Demanding Rebranding

August 09, 2016   /   by  Diane Callihan

Rebranding is a Process, Not a Project

Rebranding: the very word can strike terror into the hearts of business people and marketers everywhere.

To be sure, rebranding a company is an exciting endeavor, but it’s also fraught with peril. This article on Rebranding Disasters highlights some of them, from the famous New Coke failure to Gap spending $100 million on a new brand that was so hated, they switched back to the old brand within a week.

Rebranding takes a lot of time, money and effort since every single facet of your company will be affected - from the letterhead you write on, to the packages you ship out, to how employees answer the phone.

But for many companies, rebranding is a great, empowering thing. It can infuse your company with new life, bring you new business, and better reach your target market, as well as new markets. It can also allow you to build more cohesive, powerful campaigns, and create messaging that more clearly communicate who you are.

If your current brand is not helping your business, it may be hurting it. Rebranding can be the answer. Rebranding is transformative, impacting the entire business, to create better experiences for everyone.

So yes, by all means, go through the rebranding process. But remember, it’s a process – not a project. And it will require effort from everyone, long after the logo design is approved. So don’t go through all the trouble unless your entire company is 100% dedicated to maintaining it.

The Maintenance is the Magic

We’ve all seen examples of a number of companies that have invested big money into creating an awesome new brand. They get a shiny new brand strategy, with brand guidelines and standards to follow—all the tools they need to create consistently branded materials for all eternity.

And then they blow it.

They drop the ball.

Their new brand is launched and everyone assumes the work is done. The project is over.

It’s actually just begun.

Brands do not become iconic overnight. They do not instantly engender brand recognition or loyalty. These things take time.

But if your company is not strict about adhering to new guidelines for the long run, your new brand can slowly start to erode.

Maybe it starts when someone is crunched for time and decides to use an old PowerPoint template instead of the new one. Or when one of your offices can’t find the new logo file they need for a rush job so they try to recreate it.

Before you know it, your brand is all Care Bears and disco balls.

It happens. People want to cut corners. It’s hard to be diligent. But branding is about the entire experience of how people interact with all aspects of your business. If you slack off in any area, you’re going to impact how people perceive you. Producing that product video on your cell phone or getting a cheap print job at Kinkos can diminish your customers’ experience with your company.

You don’t just buy a car and then not maintain it. You understand you have to get gas, change the oil and filters, wash it, etc. Likewise, rebranding is an ongoing process of care and maintenance.

Be sure you have a brand champion or manager that can help you stay on track. You’ve invested a lot in this brand – stick with it, make it work and make sure everyone is on board.

We can help you navigate the perilous waters of rebranding, act as your brand advocate, and offer the ongoing maintenance needed to build an effective, iconic brand. Interested? Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.