It’s risky business changing your entire brand, especially if it has had any staying power. For a number of reasons though, companies decide to rebrand and reposition the company in a new light. For some companies, small changes are made and for others, entire overhauls are scheduled and implemented all at once. It can be daunting to think about and even more daunting to plan, but if you and your team are planning to update the look and feel of your brand, here’s how you can roll out your branding change without losing your cool.
Do Your Research
When it comes to planning a branding change, don’t make decisions in haste. Rather than choose something in a room by yourself, gather your team and as many of your customers’ opinions as possible. It’s important that you do your research to determine if the market is going to favor one design over the other. It’s often hard for businesses to explain changes made without consulting customers, so don’t start this thing off on the wrong foot.
Test New Designs Against the Old Designs
Rather than roll out an entire brand change at once, you can slowly roll out parts of your rebranding strategy to see how the market takes to it. Gather data and determine if it is the right move to continue down that path. Don’t change your mind too many times though, or you’ll look like you are trying to distract customers from something more sinister.
Relaunch in Style
Many brands promote their new brand as if it is a completely new company – and might be worth the effort. If you are running a company from a co-working space, invite everyone you know to attend a rebranding party. Launch the new logo, share swag with the new logo and brands and encourage people to take to social media to share the new brands and get people excited. Make sure you spare no expense in the rebrand. A lot of companies will rebrand after a time because their first logo or color choice was associated with the scrappy start-up nature of the company, but as the company matures and grows, things about the company change and it’s important that the spend matches the new direction of the company. Even if you are making small changes to your brand, celebrate the changes and share them with your audience in a way that says we are committed to this. And money talks.
Be Prepared to Spend Money
There’s no doubt that rebranding is an expensive undertaking. It’s painful, too. For instance, if you are in the middle of a rebrand and all of your employees still have old business cards, it’s going to be a never-ending conversation around how they are still using old business cards. So invest in the things you need up front so that you can avoid all that awkwardness altogether. If you are doing a rebrand, go all the way. Make sure everything happens at once and don’t roll out changes one at a time. It makes your company look confused and customers don’t like confused companies.
Despite how great your roll out might have been, it’s going to be important to the longevity of your business brand to get continuous feedback from your customers about what they think and how things have settled in for them. When Uber changed their logo, people hated it and the CEO made the decision to change the logo himself, which people also hated. When Slack changed their logo, they carefully explained by the logo needed to go and people seemed to accept their explanation. In both cases, the logos were better than before, but the optics around how the logos and brands were changed are drastically different. One focused on power-from-above change and the other focused on solving a problem that they had been having since the beginning.
Whatever you do with your company, whether it’s hire an employee or change your entire branding package, do it with care and take your time. Start talking about it ahead of time that changes are coming. If your company has been acquired or has merged with another brand, it will be just as important to relaunch the brand under the new umbrella, even if nothing changes. Perception is everything and the joining of companies should be celebrated in public with one consistent brand as well. Taking your time will mean that you get the make choices without someone breathing down your neck and you leave yourself – and your company – open to suggestion for a fantastic idea that you might not have thought of yourself!