New Look, New Attitude: When To Rebrand Your Company

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Branding for your business Is your company’s image getting stale? Are sales sagging? Or has your firm’s reputation been damaged? It may be time to rebrand.

“It’s time for a rebrand when your product or service experiences drastic changes (such as Apple dropping computers from its name), or when your brand falls out of favor (like RadioShack) or when your branding no longer aligns with your intended customer (customers are confused what products and services you offer, a rebrand can make it more clear),” explains Corey Barnett, Digital Marketing Consultant at Internet marketing service firm Globe Runner.

Steps to rebrand:

–Take a fresh look at your company. “Revisit the company?s unique value proposition ? has it improved? What?s different today versus when the business started?” suggests Kara Jensen, creative principal of Internet design and marketing company Bop Design.

–What’s the current marketplace like? “Do a situation analysis of the current marketplace ? where are the new opportunities? Who is your new ideal customer?” says Jensen. Marketing expert Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls, agrees. “Do market research to make sure the changes are driven by your customers, not internally,” she adds.

–What exactly needs to be overhauled? “What elements of the brand need to change ? is it a complete overhaul or do certain collateral (e.g. Tagline, logo, website) need to change?” says Jensen.

–Do you need outside help? You might need to hire a branding expert. “If you do not have the right resources in- house, find an experienced partner to help you through the process,” says Arnof-Fenn.

When rebranding, you don’t want to lose your loyal customers. “Reach out to current customers separately; they are your first priority. JC Penny’s might have learned beforehand that it should have never rebranded itself, moving away from frequent weekend sales to low prices in a move that confused customers. A rebranding requires customer education for success,” Barnett points out. “Go back to your customers with the new brand and make sure it is resonating with the target audience,” explains Arnof-Fenn.

Letting your customers know you are still there for them is very important. “Set a communications plan well in advance of the rebrand so current customers aren?t left in the dark. Customers will need to be alerted of the rebrand so they understand you?re improving, not changing. Don?t over-complicate it ? state your reasons and how the rebrand will benefit your customers moving forward,” adds Jensen.