Rebranding 101

The process of rebranding is daunting. There is an intense amount of effort and time that can often be overlooked at the moment your company first mutters the word ‘rebrand.’ First, there is the creation of the new visual. Immediately, there are dozens of directions to go in. And that’s just the first step of the process. But before we progress any further, let’s establish that a brand is not just a logo. A brand is your identity.

If you’re still reading this, chances are your company falls into one of three categories.

On one side is a company without a strong brand or logo. This is common with small, sole proprietor businesses. You’re starting up with all of the new expenses of your business and are cutting corners at every opportunity to save some dough. Please! Don’t! Do yourself a favor and slow down. Don’t overlook the importance of a strong brand. You may end up regretting it in a couple of years (I’ll explain why a little later). There is also the business – I’m sure you’ve seen them – that changes branding so often you’re not even sure they have one to begin with. That isn’t doing your business any favors. The point of a brand is to differentiate your company from competition, be recognizable, and be the face of your company. Your brand will help you stand out from the crowd, and be familiar among your audience.

On the other hand, you may be a business that has developed a strong brand. You probably shelled out a good about of money in researching, testing, and developing it. The process took time. It probably took many variations, edits, and redesigns. But still, just because the end result was strong, cost you money, and took time, doesn’t mean it is still relevant to your audience after significant time has passed. Think about how much your business has changed in 5, 10, or 20 years. Does your branding still reflect the business’ core values and messaging? It’s never the wrong time to assess how your business compares to the competition and how your brand is perceived by your clients.

As for that third category? Congrats! You are good to go. You have a strong brand that is current, fresh looking, matches your business goals and vision, represents your business, and is appealing to your audience. I caution you on this though: don’t forget to reevaluate your situation annually. It doesn’t take much to shift into a different zone, just a few transactions away from coming across as obsolete.

Regardless of which category you are in, it’s wise to know what trends are considered current and when you hear “modern” or “sleek” you can easily picture what that translates to visually. Things to be mindful of with a new logo as part of your brand are fonts, colors, and the ability for it to look fresh and fit perfectly on any medium. Will it look good on a jacket? A business card? Letterhead? Be mindful when you’re rebranding that fonts come with readability – some look great huge and impossible when shrunken down. Does your logo have an icon? Think about McDonalds or Target. They are iconic in nature and can stand alone without the brand name and still do their job. Colors? They carry emotions – plus, they’ll be the main focus of your brand – so you want to make sure you’re ready to own them.

And remember all of the things that came with branding? And that potential regret? You may not think about it right away, but your brand is out there. Anywhere your brand may be now, will need to be updated. Collateral, packaging, website, letterhead, business cards, signage, clothing, social media, advertising. That’s just the very immediate places your brand is that will need to replace. These things come with a price tag. So if you rush your logo and end up investing in all of the places it’s placed, when you decide in three years to rebrand, guess what? You get to make that rebrand happen in all of those places. So do yourself a favor and don’t be hasty.

Consult with a full-service marketing agency that has experience in not only the graphic design elements of your potential rebranding, but with all the places your brand will be in the future. One of the best places to begin is with a competitive analysis. What do your competitors look like? What are their key messages? What’s their culture like? How are you different from them? The answers to these questions are crucial in establishing your brand positioning and/or in rebranding.

Contact us today to discuss your competitive analysis and rebranding project.