Rebranding: What to Do and What Not to Do
You’ve decided it’s time to rebrand your business. What now? As you might imagine, it’s a multi-step process with many factors to consider.
We’ll go through what to do when rebranding, what makes a rebrand successful and also cover some pitfalls to avoid.
Things to Consider When Rebranding
Whether you’re deep into the planning stages of a rebrand or only starting to consider the possibility, there are some things you should take into account.
Your brand’s story
How did your business come to fruition? What’s the story behind the products and services you offer? Are you driven by a mission or social issue? These are questions for any brand to consider and they become even more important when rebranding. Make sure you’re telling your brand’s story in a way that resonates and including what makes you stand out from the competition.
If you don’t already have a solid understanding of your customer base, now is a good time to find out. Through research, customer feedback and focus groups, you can decipher the target market(s) buying your product or using your services. You may find that your customers tend to value nonconformity or are drawn toward novelty. Or you may discover that your products resonate with a new market you had not yet considered. No matter what the findings are, analyzing your customer base will give you invaluable insight when rebranding.
What does your brand stand for? What kind of company culture do you strive to create? Whatever the answers, make a commitment to those principles and see that it translates throughout your branding. If you’re a company that’s passionate about sustainability, be sure to communicate how your brand aligns with that mission and what you do that’s different from your competitors.
How to Launch a Rebrand
According to Hubspot, “one of the most crucial steps in rebranding is tracking brand sentiment before, during, and after a rebrand launch.” Knowing how your customers feel about your products or services and how they view your business is of utmost importance. Collecting customer feedback prior to a rebrand can help you decipher the areas that need improvement while tracking feedback during and after a rebrand will shed light on what’s working and how your message resonates.
Now that you’ve done all your research, listened to your customer and have a clear idea of the direction of your rebrand, you’re ready to launch.
Rolling out a rebrand usually involves a press release that’s sent out to relevant publications as well as posted on your own site. You’ll also want to reach out to customers via your social media channels to let them know what’s changed. Depending on the size of your business, rebrand rollouts may also include local or national print, television and radio advertisements, as well as paid ads on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
What Makes a Rebrand Successful
According to Canva, the best rebrands tend to include three things:
- Audience feedback
- Organized brand kits
- A continued opportunity to build reach and awareness
Let’s take a look at some successful rebrand campaigns from recent years.
Chobani recently shifted from calling themselves a yogurt company to labeling the business as a “food-focused wellness company.” They also changed their packaging to feature new typography and brighter colors to stand out from the competition. New products such as reduced sugar yogurt further support their wellness-focused mission.
Chobani’s new brand identity makes their product pop on shelves packed with competing yogurt brands, and their new messaging allows them to expand and grow in the future, perhaps even making room for potential new products launches down the road.
The company recently dropped the word “donuts” from their name, but they kept the same color scheme and typeface for their branding to ensure longtime customers would still recognize them. The decision to drop the word “donuts” was meant to “simplify and modernize” the company name as well as shift the focus from just donuts to include other breakfast items like coffee – all in an effort to stay relevant and relatable to consumers’ changing preferences.
DoorDash recently saw the need to expand into three sub-brands: DoorDash for Merchants, DoorDash for Work and DoorDash Capital. This need no doubt arose from listening to customer feedback and analyzing the target markets that use their site. By catering to each market individually, DoorDash can better communicate with each customer base and address their specific needs and concerns. All three sub brands feature similar logos, colors and typefaces for a cohesive visual identity.
Rebranding that Misses the Mark
Rebranding is a huge undertaking and should never be done “just because.” Your rebrand should have clear reasons behind it as well as research and customer feedback to support the proposed initiatives.
It’s also best to refrain from changing everything about your brand all at once. Start with subtle changes and slowly build from there.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some rebrands that missed the mark.
In 2010, Gap attempted to change their iconic logo by quietly introducing a new one. But the negative feedback from customers was so strong that the company switched back to the old logo within days.
The new logo didn’t communicate anything new about the company, and from a customer perspective, the new logo seemed unnecessary and arbitrary. The takeaway: change for change’s sake is never a good idea, especially if your brand recognition is high among consumers.
In 2018 Weight Watchers changed its name to WW and attached the tagline “wellness that works.” While it may have been a well-meaning move meant to shift focus from simply losing weight to adopting a healthier lifestyle, the new name presented such a drastic shift that it seemed to leave consumers confused.
For a company that’s long been about weight loss, to suddenly move away from that seemed both counterintuitive and inauthentic. The new message just wasn’t resonating with some consumers: as Virginia Sole-Smith said, “It was both very smart of Weight Watchers to say, ‘Oh, let’s brand as a wellness plan, because that’s what people really want, and it gets us away from this whole weight loss thing that’s gotten so controversial,’ but it was also impossible. You can’t drop weight from Weight Watchers.”