Rebranding: How to Refresh Your Company’s Visual Identity

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Apple, Starbucks, and McDonald’s have all updated their visual identities over the years. Have you seen how their logos and styles have evolved? This process, known as rebranding, allows companies to freshen up their image and connect with new audiences.

Ahead, learn why businesses choose to rebrand, the effort required to revamp your brand’s image, and strategies for a successful rebranding effort. 

What is rebranding?

Rebranding happens when a business updates or completely changes its identity to give its brand a new look and feel. A rebrand could mean tweaking or overhauling the company’s visual elements, such as the brand logo and name, as well as refining the message and core values it wants to express. 

A business might rebrand to appeal to certain customers or to stand out from competitors. However, rebranding comes with challenges and costs. You’ll need to update everything customers interact with and the way your company operates. A good rebrand can boost your brand reputation and keep you relevant, but there’s a slight risk it could turn away loyal customers who prefer the current identity.

Why companies choose to rebrand

A company, whether large or small, might choose to rebrand for several reasons. Successful rebranding helps the company:

Remain relevant 

A company might be wary of updating its brand if it has a long-standing history with its current image. Yet a rebrand can signal that its offerings are up-to-date and competitive in today’s market. Revamping an old brand can also attract younger customers who might not be aware of the company’s legacy. 

Avoid reputation crisis

If a public relations crisis has left your company in a tough spot, adopting a new visual identity and refreshing your messaging can signal to customers that you’re committed to change.

Capture a new market

Revamping your brand is an excellent way to differentiate your business from competitors. Companies can build a new brand image to capture customer interest and stand out in a new market.

Facilitate a merger

When companies merge or undergo major changes in leadership, they might adopt a new corporate identity. This can include a new name and logo to better reflect the new business. Rebranding in this way signals the company’s ongoing commitment to its customers, despite the changes at the top.

How to develop a rebranding strategy in 7 steps

Crafting a rebranding strategy demands both time and resources. But it’s well worth the investment, as a successful rebrand can translate to increased sales and improved customer loyalty. Here are seven steps you can use to execute your company’s rebrand:

1. Define your goals

Start by determining what you want to achieve with your rebrand. You might want to connect with a younger audience by modernizing your brand’s appearance, or maybe you want to rejuvenate your brand to reflect current trends and values. Set clear, attainable goals for the new direction you envision.

2. Identify your target audience

You may already have a target demographic in mind, but a rebrand could attract new audiences with different interests. Establish a clear persona to understand whom you’re targeting—whether new or existing customers—and then define the brand strategy you’ll use to attract them to your business.

 3. Write a positioning statement

Rebranding often impacts many areas of a company and involves numerous team members, so it’s important to start the rebranding process with a market positioning statement. This brand positioning statement serves as a roadmap for developing the new brand and ensures everyone’s efforts are consistent. 

For example, your new brand mission might be “to deliver innovative and user-friendly technology solutions” to your customers. Your team can use this direction to shape a new visual identity and streamline your brand’s processes.

4. Develop your new identity

Based on your new mission statement, refresh your brand elements to reflect your current direction. Craft a new logo using a font and color scheme that complements your image. Then, work on your brand guidelines to ensure they clearly communicate your updated identity and values.

This brand refresh will impact everyone in your company, so make sure to include all teams in the process—marketing, design, sales, and any other key stakeholders. It’s important that everyone contributes to the rebrand. 

5. Test and refine

After you refresh your brand’s identity, changing it again won’t be easy, so make sure to test it out first. A/B testing is perfect for comparing two versions of a branding asset by showing them to different groups of people.

For tangible elements and significant updates like your new logo, gather feedback from actual customers. Use focus groups to find out what people who already like your brand and potential new customers think about the changes.

6. Implement your new brand

Once you’ve settled on a new brand identity, start weaving it into every aspect of your business. Update your marketing materials, website, social media profiles, office or store designs, product packaging, and how you communicate inside your company. You’ll want to make these changes quickly to ensure there’s no overlap between your new and old brand.

 7. Monitor and adapt

Monitor how people react to your new brand and adjust your designs and messaging based on their feedback to better capture their interest. It might take a while for your company to really fit into its new identity, but over time, your rebrand will become the face of your company that people recognize.

Best practices for rebranding

Understanding the common challenges and obstacles businesses might encounter during a complete rebrand is crucial. Below are some tips to help you carry out a successful rebrand: 

1. Maintain your company values 

Even if you’re updating your company’s image, it’s important not to lose sight of its core identity. Reflect on your culture and mission as you rebrand, and incorporate the best aspects of your current image into your new identity.

2. Embrace resistance

Change often brings pushback from customers. If not everyone is happy with your new identity right away, don’t worry too much. Listen to what they have to say and be clear about why you’re making changes. Stay positive even if some feedback is negative at first.

3. Consider your budget 

Rebranding affects numerous aspects of your business and isn’t cheap. You might need to revamp your website, add your new logo to promotional items, replace physical assets, and train your team on any new approaches. Plan your budget and resources carefully to cover all aspects of a thorough brand refresh.

4. Make it an event

Creating a new business identity is a major step, so why not make it count? You can use press releases and other marketing materials to turn it into an event. You can even use your rebrand launch to promote new products and provide special offers and deals to your customers. 

5. Explore your potential 

Before jumping into a rebrand, make sure to do your homework. Look at how other companies succeeded or failed with their new brand images. You can do a brand audit to assess your own strengths and weaknesses, plus identify opportunities for growth in new or existing markets. This prep work can set a solid foundation for your rebranding strategy.

Turn the page: Rebrand your business

Rebranding lets you change how people see your company. It can bring in more customers and keep you up to date. But remember, there are risks. So, plan well, keep what makes you “you,” and be ready for feedback. Taking the right steps can make your rebrand a big win.

Rebranding FAQ

What is a rebranding strategy? 

A rebranding strategy is when a company revamps its brand identity and messaging to boost sales. This often means getting a new logo and creating a new brand personality to better connect with potential clients.

What are the benefits of rebranding? 

Rebranding can make your business more competitive in a modern market. It can boost brand recognition and draw in new customers. Plus, a rebrand comes in handy when a company wants to distance itself from its past image.

When should a business avoid rebranding?

A business should avoid rebranding if it has a strong existing brand with a loyal customer base. Additionally, rebranding isn’t advisable if there’s no clear purpose for the change or if there’s a risk it could alienate customers who feel a strong connection to your existing brand identity.

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