Rebranding is a key element of marketing for all evolving businesses and organisations, and it provides the opportunity to really get under the skin of a business and spend some real thinking time examining what makes it tick.

Sometimes, the prospect of brand change can be unsettling for some organisations, especially if you are considering a major change to the visual look and feel of your identity, including names and logos.

Changes made to branding can be minor or major. Evolution or revolution. But the final outcomes should always be based on solid marketing, consumer insights, market research and design expertise rather than random tactics or gimmicks without any real foundation.

It’s important to remember that branding covers many things, internally and externally, that people experience with your organisation. Factors can include company missions, values and USPs and experiences of products, services, marketing materials, correspondence, physical spaces, meetings and conversations.

Quite simply – your brand is the story someone will tell about their experience with your product or service, the emotive elements and impact on their life the interaction has had, so it goes without saying that aligning your brand strategy with your customer experience, market position and business values is critical.

So, branding is broad. It includes much more than company names, straplines and logos, important though these are.

 

The wider considerations

There are many reasons to consider rebranding:

  • Existing branding may be outdated or inconsistent
  • You want to better distinguish your organisation from competitors
  • Your business has grown and existing branding is now too narrow
  • The sector may have changed over time
  • Public opinion and trends may have changed
  • Your business may have acquired other businesses
  • You intend to reposition your business within existing or new markets
  • Your brand tone of voice, values or ambitions have shifted and need to be better reflected

If you think rebranding is needed for your organisation, it’s good to be open-minded to change, rather than reluctant, and to start embracing every possibility. This will be the first step.

 

Good research is essential

Research before any visual rebranding is another vital part of the process.

Research includes looking at how your rivals’ operate. What works for them and why? What strategies do they have? Where do gaps in the market exist that your company could exploit, develop and build upon?

Another 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 USPs?

This review phase will outline what you should focus on and give a clearer vision on how to get your company where you want it. All your new strategies should be an improvement on previous ones with emphasis on progression, enhancement and long term business objectives.

One of the most helpful things when making changes and improvements to your company or organisation is getting feedback both internally and externally. Asking questions and making a record of everything you find will provide a detailed analysis of your organisation. It’s good to include feedback from all levels of staff and your own marketing and management team, and most importantly, your customers who have experience of consuming your product or service.

You may not always like what you hear but it will give you an overview of where you sit within the market and your customers perceptions, which will help develop a good understanding of where key changes are needed.

Once a re-brand is undertaken and developed that’s not the end of it. It’s critical to monitor, evaluate and refine a brand strategy further to make sure it’s working harder for 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.

 

The visual elements

Redesigning your brand doesn’t have to involve a complete visual makeover. It could be as simple as altering a company logo, typeface or colour palette to look more contemporary or suited for its position and market, or switching your wider brand identity elements to something more distinctive and reflective of the business as it has now evolved.

If you think of the specific reasons for re-branding your company then it should make it easier for visual design decisions.

If your business and brand is already well-established, then there is more to lose from a radical rebrand. So, a partial rebrand or basic iteration can help you retain the loyalty you have built over time while gently refreshing your image.

However, if a complete identity change is needed because your company’s mission, vision and values are changing then a total rebrand might be best. This approach is often used for situations like mergers, product overhauls and other really significant organisational  changes.

The key to any re-brand is to have a clear in-depth company strategy. Why are you wanting to re-brand? What are you aiming to achieve from the exercise and, most importantly, what benefit will it bring the company?

Branding projects can be small or large, from a logo redesign to a large in-depth branding project covering factors such as parent-brand and sub-brands, tone-of-voice in written content, packaging and literature design or photography.

 

Opportunities can emerge

Sometimes branding work can emerge organically during other services for clients. For example, we worked this way with our pharmaceutical client Care who needed informative B2B product brochures to be used by sales representatives who supply pharmacists with consumer end-clients.

Previous projects for the client had included redesign of product packaging for various ranges, which were significant projects themselves. The rebranding included ending the use of some outdated elements and creating new contemporary design, imagery and messaging to position the client correctly at the forefront of UK pharmacy.

Subsequent projects included development of cleanly designed, B2B facts-based product guides and training resources, in print and online, to assist sales representatives and pharmacists. The design balances a pharmacy and clinical feel with some softer lifestyle, consumer photography.  The combination of in-pharmacy and online product guides and training aids works really well for sales teams and pharmacists, who ultimately guide consumers.

Details can be seen in our recent Care case study.

Rebranding of the Care newsletter

Rebranding of the Care training guide

 

Get in touch – but not touching!

If you’re considering rebranding, get in touch with us for an introductory chat. We excel at these projects and have plenty of ideas, valuable experience and insight.

We can talk over Zoom or on the phone to maintain social distancing. No shaking hands or kissing – but we can wave our elbows at you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornerstone DM