Branding

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What to Expect When You Undergo a Rebranding Initiative

(Originally Published February 4, 2022) Is your organization ready for a rebrand? Learn what you can expect when you decide to start a transformational rebranding process at your nonprofit, business, or company.

Brands in multiple industries can experience stages of growth that require major organizational shifts and changes. This is a normal part of business development and customer acquisition. 

Rebranding is an important tool that all organizations can use to improve their brand image, pivot brand strategy, and remain relevant in a competitive marketplace.

There are several reasons why a business, company, or nonprofit may choose to rebrand. If you’ve landed on this post, you may have already made the decision to undergo a rebrand. In the sections that follow, we’ll explain:

  • Why this decision is so important
  • What you can expect when rebranding
  • What strategy works best
  • How to avoid mistakes along the way

What is the point of rebranding?

The purpose of rebranding isn’t simply to create a new look for your organization when your team grows tired of the original. In fact, the major point of it is (in many instances) to address a bump in the road when it becomes clear that you’ve outgrown your first iteration.

Whether you are a business, company, or nonprofit, this process is a major overhaul of resources and assets that are used to identify your organization. It also changes the way that your ideal customers perceive you, so it’s critical that you don’t jump in without effective and appropriate research.

The point of it is to address any of the following “warning signs” that signal it’s time for an upgrade.

  • You’re shifting the way you do business (your business model)
  • You’re offering a new product or service that customers haven’t seen or purchased
  • You want to address a new demographic of prospective customers
  • Your business, company, or nonprofit has merged with another
  • Your growth is outpacing your current brand objectives
woman's hands writing with the right hand and typing with the left hand

What's the best rebranding strategy for you?

When it comes to the rebranding process, keep in mind that the major steps will look different depending on what you’re trying to rebrand.

For example, rebranding one specific product or service is quite different from rebranding your entire business or company. In the latter scenario, you’ll likely need to deal with major changes to the organization’s identity, vision, mission, and purpose.

Remember that the branding process will look slightly unique for every organization. If you’re a purpose-driven marketer who wants to know what to expect when you rebrand, consult the following roadmap to help as you get started.

Start with your “why”

As you’ve already learned, rebranding an existing brand or organization is no minor feat. Before you devote adequate time and resources, make sure that you understand why this process is critical. 

When you clarify the reason why you’re embarking on the journey, you create positive buy-in. As a result, internal team members have better clarity as to why the organization needs to move forward with a new strategy.

Setting a strong foundation also creates confidence and assurance for your business, company, or nonprofit. During the rebranding stage, it’s likely that you’ll encounter some setbacks, bottlenecks, and even a bit of opposition.

When you know why the rebranding must take place, you'll have a clearer vision and can address potential concerns with confidence.

Perform a brand audit

Brands often make the mistake of rushing into the opportunities they can create, even before identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

Before you rebrand, you must take stock of where your brand currently stands and how cohesive all the elements are. A comprehensive brand audit may take multiple things into account, including:

  • Current and future logo
  • Color or visual palette
  • Brand voice or messaging
  • Current branding strategies
  • Active brand awareness initiatives
  • Social media standing

The purpose of a brand audit is to understand which assets and activities currently serve your business, company, or nonprofit. Additionally, the audit should reveal the areas of concern or showcase activities that aren’t contributing to your brand’s mission and vision, or bottom line. 

As part of a full rebranding audit, you may also consider looking at your competitors and their services, current identity, and strategies. A competitive analysis helps you understand your unique selling points (USP) more clearly, helping you come up with a more effective plan.

Delegate crucial tasks

If you’re conducting your rebranding in-house, notify the potential team players of their future roles. This initiative includes more parties than simply those on the marketing team, so make sure to communicate clearly with anyone whose skills or opinions might be needed.

During the process, you can expect to recruit the skills of people like graphic designers, social media managers, copywriters, marketing professionals, sales representatives, and even upper-level executives. 

The more clearly you communicate rebranding expectations and goals, the more seamless the entire process can be. To address potential questions and confusion, nominate a point person for the project who can oversee major checkpoints and keep the rebrand tasks flowing smoothly.

Get specific on your stretch goals

Since rebrands often happen during a period of accelerated growth, you should pay careful attention to your company, business, or nonprofit's stretch goals. These metrics might not look the same for each business, company, or nonprofit, but they usually include some reference to the following data points: 

  • Amount of earned revenue
  • Number of new customers acquired
  • Number of customer conversions
  • Conversion rate (CR)
  • Return on investment (ROI)

As you perform and finalize your key initiatives, keep these metrics and growth goals at the forefront of your brand. When you understand precisely where your business, company, or nonprofit is headed, you can more accurately adjust your tasks to mirror the intended outcomes.

Perform quality assurance

As you complete your rebranding tasks (regardless of which tasks those are), always send them through a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) process. 

Not only does a QA routine promote interdepartmental collaboration, it also helps identify major mistakes or gaps in your rebranding initiative before they are seen by the public. 

Moreover, a QA process ensures that you catch any lingering marks of your previous brand, which could confuse your customers and stakeholders.

Run an official campaign 

Once you’ve completed the behind-the-scenes branding work, it’s time to reveal those efforts to your customers and prospects. But first, make sure to run an internal rebranding campaign within your company, business, or nonprofit. 

An internal campaign brings everyone up to speed on major changes to the brand voice, identity, mission, or messaging so that they can better represent those things in their everyday work.

A public-facing rebranding campaign might include the following steps:

  • An official brand announcement email (often from the founder, CEO, or head of marketing)
  • Social media posts (organic or paid advertisements)
  • Signature or profile changes for customer-facing employees
  • Updated website elements and digital assets
  • New content marketing materials that complement the new direction

The essential part of any rebranding initiative is transparency. As you announce your rebrand or new identity, you must be clear on your objectives for making the change, what the brand represents after, and what customers can expect in the future.

Remove the uncertainty by reassuring customers that while your look and feel may be different, the heart and soul of your business, company, or nonprofit remains unchanged. 

spilled coffee on a white desk and Mac keyboard

Mistakes to avoid in the rebranding process

With good planning and prep work, rebranding can be the step your organization needs to take in order to truly excel. At the same time, it’s important to be aware of major rebranding pitfalls that can crumple your efforts.

The following mistakes can sink even the most well-meaning rebrand initiative.

  • Failure to check trademarked brand assets – It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of rebranding, but you must always be careful to run any new logos or identify assets through standard trademark processes. Nothing is more hurtful to a rebranding effort than having to pull a new logo because of copyright infringement.
  • Lack of reliable brand research – Rebranding must be comprehensive, which means your organization must dedicate time to performing good research. Never rebrand based on assumptions that can’t be supported by good data.
  • Copying of competitor branding – While market and competitive analyses are important, simply duplicating what your competitors are doing is never acceptable. Your brand should always be distinguishable and unique, even when it comes to colors, style, messaging, and design. 
  • Releasing rebranded assets slowly – When you’re ready to announce publicly, make sure that everything is ready to go. A piecemeal rebranding initiative could create confusion and produce doubt for your ideal customer. Plus, a slow or delayed rebrand makes quality control and brand monitoring very difficult. 

What happens after you rebrand?

After you rebrand, keep your new initiatives top of mind. Generate buzz and excitement by promoting your new brand assets, increasing the number of customer conversations you have, and gaining as much press as possible. 

Rebranding concepts to remember

If you know that your business, company, or nonprofit could benefit from a rebrand but you’re worried about the amount of effort involved after learning what to expect with the process, you can eliminate that worry by having a solid plan in place. 

Although rebranding without adequate preparation can discourage some brands from taking the leap, you shouldn’t hesitate to make changes once you’ve identified and verified the need for a rebrand. 

Don’t forget—rebranding has helped corporations, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and many other types of businesses stay relevant in the market and to their ideal audience. The good news is that it can do the same thing for the organization you care about most.  

Don’t allow fear and hesitation to hold your brand back from what it is meant to accomplish in the world. 

Trust your rebrand to the experts

At Acton Circle, we’re dedicated to helping you develop an updated and contemporary brand that reflects your mission, vision, and values; from content planning and accentuating your services in the market to relaunching your website.

By partnering with a brand strategist and creative designer for your business, company, or nonprofit, you’ll reap the benefits of a full-fledged, professional rebranding process without the additional stress.

Published
May 18, 2022

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