Understanding the Benefits and the Risks of Rebranding

To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand. That is the question.

Rebranding is exciting. It offers a great opportunity to rejuvenate your identity and make a fresh impact. Studies into branding have revealed that people will connect with brands just like they would with everyday people. Some love them, others hate them, and some don’t care. If your company is missing that extra something, or your market share has reduced with the appearance of new competitors, a rebrand may be the answer. Understanding the benefits and risks of rebranding, before making the leap, is essential.  (We wouldn’t want a repeat of the Gap logo fail.) So read on for to understand the benefits and the risks of Rebranding.

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The Benefits and the Risks a Rebrand or Refresh

If you fear your brand may only be 1 dimensional, this is the webinar for you. If your brand missing that something, we’ll point you in the right direction of a rebrand or a refresh. This month’s guest speaker? YOU! Grab your java or chai and join Jane on Zoom for this workshop-style webinar.

Getting started with the Benefits of Rebranding

I don’t want to be a big fish in a small pond or even a big fish in a big pond — I want to be an axolotl. I craft brands to stand a part. Your rebrand can be a powerful tool for increasing brand recognition, customer engagement, customer loyalty, and social relevance. In this case, the pros of rebranding would be:

Realigning with your customer's needs and values

As you rebrand you get to reanalyze what motivates your clients to make a  purchase. Researching answers to their buying trends, frequently asked questions, common complaints, and values will help you build better customer personas so that your targeting is spot-on! You will also get to understand who in your industry is outdoing you in meeting customer expectations.

Staying relevant in your industry

You get to distinguish yourself from the competition. A visual facelift will sharpen and refine your brand image– projecting you as a more aware, competent, and premium brand. This gives you a competitive edge in an ever-evolving market.

Clearer brand messaging

No more playing telephone with your customers. As you rebrand, you stop to refine and better articulate your value proposition. Uncomplicating your communication channels is the perfect way to ensure transparency and authenticity with your clients, leading to increased sales, customer retention, and overall brand loyalty.

Attracting new customers

A fresh look helps you to appeal to a different audience. This could be people that had never heard of you or those who didn’t previously resonate with your last look. A rebrand catches their eye and creates the space for meaningful engagement with your new audience. It’s the perfect first date!

In a world full of fish, be an axolotl.

The Risks of Rebranding

As exciting as this process can be, there are downsides. For starters, if you don’t get it right the first time around (and sometimes even if you do), consumers may not take kindly to your new look or message. This is something you need to be mentally prepared for and be ready to justify to all your stakeholders. The other risks you face are:

Confusing your customers

If your rebrand is too far removed from your existing image customers may not be able to recognize your updated visual materials. They might even peg you as a new brand altogether and miss your product. In 2009, orange juice giant and household staple, Tropicana, decided to rebrand all of its brand elements, at once. We’re talking logo, color scheme, and product packaging. The result was a loss of a fifth of their sales (30 million dollars) in just 2 months. When done right, a successful rebranding should cause customers to recognize your updated visuals while still feeling like it’s familiar – creating a perfect balance between similar but different gives off a feeling of evolution rather than erasure.

Losing clients

Some rebrands may cause clients to feel that the brand is moving in a direction that doesn’t resonate with their values. Think of a heritage/traditional brand taking on a futuristic image. Yikes! What you need to make sure of is that in appealing to new audiences you do not alienate your existing clients. Rebrands should always be informed by customer experience data and supported by effectively communicating to your stakeholders when, why, and how you’re rebranding.

High cost & extensive research

It requires money and lots of data to restrategize effectively. In cases where there’s a name change, legal processes, new licenses, domain purchases, and other procedures skyrocket the cost. You need to ensure that you have a clear conversation with your brand and marketing strategists about how much and how long it will take to complete this process.

Uncertain public reaction

As we mentioned before, you absolutely don’t know how your rebrand will be received until you do it. A lot of big companies have faced backlash after big rebranding campaigns which ended a success in the long run (Starbucks, Blackberry, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.). To mitigate your fallout, consult your brand loyalists (existing customers/sponsors/donors/shareholders) to identify what should stay the same and where changes need to be made. With the right research and preparation, you can ace the rebranding process and come out stronger than ever!

Refreshing your brand or a full rebrand may be the answer! Reach out to me to determine what your brand needs to move forward. This can help you cut hours of back-and-forth within your team trying to figure it all out. An outside eye tends to see the blindspots we often miss, specifically whether or not you need an identity change, a strategy change, or both. So, if you’re looking to level up your brand game, book a consultation with us.

A huge thank you to our Marketing Analyst Michelle Myambo for researching and drafting this article (AKA the heavy lifting.)

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Jane Clark, Chief Creative Officer of BrandSwan

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