How to rebrand without losing your identity

Updated Content on 7/04/2023

The word “rebrand” might be a misnomer. After all, your brand is the very essence of your company. How can you change the mission and vision without starting a new business? When you decide it’s time to rebrand your business, you must keep this in mind. You want to make changes, reach more of your buyers, and upgrade your current image, but the last thing you want to do is become unrecognizable.

How, then, can you rebrand without losing your identity? These five steps will help.

Gather Your Information

You need all the facts before you try to change anything. Talk with your employees, your brand advocates, and even your family. You want people who will tell it like it is without fear of angering you. Now is not the time to let your pride get in the way.

Together, examine every aspect of your current brand. Do you still have the same vision, or has time changed your ideals? Has your experience changed your mission—perhaps given you an even bigger purpose? How can these changes be reflected in your design? First, audit your company’s most visible assets, like logos, slogans, taglines, and colors. Remember that your brand is never just a logo. You’ll also need to examine your voice and decide what’s working and what isn’t. This is where the honesty of your employees and brand advocates will help the most.

Since you’re already planning changes, look at your customer service policy, social and content marketing strategies, and the copy on your website. Be sure to examine even the smallest pieces of your brand and set them aside for changes.

Rebrand For the Right Reasons

After analyzing all aspects of your brand, it’s time to decide if you want a partial rebrand or a total brand makeover. A complete rebrand is usually necessary if your company has shifted values entirely, while a partial rebranding only requires a simple touch-up to better appeal to new consumers and show off new products. Choose carefully: a complete branding overhaul is a huge and risky decision, but the potential benefits are just as great. Some big-name brands have seen a lot of success with rebranding, while others suffered from the changes.

Remember, don’t commit to a rebrand out of boredom with your current style, a grab for media attention, or a way to hide a company scandal. Instead, after careful market research and specific, tangible goals in mind, only then should you be ready to move on to the actual rebrand.

Honor Your Past

Giving your brand a facelift is a great idea, but you don’t want to go too far. The point isn’t to reinvent your company. You want your customers to recognize you when all is said and done. If you change your colors, make sure they’re not too far from your current color scheme. With an updated logo, you still want to hearken back to the original. If you go too far, your current fans won’t know where to find you. You’ll also lose a vital piece of your company’s history. You don’t want to see the origins of your brand slip away into obscurity.

Plus, you can take what your company is already good at and amplify it. Every brand should have a unique selling proposition that sets them apart from other brands. What makes your brand unique and keeps customers coming back for more? Focus on that and make it even better with your rebrand.

Keep a Secret

Buyers may get confused if they see small changes happening one at a time. This is especially true if something changes more than once. You don’t want four or five different versions of your new logo or website design out there for public consumption before you settle on the final decision.

You can’t test your rebrand on your entire buying audience. Instead, make all the changes in-house and test them with a select group. Make sure everything is just right before you plan your unveiling. Also, have a statement ready to explain your rebrand so buyers can see upfront that you’re not going anywhere except maybe up.

The Big Unveil

Only after you’re sure you’ve hit all the right notes, you’re ready to unveil your rebrand to the world. Have your promotional pieces ready to go, including blogs, web copy, press releases, and social media announcements. You want to avoid scrambling at the last minute and hitting the wrong note.

Your unveiling content must match your old brand and your new strategy. This is a difficult bridge to build, so you need plenty of time to complete your unveiling tasks. Do a dry run with your trusted advisors. Ask for their opinions on your presentation. Have you answered any questions that might arise with your press release and website announcement?

Keep Loyal Customers

When your best customers see changes, they may get a little nervous. Rumors often crop up around a rebrand, such as mergers, changes in leadership, or even a last-ditch effort to save your company. Let them know everything is business as usual and that you’re just updating your image.

As long as you have an answer ready for any of the questions that might arise, you should easily transition into your new brand image. Of course, we’re always here to help you. From start to finish, we can walk you through a rebrand so that you experience none of the pain and all of the rewards.

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