8th May 2024    |    Insights

A guide to the art of rebranding

Picture the scene. You’ve been running a successful business or brand for years, it’s popular, it’s instantly recognisable and profitable…so why would you want to change it – and if you do, where do you even begin?

When it comes to rebranding, there are many reasons why it has to be done. Sometimes the business has a new vision and is starting to move in another direction, or has a new product or specialism and wants to expand into a different space.

Sports teams and venues will often need a total rebrand because of a new title sponsor or partner, sometimes it could be the result of a merger or acquisition or even after a recent PR crisis.

Whatever the reason, a rebrand will always be a milestone moment. At a glance, it may look like all that happens is a new name and logo, but this really is just the tip of the iceberg.

A rebrand doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not as simple as just finding a design team to create a new look and buy a website domain, instead it needs a failsafe strategy.

For this reason, it’s not something to tackle alone. Calling on the experience of a marketing agency may seem like an extra expense, but it could be the difference between success and failure.

Finding a rebranding specialist won’t just speed up the process, it will ensure you have all the tools and support you’ll need to get it right first time.

At Allies Group, we take our clients on an exciting journey with a rebrand, listening to their needs and creating a unique new brand story just for them.

So, if you are going to take the plunge and go for a rebrand, what do you need to be thinking about?

Is it really necessary?

Before you begin, it’s important to establish the reason. If it’s a situation where the main partner or title sponsor has changed it’s probably essential, likewise if you’re looking to regroup after a serious PR crisis.

However, it’s best to consider if it can be avoided and weigh up whether or not it’s the best move for you.

If you’re an existing brand, your name is already out there and there will already be some value attached. People know you, customers trust you and the brand will carry some value.

A rebrand, a new website, name and look means starting afresh and this may just be more work and trouble than you had expected – and if it isn’t done correctly, you could end up worse off.

Nail your strategy

Once you’ve decided to rebrand, the first thing you need to do is ensure a firm strategy is in place.

The design of new logos, website and the rewriting and updating of content can take many weeks – which could leave you without an online presence if you don’t have the right people on the job.

At Allies Group, we strive to ensure a seamless changeover between websites, transferring data and setting up redirects, something which is commonly overlooked yet can prove very costly in the long run.

Social media channels can usually be renamed easily but unless you’ve pre-warned customers that change is coming, a new name suddenly appearing on timelines could be confusing and you may even lose some followers.

Make sure you write a list of everything that needs to be changed and/or created and ensure you designate the work accordingly. Make sure everyone knows what they’re doing and to what timeframe, which will help improve and streamline the operation.

It could be a wise move to start mentioning your rebrand to existing customers as soon as the plan is finalised to give them early warning for when you reappear under a different guise further down the line. Good communication now will only make the process easier later.

Identify your identity

Identifying your new brand name and image is not something to be rushed or taken lightly and if you’re rebranding, it usually means you’ve already been through the process at least once – although that doesn’t mean it’s any easier.

This time, a firm needs to look at things like name, colour and logo and meet repositioning objectives, while taking into consideration how this will appeal to both new and existing customers. While attracting new business will always be the main aim, it’s equally vital to ensure current clients are happy, so it’s important to keep this in mind as you forge ahead with plans.

It’s also vital to ensure that relevant social media handles and website domains are available before you begin.

What’s in a name?

Changing the name may be the most daunting task of all. Often, a company just simply outgrows its name. It may no longer match what the business has become, perhaps there’s a new owner, or the firm is moving in a new direction. However, changing it shouldn’t be a rash decision or taken lightly.

Whatever the reason for the rebrand, it’s wise to choose a new name which reflects the company’s identity and supports the core mission – and it’s wise to consider something adaptable to accommodate any future growth or changes.

Depending on your business and the reason for the rebrand, don’t make the name too long, too hard to spell or too difficult to interpret. For instance, sports teams often adopt the name of a main sponsor which can cause issues with the media, who won’t always be keen to give away free advertising or may not have space to accommodate long names. Try to keep your name as short and snappy as possible.

It’s also worth noting, particularly for firms who rely on a digital and online presence, that a name change could result in losing all SEO value attached to your previous brand.

No matter what you eventually choose, it needs to be something that is simple, reflects who you are and is memorable.

Prepare to be challenged

As you communicate with clients and partners, make sure you have all the information at hand to be able to answer any questions.

It’s natural for customers to be curious – even concerned – about the changes so the key is to be able to explain why, when and how, if at all, it will affect them. When customers don’t understand why change is afoot, they could become dubious and trust could be lost so it’s vital to step up communications with clients to avoid the chance of a drop in revenue.

A simple newsletter detailing the basic points should be enough – relying on word of mouth is never advised as details can become muddled leaving clients confused. Instead, give a clear explanation, a timeline where possible and reassurance that it isn’t going to have a negative impact or effect on your relationship.

Spread the word

If there’s one thing social media has done for the world, it’s made it easier than ever before to get your message out. And it’s also a very handy tool for getting information to people quickly.

Make the most of all social media channels to tell your followers what’s happening and try to think of engaging content for posts which could encourage shares and reposts, opening the doors to a totally new audience.

While social media can be done yourself, it’s always worth engaging a marketing agency where possible to ensure maximum promotion. A good marketing or PR agency will have a bulging contact book and will also be buzzing with exciting ideas on how to get further coverage.

Remember, the main goal for any rebrand should be to increase business and grow the company. Take advantage of this opportunity to spread the word and get your name out there and remember the age old saying ‘all good publicity is good publicity’.

Conclusion:

While a rebrand may seem daunting and you could find yourself wondering if it’s even a good idea, it’s wise to remember when Elon Musk bought Twitter and rebranded as X.

Despite the negative press and initial loss of advertisers, X now boasts more than 500-million users worldwide with advertisers flooding back, proof if needed that as long as you have a product people want, eventually this will speak for itself.

Engaging experts – like Allies Group – to help your journey is the simplest way to ensure the job is completed correctly, that nothing is missed and that ultimately, you are happy with the finished product.

And finally, never let the rebrand itself get in the way of client services. Nobody else really cares about your name or how you look…a customer just wants satisfaction and this should always come first.