Just saying the word “rebrand” can spark very opinionated conversations and even heated discussions for businesses. For some, a rebrand can be just the ticket to skyrocket sales, but that does not mean it’s an easy undertaking. In fact, a rebrand goes far beyond just a new logo design – it requires immense research, strategy and company wide implementation. In this post we are going to share the top motives for undergoing a rebrand and then offer a strategy with tips to make sure that your rebrand is a success.

Why Rebrand?

There are countless reasons why a company decides to rebrand but that does not mean that every brand should. In some cases, it’s even advised not to. A great example is when back in 2010 Gap launched a new logo design to try to adopt a more modern look. This backfired however and it was reversed within a week! As you may have guessed, their original logo was far too iconic to the brand and their audience was not accepting of the change.

Now, here are some of the top reasons that a company should change up their branding:

Staying relevant in a fast changing world. A great example of staying relevant in our rapidly changing digital world is the Yellow Pages brand. Remember those big yellow directory books that used to live in every home? As soon as the World Wide Web took off, there was really no reason to endlessly flip through pages to find a phone number when the information was at your fingertips online. Instead of becoming a thing of the past, Yellow Pages rebranded to YP and evolved into a massive online directory. This is what it means to stay relevant. Adapting to the current demands of customers and the market and being innovative as times continue to change.

An expected growth. Perhaps your company is merging, acquiring another company or there’s another anticipated upswing in business. This would be an ideal time to undergo a rebrand so that you can ensure your brand will be aligned to the audience behind the anticipated growth or change within the company.

A new product line is launching. The launch of a new product or service is a perfect opportunity to reposition the company as a whole. Whether it’s small updates to elements of the brand, or a full overhaul, launches provide a window of opportunity to make simultaneous changes to your logo, messaging, and ad campaigns to succeed.

Negative publicity. A rebrand is not always due to positive circumstances like growth and new trends. In some cases a company may decide to rebrand after they have been subject to negative press that is having a damaging effect on their current brand and reputation. In these cases, the rebrand comes with some extra weight, as there is usually a tarnished reputation to repair in the process.

Regardless, there are many examples of companies who have had to pour all of their attention into a rebrand in order to save the company image. A fitting example is Stella Artois for being targeted for appealing to binge drinkers, promoting violence and vandalism. In 2008 the company took action by lowering the alcohol content in their beer, changing up their ad campaigns, and creating the 9-step process to pour the perfect pint. Over time, Stella regained trust with its audience and now appeals to a more “mature” audience.

Tips for a Successful Rebrand

If your company has decided that it’s time for a new vision, it’s important to plan out the rebrand to ensure its success and ROI. Here are a few tips to navigate the waters of rebranding and align your company for success:

Customer research

While it can be a fun internal exercise to come up with new design ideas or ad concepts, what really sets up your brand for a successful change is when you have done thorough market research so you understand exactly what your audience is looking for. It takes the guesswork out so that you can feel more assurance your efforts will be met with positive attention and reaction…and more sales! A few ways to go about this research would be through social media interactions, focus groups, even collecting information from happy customers.

Implementation plan

Execution is where the work really begins. In order to be sure that you are covering all of your bases during a rebrand, we suggest creating an in-depth implementation plan so that you can schedule out all of the tasks amongst the entire team, ensuring cohesiveness and completion of the project. Things to consider are compiling all of the customer research, having the design and marketing team meet to formulate the new vision, scheduling out the actual design work including a new logo, branding guidelines, updates to your website, and the creation of new copy and ads, and then setting firm deadlines that keep the entire team on track.

Marketing the new look

Once the new concepts are ready to go, it’s time to show off your new look. Without an effective marketing strategy, your new brand could be over before it even started. A successful marketing strategy will really depend on your audience, company size and the purpose or intention of the rebrand. Remember to use the customer research to help develop a clear campaign to launch the new brand.

As always, be sure to reach out to the marketing and design team at Sabre to help bring your company through the entire rebrand process. We’re here to help!