There’s no doubt about the importance of branding in a company’s marketing strategy. Brands convey quality and credibility. In many cases, brands even outlive their products. Brands are the reason successful companies sell millions of dollars. For example, the $19.5 million Kraft paid for Cadbury wasn’t for chocolate, recipes or factories. It was for the reputation of its brand.
Is your brand an asset to your business? If not, it may be time to consider rebranding. Rebranding goes beyond simply changing your logo or shortening your name with trendy initials. Rebranding is a marketing strategy aimed at making your customers and potential customers look at you and your products differently.
When Should You Consider It?
While marketing and branding can be influenced by many variables, consider our top three symptoms of a bad brand.
- Lack of interest. Are your customers just not interested in your product? Could it be your general image or the emotional message you are communicating through your brand? Research your competitors and ensure your brand differentiates itself from theirs.
- Decrease in sales. When your product just isn’t selling, it’s a good indication you should consider rebranding. Many companies opt for hiring a third-party to evaluate their strategy. A fresh set of eyes can reveal the downfall of staying true to “traditions” instead of evolving with your market.
- An “expiring” brand. When originally creating a brand, you should look ahead, predicting changes in the market and the sales environment. If you failed to do this, it might be time to rebrand. For example, if you were originally only selling in the U.S., your brand may not be suitable for international markets. Now that you have expanded, sales may be hurting because your brand is “lost in translation.”
Five Tips for Success
1. Definite why
First, answer the question of why you are rebranding and what your new brand will mean. Here’s a great example. CeaseFire, a organization focused on stopping violence through science-based strategies, recently changed its name to Cure Violence. They utilize methods used to stop diseases, such as cholera and AIDs, to stop violence. They wanted a brand that reflected the mindset of violence as a contagious disease that can be cured. The organization rebranded by defining who they are. Cure Violence better reflected their overall philosophy.
2. Communicate with supporters first
Close supporters and funders can help integrate your new brand. They are your best advocates. Tell them first, answering questions and generating excitement that they can reflect to the general public.
3. Launch all at once or wait
If you are not ready to fully integrate your new brand, wait. Launching a brand should not happen slowly. It should be like flipping a switch, all at once. Everything should be updated from websites and social media pages to brochures and business cards. Carefully plan your launch so that no remnants of the former brand are left.
4. Maintain media relationships
Give reporters who have covered you before a heads up about the re-brand. Reporters appreciate an open line of communication. Take advantage of established relationships. It’s much easier to pitch an update to a previous story than a cold press release. Most likely, they’ll mention you in their blogs and tweets.
5. Think ahead
Re-branding is not just about one announcement on launch day. Consumers are bombarded with announcements. They are likely to forget the first time they hear it. Create a launch strategy that repeats your announcement for several months. Additionally, ensure that staff and board members receive continued training. Staff and supporters should continue to mention the launch on their social media sites, continuing to be your advocates.
Regardless of what you sell, all companies need to evolve to stay current. Contact us to discuss if re-branding would be an effective strategy for you.