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November 2022 | by Megan Holcombe, Conner Downard
So, it’s time for a rebrand. You know it, your team knows it. But what next? You know something needs to change, but you’re not sure what – you don’t have answers.
That’s okay – you can start with questions.
Rebranding your organization is like a turbocharged strategy retreat for your company. A rebrand is an opportunity to re-evaluate who you want to be as a company. It forces you to analyze everything your organization has done, and reflect on what you hope your organization will do.
Lots of companies feel a collective stress during a rebrand, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Take it from Team IMGE. We’ve done rebrands for many organizations – but last year we sat at the other end of the table as we executed an internal rebranding of our entire agency. Here are the questions we used to frame our strategy.
Many of the answers to this question will be negative, and that’s okay. Part of growing up as a brand means growing out. After a while, if you’re in the same place, you’re going backwards. Your competitors are growing, the industry is changing, and it’s time for you to act.
Maybe the capabilities of your brand have changed. Or maybe you continue to excel at what you’ve always done – but letting the world know about that now requires a new creative direction. Always start with why.
There’s no point in rebranding unless your new brand is unique to what your mission is. If you focus on what sets you apart as a brand, the creative direction will naturally flow from there. Is your brand youthful? Refined? Rebellious? Corporate? These questions about basic identity are crucial to ask at an early stage. Without them, your rebrand will be a painful process that doesn’t find satisfying answers.
Thinking about right now is important – but a rebrand must also be forward-thinking. If you aren’t considering what your brand should be in five years, you might be undertaking this process again, much sooner than you anticipated. Use contemporary design elements, but always balance them against your unique brand, and what you want it to evolve into over the next several years.
Internal opinions matter, but ultimately your external audience will determine the success or failure of your new brand. If you aren’t considering their reaction, success is unlikely. Think about your audience demographics, and what makes your audience love your current brand. Will they still love your new brand? It’s okay to challenge your audience, but make sure you don’t stray too far from what has made you successful so far.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Creation almost always stems from iteration, and your brand should be no different. Look at your competitors, and see how their branding has set them apart. You can learn lessons – both good and bad – from your rivals.
A rebrand is a time of change – and change is sometimes stressful. During IMGE’s rebrand, we mitigated this by involving our entire staff at every step of the process. We sought feedback on our then-current look via detailed surveys. We had every person on our design team work on a piece of the campaign. And we kept our staff updated on every final decision we made so that no one was caught off-guard when it was finally unveiled to the public.
A rebrand is a huge undertaking for any brand, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Rebranding gives you that new suit, fresh paint, ready-to-take-on-the-world feeling. A rebrand also doesn’t have to mean something is wrong with your current brand. The biggest, most successful brands constantly refresh themselves in small ways as an excuse to remind their customers why they are so great in the first place.
Thinking about rebranding? IMGE can help. Contact us today.
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