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Branding is very important to companies both big and small. It not only defines who you are, but also depicts a literal image and message to all consumers. However, as characterising as brands are, they aren’t always permanent. Over the last two years, RED Marketing has been at the centre of several partial and total rebrands. By rebranding, we mean a rethink of everything from brand voice to the honing of a central message, bringing sharp focus to what the company is all about. If you’re considering a rebrand – with a new name, logo or design with the intention of developing a new identity – keep reading for 4 tips on how to facilitate a successful rebrand for your business, plus examples of companies we’ve successfully rebranded.

Rebrand tip #1: Redefine your company’s messaging foundations

What are you doing, how are you doing it and why are you doing it? Before going right into a rebrand, these are the three questions you need to ask yourself. It’s easy to take your vision, mission and values for granted, but these can change as a company grows. Make sure you have a defined purpose so you have structure around your rebrand and stay on track with its success. We recommend analysing your company’s vision (this will affect everything from your website redesign to your hiring process), mission (when your mission changes, your messaging needs to change as well) and brand voice (the vocabulary, tone and voice you use for your brand have to match your message) to decide which parts of your company needs a little TLC. Once you have a purpose and goals in place, you can then start shaping your rebrand accordingly.

Rebrand tip #2: Reconsider your brand’s name and slogan

Each day, we’re exposed to thousands of advertisements, therefore creativity can go a long way in today’s world. We like to think of rebranding as an opportunity to start with a clean slate and try out new marketing and communication strategies. Changing your company’s name is a big undertaking that can cost you brand recognition and organic search traffic. But if it no longer fits, the best course of action is to rename your company during the rebrand. You can make a new word, use an old word in new ways, modify a word’s spelling, bring two words together, add a prefix or suffix, create an acronym, look to other languages or use a location. Whatever you decide, ensure your new name is aligned with your brand’s vision, mission and values so that it has a better chance of supporting your long-term growth.

Furthermore, you can also – or alternatively – change your company’s slogan, which captures its mission and vision. It’s a little easier for your marketing efforts than changing names, but you should still consider it carefully! While you may fall into the trap of getting sick and tired of your slogan because it’s heard so many times, we urge you to remember that it’s that same repetition that builds brand recognition. If your slogan isn’t really resonating among focus groups, you can get some new ideas by making a claim, getting metaphorical, using poetic language, providing instructions, leveraging labels or complimenting customers.

Rebrand tip #3: Rebuild your brand’s identity – and stay consistent!

Have the tangible elements you use to communicate your brand – we’re talking about your logo, colour palette, typography and brand guidelines – been in play for a few years? This means you might want to redesign your logo, use new colours in your brand material or even revisit shapes and imagery. A few common changes you might want to make as part of your rebranding strategy include: refreshing your logo to reflect the other major changes you’ve made internally, looking at your brand colours with fresh eyes using colour psychology and competitor research as well as reevaluating fonts by keeping in mind what worked and what didn’t with your old font (think accessing the font for PowerPoints or web design). However, brand consistency is important – with this in mind, don’t overlook it even when rebranding.

Rebrand tip #4: Make your rebrand known

Communicating your new message goes hand in hand with a rebrand. After tracking brand sentiment before and during the rebrand – and getting positive feedback – it’s time to launch your rebrand. When you finally go public with your rebrand, make sure everyone knows about it. If you don’t spread awareness of your changes, some people may not even notice all of your hard work! It’s important to plan a successful rebranding launch – we recommend announcing the launch of your rebrand with a post on your social media channels and a press release or blog post on your website. It should say exactly why your company needed a rebrand and what this rebrand means for the future of your company. Keeping customers in the loop helps them feel more connected and reflects wonderfully on your business reputation.

Now that we’ve explored some of the key aspects of rebranding, take a look at the below examples for further inspiration:

Evaton Mall

Along with an internal mission shift to be recognised as the ‘Mall for All’ in the Evaton community, Evaton Mall refreshed its logo and website to reflect its new slogan. Despite these changes, Evaton Mall continues to use the same orange and organic colours to ensure long-time customers continue to recognise the brand.

www.shopevatonmall.co.za

Thrupps Illovo Centre

A rebrand is a fantastic opportunity to refresh your public perception and get consumers’ attention. To reflect their change and growth over the years, Thrupps Illovo Centre has taken numerous successful steps to refresh their brand to reflect their values as they change over time. A name change for the Johannesburg based shopping centre is also in the pipeline.

www.thruppsillovocentre.co.za

In conclusion, rebranding a company can have some serious risks and downfalls if not done correctly. It’s no longer as simple as tweaking your logo and slapping the new version onto your website! When done right, rebranding is absolutely worth it. Be prepared to spend some money and potentially lose a few customers, and remember – confusion brings chaos, so communication is crucial during a rebranding project! To ensure that your rebrand goes smoothly – and that you see the major benefits down the road – get in touch with us at info@redmarketing.co.za.