3 essential elements in a successful rebranding project
Is rebranding a last resort?
Rebranding is far from extreme. Rebranding should be part of your sales and marketing arsenal. It is an extreme action if the company you engage with throws the baby out with the bathwater. So, how do you successfully rebrand a company?
Every rebranding project is different.
At Stealing Share, we approach a rebranding project with a disciplined process. And that process always leads to a different rebrand. Our creative rebranding process asks hard questions and sets project milestones. It demands discipline because, in our Socratic method, the questions illuminate the path forward.
The purpose of the rebranding exercise must be for clarity and persuasiveness. It must inspire your employees and stakeholders, excite your customer base, and ignite revelation in your prospects. It is a door to the future, but it need never be closed to the past.
A successful rebranding project needs a free hand
Everything must be on the table. Successful rebranding always starts with a formal slaying of all sacred cows. Your brand is fighting to hold onto existing customers and struggling to attract new prospects.
So, there is no holding back. You would never bet on a boxer entering the ring with one hand tied behind their back. To win, he must be fierce, courageous, savvy, and commit every ounce of energy to win.
Rebranding is just like that boxing match.
But it needs further explanation.
If the fighter possesses a devastating left hook, would it be bright for his trainer to remove that punch from his arsenal of martial skills? Indeed, the trainer would carefully examine his fighter’s strengths. And he will make modifications based on his opponent’s style.
When rebranding — listen to your trainer
So, when considering a rebrand, you must be like the consummate boxing trainer. Look at everything you need to win and build upon the fighter’s current strengths.
Successful rebranding demands that determination. Because “everything is on the table” does not mean starting from scratch. When we rebrand a company, we comb through all the equities, keep those that are hard-working, elevate things that have become more prescient and add values that are lacking.
How often does a rebrand require a name change?
Surprisingly, changing a brand name is a rare exception. Names are not that important. The value of a brand name is equal to the brand meaning it conveys. The change in brand meaning may be abrupt. But name changes are only necessary for a practice we call Brand Repair when we separate a damaged brand from the new rebrand.
Finding ways to imbed significant meaning in a brand is the art and science of a rebranding effort.
The three elements in embedding brand meaning.
First, we must understand the catalog of competitors. This is where our rebranding strategies come into play. What do they promise? How are they different? How have they segmented their target audiences? How are they positioned in the market? And what, if any, emotional value do they hold?
Understanding emotional attribution brings us to the second pillar of a successful rebrand (we conduct research). While most of the first pillar is inside-out (meaning the value and definition that the brand claims), Emotional power is outside-in. In other words, how does the current market feel about the brand? (check out our rebranding checklist. it is the definitive guide to rebranding)
How to get prospects to remember your brand
A rebranding project is all about emotional context. Customers and prospects remember and prefer brands based on emotional connections. How they feel about a brand may include rational attributes, but deep inside, the most logical argument is a passionate live wire. While customers/prospects care about how something works, they define it by how they feel when it works.
A Rebranding project. Right or left-brained?
Trial may be excited by rational arguments and lists of attributes, but preference and stickiness must be emotional. The reason for this emotional tie is simple. A feeling is inside of us. It reflects our sense of self. How or what something does is not a personal definition. What something IS— is all about the product. How we feel about that is all about us.
A successful rebranding project must look at both the inside-out and outside-in views. Brand answers the question of why you are not what you do.
The third pillar of a rebranding project is all about you
But the third pillar in successful rebranding is the brand and company culture. A rebranding project is undoubtedly only as successful as the first two pillars but how it makes your employees feel is crucial. The rebrand must inspire them.
If you were to look critically at the brandscape today, it is easily divided by authenticity and bluster. Customers and prospects crave authenticity and reject anything that seems disingenuous.
Herein lies the art of a successful rebrand. It must not seem to be a marketing ploy. Marketing is at the heart of your rebranding project, but it must have a genuine heart. Be truthful and assuring without sounding like Madison Avenue.
Like all great communication, successful rebranding requires single-mindedness—one idea— not a dozen or even two ideas. (Here are some successful rebranding examples 2020 and now— they represent the best rebrands in the world today)
Rebranding successfully is hard
Rebranding is hard. You are close to your brand; deciding on a single meaning is difficult. A dispassionate point of view ensures a powerful rebrand, which is why a third party (like Stealing Share) is necessary.
We strip away superfluous ideas and jargon, looking at the three pillars mentioned above for direction. Remember, a powerful rebrand is true to your culture, reflective of the emotional fabric in your target market, and is both different and better than your competition.
Napoleon said, “If it were easy, it would be the providence of mediocre minds.”
How long does it take to rebrand? How long does it take to rebrand a company and have a winning rebranding project? Time varies. On average, our process takes 3-4 months. But global brands may take a bit longer. Sometimes, it takes up to 8-9 months because of the need for brand training.
Many companies have their in-house training group. In those instances, we work closely with your trainers, ensuring you have all the tools to train your staff.
Of course, you may engage Stealing Share to train your staff and company stakeholders in the new branding. We must ensure that your internal audience understands the fullness of your new rebrand. They see how embracing the idea makes their job more accessible and exciting.
We support the new rebranding project with all the design elements and creative services you need to ensure a successful rollout. If you have an in-house creative department, we will present to them a complete rebranding creative brief.
We design your rebranding brief to clarify the new rebrand and ensure your creative staff understands all the intricacies.
Consistency in a rebranding project
Every successful rebranding exercise insists on consistency. Your brand message must be clear and aligned. Align everything your brand says and does with the new and essential brand meaning.
How do you announce a rebrand? You promote it with an internal rollout followed by an external debut. Stealing Share is an expert at this process and will shepherd you through the entire process.
The advent of a more remote workforce has made this process more accessible and affordable. Sometimes progress comes in unusual ways, and in today’s work environment, companies find employees do not always need an expensive and time-consuming event as a kickoff.
Rebranding’s legal requirements
You may need to trademark your new brand name. That process remains the same. You need to engage trademark attorneys and have them compile the necessary paperwork and searches.
At Stealing Share, we believe every rebrand needs to own a brand theme line. A shorthand means of instantly conveying the new brand’s importance.
Earlier, we spoke about authenticity and directness. Usually, we do not recommend putting at ™ or ® or a service mark when your use the new brand theme line.
The reason is straightforward. It must be believed and feel authentic. Any hint or a marketing bent to it immediately raises barriers. And those barriers are in direct violation of the purpose.
Oddly, clever phrases are your enemy. Using a clever play on words or a jargonistic phrase feels contrived to those you need to influence. We spend time and effort scripting that brand theme. We build it to be meaningful and transparent. We often recommend using the theme in a logo lockup with the brand so that the meaning always supports the new brand logo.
Rebranding is a mix of art and science
Rebranding is a mixture of science and art. A melding of behavioral/anthropological science and creative problem-solving.
Is a rebrand in your future? If you are not first in your category or sales are not meeting expectations, you should consider REBRANDING. We can help you decide if it makes sense through our brand audit process.
Rebranding is not a drastic step. It is innovative marketing. We keep the baby with the bathwater and eliminate wasted energy. A Stealing Share rebranding restores vigor and market importance so you can beat the competition.
Call us for your customized rebranding proposal.