Expert Panel, Forbes Communications Council
You worked hard to build your brand. But while it may have served you well in the beginning, you may find that the look and feel of your company needs a bit of a facelift.
Rebranding can be a good way to better reflect your company’s current focus and growth, but the process must be handled with the utmost care. Otherwise, you risk alienating your existing customers while failing to attract any new ones.
To help you get started, members of Forbes Communications Council, below, share some of the most important things to watch out for during your rebranding, as well as discuss some approaches worth focusing on. Here is what they said:
1. Focus On The Details
We just completed a re-branding initiative. For us, it was critical to focus on the small details—e.g. the PowerPoint templates, the Google docs templates, the business cards and email signature—to help ensure we were consistent in brand execution, both within the company as well as in our customer-facing experiences. It’s also important to focus on broader brand imperative around the end to end customer experience. It’s not just the fonts, photography and visual identity system: It’s about the connection we establish with our customer every day. – Jon Perera, Highspot
2. Understand The Why
Why are you rebranding? It’s really important to be clear when establishing goals and objectives of the rebranding effort. This will also lead to a clear understanding of how to handle brand legacy, and which elements are critical to keep. It’s also critical to get a pulse of your brand with your current target audience prior to launching rebranding. If a rebranding effort is rolled out within the same target audience, then it’s critical to have some continuation and a bridge between the legacy and the refreshed brand platform. If it’s a new audience, there might be some flexibility in extending the brand perception, and that should be taken advantage of. – Paramita Bhattacharya, Nokia Technologies
3. Seek Alignment Of Strategy And Objectives
You need a fundamental understanding and agreement on both the company’s business strategy and business objectives. It is upon both of these that an effective brand strategy can be both built and tactically deployed. – Carly Driscoll, TWIO Brand
4. Give Employees Access To New Brand Assets
Prioritize ensuring that employees have simple access to your new brand assets where they already work and in the mediums they most commonly use—e.g. email, documents and presentations. These are the most common branding touchpoints and can make employees immediate brand ambassadors. – Lucy Mehrtens, Templafy
5. Get People Excited
During the pre-launch, over-communicate to your current clientele when you’re gearing up for the launch of a new brand, and get them just as excited as you are. One way you can do this is through teasers of the new brand on social media or via email. – Alicia Haugen, Frontdesk, LLC
6. Understand Your Audience’s Emotional Drivers
Rebranding is always a delicate balance, because you want to retain the historical goodwill and incorporate the elements of what drives the loyalists. We start with the question “who loves ya?” for every branding project. We want to know who is it that loves your brand and your company, and why do they feel so strongly. Capturing that emotional driver is what helps you build brands that people love and care about. Approaching each rebrand with respect of what was done before and how it helped get the brand to the point it’s at is important. It worked for a while and now it’s time for a change, so honor what happened before and prepare the way for what is coming next. – Liz Weir, LevLane Advertising
7. Be Consistent
Seek brand consistency across all touch points, while ensuring employees understand brand promise and personality and become advocates for the company. To handle rebranding, take a clear and consistent approach across all communications, and share with all employees and partners the key elements of brand mantra and promise. The brand needs support from the leadership team if it is to be inculcated across the company. – Jeffrey Fleischman, Altimetrik
8. Don’t Stray Too Far
Keeping the brand aligned with the companies values, mission, and culture is the most crucial aspect to watch out for when rebranding. Do not stray too far from the original brand in order to retain the existing brand loyal customers. Ensure that the rebrand is gradual so that the new logo, tagline or jingle is not lost in translation. This will produce the most effective results for a rebrand while retaining existing customers and gaining a following within new market segments. – Alora Frederick, Ambii, Inc.