By: Mayank Batavia Head, Partnerships and Marketing, at QuickEmailVerification
Businesses go for rebranding for a variety of reasons. Businesses expand, brands evolve, target audiences change… In the modern world of business, things can change rather quickly. As a matter of fact, agility has become one of the key differentiators between businesses that succeed and businesses that struggle.
The extent to which you want your logo, typography, color-choices and other elements to reflect your transformation decides whether you should go for rebranding. And sometimes, the reasons can be subtle yet compelling.
Consider a case of a hypothetical mouth-wash brand NyceZmel. Earlier it was sold in packs of 8fl oz, 15 fl oz and upwards. Now it’s available in 3 fl oz as well. If that’s all there is to the change, there’s zero reason to rebrand.
But NyceZmel is facing intense competition from bigger brands. So now it’s positioning itself as the mouthwash you should carry on your short outdoor vacations or fishing trips (Which is why smaller packs would make sense.).
This would require NyceZmel to reflect a spirit of adventure and all that. Naturally, they have a stronger case for rebranding.
Reasons for rebranding
The reasons why a business goes for rebranding are important to set the context for what it should be doing along with or after the rebranding.
Here’s the seven most common reasons why a business rebrands itself:
- When it’s trying to differentiate itself against competitors
Over time, your business has made so many changes that some of the messages you’re sending out sound confusing. It’s a good time to review your brand standing.
- When it’s keen to reflect its adaptability with the changing times
Perhaps your business has been using the brand logo, design and stuff for a long time. You feel the typography doesn’t reflect the new you, nor does it attract the new generation.
- When it has entered vastly different geographies
Maybe your brandname has something that’s likely to be ‘lost in translation’ in a foreign land, or worse, be potentially devalued. Maybe there’s an existing brand with a similar sounding name. Maybe the new target geography is too important to ignore.
- When it has expanded (or shrunk) its product range
When companies restructure their product portfolio, they might add a few more products, or drop a couple. And then their mission is likely to change too. It’s a good time to consider rebranding and restate their new focus.
- When there’s a change in ownership, owing to M&A
Sometimes, the reasons could be technical. Another organization has taken over your business and they see a need to rebrand to reflect the transformation.
- When it’s eager to attract new talent
Occasionally, businesses could be extremely successful yet have been typecast with unflattering labels from the POV of potential employees. When it’s time for the business to hire richer talent, such labels could keep them from attracting new talent.
- When it’s trying to do some damage-control
While it’s not the most pleasant reason, businesses need to go for a comprehensive rebranding exercise when they are facing flak from more than one quarters.
Typically, it’s more than one of the above reasons that makes a business decide it’s time for rebranding. For instance, when it’s expanding into new geographies with a few new products, it will likely need to attract new talent to handle the changed scenarios successfully, and probably a language-neutral name is important.
The 5 things you should do after rebranding
Some of the things you’ll do along with the rebranding exercise are pretty much obvious. From small items like letterheads, visiting cards or one-page fliers to bigger items like signages at outlets, trade-fair kiosks, or large-sized shipping packaging material – all these are massive, but on the expected lines.
There are some activities that aren’t clearly visible but are important, mainly because everything associated with your brand will impact your post-branding success.
Here are the 6 activities that don’t get noticed easily but you should be doing along with your rebranding exercise.
1. Set your brand voice
Have you turned into a fun, quirky brand from a relatively plain brand? Or perhaps your target audience has changed substantially?
You’ll need to document the new brand voice. This document will define what you can (and cannot) do with the logo and design after the rebranding. It will guide your internal teams as well as your ad agencies on how you want to be perceived.
Pay attention to small linguistics items while documenting your brand guidelines. For instance, if you were earlier focused only on the UK and now you’re trying to enter the US market, don’t forget to spell ‘colour’ as ‘color’ or use ‘sidewalk’ instead of ‘footpath’.
Basically you want to redesign your messaging architecture with the new standards and relevance.
2. Redo the images and infographics
Sure, you won’t forget to replace the logo on your office door or reprint visiting cards. But don’t forget the small things that are easy to fall through the cracks.
Remember the blogposts you created last year? A few of them may have infographics, some of them have images, a handful have the screenshots of your site … all with the old logo. Don’t forget to redo all of them.
Besides this, you may have multiple videos on YouTube or elsewhere, each with your logo in watermark. Well, time to edit and correct all that.
Last but not the least. You may have published guest posts, images or videos on third-party sites. Reach out to them with replacements. Some of them may not oblige, so explain to them that updating their site with the new collaterals can actually be good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And besides, they will be giving updated stuff to their readers, which is a good thing for their site too!
3. Write to your email subscribers
Your email subscribers aren’t your closest stakeholders, in the sense that many of them may not be your customers. That creates a huge opportunity for you to tell them about the positive transformation and the story behind the rebranding part.
But remember you won’t be able to keep sending multiple emails with the same message. So you want to make sure the email you have contains only valid, deliverable addresses. Use a good bulk email verifier to clean your email list and remove the invalid, disposable or otherwise not-safe-to-send email addresses.
After that, draft an email carefully, tell the story behind the rebranding and hit Send!
4. Don’t forget your vendors and freelancers
This might already have been addressed by your legal team, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Are there some vendors you work with only occasionally? Or maybe some freelancers? If yes, you’ll want to send them a simple email explaining how, going forward, you wish to be invoiced. Point out the change in name, VAT number or whatever else has changed. Keep the email short and clear.
In absence of this email, every time a vendor or freelancer raises an invoice, you’ll waste time explaining what changes you need in the invoice. That not only causes a delay in payment processing, but also dents your image in the eyes of vendors or freelancers.
Trust me, one simple email will save you a lot of time and confusion later on.
5. Anticipate and prepare for some, ahem …
Your current reach may be only limited to Adelaide, Australia or Memphis, USA, but if your customers have a long-standing emotional connect with your brand, some of them will dislike or even openly criticize your rebranding.
Let’s say you are a chain of Mexican-food restaurants, and a part of your previous logo included a sombrero. If your new brand design drops that, you certainly owe your customers a good explanation. And because we live in the times of social media where people’s views can easily go viral, you want to be prepared.
Here’s a well-known example. When the Airbnb logo was changed to its current design, many people didn’t like it; in fact, a few found it offensive too. Fortunately, Airbnb was prepared for that so they could handle it.
The scale of resistance you may face might not match that of Airbnb’s, but you’ll want to be prepared to handle it with dignity, rationale, and, if possible, a little touch of self-effacing humour.
As you rebrand your business or at least a division, you begin a very exciting journey that you know will be even more fulfilling than what it was. To make rebranding easier, you want to pay attention to the small details in addition to the larger transformation.
Finalizing your brand voice document, changing the logo in existing infographics, emailing your subscribers about the change, writing to your vendors and being prepared to respond to people’s questions may sound like small things, but they’re important. And when paying attention to small details becomes a part of your organizational DNA, your ability to serve your customers profitably increases too.
Mayank Batavia is Head, Partnerships and Marketing, at QuickEmailVerification. In addition to the exciting world of email marketing, Mayank loves to solve math puzzles and sample delicacies.