You’re thinking of rebranding your business: you’ve expanded your offerings, your field is changing, you feel that your current branding is no longer speaking to you or your clients. Coming up with a new logo and website overhaul sounds fun, but before you go hog-wild with the color swatches, read these 8 tips first!
Establish the Purpose of the Rebrand
Shaking things up for the sake of it is a good way to refresh and rejuvenate yourself, but make sure the rebrand of your business is happening for a reason. Is there a new market you’re hoping to target? Is there a new facet to your business you hope to promote? Are you expanding your services? Are you hoping to set yourself apart from your competitors in a crowded field? Whatever the reason, make sure it’s solid and will yield concrete results…don’t just do it because you’re bored! State your purpose, set solid goals, and then start shaping your vision.
Know Your Audience and Yourself
Who are you and what design elements speak to you and your business aesthetic? Logos, websites, and branded materials can have a huge impact on potential clients, letting them know exactly what kind of company you are before they ever even meet you. Having a cartoony, colorful and amateur logo for a business that specializes in boutique floral arrangements, for instance, could make potential clients think you are a hack. Whatever the final design ends up being, make sure you can stand behind it and can speak to how it represents your business. Having a consistent and confident motif that fits the nature of your business is crucial.
Involve Trusted Contributors in the Process
Rebranding can feel like a daunting task for a business owner to take on. Hey, remember those employees that help your business to run? Ask them for their input! You never know what fresh and untapped creative energy is waiting in the wings. Are you a sole proprietor? Ask mentors, fellow business owners (preferably in a different field), even trusted, long-time clients who will keep a lid on any secret details. Enlist the help of a small crowd if you are feeling stuck. Having both internal and external contributors can help you gain perspective. On the flip side, don’t let so many people weigh in that the end result feels disjointed.
Let the Process Take You in Unexpected Directions
It may help you to organize your rebranding ideas by creating categories for potential branding styles: are you thinking bold? Elegant? Colorful? Edgy? All of the above? Try them all! Some may ring less true than others, but that’s what the experimental stage is for. Once you see all your best options laid out side-by-side, it can help you narrow down which style feels like you. But just remember that age-old design rule: less is more.
Experiment and Be Creative
Rebranding is an opportunity to start with a blank slate and try out new marketing and communication strategies. It may be tough to stand out in a crowded market, but experiment with previously-untouched advertising strategies, channels, or marketing materials. For example: get fresh ad copy! Create your own hashtag! Post behind-the-scenes shots on social media! Make t-shirts! Keep track of what works and what doesn’t with metrics, both from before and after the rebrand launch.
You may have a fancy new logo or branded color palette, but you should consider preserving some elements of your brand, such as your tone, language, and personality. Clients should not feel like they no longer know you post-rebrand. If keeping some graphic elements of your old brand is out of the question, consider keeping your audience in the loop during the rebrand process, so the new look doesn’t seem jarring to them. Additionally, post-rebrand, make sure all elements fit the same aesthetic and voice. Your logos, colors, and verbiage speak volumes about your business, and are often the first thing people see before they ever work with you. You don’t want them to feel like your website and letterhead come from two different companies.
Realize You Might Never Be 100% Ready
There are always going to be more projects and ongoing improvements to your company, and you’ll keep thinking, what if we miss that one crucial element that gives us that edge?It’s important to draw a clear line and to go for it, while acknowledging that there will always be more boxes you’ll want to check off. If you wait until you think you’re 100% ready to launch the rebrand, you’ll end up waiting forever.
Make Your Rebrand Known
You developed your vision, you set your goals–now let the people know! Keeping your current clients and target audience in the loop makes them feel connected to you. Folks like to do business with companies they perceive as honest and candid–in other words, run by real people. Launch your rebrand with an event, alert the media, and advertise your changes through printed mailers or social media. You want people to notice all your hard work!
Armed with these tips, you’re ready to jump feet-first into your rebranding efforts.