Your company’s brand, or corporate image, is something that can be either an asset or a liability. Starbucks has a huge brand name that adds value to its products and actions. VW has recently met a lot of image problems due to the scandal tainting their brand. Other companies, like Walmart, have never had the kind of branding that adds value.
What do you do when your brand is tainted, dull, or just wrong for your target market? It may be time for rebranding. Reebok was struggling to establish its image against strong rivals like Nike when it shifted its focus to CrossFit supplies. The company went from a brand no one wanted to wear to a brand with a very loyal niche following. Here are four rebranding tactics to help you stay on track with your own process.
Plan Way Ahead
Image via Flickr by @boetter
Consider carefully what your newly branded identity will mean in terms of change for your customers, cost to the company, and atmosphere for the employees. How deep will your rebranding go? Consider what your business reasons are for rebranding and whether you will completely redefine your company or build on what you already have. Make notes so you don’t forget to change every piece of branded marketing material; social media profiles, photos, and employee bios and more will all need to stay consistent with your rebrand.
Someone Needs to Take Lead
Image via Flickr by UP There Everywhere
Committee approaches to branding often fail. It is just too hard to mesh what everyone is saying, not step on toes, and still end up with a final result that is really good. A committee approach will more likely leave everyone frustrated, take a long time, and yet arrive at a result that is mundane (or very close to what you started with). Select a dedicated project manager to stay on task and drive the rebranding process. A consulting project manager from a company such as Ruota might be a good option for taking the load from your team.
You Will Still Need Everyone Else
Having one person run point doesn’t mean everyone else is ousted from the process. You should appoint a person from each department to communicate the needs of that department. Naturally, the ultimate key stakeholder for the company, such as the CEO, will also have to be in the loop to ensure the rebranding is on target.
Make the Process Transparent
You are going to need to get your brand advocates—both employees and customers—on board with the changes you are making. This works best if you make a point of giving out information freely. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and don’t worry if it starts out a bit negative. Most people are nervous about change at first. Your audience is more likely to love the change as they feel ownership over that change.
In the end, rebranding is going to impact how both existing loyal advocates and new leads feel about your company. So make sure your process covers both of these angles and you will be well on your way to a successful rebrand.