A Self-Help Guide to Rebranding - PART 1
How to Decide when Rebranding is Right for Your Business?
If you are in business for a number of years now, typically between 3-10 years, there are a handful of sneaky questions that might have started keeping you awake at night:
- Is our brand actually a good fit to represent us as we are today?
- Will our brand strong enough for our ambitions in the future?
- Should we adjust it? Now, or later?
- And at the same time, would rebranding be a huge gamble?
If you have lost sleep to one/several of those, the (sort of) good news is that you are not alone! Here are a few perspectives that will (hopefully) help you find back your peace of mind.
What is rebranding? There might be more options than you think…
Rebranding is not just about changing a logo. It covers all the possible ways to go about enhancing a brand experience. Actually, you may not need to change your logo, at all.
We talk about Brand Overhaul (or Revamp) when the entire brand gets updated: logo, story, collaterals, maybe even the name! On the other side, Brand Consolidation and Brand Extension are taking the existing brand assets (for instance, the logo, the name, aspects of your internal personality, etc.) and turning it into an integral, consistent and immersive brand experience. Your brand becomes a strong asset for your business, now and in the future.
What should I consider?
No matter the format, to most, rebranding generally sounds like a lot of work.
Besides getting everyone aligned to pick ONE new direction, the even more overwhelming part would be… unrolling it! But does it really have to be this way?
Here is a step by step approach to help you structure your thoughts and set yourself up for success.
The urge for rebranding can come from various places. From an intuition that the brand is giving out a vibe that’s quite different from how its stakeholders feel on the inside, to the conviction that something has to change drastically to get where you want to go. Is it worth it though?
Before jumping to hard conclusions, let’s take a look at the bigger picture; what is driving the need for change and who is leading it:
- Does the feedback come from the market (consumers) or some up-and-coming competitor’s performance starting to worry you?
- Is there discomfort internally around our personality not quite matching up with who we are? Or around having different versions between teams?
- Do consumers seemingly don’t fully understand us?
- Or simply, has the brand been growing organically with the rest of the business, and is leaving you wondering if you did enough to make it as impactful as it should be?
Do you have all the data you need to validate any assumption? This should inform whether a rebranding is worth it: Does it make business sense?
Go → Where to?
If you have decided for the “go”, you are now left with a whole new world of possibilities. Rebranding is an exhilarating time in a company’s life (or should be!) and as all the parties get involved, you want to make sure the teams won’t lose sight of the reasons why you are doing this in the first place. To find out what objectives will guide you through the process, you may want to go back to what are you looking to do with the business for the 1-5 years to come, for instance:
- Open more stores?
- Add new products/Services to your offering?
- Increase basket size
- Enter a new market?
- Target a new consumer group?
Once this is clear, it will be easier to pinpoint how to assess the following step.
How much do you need to change (brandwise)?
With those goals in mind, and though there is courage and boldness in coming up with something totally new (and yes, sometimes a definite need), does it feel like everything has to change? Is that what will serve your objective best? Or can you identify some more problematic aspects to tackle first:
- Looking at all the elements (“touch points”) that carry your brand: from your visual identity, your products and services, your stores, your online platforms, your staffs, etc. where are the the key areas of discomfort?
- Can you put yourself in the shoes of your consumers and think of all the touch points they encounter in their overall experience? Then list up which are working/not working/not really making a difference?
- Talk to your marketing team, and see what is taking up much of their time, keeps coming back or is done wrong. Are they missing some brand tools? Templates? Skills?
- Create an internal survey where you ask people to describe the brand, you might uncover the key areas that are consistent and to realign.
Doing this first will give you an idea of the concrete deliverables you may want/need out of this process but also, if you are opting for a brand consolidation, what pieces are immediately within your reach to change: what can you already clean up? Would that make it more tidy already?
Sometimes it’s as simple as: “less is more”.
We hope this article was useful to clarify some of your thoughts already.
In the second part of our two parts article, we will cover:
- How much do you need, to change ($)?
- Going live: When?
- Your rebranding checklist
- And a few final tips
Meet Justine, our Managing Partner
Entrepreneurship as a state of mind, Justine’s curiosity for how companies work is never satiated. Passionate about creative since childhood, she is on a mission to enable both disciplines to work hand in hand.
Justine turned her sights on Asia in 2011, leaving Belgium to go on building sales and communications strategies in Japan, China and Indonesia. She brings a methodical perspective to every project she works on, carefully assessing each business path to determine optimal solutions and creating the space for our team to unroll them.
A few rebranding inspirations
PHO STORE – Restaurant Rebranding
The perfect bowl Pho Store Rebrand From fun western to modern high end. Project Branding Location China Pho Store (our favourite pho restaurant in Shanghai)
HOMESLICE PIZZA | Shanghai
SupportingHOMESLICE PIZZAto their delicious future Rebranding from strategy to guidelines Project Branding Location China As a pizza that grew organically they only had limited brand
Cages – Brand Revamp
Cages rebranding It’s time to game on! 是时候该放开玩了！ Project Rebranding Location Shanghai, China Redefining the CAGES visual language and giving it a strong presence based