By Nicola Hill

The prospect of change is often a scary thought, especially when it’s something as major as changing the image and communications of your company.

You’ll have to get into the frame of mind that change is good and start embracing every possibility and all things new. This will be the first step to re-branding your business.

You need to make sure you do your market research before you start rebranding and look into how your rivals operate.

What is working for them? Why is it working for them? What strategies have they got in place? Where do gaps in the market exist that your company could exploit, develop and build upon?

The next step is to determine your company’s strengths and weaknesses. What areas of your company are working and which aren’t? What is it that makes you different from your competition, and how can that be used as one of your Unique Selling Propositions (USP’s)? This will outline what you should now be focusing on and give you a clearer vision on how to get your company where you want it. All of your new strategies should be an improvement on previous ones with emphasis on progression and enhancement.

Redesigning your brand doesn’t have to involve a complete visual makeover, but could be as simple as altering a company logo to make it look more contemporary and current. If you think of the specific reasons for re-branding your company then it should make it easier when making decisions on the design. The key to any re-brand is to have a clear, and in depth company strategy. Why are you wanting to re-brand, what is it that you’re aiming to achieve from the exercise, and most importantly, what benefit will it bring the company!

You need to be clear of these objectives before embarking on a company re-brand, otherwise, without clear direction and understanding of your objectives, a re-brand will lose momentum, clarity, and will ultimately require re-working at a later date.

One of the most helpful things when making changes and improvements to your company is getting feedback both internally and externally. Ask questions and make a record of everything you find to provide a detailed analysis of your company. You may not always like what you hear, but it will give you an overview of where you sit within the market, and what your customers perceptions are, which will help you develop a good understanding of where changes are needed the most.

Once a re-brand is undertaken and developed, that’s not the end of it. It’s critical to monitor, evaluate and refine your brand strategy further to make sure it’s working harder for you and your company. This dedication to your brand and company image will pay dividends in the long run, and help gain you a competitive and defensible position within your marketplace.

Pictured above: The progression of Cornerstone’s branding from it’s conception in 2007 with the blue and green logo to our current identity through the use of strong yet simple black typography.

Cornerstone DM