Has your company seen a drop in visibility or recognition recently? Or, has your company been around for several years and not updated logos and other facets of its corporate image?
To begin corporate rebranding, businesses must consider what goes into rebranding: the why and the how. These considerations benefit from professional support. But, before speaking with a professional branding company, you need to understand how it works.
Learn more about how to remake your company’s brand with this detailed guide.
Why Companies Consider When Corporate Rebranding
Rebranding may be in your company’s future for several reasons. Companies both new and old rebrand for any one of these reasons. Before you consider a total identity overhaul, determine the why of your new brand.
New Competition, Tech, or Trends
Change in several areas requires companies to adapt. Perhaps new competition edges in on your consumers. Or, emerging tech and consumer trends demand your company adapts.
Meeting these changes may require a whole new corporate image or simply a refresh. If your brand is several years old and logos, fonts, or other identity elements appear outdated, customers may lose trust in your brand. When brands overlook design details, consumers notice.
Current trends can also affect the need for a new image. As a protective, proactive measure against governmental or economic pressure, rebranding helps.
Change in Target Markets
Speaking of consumers changing: your corporate branding might need a revamp if consumers expect it. For example, if your company recently pushed for a new sustainability initiative, anticipate including this in your advertising.
Or your company has found new niches through customer segmentation. Finding these new niches means crafting new strategies to engage these consumers. New target markets may not respond as well to your original identity.
Major Company Changes
If your company has recently undergone significant changes in mission, vision, or values, you might need to rebrand. Or, if your company’s recently received industry recognition for sustainability, ethical, or other initiatives, a new brand can advertise these changes for you.
Launching new projects or significant company expansions can call for rebranding initiatives, too. If a project launch went negatively, rebranding could support a bounceback to correct bad impressions.
Dated or Nonexistent Corporate Branding
If a company has not touched its corporate image since 2005, or even 2010, it’s time for an upgrade. Dated corporate branding does not bode well for companies in certain industries, especially if they rely on emerging technologies.
Dated branding can appear as inattentive to detail. It can also diminish credibility with consumers who anticipate adaptive imagery and advertising. Updating the brand can also help reach bigger, more sophisticated clients.
If your company never formally developed a logo, it’s also time to rebrand. This may involve rounding out existing identity elements.
When They Shouldn’t Rebrand
Rebranding, although largely beneficial for corporate identity, does not always need to happen. Depending on a few variables, your business may want to hit pause on a new image.
Suppose you feel unwilling to rebrand all visual assets, don’t. Instead, hire a professional rebrand company. Or, if you find yourself simply “bored” bored with existing corporate branding, don’t rebrand.
The last reason you should avoid a rebrand is for internal impressions. If new management wants to stand out, make sure it happens internally. A new identity leaves an external impression that may confuse consumers.
How to Rebrand a Company
Now you know how to determine the why of your corporate rebrand, it’s time to learn how. Refreshing your corporate identity requires varying amounts of work based on your brand’s needs. To evaluate these needs, seek out a professional consultant.
You might wish to outsource your image to a corporate rebranding company. Or you may want to hire a consultant to help workshop your corporate identity in targeted areas (e.g., logo development, brand guide, content evaluation). Use this guide to discuss your specific needs with a branding agency.
1. Define Your Mission, Vision, and Values
The first step in developing a new corporate image involves an evaluation. Before crafting a brand strategy, your company’s mission, vision, and values must be clear. This definition requires clarification of each of these terms, as they’re often conflated.
How does your company (i.e., its products/services) impact the world? If not impactful on global levels, what’s your company’s impact on your consumers and community?
The answers to these questions define your mission. If you don’t have clear answers to these queries, you must find them. An unclear mission resonates negatively within and outside of companies.
Your company mission is a brand promise. It’s a promise delivered by its performance in the real world. Make sure it’s one your company can already provide.
Your mission should not be unattainable or where you want you to want your company to be in the future. That’s what a vision defines.
Your vision is built on your business mission. Where your brand promise meets current customer wants and needs, your vision meets future needs. To craft a vision statement for your brand strategy, you need a clear mission.
Without foundation to build on, crafting a vision is harder. Once your mission is clear, focus on the impact you want your company to have in the future. Consider the competition and how your current brand can outshine them.
What your company currently has to offer can serve as an expansion point for your corporate rebranding. If your company has new projects or initiatives in development, include this in your vision. Then, justify your mission and vision with your company values.
Primarily, your company values offer action points for your brand and mission. Your values can be industry-specific or unique to your company. Values determine how inclusive or progressive your brand is to employees and consumers alike.
Employees stay with companies whose values they respect. Employee job satisfaction and retention rely on what companies value. For example, companies that offer comprehensive benefits and opportunities for raises keep more employees.
Determining brand values can also require exploring what leaders in your industry and community think of your brand. Also, consider what drove away past prospective clients and see if these can be a part of your vision and future values (i.e., desire to grow/meet these missed needs).
2. Craft a Comprehensive Strategy for Corporate Rebranding
After thoroughly reviewing your mission, vision, and values, it’s time to explore what comprises a brand strategy. When you meet with a corporate rebranding agency to craft this strategy, it helps to understand what’s included.
Overall, the elements of a brand strategy are fairly simple, but defining these concretely proves difficult. A brand strategy includes:
- Timeline: how long it takes to accomplish your mission and vision
- Budget: what you can afford to spend on a new brand
- Key objectives: your main goals or the purpose for corporate rebranding
- Market research: informs the key objectives, mission, vision, and values
- Competitive repositioning: a changed corporate image to outshine competitors
- Cross-functional teams: coordinating different departments for the new brand
These elements of a brand strategy help inform the next steps of corporate branding. When you sit down to consult a professional company, crafting a strategy is much easier. It also helps determine just how much repolishing the company image needs.
3. Determine What Stays and Goes When Corporate Rebranding
Determining what stays and goes is largely based on the budget and key objectives of your brand strategy. When choosing to remove outdated elements of your corporate image, you might explore a new brand name, slogan, or overall identity. Each of these elements (and how you might change them) is detailed below.
Choosing a new brand name is not something you should consider too lightly. When brands appear consistent, they gain up to 33% more revenue. Imagine losing all of that potential business if you change your brand name on a whim.
Before making a major change for your brand identity, consult an expert rebranding agency! They can advise whether you need to take such a drastic measure. If they do suggest a new or altered brand name, they can offer helpful guidance such as:
- Reusing words in new ways
- Stating your company industry
- Changing up spelling
- Adding prefixes or suffixes
- Combine words
- Make up an acronym
- Use a new language or location (for expansion)
Any one of these ideas (and more) can work together for a new brand. Your advertising budget has to accommodate this change across every level. So again, think long and hard before you commit the time and resources for a change like this.
Your company may not have an official brand slogan. If you never solidified your brand identity, a slogan can easily be overlooked. Some suggestions a professional corporate reputation consultant might have include:
- Claim something related to your mission, vision, or values
- Get metaphorical or poetic
- Use recognizable labels
Your new or updated brand slogan complements your brand name. If you have a punchier business name, use the slogan to clarify what makes your identity unique. If you emphasize service, stay on top of trends, or value-based initiatives in producing goods, put it in your slogan!
Your brand identity is the comprehensive package of your corporate image. Changing a brand identity does not mean you change the name or slogan, per se.
Instead, you may refresh a few elements related to your corporate branding, such as the logo or other iconography. Common logo elements include:
- Color palette: emphasizes the psychology of color
- Typography: branded fonts for slogans, names, letterhead, etc.
- Shapes and imagery: design elements in the logo (e.g., Nike’s swoosh)
- Clear space: important white space helps images and text stand out
Logo development is important, whether you’re updating or finally adding a logo for the first time. As the most easily recognizable part of your corporate identity, it’s a critical element for branding. To ensure you get the best logo possible, be sure to work with experts in marketing services.
4. Analyze Markets and Competition When Corporate Rebranding
If you’re rebranding your company in response to emerging trends with consumers or competition, it’s time for market research. Conducting market research isn’t overly complicated if you have a solid brand strategy in place.
The best brand strategy is made under the advisement of professional marketing services. A basic market research template builds off this strategy and focuses on your mission, vision, and values. It follows a few simple steps:
- Specify the new buyer persona for your unique brand.
- Segment customers from this new persona.
- Brainstorm how these customers might react to a new corporate image.
- Compare the new advertising to your competition.
- Evaluate which elements truly need adjustment for your identity.
By no means is this a comprehensive template for market research. It informs the basic steps your branding research can take.
5. Launching and Advertising Your New Brand
Advertising your new brand is just as important as the research and strategy you develop. Without a proper brand launch, you lose ripe opportunities for long-term recognition and immediate lead generation. You can advertise a new brand in several ways, including:
- Internal PR campaigns: announce the change to employees with emails and meetings
- External PR campaigns: use paid media, email clients, and share on social media and blogs
- Launch parties: invite clients, employees, and news media to learn about your new brand
Ensure that your internal or external launches are managed consistently from end to end. If employees don’t understand the new image, customers won’t either. For consistent rebranding inside and outside of your company, turn to professional marketing experts.
Where to Find a Rebranding Company for Your New Corporate Identity
No matter how comprehensive your rebranding needs, you’ll want to work with experts. Whether you need an entire branding strategy, a brief guide, logo development, or branded collateral, we can help.
At EWR Digital, we offer a wide array of experience in every facet of corporate identity. We understand why branding matters; you do, too. Get started building your brand today and schedule a call with us.