Rebranding Checklist: When to rebrand your company or product
We designed this rebranding checklist to help you decide if a rebranding is right for you. We include a link to a page helping you manage all the elements needed in a rebranding project.
A complete rebranding is not an easy task, nor is it an easy decision. Many other branding companies will take your rebranding business regardless of if it is warranted. We won’t. Call us and ask why.
Before you jump into a rebranding effort, we insist on auditing your brand with our Brand Audit process. The reason is twofold:
1)We need to grade nine different elements in your current brand as a measure of its overall health. The audit will help us both understand where your existing brand is failing you and if you only need a brand freshening or adjustment rather than a complete rebrand
2)It will allow us to concentrate on improving the weakest links in your current brand situation.
Only after the audit can Stealing Share knowledgeably give you sound advice.
First, a bit of background
Great dynamic brands allow your marketing to be effective. Without that brand permission, your marketing success will be in lockstep with your marketing and advertising budgets.
The truth is you can almost buy your way out of a bad place in branding. But your goal should be to spend as little as you can to grab market share.
No rebranding checklist would overlook ROI. And we don’t. Spending a dime more than you must on marketing is a dime wasted.
As marketers, you do not own the brand. You are the managers of it. Think as if you have a verdant and green municipal part—one enjoyed by citizens of your city or town. You are the caretaker of the park. You groom the lawns, weed the flowerbeds, change the flora based upon the season and keep it free from trash and debris. You won’t allow anything to mar the view of this park.
But the owners of the park are the citizens of the town. They love it because of your efforts, but they feel personally invested in it. That’s the center of their attachment. It is what they do and how they feel about spending recreational time in the park.
By the way, the park isn’t free. There may be a small entrance fee, but those that enjoy it feel they get more out of spending time in the part than it costs them to enter it.
Even if the park is free, it isn’t. Their taxes are footing the bill.
So here is the first thing on your rebranding checklist
Don’t confuse the brand with the brand’s identity. But back to our park analogy. The park is not the sign at the entrance. That sign is part of the park, but you would never confuse it with the sign itself.
It is just a symbol making the park easier to place in the citizens’ minds. It is a reference point.
You must get this right before any rebranding checklist is beneficial.
Your brand belongs to your customers and prospects. Not you. They love it because they believe it is theirs. It speaks to their condition. They don’t even notice your efforts to keep the property tidy, pristine, and usable. They d=should not notice your presence at all. You want nothing to come between their vision of enjoyment and the park you tend.
Would any park be loved if it was not useful? If it did not supply the desires of the citizens? Same with rebranding. To execute a rebranding project successfully, you MUST know what the customer wants and need.
But more importantly, you need to understand why they have those needs and wants. You must center your attention on where those needs arose.
A belief system birthed them all. As a brand manager, you need to know what your target audience believes to be true in their lives, giving rise to the need your product/service delivers. Understanding this simple idea is how you will know if your brand is underperforming.
The second item on our rebranding checklist is to ask ourselves what has changed?
Did the market change? Or, possibly, did a new competitor arise and taken ownership of the prime territory?
On our formidable rebranding checklist, this is an inflection point. How do you know what the prime territory is?
The answer is simple. It is ALWAYS the highest emotional intensity that causes a change to take place in the target audience.
Leave the rational stuff to the engineers and ownership. Your job in rebranding is emotional, not rational. Purchase decisions are solely emotional ones. Within a category, most products and services perform adequately.
If these choices were purely rational, then the market leader would always be the best product or the lowest cost provider. We all know that isn’t true.
So, leave your competitors to define their brand by a list of attributes. Design your rebrand to be emotional. The tangible benefits are magnified 100 fold when a brand owns the highest emotional intensity in a category.
The third point on our list
We hesitate to mention this in our rebranding checklist. It can be such an irritant. And mentioning it before the two previous points would mislead you.
Do you have to change your logo and identity?
That depends on the results of our brand audit. Messaging an emotional trigger may be enough. But, if the brand is a little stale, you might need a symbol of that awakening. A logo change does that. It states, “Something has changed. Pay attention here.”
Sometimes, that symbol is needed in a minor brand adjustment or refocus. Sometimes in a major rebranding, it is not required.
However, one thing is sure, if your brand has fallen so far from grace that we need to institute a brand repair. Altering the logo is mandatory.
Here is a quick summary of the salient points here in the rebranding checklist. Stealing Share, the rogue rebranding company that dared to rewrite the yellowed and tattered pages of the brand bible knows what we are doing.
And, we won’t leave anything to chance. It’s essential to hold onto the parts of your brand that are working and reinvent and establish new ones that are not.
We have found that you, the Chief Marketing Officer, are the least capable of making that assessment. Why? Because of attachment and the inability of people to be dispassionate about matters they hold important.
And if you don’t hold the brand as necessary— a key to the lock on the door to persuasion, you should not talk to us either.
It is a catch-22. That’s why you need an expert in rebranding. And why a rebranding checklist is helpful.
Call us today. We should talk.
And here is that link we promised to a checklist of deliverables.