Branding and Rebranding
When establishing a new company, you need to make your name and brand well known throughout your target market. This is typically done with a branding strategy. Branding is the process of coming up with a name, image and possibly slogan unique to your products and services, which consumers will associate with your company. After the name and image are decided, the association and reputation of the brand are established through consistent advertising over all mediums. The goal of branding is to establish a presence that sets you apart from all competition and creates loyal customers. Branding is typically done when new products or companies are first coming to market. Sometimes the branding you have already established needs to change for a number of reasons. In this situation, you will need to use rebranding. Rebranding is a marketing strategy which involves the creation and establishment of a new name or image for an already existing brand, for the purpose of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers. These changes are intended to reposition the company due to, for instance, negative press or company mergers.
Branding is recognized as successful when consumers can recognize a brand solely based on their image. A great example of a company that has successfully branded themselves is Apple. When you see the image of an apple with a bite taken out of it, you automatically think of the Apple company and the brand they have built. To make branding successful, the message needs to be repeated numerous times and through all mediums. Mediums such as your website, business cards, any signage, advertising, and anything else your name may be on, needs to have the same message and image.
Rebranding can make a fifty-year-old company seem brand new. A complete rebrand calls for a new image, a new message, and usually new products or services. All of these things are meant to change the way consumers see the company. This can also create new opportunity by appealing to new markets or demographics. Rebranding can be very positive for a company if they do it correctly. We will discuss things to consider when rebranding.
The first step is determining the extent of the rebrand. This is usually determined by the reason you decide to rebrand. When two companies merge and become one company they need to have one unified brand, so a complete rebrand is necessary. When a company’s original brand strategy did not work or their name has been tarnished by scandal or poor reputation, a full rebrand may be necessary. The intent is to get rid of the old brand identity completely and replace it with the new image and message in order to maintain credibility and integrity in the eyes of the consumer. On the other hand, if the company is well established and has a good reputation, but is outdated or has new products or services, a partial rebrand may be suitable. In situations when a brand has been firmly established, yet is simply outdated or needs to be refreshed due to the addition of new products or services, tweaking is required, rather than a full-blown rebrand. Since you do not want to eliminate the brand value that is already established, you only need to make small changes. A complete rebrand is a large project for companies of all sizes. All businesses may not benefit from a rebranding strategy: this is something that would have to be decided upon internally, depending on each specific case.
If a rebranding strategy is the best decision for you, you will need to not only decide on the extent of your rebrand, as we have explained above, but also determine the reason behind the change and plan out your goals. You need to decide what you are looking to get out of the rebrand. You will need to determine your positioning, message, and image. In these meetings, you need to clearly define your brand and find your unique value to attract customers.
Lastly, an action plan needs to be put in place. All of the planning will be wasted if action is not taken. How will you roll out the new brand? Which advertising mediums will you use? How will you benchmark your success? These are all questions that should be answered in your action plan.
Whether you are just starting to brand your company or doing a small rebrand, the important thing to remember is the end goal, which is to set yourself apart from competition and build loyal customers.