Rebranding: A How-To Guide!

Jun 30th 2017

If you’re ready to rebrand, but not sure how to begin, here are five steps to help you get started.

I talked a little last month about how to know if your company is need of rebranding, so now it’s time to talk about how to do so. I’ve identified five major steps for the whole process from beginning to end.

Step 1. Talk to Those Around You

After deciding to rebrand, your first step is talking to your customers, employees, and stakeholders. To make your rebrand successful, you have to ensure that everyone on board, and for most companies, these are the three groups that’ll either make or break a rebranding. Get their opinions on how you should rebrand and if you should. Now, you don’t have to use everything they say, but you should still take it under consideration. (Yes, even consider what you think is terrible advice, as much as you may not want to. You never know what could turn into something wonderful.)

Step 2. Find Out What’s Not Working (And What Is)

Analyze your brand. Look over everything. Don’t leave any rock or social media post unturned. Now is your chance to figure out what is preventing your brand from connecting with your market. In this stage, you can do things such as, poll your following on Facebook or ask your employees to participate in an anonymous feedback survey. This kind of feedback will help you get a good look at the state of your brand and what truly needs to change.

Step 3. Brainstorm & Develop Your New Brand

This step has a lot of parts to it, so strap in and get ready. In my previous post on rebranding, I talked about the two reasons for rebranding: competition and changing audiences. In order to develop your new brand, you should really look at why you’re rebranding. Why do you need to change and how can you change to meet your needs? With these questions in mind, sit down with your team and start planning.

There are five things you’ll need to talk about in this conversation:

1.What is your goal with your rebranding?

First off, establish your goals. Do you want to generate more sales, connect better with customers, or reach a new audience? You’ll want to ensure that everyone is pursuing the same goals to make your rebranding successful.

2. What message do you want to communicate with your new branding?

Next, consider what you want your brand to say and stand for. Are you changing your mission statement as a part of your rebranding or perhaps changing your marketing archetype? These are all things you’ll need to consider and plan with your team, as a rebranding is more than a simple logo change. (You actually don’t have to change your logo to rebrand, by the way. So, consider too if you want to change your logo.)

3. How do you plan to achieve these goals?

Once you’ve decided your goals and new message, start planning how you’re going to do these things. Are you going to have a designer create a new logo for you? Or are you going to forgo a new logo? Who will write your new mission statement? Decide on what you’re going to do and then create a detailed step by step plan that will guide you to success.

4. What will this venture cost and can you afford it?

As a part of your planning, research the costs involved. If you are choosing to pursue a new logo, how much will it cost to have a designer create it? How much will it cost to design new graphics for your website and social media? Try to get as in-depth as possible with this step, as it will show you if you can afford to rebrand or if you need to adjust your strategy.

5. Develop a backup plan for if your rebranding goes badly?

Nobody expects this, but rebrandings don’t always go well. Just look at GAP and the Olympics. They each attempted to rebrand, only to have it backfire. Talk with your team about what you’ll do if you experience a similar backlash. It is unlikely that you’ll need this plan, but it’s always better to prepare just in case.

Step 4. Update, Update, Update

Once you’ve decided what you want to change about your brand, it’s time to start making these changes. Most rebrandings require some kind of logo change. This means you have to update everything that has your branding on it. Yikes. This step can get expensive and confusing fast. Don’t stress too much though, as I can help. I’ve come up with a checklist of things that frequently need updating during a rebranding. 

What to Update:

Always check with your team to ensure there are no other materials that need updating such as promotional swag or vehicle decals, as every company has different needs. 

However, why stop at just updating your designs? If you’re already having to purchase new materials, why not upgrade their size and quality if applicable? Move up from a banner display to a pop up display or from a 10ft exhibit to a 15ft? Rebranding can give you an opportunity (and an excuse) to revitalize your marketing materials.  Whether you decide to upgrade your trade show materials or simply update them with your new branding, let me know. Exponent USA can handle all you reprinting needs when it comes to event displays and graphics. Visit our custom displays tab or just shoot me an email at jason@exponetUSA.com for more information. 

Step 5. Roll Out the Red Carpet & Paparazzi

Once you’ve updated your materials, it’s time to start using them. The next step of rebranding is simply letting everyone know about it. Of course, we all know there’s nothing truly simple about that, is there?  To successfully roll out your rebrand, you’ll need both internal and external PR campaigns. For internal campaigns, let employees know what’s going on and get them excited about it. Make sure they can explain the rebranding and the reasoning behind it if a customer asks them. Additionally, update your website, all social media, sales tools, and any signage.  

When it comes to your external PR campaign, start with a solid press release and send it out to media outlets that cover your industry. Many companies like to send out their press releases before the actual rebranding goes live so as to build up customers’ anticipation. Others prefer to release the news the morning of so that they can surprise people. Use whichever tactic you and your PR team prefer, but no matter which you choose for distribution, make sure to talk about why you are rebranding and your mission with your rebranding in your release. People will want to know your brand’s story and by including that story, you’ll collect supporters for your brand and business.

Step 6. Support, Promote, and Defend Your Brand

Not everyone is going to like your rebrand, but that’s okay. What matters is that you’ve done what’s best for you company and brand. Stick by your rebranding and explain to naysayers the reason for your actions by telling your brand’s story in interviews and social media posts. That said, don’t be afraid to engage your audience in conversation about the rebranding. They may have interesting insights that you never considered.  Hopefully, you’re feeling a little more prepared to for your rebranding now! If you have any questions, just shoot me an email at jason@exponetUSA.com, and I’ll do my best to help you with all your rebranding needs.