So you are considering reinventing your business. You feel ready for new and exciting branding, but where do you begin? It’s important to give this risky decision a lot of thought, as rebranding your company can really backfire if you don’t approach it correctly. Make sure you are confident that your company is in need of and ready for a new branding and marketing strategy. Talking to a marketing consultant about your plans could be a great option. When our clients decide to rebrand, we tell them to consider their target audience and make sure their new marketing is moving in the same direction as they are, and make sure their new branding strategy speaks to them. When you are ready to take the plunge, follow these steps to rebranding.
1.Figure out your target audience
Are you trying to recapture the interest of your current audience whose interest is waning, or are you looking to reel in an entirely new audience? It’s important to understand what direction your company wants to move in so you can properly lay the foundation for a successful rebranding. One excellent example is the Old Spice rebranding. In 2010, Old Spice did some research and discovered that 60% of men’s body washes are actually purchased by women. Armed with this valuable information, they worked on marketing that targeted the female audience and launched the “The Man Your Man Can Smell Like.” The results were incredible and immediate, with a 300% increase in website traffic and 200% increase in sales and subscribers. (Source)
Knowing your audience is essential when it comes to branding. Make sure you do your research and come up with the best target audience for maximum return on investment.
2. Don’t fix what isn’t broken
Too many companies make the mistake of rebranding for the sake of rebranding; essentially trying to fix what isn’t broken. If things are working, don’t change them!
One rebranding fail was the Netflix/Qwikster debacle. Netflix, which was already an incredibly successful DVD rental-by-mail and online streaming service, attempted to split their business into two by keeping the streaming aspect as Netflix and the DVD rental-by-mail as a new brand, Qwikster. This introduced a second pricing model, essentially costing previously loyal customers more money for the same services they were getting before the rebranding. To add insult to injury, Netflix failed to research social media profiles before choosing the name Qwikster, and discovered far too late that the Twitter username, @Qwikster, was not only taken, but it was owned by a high school student whose online persona was a drug-using Elmo. Ouch.
Netflix reversed its decision fairly quickly, but not before losing 800,000 subscribers. Total rebranding fail. (Source)
It’s important to identify what is working and what isn’t before you make any huge changes. If customers love your product but you can’t seem to get new customers to give you a chance, don’t change the product, change your marketing! Do your research before you take any big risks, and make sure you are changing the right aspects of your business, and leaving what is already working alone.
3. Develop your story
Your brand needs to tell a story, so you have to develop it. Everything from your logo to your advertising needs to flow together and have the same look, feel, and overall message. You can’t have a super serious advertising campaign and then come out with a cartoonish logo. Figure out what you want your brand to say, and then decide how to convey that message. What are you trying to say with this rebranding effort?
In 2009, Radio Shack was struggling, so they attempted a rebrand. The problem was that all they did was change their name to The Shack. All of their services, products, and overall philosophies stayed the same, so the story was basically just “new name, same old store.” Obviously, the rebrand was a complete flop and lead to over 1,000 store closures and yet another rebranding effort in 2014.
4.Promote and be proud
If you want customers to get to know the new you, you have to promote the new brand. Get out into the marketplace and make sure your new brand is displayed loudly and proudly. Let the public know what your new story is all about, why they should care, and how they can benefit from the new brand.
Once you’ve made the leap to a new brand, stand behind it proudly. Confidence in your brand will allow you to push forward through the transitional period, and come out on the other side as a more successful business than before. Rebranding is a huge step, but it is something that can reap great rewards. If you’re ready to change up your branding and marketing, do your research, follow these steps, and become a rebranding success story.