not in terms of dollars, but from the standpoint of how these changes will better serve the customer.
4. Change the Look
There’s nothing worse than calling something a rebranding but not showing any signs that something has changed.
Don’t forget that customers generally interact with your business in-person, on the phone, or online. They don’t necessarily see the inner-workings of your business or understand if anything has changed if something doesn’t catch their eye. Additionally, you want something to catch their eye so they ask what’s happening because it gives you and your employees a platform to deliver key messages about the rebranding effort and talk-up the changes. The value of engaging with customers on a 1:1 level cannot be overstated.
Making updates to your webpage and social media pages (after some planning and developing the business side to the rebranding effort) may be a good start. Use the rebranding opportunity to revise your printed materials to reflect the changes that you want your customers to see. If you’ve got a walk-in business, consider changing the way things look so customers are prompted to ask. Now (finally), it might be a good time to start looking at redesigning your logo to catch customer’s attention.
Aaron Weibe is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University where he received his Master's of Arts degree in Communications. He recently retired from the United States Air Force and is a regular contributor to the Digital Millennial. Visit him on LinkedIn to connect!
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