Rebranding is a complex and multifaceted process, no matter how big or small your company. But regardless of these challenges, many companies change corporate identities every seven to ten years. The reasoning behind a rebrand can take different forms, including one or many of the following:
- Mergers, demergers or acquisitions
- Changing markets
- Going international
- Change in CEO (like Apple did when Steve Jobs came onboard in 1997)
- Changing brand portfolio
- Outdated image
In order to understand what rebranding is, it’s necessary to address some misconceptions about what branding is not.
Branding is Not a One Time Thing
Branding is dynamic and should not be considered as a one time investment of time and money. What you were five years ago shouldn’t be the same as what you are now. Besides what’s going on internally, companies need to be ever-cognisant of changing consumer behavior and markets.
Even if you have a good product, purchase behavior is more rooted in emotions. This basically means that if your customer does not create an emotional connection with your brand, then you’ve lost that customer.
On that note, branding is not for the company; it is for the consumer. Consumers want to associate themselves with innovative brands, and develop a sense of ownership with regards to successful brands.
You need to constantly examine the message your brand is giving off. These questions can help:
- Are your values changing?
- What role are you playing in your consumers lives?
- How do you want to position yourself?
- What kind of message do you want to give off?
As such, rebranding is a good opportunity to revitalize your image. Rebranding doesn’t always correlate to a complete brand makeover or reinvention. Instead, it means taking the best elements of your brand and keeping those as foundation, while changing obsolete elements to reflect your new business outlook.
Branding is Not Just Logo Redesign
Many companies and agencies spend a disproportionate amount of time on visual elements like logo and packaging. Though these pieces are important, they aren’t everything—there are so many more elements that go into branding.
Branding is composed of elements like colors, typography, voice, tagline, and images—all of which are carefully chosen to create a psychological response for the consumer. Branding is not just a logo, it is a way of life. Branding is a strategy to get consumers to patronize your way of life over another brand’s.
Marketing agencies exist not just to create visual elements, but also to study consumer profiles and behavior, and package your products and services in a way that these customers can identify with. If your rebranding efforts are solely focused on creating a logo, you’re selling your company short.
Branding is Not a Waste of Money
While it is true that branding (and rebranding especially) can cost a hefty chunk of change, think of it as an investment to your company instead of an expense.
A rebrand comes with the expectation to work tirelessly to live up to the new brand image. But rebranding can bring many positive returns to a company, such as:
- Renewed interest from consumers, clients and contacts
- New leads
- Boosted employee morale. They will feel “brand new,” invigorated, and inspired to work.
- Bonus: industry awards and recognition for exceptional strategies
There’s no concrete or direct way to measure the ROI of sales from rebranding efforts, but the above represent meaningful and significant indicators. In fact, 75% of job-seekers consider a company’s brand before even applying to a job, therefore considering a rebrand could also aid in boosting leads for new hires as well.
Branding is Not a Waste of Time
Digital marketing agencies shouldn’t do all of the work when it comes to rebranding: branding is a collaborative effort between the company and agency.
Saying that you (and your company) do not have time for branding is also saying you don’t have time to:
- Strategize for your business
- Reinforce your unique selling proposition
- Think about or listen to what your customers would want
If your brand has been stagnant for some time, it couldn’t hurt to strategize and shake things up a bit. Oftentimes, sticking only to what you know (especially if you aren’t getting results) can deter you from success.
Branding is Not Marketing
Many confuse branding with marketing, and it’s not hard to see why. As a general rule, a brand is the unchanging canvas for marketing campaigns. They’re related, but each hold distinct roles relative to each other.
In 1985, branding and marketing clashed when Coca Cola released New Coke. The clash occurred because part of the Coca Cola brand was a deep sense of tradition, and “rebranding” to New Coke didn’t align with that.
To summarize, branding is the heart and soul of a company, and marketing carries the company’s message across to consumers.
Misconceptions When Going Through a Rebrand
A brand is the who, what, how, and why of the business. Before undergoing any type of rebranding, businesses need to think about the message they want to get across to consumers, then consider rebranding as an effort to refocus and clarify their purpose.
If you need help conceptualizing or executing a rebrand, get in touch with digital branding agency, Mabbly!