Hello world! My name is Mike Ploger and here at Visme, we want to help you decide when it’s time to rebrand.
The idea of rebranding your business can be quite scary. It’s the same as an individual deciding on a brand new haircut or a complete wardrobe makeover. There’s no textbook answer for when the time is right.
Some companies will wait decades between rebrands while others will redesign after just a few years. However, maybe there’s been a merger or a change in leadership or focus. There’s a number of instances that whisper, it’s time to rebrand.
Let’s take a look at what they are.
When Your Company Merges With Another Brand
When two or more companies link forces and become one, you have a merger. Chances are those companies already had their own logo. But now that they become one, a redesign is necessary to showcase the best qualities from each individual company.
Of course, you have to start with the name. There are three ways a new name can be chosen after a merger.
First, two names can form a compound name. Take United Airlines and Continental Airlines. The two joined forces back in 2010. And while United Airlines remained the name, the logo incorporated the latest Continental Airlines global icon.
Even later, another rebrand took place when the company erased the word airlines altogether. Now you simply have United as it’s most often referred to with that same global icon.
You can go back to 1998 when Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand. A piece from each was taken to become Price Waterhouse Coopers. 12 years later, it was again time to rebrand.
The company did a way with their entire name and simply became PWC. A much more modern version of its original self.
Another route to take is to create an entirely new, fresh name altogether. Did you know that Verizon is the product of a merger? Yes! The now multibillion dollar company was created after the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE back in 2000.
Rather than mix up those words, they created the word Verizon, which is a mix of the Latin word veritas meaning truth and the word horizon. And since the original logo, they’ve rebranded the design. The Z, no longer stands out and the check mark is much more subtle.
And lastly for mergers, sometimes only one name is kept. Go back in time to 2011 for a second. Prince William was marrying Kate Middleton, Adele had everyone rolling in the deep and AOL News merged with The Huffington Post.
Given Huffington Post’s power, their name remained. Add media group to that to show how they have grown and the rebrand was complete. That is, until 2017 when company went through another rebrand becoming simply Huffpost. We’ll dive deeper into this very shortly.
When Your Company Is Bought by Another
Everyone has a price. And sometimes the price for an entire company is enough to sell it entirely.
When this happens, a potential name change depends on the power of the companies involved. Some examples of company acquisitions include Procter & Gamble buying Gillette, Apple buying Siri and most famously, Facebook buying Instagram.
When Facebook took over in 2012, the photo sharing service kept its name, but slowly started to take shape of a Mark Zuckerberg social network. It wasn’t for a couple of years that the logo became what it is today. A sleeker, much more digital version of its original self.
When Your Company Appoints A New CEO
Okay. Back to the Huffington Post. In 2017, the company went through another rebrand after Arianna Huffington resigned as CEO and Lydia Polgreen took over the helm.
Not only did the logo change, but the website saw an overhaul reflecting the change in leadership. Now, whether it’s a new CEO, marketing director or editor-in-chief, a new rebranding strategy can be devised in celebration of the change.
When Your Brand Has Acquired the Wrong Image
It’s important to maintain control of your company’s image. However, if you’ve bad marketing or inconsistent messaging, sometimes the public can take it in a direction that it was never intended. If this is the case, it is probably time for a complete rebranding overhaul.
One of the biggest cases of this is with Burberry. After lowering their prices in the 90s, what was supposed to be a luxury brand was being worn by low class, obnoxious individuals. In fact, the behavior associated with the brand got so bad that wearing Burberry was banned from pubs in the UK. Yikes!
So Burberry accepted the challenge and implemented one of the most noted rebrands in history. They were confident, creative, embraced innovation and added some of the most attractive faces to their brand.
Once again, they became known as high fashion. And through it all, they maintained their same logo. Well, that is until 2018, when the logo saw a modern makeover despite its 90s infused fashion
When You Want to Reach a Different Audience
The personalities and interests of demographics are constantly changing. What piqued the curiosity of teenagers 20 years ago isn’t what sparks teenagers interests in 2019. A professional rebrand could be necessary if your main audience is 40 year olds when you want it to be much, much younger.
Take up MTV, the company was largely successful amongst teens in the 80s and 90s, but those kids now have teens of their own. So, recently they researched their target market, hired journalists and millennial influencers and changed their image without changing their logo.
Actually, for years they would create an all new logo for the VMAs each year but not anymore. In 2017, they created a logo that was intended to stick for good.
Another television example is TNT. Just like MTV, the channel was a favorite in the 80s and 90s. We Know Drama was their slogan.
But they decided they wanted to reach a much younger, more masculine audience. In turn, their slogan became Drama. Period. before changing again to simply, Boom. Their logo has seen six changes in the past 30 years.
When You’ve Grown Out of Your Initial Mission
A clean and concise mission statement is a crucial element to a company’s branding. With that said, a mission statement might change over time as the product changes.
Take Airbnb. What we know as an alternative stay for vacations and experiences away from home started as an app to help budget travelers find a spare couch to sleep on.
As people started to list more upscale places, Airbnb had to adapt. From couches to beach front homes, the company had to rebrand to fit their new mission.
Using their core principles, they created a new logo and they even gave it a name – Bélo, for belong anywhere, their slogan.
When Your Brand Needs to Stay Relevant
Now, sometimes it’s just a simple as staying relevant. You don’t want to fall behind or become forgotten. And a change in logo can help.
Sure, yeah, it’s publicity, but they’re also staying ahead of the game. Like TNT, Apple is a company that has changed their logo several times. The apple shape has remained, but the fill has changed with the times to keep their loyal customers happy.
12 Steps to a Rebranding Your Business
So, if your company falls into one of the categories that we discussed, I strongly recommend devising a rebranding strategy. It could be an entirely new name or just a simple change in your logo. However, it’s not as simple as just getting on Photoshop.
Here are the 12 steps to help you have a successful rebrand.
First: you must reanalyze your company’s mission and values. Are they still the same as what they were years ago?
Step 2: reanalyze your ideal clients. What demographic are you trying to reach?
Step 3: create a focus group with both existing and potential clients. Do your customers think that you need to rebrand?
Step 4: research the market to evaluate if your company is still relevant.
And step 5: brainstorm ideas on how to renew your brand while staying relevant.
Okay, once you’ve completed those five steps, it’s time to get to work on the actual rebrand. This is similar to the initial branding process when the brand was first launched.
Step 6: rewrite your mission statement.
Step 7: redesign the logo and take your time. Don’t be afraid to create several options.
Step 8: redesign all marketing materials. Like what exactly?
Well, step 9: recreate your brand style guide.
Or step 10: redesign your website. Then it’s time to let everyone know,
Step 11: inform your customers about the rebrand so they know what’s happening.
And lastly, step 12: relaunch your brand. Be confident and enjoy your new look.
There you have it! If it’s time for rebranding your business, make sure you prepare properly and take the necessary steps that we outlined in this video.
And if you’re looking for any other design techniques along the way, Visme has your back. Just check out our website and subscribe to our channel for content that is sure to help.
Until next time, I’m Mike Ploger with Visme, helping you Make Information Beautiful.