When starting any type of business, your first goal is likely to make sure that you have a product or service that the market will be interested in. Though it might not seem as important as some other facets of running a business, the brand that you create is essential towards obtaining long-term success. Whether you’re conducting research on competitor brands or designing your company logo, good and consistent branding can make a significant difference in how your company is viewed by your target audience. It’s important to understand that there are times when your branding will need to be updated or altered altogether. In this event, you might want to consider taking on a rebranding strategy.

If you think that it might be time for your business to rebrand, it’s important that you rebrand for the right reasons. For instance, don’t make the same mistake that Uber made. When Uber changed its logo back in early 2016, studies showed that around 44 percent of respondents didn’t understand what the new Uber logo was supposed to represent.

The primary times when you should consider rebranding include:

  • When your company merges with an entirely different brand
  • When you’re looking to reach a completely different customer demographic
  • When the reputation of your brand has worsened by a considerable amount

If you find that your brand reputation is undesirable, it’s not enough to simply alter the aesthetics of your brand, which would only serve to act as a cover up to the crisis going on with your company. In the event that the values, mission, market, and vision of your company aren’t reflected in your brand, a total rebrand may be necessary, which is much more extensive than changing a logo.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on what rebranding involves and how you can create an effective rebranding strategy.

Does Your Company Need a Partial or Total Rebrand?

Before you start the process of rebranding your company, you should first ask yourself if your company requires a partial or total rebrand. Look at the reasons why you’re rebranding to identify which option is right for you. Understanding why your company wants to rebrand should make it easier to determine which rebranding type best matches your company goals. Larger businesses that are more established will have more to lose from rebranding their company, which is why it’s important to weigh every option available to you.

For larger businesses, a partial rebrand is likely all that’s needed. If you’re looking to update or refresh your services, identity, or marketplace, a partial rebrand could be the best fit for your company. When looking specifically at a total rebranding, this type of rebrand is necessary when you’re changing the core identity of your business. If you are going to be changing the values, mission, or vision that your company currently has, you should consider opting for a total rebrand. The message that you want to send to your core audience should dictate the rebranding option you choose.

When To Partially Rebrand

cvs health logo branding

You might want to consider partially rebranding your business in the event that your company and brand are already well-established within the market that you operate in. While it might be tempting to do a total rebrand if you find yourself in a poor market position, established businesses should almost always consider a partial rebrand before a total one. You don’t want to let all of the hard work that you’ve done building a reputation go to waste. If you keep the same mission statement and values, you should find it easier to partially rebrand your company without losing your main audience. A partial rebranding alters the focus of the brand as opposed to the entire mission.

To better understand what a partial rebranding is, let’s look at a past CVS rebranding. In 2014, CVS went from CVS Pharmacy to CVS Health, which allowed the company to combine four of their core services under a single umbrella. With the CVS Health name, they were able to focus on healthcare for businesses, communities, and people, which gave their entire company a health-first identity. This branding also made the company more flexible with their marketing and allowed them to use language that could be tailored to various groups of people.

The rebrand that they performed also allowed them to introduce CVS “health heart’, which was an entirely different and flexible graphic that they were able to use within all of their branding materials. Keep in mind that CVS didn’t change the entirety of their company when rebranding. Instead, they refocused on what was most important to their company by including the other health services that they offer within the main CVS name. Unless you need to change the entire approach that your business is taking with the market, a partial rebranding may be the option you’re looking for.

When is a Total Rebrand Necessary?

The total rebranding option is commonly used when attempting to improve a poor company reputation or when merging with another company. In general, a total rebrand is needed when you are changing the mission of your company. To arrive at a total rebrand, you’ll likely use new imagery, alter the company name, and implement new messaging across all branding materials. If you find that sales are dropping precipitously and that your brand is no longer popular with your core demographic, a total rebrand could be essential towards appealing to a new demographic.

While there are a number of reasons why a company will perform a total rebrand, merging is among the more common reasons. A merger involves two companies uniting all of their forces and resources to become a single company. Since both entities will have their own logo and branding, a new entity is necessary to make sure that the branding of one company doesn’t clash with the other.

In most cases, a complete rebrand will highlight the best qualities of each individual company. As an example, a total rebranding occurred after United Airlines merged with Continental Airlines back in 2010. While the name of this new company remained as United Airlines, it incorporated the popular globe icon of Continental Airlines. This merger was then branded as United. What you do when performing a total rebrand largely depends on why the rebranding is occurring. If you need to salvage the reputation of your company, more substantial changes may need to be made.

A Guide to the Rebranding Process

Once you’ve determined that your company needs to rebrand, you’ll first want to identify what challenges your business is currently facing and why you want to rebrand. Keep in mind that there’s always a possibility that your rebranding efforts will bring about new challenges that you must contend with. As such, try to predict what these challenges will be and how your customers will react to the changes that you’ve made. If you’re only completing a partial rebranding, the challenges will likely be relatively minor.

If you’re thinking about performing a total rebranding, you should select a new mission statement that you believe will accurately reflect your company while also appealing to your target audience. Make sure that you perform extensive competitor research to identify why their brand is popular. Before you get started on this project, determine what your budget is going to be.

While a rebranding can help revitalize your company, you don’t want to be in a position where you waste too much of your budget before you even begin putting out marketing materials with the new branding.

To heighten the chances that your rebranding project is a success, consider working with branding companies, which include such options as:

Building a New Website that Reflects Your Rebrand

In order for your company to be as successful as possible, it’s essential that you build a digital presence to accurately reflect your brand, which usually involves creating a website. The same is true when you want to rebrand your company. In many cases, this rebrand should be paired with a new website. The website that you create for your business is the heart of your company. When built correctly, the website will represent your company mission and will be where all visual elements of your brand coexist.

The website you build today will also provide your customers with an easy way to contact you if ever they have a question about the products or services that you offer. Likely the most important aspect of a company website is that it’s how customers can find additional information on your products/services. A website redesign doesn’t just provide a new look to your digital presence. This website is designed, written, and developed for the purpose of advancing your new business goals.

These goals can vary and will usually include targets for:

  • Generating more or high-quality leads for your company
  • Bolstering user engagement with your brand
  • Driving more traffic, which also helps with customer conversion rates

When you’re looking to rebrand by creating a new website, you should start by setting up a domain on your hosting provider of choice. Keep in mind that an entry must be made within the DNS, after which the change should be cascaded to name servers all over the world.

When you create a completely new DNS entry with the hosting provider of your choice, the cascading should be performed automatically. Even if your new website isn’t much different from your old one, it should still be outfitted with a site-wide banner that announces the rebrand. This announcement should include a link that takes the user to a page that goes into detail about your reasoning behind the rebrand and what this rebrand will entail.

Establish a Digital Presence

When you want to establish a digital presence, it’s essential that you perform extensive marketing that puts your brand out there. First, you should identify which social media platforms are used the most by your primary demographic. Social media advertising can be very effective at reaching current and new audiences from all around the world. Even after you’ve rebranded, it’s important that you tell a story with your marketing materials as opposed to focusing entirely on the brand.

After you have completed your rebranding strategy, make sure that you change the user names of all of your social media accounts while also working on your social media presence and advertising efforts. You should consider creating email campaigns that alert your prospects, partners, and customers of your brand change. These campaigns should be paired with a press release as well as social media messages for the various platforms that your company is active with. These messages can be sent out from your old and new accounts. Above all, it’s important that your customers are made aware of the rebrand.

There are countless reasons why your company may require a rebranding. Whether you’ve just merged with another company or are looking into creating a new product line, rebranding is highly flexible and can be tailored to account for the needs of your business. However, rebranding should never be done lightly. It’s important that you’ve attempted to predict all of the benefits and consequences that come with making such a change. This guide should give you all the tools you need to create a sound and effective rebranding strategy.

Author
Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller is an entrepreneur and web enthusiast specializing in web design, development and digital marketing. He is a recent graduate of the MBA program at the University of California, Irvine. Feel free to send Bryan a message here.

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