Rebranding- A Complete Guide to Planning and Executing It Successfully
Posted by Himanshu Pataria
So are you all set to dive deeper into the process of rebranding? Undoubtedly, rebranding might be an exciting moment for a few; it is a mere unfortunate step for the others. But, whatever it is, just make sure that you and your brand emerge bigger out of it!
How would you do that? Well, simply, follow this article and dig out everything that you need to know. Stay assured, we’ve taken care of all the important steps and you just need to decide how you want your new online identity to look like. Keep reading to find answers to all your questions from reasons behind rebranding to promoting your new brand for a quick market acceptance!
I) Why Consider Rebranding?
There are a number of factors due to which you might need to rebrand your company. Let’s have a look at a few most prominent ones:
• Repositioning market
Okay, for instance, you have started a travel agency. But, now after 5 years of being into business, you have realized that more than half of the queries which you receive are about best price hotel booking. And this is when you decide to pivot your direction and change your business from a travel agency to a dedicated hotel booking agency. You’re getting the drift, right?
Repositioning market is nothing but changing and adapting your business to a different market need just because you think that current market might not be a good fit for your business.
• Legal or image problem
Well, mishaps happen! And that’s when rebranding comes to your rescue. Your existing brand may develop negative images due to a number of reasons. It might be due to quality issues or due to anti-campaign by your competitors.
In certain instances, your brand might have been subjected to legal litigation of patent or copyrights or a thorough innovation might be required. In such instances, it is best to introduce some radical changes with regard to legal name, brand logo, advertisement themes, marketing strategies and image.
Thereby, the brand will be re-positioned. For example, the rebranding of Philip Morris to Altria; Andersen Consulting to Accenture are a few brand names who implemented the rebranding technique in order to shed their negative image.
With that being said, just realizing that your company or brand needs a rebranding is not enough to delve you into the process. Rebranding definitely is not a child’s play and needs careful planning to be a success. To see what all goes behind a successful rebranding and how should you start preparing for it, read on further!
II) How To Prepare For Rebranding?
As already said, you just cannot wake up one fine morning with the aim of rebranding and think of announcing that you are been rebranded by the end of the day! To be able to successfully rebrand your company, you need to set a proper stage. Here’s what you need to take care of:
a) Reason for you to rebrand
Definitely you won’t just wake up one fine morning with the idea of rebranding, right? There has to be a proper reason as to why you need to rebrand, and this is what you need to ask yourself, just to be sure that you’re on the right track. The following pointers might give you a reason enough:
- As a response to internal and external issues.
- For camouflaging the malpractices of the past that have led to negative images.
- For staying current with the time or for setting yourself to get an edge over your competitors.
- For protection against blackballing by consumers, with stiff competition in the market.
- For differentiating from competitors by changing your logo and for attracting more customers.
- For compensating the losing market share.
- In the event of corporate restructuring or bankruptcy.
- Staying relevant.
- For refreshing an image for ensuring its appeal to contemporary customers and stakeholders.
- For creating market segmentation by marketing the products separately.
- In the event of merger or acquisition.
- For marketing product of another company that can produce with lower cost.
Once you have a proper reason in place, it is time to ask yourself as to how your new brand would look like?
b) Figure out your new brand
Well, building out a new brand out of an already existing one requires a lot of daunting efforts. This should be a long and well-articulated process, but to give you a quick glance, here are a few things to consider when rebranding:
- Identify the parts of your products that need to be rebranded and decide whether it can be taken up in-house or some brand consultancy is needed;
- Define the scope of your rebranding which may involve the following segments; namely visual identity, verbal identity, behavioral identity;
- Research with regard to the recently branded similar organization and competitors, establish your target audience and identify your communication style;
- Identify the constraints that are likely to creep in;
- Stay focused on your objective;
Once you know how your new brand is going to look like, it is the right time to create an inventory of all your brand assets.
c) Create an inventory of all your brand assets
One of the major steps to rebrand a company is that you should know the degree or the extent of rebranding you intend to introduce. And to help you here, we would highly recommend you to create a record of all your current brand assets and check what all need to be updated. From your blog to the logo, social media accounts, ebooks, featured images and everything – make a list of all the To Dos in order to frame out a proper strategy.
Once you have all these insights with you, it is the right time that you move ahead with the process of rebranding.
III) How To Execute Your Rebranding?
Let’s face it; rebranding is never going to be easy. It needs a lot of hard work, dedication, and patience from your side. From updating your SEO presence to physical assets, a lot of areas are to be taken care of. Let’s check out each one of them step by step in the correct order. Always remember, with the right rebranding strategy, nothing is impossible!
a) Update all your digital assets
In order to implement a successful rebranding process, updating your assets is extremely important so that the relevance is maintained and the activities of your business are fully synchronized. Here are a few digital assets that you need to update:
Domain name: So, is your business name changed too? If yes, well then, you need to update your domain name in accordance with the new business name of yours.
Website design: Let not the feel of your old brand overshadow the excitement of the launch of a new brand! Keep your new website design totally different from the previous one while ensuring that it is in accordance with latest industry standards.
Social media accounts: Yes, social media accounts need a change too. You can either acquire a new name for your accounts or alternatively, try creating a new one from scratch.
Email marketing: Don’t forget to update all the branding in the email marketing software that you might be using. There is nothing worse than rebranding a business and still using old branding signatures/logos/URLs and the likes.
Promotional materials: Any PDFs, ebooks or blogs that you might be using to promote your business should also be provided a makeover in accordance with your rebranding theme.
b) Rebranding SEO considerations
For the successful implementation of rebranding, you must be well-versed with how to rebrand a company. You have already put in a lot of effort in setting up an image for your business in search engine result pages.
Let not your efforts go to waste by making use of smart tricks that would help you in redirecting your SEO efforts towards rebranding. Hiring expert SEO professionals to carry out these efforts is the best bet for you to accomplish an authentic rebranding.
Keyword mapping and it’s content positioning: It is a process by which you assign or map keywords to the pages on your website on the basis of proper keyword research to make every page of yours rank better.
When it is the case of a rebranding, you will surely have a few overlapping keywords which were a perfect fit for the previous website but hold good relevancy when compared to the new website. In such cases, it is highly recommended to make a proper document and check which page is the best fit for the given keyword.
Set up 301 redirects: You definitely would not like to direct your visitors to your old website to only discover that the website is down, or is not functional, or doesn’t exist. The solution? Make use of 301 redirects to redirect all your visitors from old website to a new one.
Inbound links: Remember all those hard earned inbound links? Well, it is the right time now that you contact each of the webmasters and ask them to update as per your new website details.
While the 301 redirects as mentioned above would do its job, but customers would surely get confused on landing a different website after getting redirected. This is surely going to hurt the user experience. It is thus better to reach out to as many inbound link providers as you can.
Google search console: All you need to do is create a new Google search console to reflect your new brand.
Google analytics: You also need to setup a new Google analytics account in accordance with your new domain to catch the best action on your rebranded website.
c) Update your physical/legal assets
Well, it is not just about updating digital assets. Your physical assets are also as important. Thus, you should take some time out and update your legal documents, copyrights, and patents along with business cards, tax information, and W-9s as per your new brand. This is one of the essential branding campaign steps and should be taken care of with utmost precaution.
Now, that you’re done with all the rebranding, it is the right time to put your best foot forward and start promoting your new brand aggressively. We’ll tell you how to do that.
IV) Promote Your Rebranding to Push Awareness of Your New Brand
The major aim behind all these activities is to make people talk about you and your brand – as much as possible. Here’s how you do that:
a) Distribute press release
Press is the best means to disseminate the facts, figures, and information about your rebranding. You should send appealing information about your products detailing about your marketing strategies, to the local, state and national level dailies, weeklies and monthlies.
b) Leverage your social media followings
In the present day marketing environment, social media are the best means of pushing, developing and maintaining the worth of your new brand. Therefore, take appropriate steps for leveraging your social media following that will rejuvenate your branding efforts.
c) Write a blog post announcing the change
If you are interested to know, how to rebrand, the first and foremost feature is that people must know about the change of your brand. Only then, they will be interested to know more about your products, and the best way to do that is to communicate to them via a blog post.
d) Add a notification to your front page
The front page of your website provides the ‘first information’ and brief data about your brand. You should, therefore, add a notification to your front page so that your existing customers are prepared to take buying decisions with regard to your product.
e) Run remarketing ads for your old website audience
Your rebranding objective is to retain the existing customers and add the prospects to it. Therefore, you should run remarketing Ads for your old website audiences, in order to acclimatize themselves with the changes.
Looks like a big deal? Well, no one said, it is going to be easy, but in the end, it is all worth it! However, to ensure that rebranding emerges out as a grand success; ensure that you are rebranding for all valid reasons and that rebranding is the only solution available at the moment to boost your business further. Once you are assured that rebranding is a must, take the plunge and go ahead with full vigor. May the force be with you!
Do you have any previous rebranding experience? How did you execute it? Do let us know in the comments.