Rebranding 101: Starting from Scratch?

When embarking on a rebrand, one key factor stands out above all the rest: consistency, consistency, consistency. Whether you are giving a long-standing brand a facelift, altering the direction of your business, or targeting an evolving audience, syncing your design and voice across all platforms is essential. In this mobile age, your website is the best business card. While redesigning logos and updating print materials are important steps, the way your brand appears, behaves, and translates online is crucial in 2019. 

Best-laid plans

Re-branding doesn’t so much mean starting from scratch as it does re-molding the material and information you already have. Step one on your rebranding journey: identify the purpose for your rebrand. Have you outgrown your old identity? Has your audience matured, changed focus, or been replaced by someone new? Have you as a business changed your offerings? Start with your website and collateral materials as they are, and take note of what works and what doesn’t. Do your research to find out what’s hot (and what’s definitely not) in website design these days. Choose images, verbiage, and advertising mediums that will reach and appeal to audiences you’re hoping to keep and gain. Consult with marketing experts on how best to pare down, rearrange, and refresh. Set a target launch date, establish goal posts, and be realistic about your schedule (don’t rush a rebrand!). Make sure your whole team—from office managers, to sales associates, to vice presidents—are aware of the changes and properly trained on new platforms and tools. The more planning you do ahead of the actual grunt work, the smoother the transition will be. 

Keep it clean

There are few things that send a potential customer running faster than a disorganized website. More egregious than neon green type on a black background, websites lacking intuitive navigation, possessing too many design elements, or sporting far too many menu tabs make site visitors want to throw their device across the room. It’s important, not insulting, to acknowledge that consumers have very short attention spans, and that you have a matter of seconds to hook a pair of eyes. One of your main rebranding goals should be to simplify. Keep what works for your business, scrap what doesn’t, and then apply the less-is-more approach when re-building your website. Home, About, Shop (or Schedule), Contact—that might be all you need for navigation tabs. One or two graphics per page, one or two paragraphs per section, clutter-free margins, straightforward calls-to-action, and simple logos will emanate competence and keep people on your page longer.

Guiding hand

Rebranding isn’t about forgetting your old identity. For loyal clients, your first or former identity is what drew them to the brand in the first place. Often, clients will have something to say about a rebrand, if merely to register their discomfort with change. Their thoughts and feelings are valid—and this is why you should devote some time and web space to addressing those concerns. Consider devoting a page of your new website to your old identity: tell your origin story here, post up your old logo, address your rebrand, and thank your loyal customers who supported you when. If you’ve changed your URL, make sure customers using your old URL are redirected to your new site automatically. By acknowledging that customers may have questions and concerns about a rebrand, you instill confidence and make them feel like a part of your journey.

Every little thing

As previously stated, consistency across platforms is key—if you’ve changed your logo, color scheme, or signature font, make sure you leave no stone unturned when updating your online presence. All social media accounts, your e-mail newsletter, even your app icon, if you have one, should match. And even though we’re talking about your online presence, the same goes for all your print and tangible materials. Utilize all eyes available to triple-check for discrepancies and inconsistencies before the unveiling. You don’t want to find out six months from now that your LinkedIn avatar doesn’t match your website! 

May we have your attention

Let the world know about the great work you’ve just done, updating and beautifying your business! Roll out that e-mail newsletter, deploy all the social posts, and, if you’re a brick-and-mortar business, make sure to communicate your updated online presence to your clients. Take advantage of your existing digital contacts, including Facebook friends, Instagram followers, e-mail contacts, or rewards program members, by dropping them a line and incentivising interaction (“Comment below to enter this contest!” “Drop by the store to redeem this coupon!”). 

A rebranding may seem daunting, but if you focus on planning ahead, simplifying, and unifying all platforms and collateral materials, the transition will be smoother than expected. The web in 2019 is all about mobile-friendliness, ease of use and navigation, and compelling your audience to stick around, all aspects that should be goal posts of your rebrand. We are here to help your business tackle your rebrand head-on, and together we can unveil the new you in style.