Posted on 11th May 2021
by Steve Goy
Many businesses went through a rebrand in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of continuing in the same vein, they reinforced the fact that they continued to trade by launching a new visual identity.
For the first time in more than 20 years Burger King unveiled a new logo, (although its admittedly not a million miles away from what they already had), new packaging, uniforms, and signage. GM (General Motors) released a new logo that centres around its commitment to electric vehicles. Another car giant, Kia, saw its best year for sales in 2020 and celebrated with a new logo. Even the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had the energy to progress its most significant brand refresh in 70 years, whilst delivering billions of vaccines worldwide. The list of brand heavyweights goes on, Fisher-Price, Hello Fresh and TGI Friday. A further three more motor industry giants rebranded too, BMW, Toyota, Nissan and Renault, although the latter did it so quietly that seemingly no one noticed!
As we follow the roadmap out of pandemic related restrictions, more businesses will inevitably join this list. If you are to be one of them, rebrand rule number one is to balance the freshness of a new look brand with the familiarity that keeps your existing customers on-board.
The pandemic has shifted our values. Now more than ever consumers want to associate themselves with brands that are relevant, sustainable and authentic. Leading brands are expected to be attuned to social issues like racial justice and addressing inequality. Environmental issues are front and centre to brand positioning too. In essence, brand needs to communicate how they were there for people during the pandemic and how they deserve enduring loyalty in the new look future. It’s a daunting task by anyone’s standards.
A good place to start is to understand the three main categories on which you brand communicates with an audience:
Science: These are the things you can directly measure by getting data for and gathering performance measurements. Did one campaign perform better than another?
Art: The creativity of your brand. Do you communicate on a conceptual level or is the branding matter of fact?
Craft: Management and execution. How did you get your branding out there? Who is in charge of the brand?
In times of unprecedented change, the foundations of your brand need to be solid. You can only drive the perception and performance of your brand with a clear understanding of your customers and market. Be creative, be clear and link your objectives back to brand experience, how your customers feel when they engage with your name, product, or service. Decision makers need an open mind and a “yes and” approach, to effectively develop and debate new ideas.
Let’s translate this vision into 10 top tips for implementing a rebrand:
1. Your Values
Revisit and study your mission, vision, and values.
2. Team Goals
If you don’t have them, this is your first job! Externally, a mission, vision and values define where your brand sits, internally they align your team to common goals.
3. Strengths and Weaknesses
Look at the strengths and weaknesses of your current brand, with qualitative and quantitative data, i.e. numbers and statistics balanced with words that reflect brand characteristics.
Seek out feedback from your customers and potential customers, and benchmark what you do against your competition.
Decide which aspects of your branding need to stay and which need to change. (Remember the “yes and” approach, an open mind is essential).
Know what your key objectives are post rebranding. Think holistically, your brand is more than a logo, it’s how people see you and the values your business stands for.
7. Your Brief
Get in touch with your marketing agency or Design Team and share your complete rebrand brief, being super-clear on your objectives.
Carefully consider the designs and proposals you receive. Involve key decision makers only, everyone else should be on-board by this stage and ‘designing by committee’ doesn’t work for anyone!
Test new brand concepts with your nearest and dearest customers.
Decide how to launch your rebrand, with your customers and the big wide world. Also ensure you are given brand guidelines for all media channels and communicate this clearly across your team, as you move forward with the rollout of your new branding.
Beyond our top rebranding tips we’re here to share ideas and the experience that we’ve gained from working with market leading businesses across the UK. Feel free to get in touch!