Deciding to take your brand’s forward-facing identity in a new direction isn’t something that just happens overnight. For many businesses, a rebrand can take months – if not years (and that’s just once it’s officially started).
We recently worked with one of our long-time clients to turn their current brand into something that would fit their growing ambitions for the future. How’d we do it? And, more importantly, what do you need to think about if you’re about to embark on the rebranding process?
Poke holes in what you think you know
Step 1: Get clear about the primary target audience(s)
Who’s actually buying from you – and who they’re buying from instead of you? How does this compare to your understanding of your current target market? You might be shocked to find some pretty drastic differences.
Confer with the team
At the beginning of the process, it’s important to take stock of where your brand currently sits, and what your goals are for this new iteration of the brand identity.
Step 2: Outline the direction of the brand.
What’s new? Why the change? What’s the new brand purpose?
Step 3: Agree on the brand personality
If your brand was a person, what would they be like? What would they say (and how would they say it)?
Step 4: Identify three key messages
Your new brand needs to communicate effectively with the new target audiences you’ve found. What would resonate the most with your ideal customers? What can you communicate to them that would foster affection, connection and passion (ahem – the three elements of brand attachment)?
Think both explicit and implicit messages here.
Step 5: Come to some agreements
First, take a look back at the existing brand. Are there major concerns? What do you like about the existing brand? How will we maintain the brand equity already built?
Then, looking ahead: What must be included? What must be excluded?
Step 6: Pull out that drawing board
That’s right – now we can finally brainstorm a new name for your brand, but set some ground rules first!
IDEO U has some great rules that will help you and your team make the most of your brainstorming session:
- Defer judgement
- Encourage wild ideas
- Build on the ideas of others
- Stay focused
- One conversation at a time
- Be visual (use a Google Jamboard)
- Go for quantity
Step 7: Run focus groups with the list of names
You didn’t think we’d exclude research, did you? Incorporating research into your rebrand process will give you an added layer of certainty that what you’re coming up with amongst your team isn’t the result of an echo chamber but a brand that is truly
If you have a board or leadership team that you need approvals from, present the final shortlist with rationales, then dive into the next stage!
Step 8: Name and visuals collide
Once you have decided on a name, dive into the visual identity with your creative team, complete with colour, font, logo + mood board, and the general concept of other graphics for your sales and marketing collateral.
There are many reasons that your brand might be taking a closer look at its identity through a new lens; whether it’s market repositioning, a new philosophy, an acquisition or (if we’re being honest) boredom! We hope you have fun thinking about the new future of your brand – we’d love to help you take your new ambitions and make them a reality. If you’re looking to improve your brand strategy, let’s talk.