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Strategy

10 Things To Consider When Rebranding

4 mins read

Rebranding is a route to maintaining (or creating) relevance and perceived value. However, over time, the changing world creates new audience behaviours and expectations, and quickly brand identity, messaging, and storytelling can become stale if an organisation doesn’t continue to evolve and adapt.

Over the past few years, it has felt like the only constant has been change. Just think of how your personal and professional world has shifted since 2019. Worldwide events have reshaped individual behaviour, expectations of work and even community cultures. This is true for every individual in every audience segment.

An organisation that cannot regularly analyse audience engagement, review the brand output and gently adapt positioning might quickly become irrelevant in the minds of its audience. And while maintaining relevancy is essential, it is also crucial that any new direction does not stray from your brand values, remaining aligned with your mission and vision.

How Does Company Rebranding Help?

Rebranding has more at stake than an initial branding project as there is existing market perception. It is the rebrand’s job to bring the audience on the journey to a new identity – but people don’t generally welcome change, so this can be a challenge. Stakeholder involvement is an important part of mitigating potential backlash.

Company rebranding considers the intangible and the tangible, exploring your vision, your ethos, the impact you want to make in the world and your internal culture – how all stakeholders experience the brand. This is then translated into a tone, messaging and identity your audience will respond to.

Therefore, the process is detailed and strategic. There is a lot of thought and consultation required for each decision to ensure correct application, and a large/renowned organisation can expect to work with a brand agency for 12 – 24 months on a full-scale rebrand, with an average investment of 10% – 20% of a marketing budget.

10 Steps To Rebranding

  1. An in-depth immersion and consultation to develop a new vision and positioning.
    Our first step is to put all thoughts and assumptions aside and really get under the hood. Spending time with an organisation to understand the nuances of your work and the opportunities and threats. Our stakeholder workshops are interactive and carefully designed to extract important insights.
  2. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of insights, previous work and positioning.
    As part of our discovery process, we will want to take a detailed look at your previous work, including service/product, operational and comms – after all, it is a combination of everything that creates ‘brand’. In addition, we will want to know what you have been doing, how much people know about it and what they think of it. We use anonymous surveys to provide stakeholders with an additional opportunity to provide honest feedback.

  3. Internal work on the organisation’s culture focused on optimising internal engagement.
    When looking at an organisation’s culture, we consider several key things, including the efficiency of processes and where frustration may build; staff wellbeing and fulfilment, how you prioritise EDI through all organisational functions, and the progression pathways.

  4. Development of organisational and comms-focused strategies for key areas.
    Through our initial discovery phase, we will have identified areas of weakness that need bolstering and areas where you are really strong and should be shouting louder. For example, comms are the front line for most organisations and will have insight about public reaction to organisation action and in-action. We then work with the relevant internal teams to develop strategies to protect and maximise opportunities.

  5. Working on positioning and messaging to ensure decisive and action-orientated comms.
    Most organisations looking at a rebrand have found their comms output has become stale or lacks impact. Usually, this is down to either the use of language lacking conviction or a lack of commitment to action. Learn more about how we helped the Professional Footballers’ Association move to more active and impactful comms around anti-racism.

  6. Development of a visual identity and tone of voice that engages the target audience.
    At this stage, we collate everything we have learned during the discovery phase and begin to create an identity that can be seen and felt. Every decision within the identity development is a purposeful step towards an effective system of influencing perception, which must align with the organisation’s vision and quality. Find out how we developed the new identity for the Professional Footballers’ Association as part of a detailed rebrand process.

  7. Establishment of strict brand guidelines.
    Brand management is an essential part of continuing evolution beyond the rebrand, and developing a guidelines document for all internal and external stakeholders to follow is key. Maintaining consistency will uphold the new brand identity’s integrity and protect the investment the organisation has made into the rebrand. The brand guidelines don’t just define visual rules but also core messaging considerations, such as ensuring that diverse representation is central to all brand messaging.

  8. Roll out the new brand across all touchpoints.
    With the new brand defined, it will need to be rolled out across all functional touchpoints, including video content, storytelling, social media, brand materials, staff presentation, membership engagement, stationery and more. Depending on the size of your organisation, the process for this may vary slightly, but our approach always centres on the mantra of ‘consistency’, taking the audience on the journey and making the process as smooth as possible for the internal team.

  9. Aligning campaigns, initiatives and flagship events.
    A large organisation will likely have many comms, brand and marketing functions happening simultaneously. During the rollout, it is important to remember that campaigns, events and initiatives – begun before the rebrand or planned for the future – will need additional consideration. It is important to review them in terms of brand identity and ensure the vision and messaging are still aligned with the overarching brand. For example, find out how we helped the PFA align their annual PFA Awards following the union’s rebrand.

  10. Designing and developing a digital presence that prioritises user experience.
    Dated brands often have dated digital platforms that do not serve their users’ expectations today. Websites which may once have been simple to navigate can become bloated with information over time, making the user experience frustrating. We conduct user experience workshops with stakeholders to ensure all website architecture and content hierarchy is based on the user’s expectations. We also take accessibility seriously and will work with you to define best practices for your audience.

When considering a rebrand, it is important to remember that put simply, a brand is what people think of your organisation. All organisations have a brand, whether they nurture it or not. The branding process is essentially psychology, with various carefully considered visual and verbal cues applied to help shape perception. When the cues you are using are no longer helping to shape that perception, it may be time to think about the value of a rebrand.

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10 Things To Consider When Rebranding

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