Business practices, marketplaces and customer behaviours are constantly changing.
Which inevitably means that so must you.
In a world that never stands still, great brands evolve (and we’re not just talking about refreshing a tired logo). Brand evolution is about enrichment of the entire entity – the suite of visuals that supports the brand, language and tone of voice and the entire approach to communication. A crucial element here is about maintaining a focus on what your consumers are familiar with; your reputation, your purpose, your principles and the promises you’ve made – it’s evolution not transformation.
Brand evolution is what keeps us connected, visible, vibrant, and memorable.
So what events tend to prompt a rebrand?
They could be fundamental changes to the business or maybe a number of smaller elements that are combining to make a significant impact. It will also depend very much on the type of business, the sector or environment in which it operates, whether you’re reaching out to other businesses or end consumers and the types of marketing strategies you employ.
Reasons for a rebrand may include:
- A business name change
- A significant change in management
- An overhaul of your vision and values
- A fundamental change in your business model or structure
- Marketing material is looking outdated, even embarrassing
- A change of premises or brand new business location
- When your business is celebrating a significant anniversary
- When you’re launching a new product/service or entering a new market
- When your image has become inconsistent
- When competitors are consistently winning the business over you
- When you’re no longer attracting your ideal client
- When your business is perceived as old-fashioned or lacking relevance
- When a previous change to your brand requires refining
It’s important to consider the type of audience and how this will affect a brand. Businesses with branding designed for B2B markets may be affected by events such as market changes or a major shift in the product or service.
Those businesses operating B2C style marketing are likely to take a different approach. Whilst still needing to consider the reasons listed above, consumer brands must maintain the ability to flex and adapt, reacting to much more changeable conditions. They will experience greater variables and less constants while companies with a commercial audience will tend to encounter the opposite.
What happens when business as usual resumes?
In theory, once the rebranding process is complete, a business has everything it needs to move forward with a fully revamped appearance. Guidelines will keep you ‘on-brand’, create design consistency and help to let customers know what sort of experience they can continually expect and rely on.
In reality, when it comes to rolling out campaigns in line with your rebrand, it’s likely to be more than a one-stage process, particularly for the B2C business.
Your brand standards can be put together in theoretical situations but after time, you may begin to unpick particular elements that don’t come together quite so well in the real world. And too many imposed constants will eventually become constantly dull. Companies often try to apply strict corporate guidelines to something that requires more flexibility when part of the process should include the ability to free up certain aspects of the brand so it can be tailored for specific projects and campaigns.
A refresh of your rebrand may be just what’s required!
We recently worked with a client who underwent an overhaul of their brand two years previously and a whole new set of brand guidelines had been created to support the change.
Nuance, the travel retailer needed to reinvigorate campaigns and promotions in their duty free stores but had limited scope to achieve this under their new brand standards. We needed to give consideration to the new, refreshed branding whilst creating a more dynamic approach that would engage customers instore. Our task was to provide a suite of marketing material that would support the ongoing campaigns, pushing the boundries of the brand standards – crucially, taking things that little bit further.
A rebrand may be just what your business needs to respond to changes, you may be just discovering what the business really represents or you’ve simply outgrown your existing brand.
In any event, with a complete rebrand, there is always the risk of damaging brand recognition and alienating customers so proceed with caution throughout the process and remember that subsequent enhancements can always follow.
Sometimes a brand refresh will be necessary to correct a previous rebrand or to address specific campaign requirements so don’t be afraid to build on the progress you’ve made, having had the opportunity to test things out.
Tweet us @Alivewithideas with your rebrand stories – successes or otherwise – We’d love to hear them!