Rebranding: it’s exciting, right? The logo, the look and feel, the launch… But amongst a flurry of planning, from discovery sessions to creative brainstorming, it can be all-too easy to forget about the serious risks involved in going out with a new identity to existing customers and partners.
Without solid groundwork from the start and careful management at every step – something Bray St. specialises in – it might go with a bang for all the wrong reasons (hello, RoyalMail-turned-Consignia-turned-Royal Mail-again).
Fear not. We’ve rounded up the secrets to preparing for a successful rebrand, sure to help you manage the risks and reap the rewards.
Hold up: can you tell me what a rebrand actually is?
By its very definition, a rebrand is a body of work that changes the way an organisation, company or product is seen by the public, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary. It’s not just the bells-and-whistles (logos, website, stationery), but a full-on belts-and-braces job (insights, strategy, positioning, training, onboarding).
Daniel Dagher, our Founder and Client Director, explains: “A rebrand is a strategic repositioning of your brand, not just outwardly in terms of visuals and messaging, but with internal engagement, process and vision. In comparison, a refresh is a shift of a brand proposition and codes (discover more about brand codes here).”
But riddle me this: why bother with a rebrand?
It sounds like hard work, right? Sometimes, a business considers a rebrand as the best way to reinvigorate the brand, engage old customers, enlist new ones, pivot towards a new market, break from the past, outwardly (and inwardly) signal a new direction, reflect growth and success, or indeed distance itself from a crisis.
So, what’s right for me?
Rebrand or refresh? Diagnose it. Following intensive research and insight-gathering, Bray St. can provide a solid recommendation, listening to stakeholders and customers with a series of curated questions, focus groups and benchmarking. This essential data will provide an overview of the current landscape of your brand, engagement, relevance, cut-through and audience perceptions – the backbone of any rebrand.
Yes, it’s true: without the proper rigour of an insights-led rebrand, you can negatively impact not only the brand but the businesses and your customer relationships. It’s a lot of budget to blow without ensuring you are positioning yourself with the best opportunity for success. Don’t worry: help is at hand…
The first step to success? A rebrand is no mean feat – and it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted– but it’s a challenge we have both the expertise and experience to rise to, starting with a brand diagnosis. This involves a series of (intensive!)stakeholder workshops, interviews and focus groups, teamed with customer surveys, to really get beneath the skin of a business. This is critical. While our approach is bespoke for each and very brand, this up-front insight-gathering always includes understanding the reasons behind – and objectives for – a rebrand. What is the problem that is trying to be addressed with the project? With a clear issue to remedy, there is a distinct goal to fulfill.
Next up, ensure there’s a commitment – in terms of time and focus – with getting everyone involved in the discovery sessions and facilitating all-important engagement from each tier of the business. From the bottom to the top this should include product, sales and customer teams, as well as C-suite. All bring unique experiences and perspectives that can feed into the agency brief and define the KPIs.
Last, but certainly not least, ahead of getting started in development, a business is urged to get stakeholder buy-in, from lobbying the idea, engaging teams internally and onboarding decision-makers. Sold-in at this level, with pushbacks carefully managed and addressed, the process will be significantly more seamless. In short, there are no shortcuts to preparing for a successful rebrand.
Prepare to launch. To summarise, leverage your agency to conduct the brand diagnosis, orchestrate the discovery sessions and support stakeholder management. These are the strategic cornerstones that are distilled into a robust brief for the agency and ensure the risks have been managed, tested and mitigated. Meaning the activation of your rebrand, when it comes to it, will be committed, energetic and purposeful.
Slide into our DMs to talk rebrands. We can help you swerve the risks and reap the rewards for your business. Don’t just take our word for it. Look at our recent rebranding for our own agency as well as for clients Shipnet and Forth.