Business Branding (and Rebranding)

April 20, 2016

A rebrand can be a huge undertaking but, for some companies, there may be good reasons to do it. Lost brand equity through changing demographics or increasing competition for market share may signal the need for a brand makeover. Done right, a rebrand can breathe new life into a fading brand; done wrong, you may find your brand in even worse shape than before. What follows are some of the must-dos of successful business branding.

Find out what is and isn’t working
Before you make the decision to proceed with a rebrand, conduct an exhaustive brand audit. Invest in comprehensive surveys of consumers, your employees and other stakeholders. You should ask not only how your own brand is perceived, but also how your competitors are perceived. Only then can you uncover how best to align your new identity with the needs and expectations of your audience.

Find your story
The most successful brands achieve their success when their raison d’être speaks to something within the identity of their ideal consumer. To achieve this, consider what unique value your company stands for and how you deliver that value to your audience. The new brand identity should convey the value you bring.

Infuse your rebrand into everything you say and do
If your rebrand is simply a name change, it will likely fail. Consider what happened to Radio Shack when the company tried to rebrand as “The Shack.” The new name was supposed to appeal to modern consumers, but the company failed to align how it actually did business with the new name. As a result, it lost even more of what little brand equity it had and was forced to close more than 1,000 stores.

Business branding is not for the meek or timid. But by conducting research, considering the value you stand for and then living that value, you can be assured that your rebranding efforts will succeed.  Follow the example of Old Spice. In 2010, research revealed that some 60 percent of male body washes were actually purchased by women. The company launched its rebrand with a campaign to target women using the tagline “The Man Your Man Can Smell Like.” Almost immediately, its website traffic increased 300 percent, and within one year, its sales doubled.