How To Rebrand Your Business

By Elin Enrooth

Today’s consumers are faced with more choices than ever. If you search online for a lawn mowing service in your area, you’ll likely be served results for 30 or more companies, not to mention the amateur down the street.

How To Rebrand Your Business

This saturated and competitive market means that a strong brand is more important than ever, especially for small businesses.

A good brand strategy helps establish trust, build credibility, improve recognition, and differentiate your business from the rest of the market.

However, over time, businesses will need to update their brand to reflect shifts in the market or changes in the company.

If your company’s vision, mission, or values are no longer reflected in the brand, it may be time to consider a rebrand.

Often, a rebrand signifies that a company has evolved beyond its previous identity and is now ready to grow.

Rebranding is a strategy in which a new company name, logo, design, concept, or combination thereof is created with the intention of developing a new identity in the minds of consumers.

Reasons to rebrand

A business’ branding must reflect its current culture, values, and mission. As a business naturally evolves over time, its branding must follow suit in order to stay competitive. Often, new business owners don’t have time to put much thought into branding. But as a business grows, a more deliberate branding effort is necessary.

1. Realign brand with company values and services: your business’s vision, mission, and values should guide every decision you make, including brand decisions. If your current brand doesn’t align with your business’s vision, mission, and values, then you should consider a rebrand.

2. Differentiate from competitors: your value proposition is what positions your business among your competitors. Research what your competition does. Determine how you stand apart from your competitors, and what your true value proposition is.

3. New markets: as your business grows, your market may as well. If you are expanding to new markets and trying to reach a broader audience that may not identify with your current brand, you should consider a rebrand.

4. Mergers and acquisitions: when two companies come together, the two brand identities must merge together as well. A new brand that reflects the new entity will prevent confusion and build trust.

How to rebrand

A rebrand is no simple task. The more established your business is, the more you have to lose from a rebrand. When you decide to rebrand, you risk losing loyal customers and brand recognition. However, if you get it right, rebranding will strengthen your business’s image in the eyes of its customers.

A rebrand should be rooted in research, strategy, careful planning, and collaboration.

Often, a brand refresh is mistaken for a rebrand. A brand refresh is focused on the visual assets of a brand identity. It may include updating the logo, slogan, color pallet, marketing materials, or fonts. For a mature business, a partial rebrand can help retain brand loyalty while refreshing an outdated image.

dunkin%20donuts%20rerandIn 2019, Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled its new identity, Dunkin’ in an effort to modernize the company. The new brand identity also included a simplified menu and an emphasis on On-the-Go Mobile Ordering, designed to meet the needs and demands of today’s on-the-go consumer.

However, if a business is undergoing a complete identity shift, a total rebrand may be in order. This option is typically suited for situations like mergers, entering new markets, offering new products, and other foundational shifts. In the event of a total rebrand, everything is on the table. This is a wide-reaching, high-effort overhaul of the brand strategy and execution.

1) Reestablish your audience and market

The first step to rebranding a business is to redefine the target market. Depending on how long you’ve been in business, what was true of your target audience back when you started is most likely not true today.

To redefine your target market, we suggest segmenting your current audience into groups to determine their perceived value.

  1. Determine which market segments your skills and resources can successfully service
  2. Analyze your markets to figure out which segments you are incapable of effectively servicing or are costing you money
  3. Use the data to help you understand how to expand your solutions so you can effectively service an untapped segment

2) Redefine your vision, mission, and values

Your vision, mission, and values are the essence of your business. These three principles should drive your business operation.

A vision statement describes the desired long-term results of your company's efforts. An effective vision statement is inspirational and aspirational and provides a concrete way for stakeholders, especially employees, to understand the meaning and purpose of your business.

A mission statement defines the purpose of the company. It supports the vision and serves to communicate direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders. Keep the following in mind as you create your vision statement:

  1. It should be simple, straightforward, and articulate.
  2. It should be motivational to both employees and customers.
  3. It should be concise.
  4. It should be unique and clearly separate the mission of the organization from other organizations.

A values statement defines the deeply held beliefs and principles of the organization. Core values are the essence of the business’ identity, support the vision, shape the culture, and guide decision-making.

For the duration of the rebranding process, refer to these statements constantly to ensure that the branding choices align with the company’s core beliefs.

3) Rename your business

Whether you're facing trademark issues, your business name no longer reflects your brand, isn’t unique, or is confusing or hard to spell, a name change may be necessary.

As with many rebranding efforts, a new business name may cause your business to lose recognition or confuse consumers, so you should be sure that the new name will actually benefit your business in the long run.

Your business name should reflect your brand

If you’re changing your business name, that means that your brand has changed quite a bit. Reference your vision, mission, and values statements to rediscover what your brand is today.

Make sure the new business name is easy to pronounce and spell

It’s vital that your business be easy to find online. As in all aspects of your business, make your name easy to pronounce and spell. Otherwise, brand recognition will suffer.

Ensure you can legally operate under the new name

  1. Ensure the name is available to trademark using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) on the USPTO website
  2. Check to see if an appropriate domain name is available
  3. Register the new name with your state and/or the Federal Trademark Commission
  4. Update or amend any legal documents to reflect your new name
  5. Register as a Doing Business As (DBA) where required
  6. Notify the IRS of your new name

Reconsider your slogan

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Also, consider revising your brand slogan or tagline when you rename your business. A tagline communicates what sets you apart from your competition.

Rebuild your brand identity

All visual elements of your business, including the logo, website, physical location, products, and social media should communicate your brand message.

These elements are often laid out in a brand style guide, which provides a set of parameters to ensure your branding is consistent across all marketing materials.

Logo

A logo must embody your brand and be recognizable, versatile, and timeless.

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Every design choice in your logo should exist only to serve and strengthen these requirements. If you meet these requirements, like simplicity and memorability, naturally follow.

Website

A website is the backbone of a business’s online presence. It helps build credibility and authority and supports all other branding efforts.

In addition to showcasing its products and services, a website also communicates a company’s mission and values. Allowing consumers to get to know the business helps to establish trust, which is the first step in building long-lasting customer relationships.

Is your business in need of a rebrand?

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