Smart companies know a brand must evolve over time to stay relevant. Some of the top reasons for a rebrand are:
*Respositioning the company or one of its products(Target did a great job at this.)
*Move the brand upmarket(Looks like Ford is trying to do this. I’ll reserve judgment on whether it is successful or not.)
*Communicate a new message or fundamental change(Starbucks is not just coffee, as evidenced in their rebranding.)
*Emergent situations such as bankruptcy (Think GM here, shifting focus to fewer, stronger brands with efficiency.)
*Get away from a negative image or experience (Philip Morris changing to Altria to try to escape its image problems.
These are compelling reasons for change. Keep the following tips in mind if you are considering a rebrand. Maybe they will help you avoid a branding blunder.
1. Do not cling to glory days of the past: Market assumptions change over time, and you need to stay relevant. Microsoft’s brand evolution is my favorite example of willingness to change in a smart way.
2. My brand is my logo and colors: No it is not. Your brand is many things, like customer perception, quality, market environment, and much more. A rebranding is a fundamental strategy change that cannot be executed by design alone.
3. If I want results, I have to hire a big agency with experience in my industry: Never underestimate the value of fresh perspective. Make sure the team you hire is creative and takes the time to understand who your customer is.
4. The employees will just have to deal with the change: Don’t force rebranding on your staff. Get the internal buy-in and include them in the process. They will have insights into your customers’ needs that the executives will not have. Remember, if your staff doesn’t buy the changes, then your customer won’t either.
5. But I have to do what my competitors do!: No, you don’t. Look at success stories in other industries. Uncovering unique ways to present yourself to your customer often comes from unexpected sources.
Let us know if you have any branding blunders or successes. We would love to read them and share!