Rebranding - mistakes to avoid
When planning rebranding it is often easier to consider what to avoid as well as best practise. So below are out top 10 tips on avoiding a rebranding disaster.
1. Confuse your brand with your logo
Your brand is not just your logo. It is much more than your logo. It is not just you webpage design. It is more than visual design. Branding includes the perception you wish to give of your organisation and includes your advertising straplines, tone of voice and style of image.
2. Focus on one medium
A brand needs to work across print, web, social, email, audio and video. It may need to work on clothing, on merchandise or large scale posters. Too much focus on one medium within the branding work suggests the project is a ‘design’ project and not a branding one.
3. Ignore or abandon your existing strengths
Re-branding as a result of one valid per small viewpoint can ignore the numerous good points with the existing brand. As the saying goes, take care not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
4. Ignore your audiences
Marketing departments will see the brand from an internal perspective. Brand consultant will see from a professional perspective. To get real feedback you need to ask your typical audience. Best practise would find out what perception the general population or your audience has of your organisation, and compare this with how you want to be seen.
5. Ignore your competitors
You can learn a lot from other companies and their approaches –the language they use, the imagery and their communications channels. Consider the choice presented to your audience, and how you differentiate yourself from the competition but remain within the same market.
6. Ignore the impact on your marketing plans
A rebrand is always huge disruption to ongoing marketing. Unless there is good reason for a rebrand (eg to refocus the business area, or upgrade the image) you will see a negative impact on planned marketing activity. Recognising this is important, as it is cost of the rebranding exercise along with costs of the rollout.
7. Thinking too big
The rebrand does not need new colours, typeface and strapline. It need not be a radical reinvention – and this is often very risky. Some of the most successful rebrands have made subtle and gradual changes to the brand – maybe the strapline, or the font or a slight change such as the colour shade.
8. Forgetting to carry out a cultural check
Ensure the final brand works with all cultures (language and country) that will use it to avoid embarrassing issues being discovered after launch.
9. Ignoring a final independent audience test
Test your ideas with some of your customers first. The marketing and branding team will be too close to the work to look objectively. A final check with independent customers or other stakeholders is important to avoid costly mistakes.
10. Changing too late
Rebranding is risky - but leaving too late can cause bigger business problems if the brand no longer works for the organisation. Most often a gradual updating is the best solution.
For further branding articles see Branding – choosing the right architecture