It seems like everyone is rebranding these days. Major social media platforms have embarked on ambitious rebranding journeys, from Twitter to X and Facebook to Meta. And corporate entities are also using rebranding as a strategic tool to realize their growth visions.
Overstock.com's acquisition of the Bed Bath & Beyond brand, for example, aimed to distance the company from its original image as a liquidator.
Although acceptance of rebranding is growing, many business leaders remain plagued by misconceptions that leave them hesitant to embrace what is a powerful strategy.
Transforming an organization into a new brand and rallying employees and customers around a fresh promise and experience is a formidable endeavor. However, with meticulous planning, smart strategy, outstanding creativity, and precise execution, businesses can achieve the desired ROI without yielding to anxiety.
A high-performing brand translates into a high-performing company, driving sustainable revenue growth, fostering customer loyalty, attracting top-tier talent, and enhancing shareholder value.
Dedicated to the art of rebranding, our firm has encountered numerous misconceptions held by business leaders regarding what can be a transformative process. Our experience has shown, however, that those misconceptions are easily addressed and dispelled.
Here are nine truths about rebranding.
1. Rebranding is more than just a marketing strategy
Rebranding isn't merely a marketing ploy; it is an enterprisewide strategic growth accelerator.
When executed correctly, it can expedite essential changes throughout the organization—fostering innovation adoption, mobilizing employees, reshaping the product and service lineup to seize great opportunities, and reconnecting with customers in a meaningful manner.
Rebranding is an opportunity to reinvent, reboot, and recharge your entire business, uniting all transformation efforts under a single compelling vision.
2. Rebranding goes beyond changing the logo
Rebranding commences with redefining your core customer promise and the very essence of your existence. The resulting shift cascades into a reimagining of your values, customer and employee experiences, identity, and market strategy. A logo facelift is a mere brand refresh—far less comprehensive and transformative.
3. Rebranding is neither quick nor easy
Rebranding is not an overnight makeover; it is a complex process that demands time, leadership involvement, and eventual engagement from all employees, coupled with meticulous planning.
On average, a rebranding initiative spans 12-18 months from inception to launch.
Developing a detailed road map and affording your team the necessary time to execute it effectively is paramount, as demonstrated by Avon's 18-month timeline for its comprehensive rebranding effort.
4. Rebranding need not sever all ties with the past
Extensive preliminary research should identify key brand attributes that must transition into the new brand. These are the differentiators and facets residing in customers' minds that will propel brand growth. Rebranding is akin to a trapeze artist gracefully grabbing a new bar mid-air while letting go of the old one. A successful rebrand respects your company's heritage while signaling positive change. Retaining elements that resonate with your audience effectively communicates your brand's evolution.
5. Rebranding is an investment, not an expense
Rebranding does incur costs, but it should be viewed as an investment in your business's future. Weigh its costs against the potential long-term benefits, such as increased market share and customer loyalty.
It is crucial to comprehensively identify all rebranding expenses up front so that you approach the project with full knowledge of the required investment, preventing unexpected costs from dampening enthusiasm.
6. Legal and trademark challenges can be overcome
Trademarking a new brand may seem challenging when you consider the existence of over 2.5 million trademarks in the country and 5,000 new filings daily. However, creative naming practices, including coining or compounding words, can mitigate legal issues.
Legal experts possess the skills to navigate trademark and copyright concerns, resulting in the emergence of more unconventional names, such as "mntn," that face fewer legal hurdles than traditional names.
One client, for example, loved the new name Bravanti, a compound of "brave" and "avanti" (an expression for "onward"), signaling how the firm ignites bold futures for its professional coaching clients.
7. Rebranding faces criticism in the age of social media, but it's manageable
In today's polarized, social media-driven landscape, criticism of a company's name change is almost inevitable. Not everyone will embrace your rebranding, but it is vital to focus on the most critical stakeholders for future success.
You can build change management techniques into every rebranding plan to identify potential sources of negativity and mitigate them. Do not shy away from rebranding; instead, plan strategically.
8. Brand recognition need not be lost
Leaders often fear that loyal customers may not recognize the new brand identity or may question the intent behind it.
Clear and proactive communication with customers is essential. Explain why the rebrand is necessary, which objectives it aims to achieve, and what the new name means and signifies.
By educating your customers first, you are more likely to garner enthusiasm for the new brand and receptiveness to how it will enhance their experience and benefit your business.
9. Employee resistance can be avoided
Employees may naturally resist change, fearing disruption to their roles or the company culture. Involving employees in the rebranding process, encouraging their input, and providing training and support for adaptation are key steps. Ensure that employees understand how the rebrand aligns with the company's growth and their own career development.
* * *
Successful rebranding hinges on thoughtful planning and a well-structured playbook to keep you on course.
By dispelling misconceptions and embracing rebranding as a powerful strategic business tool, you can address the unmet critical needs that have been hindering your progress.
More Resources on Rebranding
Know someone who would enjoy it too? Share with your friends, free of charge, no sign up required! Simply share this link, and they will get instant access…
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Branding:
- How the Barbie Movie's Marketing Genius Can Inspire Your Podcast—and Your Own Marketing
- Whiteboard Animation Videos Are Also for Branding: Here's How to Get It Right
- Four Steps to Get Your Team Writing in Your Brand's Voice
- The 100 Most Valuable Global Brands in 2023 [Infographic]
- How to Craft Your Brand's Elevator Pitch
- Research: Now Is the Time for Brand Marketing (And Why Data Matters for Brand Marketers)