How To Successfully Rebrand Your Business
Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business. Your brand is the first thing people see or hear when they come across your business, so it needs to make a good first impression. But hey, we’re all human and many of us get it wrong and then make it right later on.
There is no shame in rebranding your business, it’s a sign of progression and it’s a nice fresh face for your company. You may have seen that Google have recently rebranded their company logo after 16 years, changing to a simple sans-serif custom font. This rebrand literally shook the world, mostly because it happened overnight.
We wouldn’t suggest you do the same, Google are the most well known company on the planet but even their rebrand didn’t come with 100% positive feedback. Many were confused by the rebrand, saying that the new font is too child-like and unprofessional.
However the rebrand, explained by their creative team, was all down to to responsive design. The older font was harder to display on smaller devices, their more up to date font works well with mobile phones and smart watches.
But, if you’re not Google, then it can be hard to know how to perfectly rebrand your business After all, many small businesses will stick to the same branding for several years and become accustomed and familiar with it. Whatever your reason to rebrand, there are a few steps you need to take to successfully rebrand your business.
Only got 2 minutes spare? Not to worry, you can see a summarized bullet point list at the bottom of this post. Or, if this isn’t what you want to read about, perhaps you’d prefer to read “Why Longer Marketing Campaigns Will Always Be More Successful“?
So what are these steps I speak of?
Step 1: Discuss What Went Wrong With The Old Branding
Before you even utter the words “rebrand” you need to sit down and have a hard think about what exactly it is about your current branding that simply isn’t cutting it. Sit down and work out what you don’t like about it, adding in any feedback you’ve been given by customers too.
Once you know what went wrong you can start to patch up your mistakes and create something that better represents what you and your business is all about. Key questions you should be asking yourself are:
- Is your business inviting or pleasing visually? If not, why not.
- Is the design translatable? (AKA can you read what it says/perfectly see the businesses services)
- Does your business fully cater to your audience and do you know your audience?
- Is the website design up to date and modern?
- What goals didn’t get reached and why? Were they unrealistic?
- Does your company have clear targets, goals and ethos?
Step 2: Figure Out What You Want Your New Branding To Say
When it comes to the new image you want for your business you need to sit down and find out what you want a whole. Obviously you want your branding to be attractive and so on, but you need to drill down further and pick specific qualities you wish your company to have. Start with the name, then work your way to the logo and then business ethos.
When it comes to the name you want to make sure you’ve got it right, after all the name may have sounded clever some years ago but might be a little cliche by today’s standards. A good example of this is a recent rebrand by XFM (a popular UK radio station) who have renamed themselves to “Radio X”.
The main reason for this is because they’re no longer only available on FM radios, they’re also available to stream online. The XFM brand is also 20+ years old, so it was about time for an update in image.
When it comes to the logo you want to make sure it stays simple and to the point, especially when we’re moving towards a mobile and even smartwatch optimised world. The logo should be able to stand on its own and make sense without the company name (unless it IS your company name, like Coca Cola).
Your business ethos may also need to change, as many still focus more on making money than making customers happy. Make sure your company ethos is positive and works well for your core audience.
Step 3: Try To Keep A Similar Theme, For Familiarity
If you have made yourself a brand that has gained a good audience, the last thing you want to do is totally rebrand your business to look like something totally different. Sure, you want to create a new image to gain a wider audience but you don’t want to alienate the audience you already have. The best way to do this is to keep to similar colour themes or update, rather than change, your logo.
Updating your logo may be just the change you need without having to go the whole hog. Even small changes can make a huge difference. Take Spotify for example, they changed their logo a few months ago. But what did they do? Not very much at all, in fact the only thing that had changed was the shade of green in their logo.
It went from a rather bright lime green to a paler mint green. This may seem like an unnoticeable difference, but the business now accounts for 27% of the digital music industry and is even fighting off newer services such as Apple Music.
Step 4: Test Your New Branding Thoroughly
Once you’ve got yourself a bright new image the next thing to do it to test it a thousand times over. Research is valuable and you should use websites such as Usability Hub to test your new designs on an audience that can give constructive feedback. Even just testing them on your staff members is a great idea.
After all, they also have to like the brand that they’re working for, otherwise you end up with potentially unhappy and less productive members of staff.
Test your designs as many times as you can to collect enough data to confirm whether or not the new brand works better for your business. If you get negative feedback then you need to go back and work out why those people are acting negatively.
Is it personal preference or is there a trend in your results? Once you’ve got it all sorted and users are giving mostly positive feedback you can move on and put your new branding into action.
Step 5: Update Your Website and Let People Know
This step requires the help of a professional web designer and web developer. You should have used a web designer to help you with your new logo, so use that same person to help you map out your new website. Once they’ve created a design that you’re happy with they can then pass any additional coding work to the web developer.
It’s always best to have separate designers and developers working on your website as they tend to have more specific knowledge than those who are designer-developers.
Now you have a swanky new website you need to tell the world! What’s the point in going through all that effort if you’re not going to let people know about it? You need to send and email round to all of your clients/customers letting them know of the change but you should also spend some money on advertising.
Advertising your new image can attract new and potential customers, so it’s more than worth spending an extra penny or two. When it comes to Google’s PPC, the cost per click actually dropped by 11% by the end of 2014, making it even cheaper to advertise your business to the world.
Step 6: Keep Everything Uniform and Consistent
You may have changed the way your website looks, but aren’t you forgetting something? Social media! Many companies own social media accounts, it’s not a surprise when you find that 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions.
Over time many businesses will rack up an array of social profiles, but you must make sure that they all match your new branding and have up to date information about your business. The key 4 profiles you will need to update first and foremost will be LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Make sure that the images you use are optimised for those specific social profiles, don’t try and reuse the same image for everything. The more clean and crisp your social profiles are the better. Especially when you consider the fact that 80% of online users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook.
Just in case you didn’t have time to read the full post here is a short summary to guide you.
- Ask yourself key questions – ask yourself what exactly went wrong with your current branding.
- New branding ideas – think about your company name, logo and ethos and what you want from them.
- Make your new branding simple – make sure that new logos are optimised for mobiles and smart watches.
- Keep it familiar – don’t change everything, it may confuse your already existing audience.
- Small changes make a big difference – even changing the shade of a color can make a huge difference.
- Use Usability Hub to test new designs – test as much as you physically can and gain valuable feedback.
- Update your website – hire a web designer and a web developer to make your new brand a reality.
- Let the world know – make sure to tell customers/clients as well as posting to social media about your new image.
- Update all social profiles – even the ones you don’t use much, it makes such a huge difference and keep everything consistent.
If you have read this far then thank you very much. Is there anything you think I have left off or anything you think I should add? Let me know via Twitter!
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Feature image credit: mikewaters via 123RF.