Thinking about refreshing your brand identity? Perhaps a competitor just went live with a new marketing campaign that inspired a “why didn’t we think of that?” revelation and you’re feeling inspired to shake things up.
Taking bold actions with your brand can yield great reward but can potentially do more harm than good when executed without careful consideration. Having your informational ducks in a row in order to capitalize on an opportunity or solve a problem will help to ensure your rebrand yields tangible results that propel your business forward.
We recommend clients consider the following questions before diving into a rebranding project:
1. Why are we considering a rebrand?
There are a number of reasons to revamp your brand, from adjusting the message you communicate to seizing on new opportunities in your industry. Pinpointing your exact purpose allows you to define a project scope to make sure you’re not asking for too much or too little from your agency.
2. What problem are we attempting to solve?
Ideally, the answer to question #1 is that you are attempting to solve a problem (even if that problem is that you could be doing even better than you already are). Identifying your problem will allow you to create a real objective that a branding agency can assess and use to offer possible paths forward. Rarely is a new logo a ‘solution’ to an actual problem unless that problem is “I don’t have a logo.”
3. Have our competitors made changes that are impacting our ability to grow and prosper?
Shifting consumer demands and new technology can open windows of opportunity to your competitors that can hit your brand like a punch to the gut. Are you prepared to meet the challenges of your industry or are you needing to shift your brand’s position and offerings in order to survive?
4. Why does our brand matter?
It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations of your organization. Though you might have some ideas as to why your brand matters, you might also benefit from bringing in an agency who doesn’t see things through the rose-tinted lens of your specific industry. Together, you can define a purpose that resonates across your target audiences.
5. Have we figured out precisely who should care about our brand?
Understanding not only your target audience but your existing customers is key while re-envisioning your brand. The more customer and market data you’re able to bring to the table for your agency to review, the better equipped they’ll be to help solve your problem.
6. How has our ideal customer/client changed (if at all)?
It’s difficult to pinpoint your ideal customer before launching a brand. In time, it’s not uncommon to find that your customers are not quite who you thought they might be. Perhaps your current customers are ideal and you’re hoping to grow your reach with similar people? Maybe you’re inadvertently ‘in with the wrong’ crowd and needing to make a change in order to get on track?
7. Is our brand a leader in its market?
Industry leaders come in many forms, from the best restaurant in town to the world’s largest online retailer. If your brand is leading a market that you want it to, you might want to consider a more subtle evolution so as not to disrupt your status. If you’re not a leader and aiming to become one, it’s worth studying what the current leaders do effectively and how you can adapt their successes to your own brand.
8. How does our brand function internally?
Before committing to any serious overhaul, it’s important to understand how your brand functions within your company. If you produce marketing materials or ads in-house using specific style parameters, your agency partner should make an effort to understand the systems you’ve set up and to educate you on how they might evolve should you make any serious changes.
9. Are we prepared to fully invest in a rebrand?
Hiring an agency is only part of the cost of a rebrand. Are you prepared to invest in the time required for you or a designated employee to oversee this project? Do you have room in your budget to replace obsolete print materials? Will your new direction create a need to add staff or change production methods? Your agency should work with you early on to identify these potential expenses and steer the process in a direction that causes minimal cost surprises.
10. Have we formed a committee to manage the rebrand or are one or two people managing the project who are invested, available, and inspired?
Design by committee can not only fail to solve a problem but create even more problems in the process. Consider assigning a dedicated person (or VERY small team) to your rebrand project who is invested in the process and excited to help shape your future.