All businesses eventually face the need to change directions – and sometimes that means a complete overhaul of their brand. Rebranding your business changes the conversations you have with your consumers by updating things like your name, logo, site design and voice.
To help you make sure you represent your company in the best way possible, Business News Daily reached out to branding experts for more information about rebranding. You can use these tips to make the transition between brands smooth for you and your customers.
Creating a new brand
The best company names and logos have stories behind them. These stories help the branding you create more accurately reflect who you are. Robert Sprague, president and CEO of PCI Communications, recommends being more specific rather than focusing on the big picture. He says that many businesses make the mistake of not focusing on what makes them unique and special to the customer.
"They … wind up with a brand indistinguishable from other plays in their market," Sprague says. "A brand that means everything is a brand that means nothing."
Once you've figured out what you want your brand to say about your company, it's important to think about your audience. When you understand your audience, you'll know how to create a brand that appeals to them.
Jenna Zilincar, owner of M Studio, suggests asking yourself some questions about your audience prior to rebranding, such as whether you're looking for a new audience or trying to engage your current customers.
Finally, before you get too far into the process, you should verify that your new brand is legal. Sonia Lakhany, attorney and owner of Lakhany Law, suggests consulting with a trademark attorney to be sure that you're not breaking any copyright or other laws when you rebrand.
"So many business owners make the mistake of choosing a name and then charging forward with branding efforts … when they don't even know who else may be using the same or similar name," Lakhany said.
Launching your new brand
When you create your brand, you want to be sure you push it live with a solid strategy in place. Shannon Fitzgerald, the brand strategist and founder of Brazen Branding, noted that customers don't really care about logos or name changes; they care about whether or not the rebrand will change their experience with the company to be more positive.
"At the same time, most people fight change," Fitzgerald said. "You must articulate why this is better – explain they'll still get the parts they already love plus new, exciting benefits."
Rachel Ritlop, a career and business coach, warns against surprising customers. She encourages companies to let customers know that a change is on its way. She recommends announcing a rebrand two weeks prior to the launch, noting that this period is a good opportunity to get feedback from clients and build better relationships.
Your customers aren't the only people you should focus on when you're rebranding. It's also important to keep employees informed. Manika Bahuguna, former marketing manager at Wavespot, points out that it's important to communicate with employees during a rebrand, and educate them on why it's happening.
"[Get] every employee on board and [align] them towards the common goal and purpose," Bahuguna said.
Asking for help
If you're still not sure how to go about rebranding, or building your brand for the first time, it's all right to get help. In fact, some professionals, like Alex Kelsey, marketing manager at Greenvelope, say that it's an especially good idea for startups. You can hire a consultant for a few hours or a few months, Kelsey says, but an expert's opinion can go a long way to help you figure out the perfect brand for your business.
Additional reporting by Brittney Morgan. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.