How to successfully rebrand your business (and stay sane)
Rebranding your business is a big deal. It’s like a face-lift, and seeing as this isn’t Hollywood, I’m presuming that you take plastic surgery fairly seriously?
Sometimes a rebrand is done out of necessity, due to a business merger or significant structural change of some sort. Sometimes it’s done by choice because the current brand is outdated and doesn’t match the business any more, and sometimes you just need to mix up the feng shui of the place a bit, get excited about something new.
A change is a good as a holiday… or so they say.
Whatever your reasons for a rebrand, it’s something that’s best thought through first. You know, plan it out and have an idea of what you’re after before you start.
It’s most probably going to be challenging, and fairly time consuming, but not impossible, and it really could be the best thing you did for your business.
So if you’re considering a rebrand, here are some things for you to ponder.
Why are you rebranding?
The reason for your rebrand determines how you’ll tackle the process.
- Your business is evolving. It’s not uncommon to go into business thinking you’ll be heading in a particular direction, and 5 years later you find yourself on a completely different path. If your original branding doesn’t reflect the new path you’ve taken, it’s time for a change.
- You’ve moved into a completely new market with a new kind of customer, and your brand doesn’t resonate with them. Say you started out selling baby products, and you find yourself venturing into an older market. The stalk logo design that was so cute in 2007 just isn’t going to cut it with 13 year old, iPhone toting tweens.
- Your business has encountered legal problems. Perhaps you’ve trademarked yourself in your home country, then get a nasty surprise that there’s a similar brand overseas. Sometimes you have no option but to change your name and rebrand.
- Or, perhaps you’ve merged with another business and want to start fresh with a new and improved image.
If you’re rebranding for the right reasons and it’s the best solution for your problems, you can start planning.
Getting ready for a rebrand
The first step is to make a list or inventory of all the places that your business name and logo is seen. Then you’ll have a list of everything that needs to be changed.
There’s the obvious places like your website and social media pages, but you’ll be amazed at the places your logo pops up!
Look at your eBooks, publications, free online directory listings, business cards, stationery and business documents. Then there’s all the suppliers and companies you’ve supplied your logo to for sponsorships, inclusion in advertisements, programs etc.
I suggest doing a Google image search for your logo and seeing what comes up. Also go back through your advertising plan and see who you’ve supplied your logo to in the past 24 months.
Carrying out your rebrand
You’ll need to work closely with your graphic designer to develop a new logo and brand colours, and perhaps speak to a business advisor if you’re also changing your business name. They’ll do all the necessary checks to make sure you can legally trade under your new name.
If you’re registering a new business name, you’ll almost always need to have a new domain name for your website. We suggest searching for the availability of your new domain name before you register your business name, as you don’t want to find out that John Smith registered yournewbusinessname.com.au in 2001 for his pet dog and is adamant that he wants to keep it.
Finding that your new business name is not available as a domain name may sway you to alter or change the name before you register it. It may not, but it’s good to have all the facts up front before you make a final decision.
Once you have the technical and legal details sorted, it’s time to update everything.
If you do register a new domain name, it’s important to also have an SEO strategy in place so you can redirect your links and retain your rankings as much as possible.
You’ll also need new email addresses with your new domain, and be sure to let all your contacts know you have a new address.
A rebrand with a new logo and brand colours will also involve a redesign of your website to match the look and feel of your new brand. You might need to update your theme and images, and much of your written content too.
Social media accounts
It’s always important to have your social media profiles matching your website, so these will also need to include your new logo, colours and images. If you’ve gone with a new business name, you might need to start a new page from scratch.
Check with the terms and conditions of the platform you’re on to see if you can simply change the name, or merge two pages so you retain your followers.
You’ll need a new email signature for every email address you have associated with the business. Don’t forget to also update your email marketing software with your new branding logo, colours and images.
Any promotional material that you want to continue to use will need to be updated. This included opt-in offers, lead magnets, eBooks, downloadable content and content upgrades.
Business cards, branded stationery (notebooks, pens and fridge magnets) and your signage (including any vehicle graphics) will all have to be changed.
Promoting your new brand
Some people don’t like change, so not everyone is going to be accepting of your new brand. But it won’t take long to convince them you’re still the same awesome company they dealt with before.
To announce your new look:
Write a press release or a blog. Write a little story about your rebrand that lets people know the reason behind it. Understanding creates acceptance. Distribute this as widely as possible, and when people are searching for your old brand, this has a good chance of being found.
Announce it on social media. You can link to your press release or blog that explains everything, and pin the post to the top of your social pages for a while.
Let your email subscribers know. Send an email to your loyal readers so they know who you are (and not to delete you or unsubscribe!)
Onwards and upwards
Rebranding is not for the faint-hearted. It takes time and effort and can cost a bit of moolah.
But if you need to do it and are doing it for the right reasons, it can breathe new life into your business.
Thinking of rebranding any time soon? Speak to us at The Web Hut for some design and content advice.