Will re-branding damage your business – or save it?

All firms change direction and purpose as they grow. If your company has dramatically shifted from its original intent then your branding will no longer be relevant, nor helpful to your business. This is where re-branding or remarketing comes in to save the day – assuming that it is executed efficiently and effectively. Re-branding is used time and time again throughout business to continue to maximize and increase company success. An example of a high profile rebrand would be how Carphone Warehouse has rebranded and shifted its focus to survive the death of the carphone.

Don’t assume that because your company isn’t Carphone Warehouse rebranding can’t work for you too, the scale of your success is mainly a direct result of how the re-branding effort is handled – not the company itself. For instance, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, both iconic brands, faced backlash from their fan base when they attempted to rebrand leading products in order to boost sales, which ultimately led to them rolling back on the changes.

This is where we come in; as marketing experts at boxChilli we have handled re-branding and remarketing for clients both large and small, and we know the secret for success is, as ever, in the details. For a re-branding to be successful it needs to be well planned, well-coordinated and expectations must be managed appropriately, a process that we will guide you throughout. Here are some key questions to ponder as you picture your new brand identity rising phoenix-like from the ashes of your existing company.

What are you hoping to achieve by re-branding?

When committing to a re-brand it is essential that you have an idea of the outcome, enabling you to then achieve these through the process. Before a rebrand it is essential that the current weaknesses and desirable changes are identified, as these provide direction the rebrand. For instance, by identifying shifts in business direction and the need for a more effective online presence that will represent the change you can devise a strategy that will ensure this. Whether you are thinking of an extensive re-brand or a simpler case of updating an unfashionable logo or design, planning out your goals is imperative for success.

What is applicable to all re-brands, whatever the reasons, is how important it is that the re-brand does not try to hide malpractice, poor service or other dodgy dealings. Brushing these under the rug by using new name rarely works; social networks ensure companies attempting to hide a bad history are quickly outed.

Will the brand be obviously recognizable in its new incarnation?

Most businesses worry that they will no longer be recognizable to their customers in its new branding, and deem the risk of backlash from clients too high. Whilst it is true that existing visitors, who have a clear expectation of what your site or business will look like, are likely to be confused by a change, this is expected and you can prepare for it. At boxChilli we understand this better than ever, as we are currently undergoing re-branding ourselves; ensuring that our strategy will improve us without alienating our audience in the process.

The key to ensuring this is to understand that rebranding is not creating a brand, but simply reinvigorating one; with this in mind when changing a logo, or swapping the background color on a website your end result will not be unrecognizable. For example, Google’s homepage has been white for a decade or more and if overnight they were to rebrand with a blue home page, someone might immediately click away, assuming they’d gone wrong even if it was the site that had changed. That’s not to say large scale changes such as this can’t be done, it’s just about understanding the scale of the rebrand and implementing a long-term strategy.

What needs to change?

There’s more to a brand than a logo. This means that you need to consider the changes you want to make and see how far you can stretch that out across your business. Take the opportunity to live the change you want to see and institute policies and practices that are in line with your new image. For example, if you’re a fast food establishment and want to be seen as a reasonably healthy, ethical choice, it might be a good time to add a vegetarian option or a salad to the menu. This shows that your company is evolving beyond the aesthetic value and becoming a better, more trust worthy business. Changing direction does involve updating the company graphics, from logo to webpage, advertising to letterhead, but a great re-brand goes the extra mile so make sure yours is one of them.

How does your new look reflect your core function?

To be truly successful, a re-brand needs to reflect your company’s priorities and while everyone wants to be in with the popular crowd, including edgy graphics and urban appeal aren’t guarantees of success. A superficial re-brand that is nothing more than a skin-deep shift from one logo to another, is unlikely to have an impact on existing weaknesses you are looking to fix. To avoid alienating your current and future audience, you need to consider your remarketing needs that will appeal to your target demographic, and construct your re-brand around these qualities.

How long have you got?

When you have decided to re-brand and what to re-brand, you need to decide when you will re-brand. Customers have surprisingly long memories and many operate on seasonal or annual triggers, and this can have an effect on your outcome. In cases where customers rely on your service on an annual occurrence, such as an MOT service, even if you launch an extensive marketing campaign to update your clients – some may slip through the cracks. Therefore, if a car garage wanted to re-brand they would have to consider how to target these customers, who would otherwise find themselves unable to find the garage months later for their yearly MOT. This is why understanding the shopping cycle of your clients is key to successfully re-branding, to prevent customers from not recognizing new branding.

Can you afford to do it alone?

Some jobs require an expert, and we know that re-branding and remarketing fall into this category. Considering a re-branding campaign is a big decision that should be thought through every step of the way to ensure the best possible results. Contact us to talk through your options and find out more about the possible effects of your great new look.

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