Managing a rebrand or brand refresh can be tough for any marketing team. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first rebrand or the fifth – it can be a strenuous process from start to finish (if there is one).
Notable brands are at opposite ends of the spectrum in how often they have rebranded. In a previous article, Is it Time to Rebrand?, we’d taken note of this – Starbucks was at the low end of the spectrum with five rebrands since brand creation in 1971, whereas Pepsi was much higher with eleven rebrands since brand creation in 1898.
More of a recent example in the news has been the John Lewis rebrand – with promises of “re-inventing the high street” after seeing profits plummet to the lowest level on record in 63 years. When planning a rebrand such as this, where do you start? Here are some things to think about:
LAY OUT YOUR NEW IMAGE
An ideal place to start is laying out your new image. What are your company values? What expectations are you setting? What are your promises to your target market and current customers going to be? Assess these thoroughly and decide upon the set of promises that your brand can actually deliver to your target market. Staying customer focused is key to your rebranding campaign.
RESEARCH YOUR CUSTOMERS AND TARGET MARKET
Given the above mentioned it makes sense to research your customers and the target markets. Sadly this phase is often seen as a cost as opposed to a foundation to the investment and thus missed out. What do your customers expect from your brand? How does your target market interact with your brand? What challenges will you face from your target market?
Use research specialists or simply ask your current customer base for feedback – both positive and negative. Another option is to utilise professional social networks, such as LinkedIn. These platforms are great tools for identifying new target markets based on what people are interested in or speaking about. You can easily engage with your target markets, as well as identify any challenges that they may be currently facing that your brand may have the solution to.
IDENTIFY WHAT (IF ANYTHING) IS BROKEN
Not attracting new clients? Are there any current goals that the brand has failed to achieve? Identifying what isn’t working within your branding strategy is almost (if not more) important than identifying what works well. This review process will allow for your brand to put its best foot forward in terms of new brand image and successful marketing tactics.
BUILD YOUR BRAND’S NARRATIVE
Develop a compelling, memorable story to support your brand or in most cases just articulate it. The key, however, is to make the story both one that you and your customers can get behind and believe in.
If your brand’s mission statement needs to be revitalised, this is a prime opportunity to do it. Re-establishing what is important to your company and what it stands for is crucial to connect with your audience and to stay relevant in today’s marketplace.
Resisting the urge to revert back to the old branding can be difficult especially for founders and senior execs. The initial groundwork in research and vision become the vital objective references. Like everything, confidence in brand image is key and if developed through sound process it will evolve elegantly.