The fear of getting failed and the higher level of competition make most of the businesses realize the need of changing their operational directions, marketing funnels, and sometimes, the complete overhaul of their brand image. Not the new idea but it’s an evergreen theory – solidifying your brand defines who you are and conveys your message to not just your existing clients but a diversity of consumers.
As Nikki Gilliland from Econsultancy wrote, businesses opt for branding overhaul with the keen intent of:
- Raising their reach to a new demographic audience – Old Spice is a fine example to explain this. Due to the fact that their advertisements featured old men, it passed the wrong idea that their products are intended for men only, not for younger kids. Old Spice had to shift gear in 2010 to engage younger people through humor ad campaigns.
- Repairing their online reputation – Nikki fed the example of McDonald’s at the time of Supersize Me’s release. There were negative words around the brand about nutritional value and how it approaches kids. McDonalds counteracted this not by typical rebrand but through a series of efforts including the targeted content to promote, the featured guides, ad campaigns over the time span of 18 months.
- Reclaiming Brand’s identity – Burberry shifted their focus from premium fashion trend to the national obsession with Chav Culture.
- Ultimately, to boost ROI and sales – At a survival level, retail brand Target is trying to implement a new brand strategy considering the lofty competition from Amazon.
So till now, we saw that companies go for rebranding to dramatically change the audience perception of their products. There is a lot more to do a successful rebrand than just tweaking the design, use of right website colors, logo, and social media strategy. Some did it right, some did it the wrong way – We saw that McDonald and Old Spice were able to generate positive business metrics but PepsiCo’s Tropicana, and Frito Lay and Sun chips experienced the negative side of this shift. Both of them had a sales drop and didn’t see the expected results.
Are you looking for a rebrand? Cool – but “hurry brings worry”, right? I’ve summarized the process into a 6 steps plan which worked for most popular brands in the past. Here we go:
1. Research the Market and Do the Consumer’s Behavioural Study
Consumers and Competitors are the two entities you should be considering in this phase. Without getting the preferences of consumers and without observing the acquisition, operations, and retention strategies of the leading competitors, you can’t be a leader in the market. Instead of just assuming the things, successful brands applied surveys to gather the feedback from users and surpassing the previous engagement rate. This brings you the data, the valuable information which is worth considering validating the need for a rebrand and putting your value proposition on the top.
Another thing, you need decision makers in the process from the very beginning. The management guys can quickly decide the budget constraint or revive stakeholders. Don’t forget, a good leader and management team elevate motivation level and they’re experienced people to handle crunch.
2. Define Brand’s Strength and Create UVP
Brand should reflect your vision and values. When it fails to deliver the right values, consumers get confused and move to the next vendor.
Once you research the market and competitors, use your strengths and value propositions to craft a set of convincing messages that reflect who you are and what you stand for.
SITE123 knew about the functionalities of GoDaddy, WIX, Weebly, and Webnode but it created a different value for users and conveys the message consistently through social media, newsletters, and landing pages – By far the easiest free website builder.
3. Plan Out the Implementation
It’s about the estimates of the resources required and what it’s going to cost to you. This phase will give you some actionable advice out of the set of a couple of questions:
- What are the resources required to have the job done?
- How much budget does this require?
- What will be the outcome? – A complete change of the brand’s image or just a redefinition of the existing image.
- Will it require the software or digital asset toolbox? Review all the marketing and branding needs closely, audit your current activities and results, and then list out the key touch points that will need a refresh.
4. Educate Your Vendors and Stakeholders
Not only big corporates, but small businesses also have internal teams, stakeholders, and third-party resellers. Prepare and circulate the manual guides, live training, and awareness to your employees to ensure they understand and advocate the new brand. Your team should be well-versed with the brand refresh – what it looks like, how it will be used, and why it matters.
Once your team and partners become easy with it, now it will come to roll out the changes to the consumers and potential buyers. This rollout will significantly have a swift over website copies, visual assets, ad copies, newsletters, and social media posts.
With 65 percent of marketing executives agree that rich media assets are at the core of delivering the brand story, it’s requisite to get creative in the effort of spreading the rebranding words and enlightening the new brand entity.
5. Emotional Marketing and Storytelling
A subject or topic can’t go viral if it lacks the emotional connection with readers. Finding and using emotional triggers in the marketing efforts turn your campaign into a fructuous opportunity where people get emotionally connected with your brand.
Your focus should be towards smiling and happy customer stories and positivity will have to be shared to raise people engagement. Android’s YouTube video, “Friends Furever”, marks the message – “Be together, not the same” using clips of cute animal friends.
Branding is the on-going initiative, so it must appeal to the targeted audience and reshapes with their changing needs. It never stops because you always keep close eyes on trends, competition, and market. The key to long-run success is the adaptability of changes. LISTEN – ACT/CHANGE – MONITOR: the principle will always work for everyone. FOREVER!
Shyam Bhardwaj is the marketing manager at eShine Marketing, a Canadian SEO agency specialized in local and eCommerce SEO. His work has been featured at e27, Project Eve Money, and Report Garden.