Top Rebranding Mistakes to Avoid
1. Do not think branding or a rebrand for that matter is just the logo, stationery or corporate colours in isolation.
Effective branding encompasses both tangible and intangible elements, a large part of what has been listed previously e.g. target audience, customer experience and perception, product quality, look, feel, online and offline environments, customer facing staff, the tone of all communications both visual, auditory and written etc.
2. Don’t cling to the old unless it has key brand provenance that is still relevant to the current target market.
Powerful rebranding means being connected to what really matters to your bull’s eye customer. Don’t assume because it worked in the past it’s still relevant now. Research, review and analyse changes in your target market when investigating new opportunities for repositioning, expansion or revitalization.
3. Don’t overlook existing brand equity and goodwill.
Ignoring brand equity when rebranding can alienate existing customers and potentially damage a brand’s perception. A massive overhaul may be excessive when a smaller evolution would be more appropriate. Ensure you are fully up-to-date on the mindset and needs of your target market before engaging in the process.
4. Don’t forget to step into your customer’s shoes.
Hire a secret shopper with a profile that matches your target market and have them engage with your brand at all relevant touch points e.g. ring your receptionist with an enquiry, navigate your website, buy your products, make a customer complaint to see how it’s handled or not as the case may be. Have them record their experiences in detail and report back. Perceptions internally are often a mismatch between reality on the ground. It can be very revealing and is an essential aspect of your rebrand research and brand audit health check.
5. Don’t rebrand without research.
How much do you know about your current and prospective customers – their needs, wants, loves, hates, aspirations and behaviours etc? What is their compelling reason to buy? Do you need to re-evaluate your purchaser personas as part of your brand audit health check? They should be front of mind when creating new solutions and revitalising old ones too. They are your ultimate litmus test.
6. Don’t treat your rebrand superficially.
A rebrand must be authentic and believable throughout, internally and externally. It must be a liveable story that meets and exceeds customer perceptions and experiences. It must hold credibility and deliver down to the last detail both amongst your day-to-day staff and target audience or it’s largely tokenism, a waste of time and money.
7. Don’t rebrand without a well thought out plan.
Rebranding requires clearly defined briefs to keep everyone on track as the project evolves. Your plan should include every aspect of the rebrand e.g. situation analysis, objectives, target markets, budget, resources, time frames, appointed project leader, known parameters, approval structures, stakeholders and metrics for assessing results.
8. Don’t overlook the basics.
Having a stunning website, market materials, physical environment or amazing product solution is wasted if the fundamentals of your customer services sucks. Equally, if your brand purchasing or processing experience falls short, the brand becomes undermined. Keep all your customer touch points and basic interactions in mind as much as the more glamorous aspects when rebranding. Review, fine tune and improve and don’t underestimate the ordinary essentials, they are just as important.
9. Don’t overlook feedback from customer facing staff.
The staff who interact with your customers on a daily basis can yield valuable information and insights into your target market. This is where customers are typically at their most candid and the information garnered from the real world is just as valuable if not more in some cases, then other forms of research.
10. Don’t think you’re too small to rebrand.
Every brand needs revitalising to stay relevant as markets evolve whether the brand is a global multinational or smaller national brand, even non-profits and artisan brands are not immune. Like larger brands, smaller brands have target markets, positions etc. that need to be kept relevant and enhanced. They too have to move with the changes of their market and customer preferences or disappear into the mists of time.