The Pros & Cons of Rebranding—Effective Branding Strategies that Rock
This post was written by our guest blogger, Charlie Antoine. Read the original post here.
Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a brand takes on a new identity in one form or another. This can include a change in the name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof—basically everything that makes up a brand. This often involves changes to logos, advertising themes, product packaging, slogans and overall marketing strategy. Rebranding is done to stay current with the times, disrupt a long run of monotony or to stay ahead of the competition. The success of a rebranding strategy depends on the planning and execution, so all factors must be taken into account beforehand. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of rebranding.
- Updating your company’s logo, slogan and theme will give your brand a fresh and modern look. Many brands are shying away from 3D logos, and moving to a cleaner/flatter/simpler design. A fresh look will turn heads in your direction and recapture the attention of your audience.
- Rebranding can help set the stage at the internal level as well as the external level. Redefining the brand identity can help realign the brand with the corporate values or establish new ones. In either case, the rebranding stage is an opportunity to clearly define what those values are and get all employees onboard. They will feel empowered to contribute to the company’s goals and objectives.
- Rebranding can allow you to reach new markets. Creating a modern logo will help you appeal to younger audiences, while updating certain brand elements will help improve your image to audiences previously unassociated (or have a weaker association) with your brand. For example, sports brand Adidas is gearing more marketing towards women to increase falling market share. Other brands incorporate themes to show support for the LGBT community.
- Introducing new elements may be confusing to your audience, or if the change is too radical, it might be downright unfamiliar. Press releases and announcements via social media are instrumental when changing your brand identity. You can prepare your audience and even explain the decisions behind the new design.
- The Milwaukee Bucks did an excellent job of promoting their new logo ahead of the 2015/16 NBA season. They dedicated trade show booths and landing pages to explain design elements and the deeper meanings behind them.
- Rebranding can be very expensive. Every altered element has to be transferred across all marketing channels (website, social media, signage, business cards, etc.) to keep the new brand image consistent, which requires a lot of money and effort. The decision to rebrand should not be taken lightly and lots of market research should guide your strategy. Focus groups and surveys could introduce conceptual designs of various branding elements. Measuring a select audience’s response to new logos, themes, advertisements and promotional materials can be a good indicator of what should or should not be changed.
- Rebranding can alienate your existing audience. Don’t neglect loyal customers by putting too much emphasis on targeting new markets or narrowing your existing audience. Keep in mind it’s 5-10 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one, so don’t forget about your brand loyal audience!
If you are thinking about rebranding, keep in mind that it is an overall strategy and not just as simple as changing your logo. Every element you change can have a significant impact on your brand image as a whole. Your new brand identity should be consistently carried across all marketing channels.
Research and timing for a rebranding strategy are both crucial. Predict how your audience will react through surveys and focus groups. The transition should be made in a slower sales cycle because of the amount of effort it takes to change the old with the new, and it also may boost your sales due to the increase in publicity. Preparing your audience ahead of time and explaining the meaning behind the new brand identity upon release can eliminate confusion and increase familiarity.
At some point in time, all companies must rebrand to some degree. It’s inevitable that a rebrand will be met with critiscm, but a well-planned marketing strategy is the key to success!