Here’s how to execute a flawless
rebrand when it’s time for an upgrade.
We love a makeover show — Queer Eye, What Not to Wear, Property Brothers, Home Edit. Watching an overworked single dad get a head-to-toe glow-up, or a house with Addams Family vibes transformed into the most modern place on the block? What’s not to love?
What these shows do for people and buildings, we do for businesses. Branding is a lot like a makeover, but instead of Spanx and spackle, we use messaging and graphic design. And, like a good makeover, a successful rebrand does not attempt to reimagine the business, but rather reveals what’s been underneath all along.
You might be wondering — when is the right time to rebrand? It depends on your business, industry, history and objectives. These are a few of the most common signs your brand needs a makeover.
Questions to Ask Before a
To effectively communicate who you are, it’s essential to understand your brand’s identity. Ask questions — the right questions2 — to identify what sets you apart from the competition. What makes your product or service different? What do you offer that others don’t? What do your customers love about you? Just as importantly — what do you like and dislike about your current brand identity?
The answers to these questions will guide you as you make creative decisions throughout the rebranding process.
Refine Your Brand’s Message.
With a clear understanding of your differentiators, you’re ready to get the message across with the right language. This is where the magic of copywriting comes into play, and great copy is about two things: what you say and how you say it.
The “what” is fairly simple. In fact, after answering the questions above, you probably emerged with a basic understanding of what you want to say. If customer service sets your company apart, for example, then your copy may focus on how well you communicate, adapt and address client pain points. Determining your brand voice, or how you convey your message, may take a little more thought and finesse.
What Is Brand Voice?
Your brand’s voice is its personality. Just as personality traits affect how people communicate, your brand’s voice guides how you connect with consumers. If your B2B company offers advanced technological solutions, then your voice might be intellectual, crisp and professional. If you manufacture trendy clothing for twenty-something shoppers, your voice may be more conversational, colloquial and even irreverent. Remember that conversation is a two-way street. Understanding who you’re speaking to (your target audience) is just as important as knowing your own brand’s identity.
What Is Brand Tone?
While your brand voice will remain consistent across channels, your tone will vary. Brand tone is the style in which you communicate, including word choice, syntax and cadence. If your company serves a range of industries, your tone may change depending on the vertical you’re targeting. Likewise, a social media post can (and should) sound different than a formal sales presentation.
Refining brand messaging requires strategic planning, editing and testing. Make sure your copy is subjected to a thorough internal review process involving stakeholders who “get” your brand voice. Once you’ve released your copy into the wild, track how it performs on different channels and make adjustments as needed.
Establish a Consistent Visual Brand Identity.
No brand makeover is complete without a visual revamp. Remember those questions above? Your answers will determine which direction you take with your graphic design.
Revisit Your Color Palette
Sometimes (but not always) a rebrand includes an upgraded color palette. Consider who you are as a company, what differentiates you and how you want your target audience to feel. Does your current color palette uniquely represent your product or service, or does it conflict with what’s seen in your industry or the quality of your offerings? Exploring color theory, psychology and your competitors’ branding can help you make smart decisions about color.
Rethink Your Typography
The great thing about a rebrand is that you’re not starting from scratch; you have a whole history of visual materials you can evaluate and tweak to help you make the best decisions moving forward. Look back at previous marketing collateral to assess your current fonts. Are they easy to read in print and digital formats? Do they support your brand’s personality and voice? Are they out of date? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” it may be a good idea to select new fonts.
Develop Brand Guidelines
Whatever changes you make to your brand’s color, typography and imagery, consistency is key. Set the new guidelines in stone and make sure they’re clearly delineated for anyone who has a hand in your company’s marketing. Establishing a recognizable brand identity helps customers remember, connect with and trust your business.
Reveal Your New Brand.
Once you’ve established your new look and feel, it’s time to shout it from the mountaintops! Announcing your rebrand, especially if it deviates significantly from previous materials, will generate excitement about your business and answer any questions customers may have. Clients may wonder, for example, if the rhetorical and visual changes are the result of new ownership or offerings. Be sure to explain why you rebranded — usually, because it more accurately reflects your business’ personality, products and services — as well as any changes customers can expect going forward. Then start to roll out key marketing materials, like your website, brochures, emails and more with your refreshed brand.
Need a brand makeover? Not sure where to start? Contact us and we’ll get your business ready for its closeup.
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