Four Things to Consider When Rebranding Your Business
Have your products or services changed?
Starbucks is a household name with an instantly recognizable brand, and is arguably the most successful coffee-house ever. In 2011, in honor of their 40th birthday, Starbucks underwent a rebranding effort. The interiors of their coffee houses were updated, as were their signs and cups. Their famous icon, the siren, was given a facelift. The most noticeable change? The words “Starbucks Coffee” were removed from their cups, with only the image of the siren herself in their signature green color left to convey the brand image. This was not just a design decision, however. Starbucks, who had been releasing non-coffee products into the marketplace, had opened themselves up to a future where their brand could be associated with more than just coffee. “Even though we have been, and always will be, a coffee company and retailer, it’s possible we’ll have other products with our name on it and no coffee in it,” says CEO Howard Schultz. Starbucks has grown from a coffee-house to a well-known name that continues to grow and expand its products. Their subtle rebranding efforts will allow for a more seamless expansion of products in the future.
Are you trying to change customer’s perception?
In 2004 an independently made documentary delivered a crippling blow to the reputation of a giant corporation. The movie, Super Size Me, had a devastating impact on the public’s opinion of fast food giant McDonalds. In the film, director and star Morgan Spurlock documented 30 days where he ate nothing but food from McDonalds. Taking the viewers along, Spurlock explored the corporation’s influences with visible and dangerous effects on his own health. As the popularity of the film spread, so did the public’s disdain for McDonalds. It was a PR nightmare for the fast food giant.
Over the course of the next few years, McDonalds rebounded with a massive rebranding effort. New, healthier items were introduced to the menu, such as salads and yogurt parfaits. Happy Meals for kids began including milk and smaller portions of fries in an effort to reduce calories for children. A line of gourmet coffees was introduced, and this McCafe line of beverages was heavily advertised.
McDonald’s needed to rebrand to try to recapture a customer base that had fled after the company’s image failed. New products, a new focus, and new media efforts all played a role in getting McDonald’s new message out. If your business needs to recover from an outdated or negative public perception, then a well executed rebranding effort might be just the ticket.
Do you need to stand apart from the competition?
There was a time when Target was virtually indistinguishable from other discount retailers Wal-Mart and Kmart. But an effort to rebrand itself as a chic shopping destination successfully led them to stand apart from the crowd. A few years ago, Target began to form relationships with exclusive, high-end designers, partnering with the likes of Isaac Mizrahi, Phillip Lim, Zac Posen, and Missoni. Thanks to these short-term, exclusive collaborations, Target soared above the competition and garnered itself a stellar reputation as a hip shopping destination, where upscale and on-trend fashions are accessible at prices far below a designer boutique.
If you are struggling to differentiate yourself from the competition, a rebrand may give you the magic you need to stand apart from the crowd. To re-brand your company you can go here.
Reasons NOT to rebrand
If your business model, product, services, or customers have not changed, a rebrand may be seen as unnecessary or confusing. Updating a logo may seem exciting to you as a business owner, but if your customers are attached to your current brand
it can even bring about confusion, disloyalty, or even anger. Gap had a horrifying experience when they tried to update their logo in 2010. The new design came under intense criticism from customers (and designers), and the company quickly gave customers back their original and much more loved logo. With out changing anything about their business practice, products, or service, the new logo just didn’t make sense.
If a rebrand is exactly what your company needs to gain a foothold in a new marketplace or to broaden an existing customer base, be sure that you are aware of everything involved in the process. A rebrand is about more than just a shiny new logo. Your business website, email addresses, and social media presence will need to be updated to reflect your new message. Print collateral, such as business cards, invoices, even thank you cards will need to reflect your new name or logo. Exterior signage and sometimes even interior designs may need to be updated. Employee uniforms and name tags will need to reflect your change. Press releases and media may be involved. A rebranding effort can take time, and considerable funds. If you put in the effort, and have the vision and resources to launch a rebrand, it may be just the thing to catapult your business where you dream it to be.
Article by: Melissa Zimmerman- Melissa Zimmerman is a freelance writer with a varied background in e-commerce, real estate, financing, retail, and the health and beauty industry. She draws on these experiences and a never-ceasing passion for learning while perfecting her craft. Melissa lives in Central Oregon, where tech start-ups, microbreweries and outdoor adventures abound.