Rethink your Rebrand: 5 Steps to Success

Posted by Larry Garfield

Rebranding signifies some major change in a company. It may come after internal shifts. It may occur after meeting a major milestone. It may simply feel like the time is right. But it always brings with it a host of questions which dictate the journey of the rebrand - and, in most cases, its success.

In our 25+ years of helping clients undergo a rebranding process (and taking on our own rebrand two years ago), we’ve identified what we think present the five most critical steps to ensure the best possible outcomes. All play an important role in making sure you create a brand that aligns with your vision, mission, and goals while providing an all-important enhancement to your business.

1. Take a (big) step back. The first step of a rebrand requires you to take the time to fully understand the “current state” of your business. Where did you come from? Why do you exist? What do you see on the horizon in terms of your mission, vision, and goals in one year? In five? Consider your company’s mix of products and services, customer profile, and culture.

2. Clearly define your company. Clarify your brand promise and competitive positioning. Defining a simple, compelling reason for customers to do business with you remains a critical step in a rebrand. Consider the value you deliver to customers along with what makes you unique: how do you do it better than anyone else?  What makes you indispensable?

3. Let the tiger out of its cage. Get creative. Discover a way to tell your company’s story - in the most interesting way possible. Adopt a point of view and personality which differentiates you and demands attention. Most importantly, stick to it, and remember to enjoy the ride.

4. Over-communicate with your team. The success of a rebrand often relies on your ability to communicate its importance to your team. You must get the troops on board before you can get customers on board. Dedicate time to explain why you went through this process, what it means for employees, and how it defines or changes the future of the brand. Better yet, find ways to bring the team into the conversation before “the big reveal” so they feel they’ve made a contribution to the process. This helps instill a sense of pride and ownership.

5. Launch with gusto. A new brand offers a rare opportunity to tell your story in a fresh and provocative new way. Explain why you rebranded. Detail how this relates to your company’s ability to deliver value to customers in a different - and better - way from your competition. Then, find every opportunity to shout from the rooftops often and with enough volume for these important ideas to penetrate the consciousness of your key audiences.

Rebranding is hard work, but it offers a unique set of opportunities for your business. Understanding the questions to ask, and steps to take, can make all the difference between a brand that makes a grand entrance to huge applause and one that quietly walks on stage with little fanfare.