When and why should you rebrand?

Having recently launched our own rebrand it's only fair we answer this question!

At Everything Connected we recently underwent a change in name following the merger of three businesses and even more recently updated our brand identity. So, it only seems fair to answer the question: why rebrand? It’s a question posed regularly to us from prospective and existing clients. There are many reasons why a business might choose to refresh their brand identity or perhaps even rebrand entirely.

For us it was due to our business and services offer having developed and the brand name and identity no longer adequately describing the business that we are today...or will be in the future. Our new brand needed to communicate the more multifaceted and connected nature of the work that we do for our clients, it also needed to act as a tool to align the businesses so that our employees had a clear and shared vision.

Rebranding can be an exciting time for any business, as it signals a leap into a new phase of growth and success. With a fresh new look, the potential for new opportunities and wider recognition are truly limitless. There is no one-size-fits-all advice on the ideal time to rebrand. While rebranding can be an effective way to create a strong, unified identity or to reach new target markets, it is important to carefully consider and weigh the pros and cons of the process.

In this article we outline:

  • Why is defining your brand important?
  • What makes up a brand?
  • Our brand building methodology
  • Why do businesses rebrand?
  • When is the right time to rebrand?

Think of brand and business as two sides of a double helix: balance is critical to the health of your company’s DNA. When your messaging and deliverables are misaligned, your audience can tell and they communicate with their wallets. Brand values distil our core beliefs down to a simple, clear and confident articulation of what makes your business unique. Repeated consistently over time this builds a reputation. Repetition is reputation and reputation drives revenue.

To build a brand you need to:

Discover your story

To build a distinctive brand identity, we need to find the powerful idea at the heart of your business. Your story is inherently unique. When it is delivered consistently and weaved through all aspects of your communication, it creates authentic and meaningful connections with your stakeholders.

Find your voice

Your voice is the heart and soul of your communications. More than just words and phrases, your brand voice is the tone in which you speak to and connect with your audience. Develop a distinctive tone of voice followed by a suite of go-to messages that exude your personality.

Weave a thread

Once discovered, weave your powerful idea and tone of voice through like a consistent thread that connects everything that you design and build. This develops the brand identity into a highly differentiated and cohesive style that can be consistently delivered across all the channels.

When we discuss ‘brand’, we’re not just talking about logos, fonts, colours, or taglines - that’s just branding. Brand is much more than that. A brand isn’t a name. It’s everything you think of when you hear that name. A vital part of clearly communicating your value proposition to your target audience is aligning your business with the brand. We break down the branding process into brand heart, brand essence and visual identity.

Here is our proven methodology for building brands. Every successful project starts with a deep discovery phase and branding projects are no different. Very often this phase can feel like brand marriage counselling and it is critical that key stakeholders are brought in at this stage to take learnings forward and to gain buy-in for the process early on. It is also really important to give a voice to a range of people across the business and not just the senior team who may have a very polarised view of the real challenges a business may face and real customer experiences. The ‘validation phase’ can also differ hugely for different businesses. Where possible, we advocate heavily for this and ask the question, ‘what is the cost of getting this wrong’ - we call this the burden of truth.\

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Most people don’t like change. In fact we are hard wired to resist change and reduce risk for the most part. Rebranding comes with real risks and the rebranding graveyard is littered with examples of brands that have faced consumer backlash to their newly launched shiny fresh brand identities only to quickly do a u-turn. BP’s rebrand to an environmentally aware energy and general services company ‘Beyond Petroleum’ was met with huge cynicism, GAP famously scrapped their logo redesign after 1 week following protests on Facebook and Twitter. Tropicana, the orange juice brand, learned the hard way that consumers were attached to their packaging. Like Gap, they backtracked on the rebrand after a few weeks of public backlash. Those of us of a certain age may also recall the farce that followed the £2m rebranding of Royal Mail as Consignia. All big brands, with big budgets and big agencies, access to customer research and rooms full of experienced marketers and business leaders. So why did it go wrong? Did they even need to do it in the first place?

There are several reasons why a business may need to rebrand, including:

  1. Your internal and external brand perception aren’t aligned
  2. Your company’s mission has changed, the current branding does not align
  3. Your target market has shifted or it’s time to reach a new audience
  4. You’re losing relevance and you need to reinvigorate your brand
  5. Your market position isn’t unique or your service mix has changed
  6. Your competitors have changed and the branding needs to be updated to remain competitive
  7. Your visual brand is outdated and needs modernising
  8. You’ve undergone a merger
  9. You have experienced a PR crisis and need to respond to negative brand associations

It depends on the specific circumstances of the company but some signs that it may be time to rebrand include:

  1. The company's sales and market share have been declining for an extended period of time.
  2. The company's branding is outdated and no longer resonates with its target audience.
  3. The company is planning to expand into new markets or launch new products.
  4. The company needs to signify change and use the brand to deliver a new message
  5. The company’s employees no longer believe in the existing mission, purpose and values

It's important to note that rebranding should be a strategic decision, not a knee-jerk reaction to a temporary problem. Rebranding can be a significant investment, both in terms of time and money, but it can also be a powerful tool for revitalising a business and driving growth. A business should consider rebranding when its current branding is no longer serving its needs and a new branding strategy would be more effective in reaching its target audience and achieving its business goals.

It's also important to work with a branding expert who can guide you through the process and ensure that your new branding is aligned with your business goals and resonates with your target audience.

Here are a few guiding principles that will help to ensure a successful rebranding project:

  1. Set clear objectives – Before embarking on a rebrand it is essential to identify what you are trying to achieve and make sure everyone involved in the process understands the goals.
  2. Create a timeline – A successful rebrand requires careful planning and execution. Establish a timeline for the project that allows for proper testing, feedback from stakeholders and plenty of time to make any necessary changes.
  3. Engage stakeholders – Make sure to involve the relevant stakeholders in the rebranding process, including customers and employees. This will help ensure that everyone is on board with the new look and feel of the brand.
  4. Be consistent – Develop a clear and consistent brand identity across all channels so that your new brand is recognisable and consistent.
  5. Monitor progress – As with any project, it’s important to track the success of your rebranding efforts to ensure that you are meeting your goals and objectives.
  6. Celebrate successes – Rebranding can be an exciting time for any business, so make sure to celebrate the successes along the way!
  7. Launch your brand - having invested the time, effort and money in your new brand, you need to make that final investment of setting it free to engage your external and internal audiences.

The above points are about how to make a success of the rebranding project itself. However, rebranding is not an exercise to be undertaken and then ticked off the ‘to do’ list. As we said above, your brand and your business are two sides of a double helix. To build your business, you need to build your brand - i.e. awareness, familiarity, consideration and penetration. This is how your brand plays its part as a vehicle for growth.

To succeed, therefore, you need to connect your brand with your customers. This goes well beyond content, channels and campaigns. Instead, it’s about understanding the role the brand has to play at every stage of the buyer journey and about ensuring that your brand has relevance to the customer at every stage of the buyer journey. Remember, the buyer journey is all about the buyer and their journey to purchasing your product or service, while your brand is all about you and how your buyer relates to your business.

We have delivered hundreds of successful branding projects at many different stages for businesses from pre-seed investment founders who need to articulate and bring their idea to life to achieve investment all the way through to globally recognised businesses that need to reinvigorate their brand and signal a new stage of growth and meaningful connection with their chosen audiences and markets. Each branding project is unique to the individual business and their particular stage of growth and brand journey. But, as we have said above, a brand is a tool and consistently delivering that brand and message across a connected and consistent buyer journey is where the real magic happens. If you want to speak to the Everything Connected team about how we could reinvigorate your brand and connect your channels and audiences please feel free to GET IN TOUCH 

Let's get connected.

#brand #branding #rebrand #brandrefresh #brandstrategy #branddevelopment #connectedbrand


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