Many companies have found that re-branding has enabled them to reach new clients and become far more successful than in the past. Others have found it to be a disaster that had to be almost immediately undone following public backlash. Following are some tips for your business if you are considering changing your business name and/or logo but want to avoid a re-branding disaster.
Have a Good Reason
There are many good reasons for rebranding. Perhaps your business has expanded and is offering new products and/or services that it did not previously provide. If your business name and logo is tied to one particular product or service, it could be a good idea to change it to more accurately portray who you are and what you do.
Another good reason to rebrand is if research shows that your target audience is changing. If your new customers don't appreciate your existing logo, name and/or tag line, some additional research may be in order to see if it's time to rebrand.
In any case, you need to have a very good reason to rebrand if you want to avoid a public relations disaster. Customers don't appreciate rebranding done just because a company owner or a group of executives wanted a cooler name and logo and/or wanted to charge more for certain services. Businesses that have found this out the hard way include Gap, Radio Shack and Netflix.
Make Sure it's Research-Based
One of the best ways to avoid a re-branding disaster is to make sure your rebranding efforts are research-based. Old Spice clearly did their research before creating a new tag line for their business; the result was that their website traffic tripled and sales doubled in just one year. Federal Express did one year of research before renaming itself FedEx. The rebranding effort is considered to be one of the most successful in the world.
In your research, you need to find out:
- Who is buying your products
- Why your customers like your products
- How long most of your customers have been doing business with you
- What customers appreciate/dislike most about your company
The more you learn about your target audience, the higher the odds are that your rebranding efforts will increase sales and website traffic.
Prepare Your Audience
Let your audience know in advance that you are rebranding and explain your reasons for doing so. You can even involve your blog readers by asking them for input. Naturally, not everyone will be happy to hear you are rebranding but most people will accept it over time if you have a good reason and have prepared them for the event beforehand. If you intend to change your company name, don't do it all in a rush. People may not associate your new company name with your existing business and may think you have closed down.
Keep an Eye on the Results
Don't expect everyone to appreciate your rebranding efforts. There will always be people who will criticize your rebranding efforts no matter what you do. However, over time, most people will get used to your new name, logo and/or website design.
Unfortunately, there are times when your re-branding efforts will fail. In such instances, keeping a close eye on the results of your re-branding efforts will help you correct matters quickly, before you lose too many loyal customers.
If you have done everything in your power to avoid a re-branding disaster but find you are faced with one anyway, take heart. Numerous companies have gotten an untold amount of flak for attempting to rebrand themselves, including Hershey, Airbnb and Tropicana. Reverse course and switch back to your old branding as soon as possible. Apologize to anyone who may have been offended by your rebranding efforts. Think about what lessons you can learn from the incident and continue to focus on building a successful business.
Avoid a Re-branding Disaster with Professional Help
Getting professional input is one good way to avoid serious re-branding mistakes. This is especially true if you are creating a new logo. Airbnb made an embarrassing mistake along these lines when it attempted to create a logo intended to denote belonging, only to find that could easily be interpreted as looking like something far less innocent. Hershey found out after it released a new logo that it looked way too much like the poop emoji.
If you need professional re-branding assistance, Brandgy can provide the personalized help you need to successfully re-brand your business. The company not only specializes in branding but also other important forms of internet marketing such as offsite marketing, content marketing and website design. Get in touch with us to find out more about our services and how we can help you portray your business in the best possible light.