The concept behind rebranding might seem deceptively simple: change the logo and maybe the color scheme, and voilà! Now your company is ready to take on the world. However, there’s a lot more to your rebranding strategy than you might appreciate at the outset.To help you navigate the rebranding process, we’ve put together a handy checklist of everything you need to think about and do before you pull the trigger on a rebrand. There are some things that may seem obvious, but it’s still important to know them – like what kind of budget you have for your rebranding project, who your target audience is, and how long your rebranding team expects the project to take. You also need to consider things that might not be obvious – like the fact that there will be unexpected challenges during the process, so you should plan for how you’ll deal with those challenges and how they’ll affect your timeline. In order to ensure that your rebrand is successful and meets all your goals, take an honest look at each point below and make sure that you have examined all aspects of the exercise.

Find Out What is and What isn’t Working

The state of your branding is the first thing people will see, feel, and remember about your company. If you’re not sure what customers’ perceptions of your brand are, you won’t be able to make decisions about revamping it that are informed by reality.A brand audit is a useful tool for getting a clear picture of your existing situation. By identifying the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that exist in your current business or organization, you can begin to create a plan to address them. A good way to conduct this type of analysis is by asking yourself questions like:
  • What are the positives? What is working well?
  • Who are we trying to reach and how do they think about us? How do we want them to think about us?
  • What do our customers value in what we offer them and why do they buy from us rather than someone else?

Research Your Competitors

You know how real estate agents always say, “Location, location, location“? Well, they’re not just talking about houses. The same goes for branding.Business owners can’t just choose a couple of visual elements and hope their company will become instantly recognizable. Instead, branding experts start by delving into who you are as a business and what sets you apart from your competitors.It’s important to be true to your brand while still learning from other companies. If you’re not sure how to do that, here are a few suggestions:
  • Understand why people are loyal customers
  • Be able to identify the needs of prospective customers
  • Know what makes your business unique and differentiates it from competitors.
To start, it’s important to do some research into the competition.
  • List competitors: The first step is to list all your competitors in one document and then add an “aspirational” brand next to each competitor.
  • Analyse and compare: Once you have a full list, do a SWOT analysis on each competitor (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). Then compare yourself against the aspirational brands using the same method of evaluation for strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats
    • What are their strengths? How can they be improved?
    • Similarly, what are their weaknesses? How can they be addressed?
    • Also analyze differences between aspirational brands when deciding which unique niche or area of focus would benefit both your product and/ or service offerings as well as brand identity.
  • Define your brand identity: Now that you have your competitor analysis completed; you know exactly where your niche lies within this space. You also understand better how to differentiate your enterprise from other competitors who may offer similar but not identical products or services (niche differentiation).

Avoid Using Stock Photos

Repeat after us: “Say NO to stock images!” No matter how much money you may be saving or how much careful planning is required for authentic photos and graphics.Here are the primary reasons why original images are so much more powerful and persuasive:
  • They accurately convey the character and culture of your company
  • Targeted imagery can showcase specific elements of your enterprise that make you special
  • They increase your credibility and prove your commitment to quality.
Only use images that are unique, interesting, and intentional.

Consider Updating Everything

The two aspects of your brand identity that should be at the top of your mind when rebranding your marketing collateral are:
  • Visual elements – that represent how you look from your logo to imagery, colors, and typography.
  • Verbal elements – like your placement, value proposition, tagline, and messaging style.
Ensure that everything reinforces your brand values, vision, and mission.A partial rebrand may cut it, but often it only highlights how tired your old branding was. Either way you decide to go, having some expert input about what marketing materials and marketing channels offer the best ROI will help you organize your plan of action.

Focus on the Present and the Future

The reinvention of a brand is a delicate process. Although there’s an expectation that a rebrand will serve as a change for the better, your current customer base may not share this sentiment. You’re likely to receive criticism from those who view the new brand as an improvement and from those who don’t.It can be tempting to design a new brand identity with only your target demographic in mind. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the needs and expectations of existing customers may vary considerably from those of your new target demographic. The goal should be to connect with both current customers and potential ones through a rebranding that resonates with each.Great branding is a great way to gain visibility and increase sales. But it’s important not to get complacent by relying on your old branding or getting too comfortable with the status quo. There are many ways you can stay competitive in your industry – including rebranding.A competent digital marketing agency serving Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Mississauga, Hamilton, Toronto, and GTA can get your site into the top rankings. Contact KEY27 Marketing for help with your rebranding today.