The process of rebranding comes with a lot of risk. Without paying attention to the details involved in research, planning, and execution, your brand community is susceptible to harmful self-sabotage. The mistakes made in a poorly executed rebranding process can result in lost brand communities, ridicule online, and in some cases, the complete downfall of a brand.
If your business is considering a rebrand, of any scope and size, we highly recommend going through this checklist to ensure that you aren’t making any of the mistakes that can make your rebrand a failure, instead of the revitalization and boost you’re looking for.
1) Too Much Change
Change can be good, it can help get your brand community out of a rut and moving forward towards new goals. But, change can also be abused and used recklessly to the detriment of your brand.
But, if you are looking at the possibility of rebranding, and the options in front of you are so drastically different from what your brand uses currently, it may be too much. If your brand community won’t easily be able to identify your company with its new look, or if they feel that you’ve changed too much to offer them what they expect from you (more on that later), you’re not improving, you’re starting over.
Unless you are changing the entire direction, service offering, and promise of your brand, the decision to make yourself unrecognizable to those who have long identified with you is a big mistake.
Which brings us to…
2) Abandoning Brand Community
It’s possible that your brand community may be struggling and stagnant, which is why you have decided that you need to invest in a rebranding effort. And while finding new brand community members that you have never targeted before could mean a boon for your business, the possibility of abandoning your current loyal brand community, and the success that you have experienced, is a risk.
Recently, we looked at the brand of Taylor Swift, and her change from the country genre to pop music. The change worked for Swift, because her most loyal fans were girls and young women, who loved Taylor Swift as an artist, and already listened to more than just country music. Those fans followed her to a new genre, buying her record and tickets to see her on tour as she expanded her brand community. However, a different artist with a different brand community, could lose everything if they moved from one genre to another, just as your business could lose your existing brand community if you make the wrong move that leaves them behind.
Finding the balance of welcoming new brand community members, while respecting your current brand community is the key. If you cannot do that, your rebrand isn’t adding to your brand’s legacy, it’s starting from the bottom.
3) Abandoning Brand Values
It’s one thing to change directions as a brand and look for a new audience. But it’s a completely different thing to abandon the values and qualities that your brand has always stood for.
A family friendly, G-rated company that suddenly starts using more adult, sexy messaging and imagery in their branding sends a clear message to their current brand community that they no longer stand for the things they once did. Even if the brand continues to offer the same products and services, they have shown a major shift in values.
Likewise, a business that has always embraced and paraded a flag waving, Made In Canada message, and then changes to an offshore production strategy, runs the risk of not only inviting criticism but also losing their loyal brand advocates that identified with that long-advertised brand value.
When you make changes to your brand values you alter the relationship you have with your brand community, and without your brand community, you have nothing.
4) Not Considering All of the Pieces of the Brand
We’ve seen rebrands by large companies, that haven’t thought to update the images on their social media channels when announcing the new logo. There have been fast food chains using outdated packaging after a rebrand has taken place. And even large brands have even rolled out confusing rebranding strategies that leave their brand identity splintered and messy.
Not thinking through all of the pieces of your brand and how your brand community interacts with it is a rebranding fail, and will make people notice the difference between the old and the new, and at worst, will make them wonder why you are half-assing things.
When The Beer Store announced their latest rebrand in 2013, there were still stores in rural Ontario that were using outdated orange signage after skipping the last round of rebranding. And in the 4 years since that announcement, the brand still hasn’t completed its cross-province rebranding at store level, giving the illusion of a poorly run company, and adding even more fuel to the fire of anti-Beer Store monopoly critics in Ontario.
5) Poor Quality
Ideally, rebranding will put a spotlight on your brand and help you to increase sales, grow your brand community, and move into the future with more success. But, if you do a weak job with your rebrand, all you’ve done is invite the world to look at your mistakes.
We often talk about the importance of logos, websites, content, and advertising that define and elevate your brand. And a common thread with all of those pieces, and all others, is the benefit of using a talented, qualified, and experienced team.
DIY rebranding, or using services like Fiverr, may seem like a good way to keep your project cost down. But it also increases the likelihood of mistakes, extended timelines, the need to reverse course, and re-do a lot of work. And the more of those things that happen, the more time and money your brand will end up spending on your rebranding project.
If you truly believe that a rebranding effort is what your brand needs, we highly encourage you to work with professionals that can help.
And if you’re looking for those professionals, call Blade at 1-800-392-5233 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org