Rebranding is the process of changing a corporate image in some way to benefit the organization. There are multiple methods that a company can use to create the outcomes they desire through this opportunity. This market strategy could include changing the name of the business, giving out a new logo, or offering a design update for a brand which is already established in the minds of their targeted consumers.
The goal of rebranding is to create a different identity for a product, service, or business. This process creates a chance to separate an organization from its competitors and its chosen industry.
There are several reasons why a business might choose to start rebranding itself. It may need to connect with its customers on a more significant level. Some companies may need to change different components of their brand message because of current events or societal preferences. It is a process which can be proactive or reactive depending on what the goals of the organization happen to be for this effort.
If you are thinking about a rebranding for your business, then here are the pros and cons to consider today.
List of the Pros of Rebranding
1. It can help you to start attracting new customers.
When your product or service is in the marketplace for an extended time, then your image or brand message can begin to feel stagnant. You could even become irrelevant to your targeted demographics. It is easier for your goals and mission as a business to adapt over time than it is to meet the unique challenges that your customers face when you continue to offer the same thing. Rebranding your image allows new prospects to see who you are and what you can do while rekindling interest from your current base.
2. It can help you to achieve new goals.
Rebranding gives you an opportunity to shift the focus of your organizational efforts if there is a new goal that you wish to achieve. When your company has the privilege of serving customers for a long time, there is a need sometimes to improve your existing product lines or develop new ones. By setting new goals for yourself, it becomes possible to engage your employees as brand ambassadors while creating more opportunities for prospects to see if your goods or services can solve their pain points at an affordable price.
3. It can increase engagement levels with your customers.
If you add a product or service to your existing line of inventory, or make a change to your brand, then there is an opportunity to create a significant splash of interest in what you offer. The process of rebranding offers a chance to engage with people on multiple platforms about your new value proposition. It is a way to encourage social media communities to share and discuss this important moon for your company. You will also have new ways to show people how your changes will benefit them in the future. You get to explain why the alterations to your brand were necessary, and why you as an organization decided to take a “leap of faith” when implementing them.
4. It can help to streamline your messaging.
There are times when a brand message feels like you are playing a game of Telephone with your customer base. Although the vision of your company is clear at the beginning of the communication process, it can become muddled by the time it passes through 1-2 groups of consumers. This process can produce an outcome that is inconsistent, diluted, or even inaccurate.
The work of rebranding makes it possible to shift the focus back to your top priorities as a company once again. Even if your online reputation has taken a hit or your desire to build positive reviews has been on the back burner, you can use this effort to rejuvenate how people think and feel about what you can offer them.
5. It can help you to expand into different demographics.
When you have an established product, then you have a core base of consumers who will stick with you through thick and thin. They like what you have, so they continue to purchase it no matter what your branding happens to be. When you choose to go through a rebranding effort in this circumstance, then you are giving yourself an opportunity to reach out to new demographics. Getting more eyes on your products or services is an excellent way to encourage more sales to happen.
6. It doesn’t need to overhaul everything about your company.
One of the most significant mistakes that a company can make during the rebranding process is to change everything when that is unnecessary. There are some elements of your organization that do not require a new identity. Sometimes the simple act of refreshing a color or changing a name is all that is needed to reach your goals. You can even change the way that your name looks instead of a complete overhaul, much like Airbnb did with their logo update.
7. It can help you to consolidate your market presence.
There are a lot of companies active in the market today where they are offering several different products or services each under a unique brand name. This structure can be confusing for some customers when they want to understand your identity as an overall organization. By going through a rebranding effort, it becomes possible to create one style that represents every property that you sell.
8. It can change your internal perspective.
There are times when the internal perspective of your branding can change when your company begins to grow. That is why many organizations choose to take a different name or shift their message as they begin to establish themselves in the market. Many of today’s most significant brands went through this process at some point in their history. AuctionWeb would rebrand itself as eBay. The Kansas City Wizards in MLS would change to Sporting KC. Marathon changed over to Snickers. Opal Fruits became Starburst. When you create this change, it begins a process where people can see themselves differently as employees.
This process occurs at the local level in the same way that it happens with international productions. Grand Junction-based Mesa Developmental Services changed their name to Strive as a way to shift the perspective on the services provided. If you think that you’re small, then your pitch will be too.
9. It can help your business stay current.
The unique aspect of a business is that it could outlive everyone. There are roughly 5,500 companies they have been operating for over 200 years. These brands do not include government, religious, or educational institutions. Over 3,000 of them are located in Japan, with over 800 operating in Germany. Kongo Gumi is usually recognized as the oldest continually operating organization in the world. It was established in the year 578, and they specialize in the construction of Buddhist temples.
You must continue updating your mission, vision, and goals as a business if you are going to survive in the competitive landscape of globalization. Even if you are a business like Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which has operated the same hotel as a family-owned business since the year 705, people need to see that you understand what their current needs happen to be.
10. It can help you to avoid the trouble of current events.
Version 0.3 of the Linux distribution elementary operating system was originally dubbed Isis. After the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the company rebranded the product as Freya, which is a Norse horse goddess. There was a mobile banking app called ISIS in 2014 which rebranded to Softcard as a way to avoid disruption. The University of Arkansas renamed its Integrated Student Information System to UAConnect to avoid an adverse association. ISIS Equity Partners changed its name to Livingbridge to distance itself as well.
When there are current events that shape the way that society thinks about specific words, phrases, or images, then companies can rebrand as a way to disassociate from those circumstances. When ISIS Nails in Queens, NY eventually changed their name to Bess Nails and Spa, their revenues had declined by roughly 30% because of this issue.
11. It can help to shape new ideas.
People purchase items because of the emotional links and subjective relationships they form with the product. This interaction is what separates the famous brands from the ones that struggle to survive. You can change every aspect of what a brand represents as a communication effort, but it is still the value of what you represent to a customer that remains important. If you are losing people to the competition, then it isn’t because your logo needs a tweak. Your rebranding effort must work to shape new ideas in the minds of the consumer to help them recognize the value that you offer.
List of the Cons of Rebranding
1. It can create a lot of confusion.
People might disagree on a lot of things these days, but there is one place of common ground that everyone has at some level. No one likes to go through changing circumstances because change creates uncertainty. It is easier to sell goods and services when people know for sure what the outcome will be. When you change your message after consumers have gotten used to the older outreach effort, then they can be confused just as easily as they can be encouraged by the process.
You must be proactive about rebranding for it to be a positive experience. Without communication, you will just create confusion.
2. It can cause you to lose customers.
Some people just like change so much that they decide to stop doing business with their favorite brands when they encounter it. Rebranding always brings with it a risk of losing customers. Even if you do everything right during this transitionary process, there are still people who will decide that your new value proposition is not something that they want in their lives. You might have very good reasons to focus on rebranding, but you can also make people think that these changes are updates to your values that some customers see as unwanted.
About 75% of people create their identity through the brands that they choose to use or follow in life. If you decide to go through a rebranding process, then you are literally changing the way a person perceives themselves.
3. It will cost you money.
Going through the rebranding process as an organization is never cheap. You must be prepared to spend money on every element that requires an update. There are always some ways to save some cash during this process, but you will still have the significant expenses of changing your graphic designs, adding new content, and developing a new advertising campaign. That’s why you must be clear about the goals you have for this process before jumping in headfirst. If you have uncertainties about what to do, then you could be throwing good money at a bad idea for a long time.
4. It requires a lot of research before you start the process.
In 2010, Gap decided that they needed to have a rebranding effort done as a way to stand out from the rest of the retail competition. Instead of communicating these changes to the general public, the graphics and appearance of the company changed seemingly overnight. Instead of using their blue block that had been in place for several decades, they used a font, color, and gradient change to create a new look. The large block would become a small square.
The company spent over $100 million after implementing its rebranding effort as a way to save it. There was so much negative feedback from the effort that the old logo was reinstated after just six days. Unless you take the time to research what your customers perceive that they want, then you could find yourself in a similar situation in the future.
5. It can be met with suspicion.
There is a reason why you are choosing to go through the rebranding process. Your customers are going to understand that there are greater motives involved than a simple change in your perspective, message, or outlook. It may be a need to modernize your graphics because your company has been doing business for so long that the initial images became outdated – like the Prudential update. Unless your customers have clear guidance as to why you feel this update is necessary, there is an excellent chance that they will begin to treat your organization with suspicion. That outcome can lead to negative feedback and reviews even when a transaction does not occur.
Rebranding is an effective way to create more attention for an existing set of products or services without going through the entire expense of developing something new. Although there are risks involved with this process, it is also possible to engage new demographics, bring back previous customers, and create extra excitement for what you offer. You might not stop everyone from leaving, but transparency and honesty will help your company maximize results.
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