While a rebranding project can be an exciting undertaking, it can also be an arduous one. Without the right tools, data, and know-how, a rebranding project can become a costly mistake. With that in mind, we’re talking about what a rebrand is and how to do it correctly.
Branding refers to the look and feel of your brand and products. Think about well-known brands like Apple or Slack: without thinking, you were able to bring their logos and branding to mind.
Logos are essential, but they’re not the only part of a brand. A brand is about your mission, vision, business goal, and plans. A brand encompasses every aspect of your business, which means a rebrand does, as well.
In his famous TED Talk about branding, Simon Sinek urges business to start their b2b branding process by asking themselves a seemingly simple question:
“Why do you do what you do?”
Some things come to mind like helping people, making money, or innovating but getting very granular with your “why statement” will help you zero in on all other aspects of your business. Typically, a branding coach or agency will help you by telling you to fill in the blanks in this statement.
“ [Brand name] exists to [ do an action] by [means of carrying out that action] in order to [the benefit of that action].
When you know the heart of what you do and how you do it, pinpointing the best way to update your branding becomes a much easier task.
When people see your brand as more than a product, they’re more likely to work with you and buy from you. Think about Apple. Apple makes computers, phones, and other tech gear, but that’s not what they sell: they sell the lifestyle of a future-forward, cool Apple User. People want that, and they’ll wait in line all night to get it.
There are already a lot of tech companies globally, and no small number of them are competing with your brand for eyes and clicks. In a sea of light blue squares and circles, it can be hard for a tech brand to stand out truly. This is why it’s significant for brands in the tech industry to think outside of the proverbial box.
Know what colors and shapes you want to use to help encapsulate your brand. It’s ok to be different; your brand values and offerings also play a big role in how your prospects perceive and engage with your business.
As we covered earlier, rebranding your tech company is more than just updating a logo. Many companies find themselves at various parts of their growth, asking themselves if something needs to change. Here are some of the most common reasons tech companies decide to rebrand.
Accelerating your growth? Pivoting to a new model? Getting acquired? There are several great reasons to rebrand, but every rebranding project should begin with a foundational reason for the work you’re about to undertake.
Your leads may be less qualified, or you’ve plateaued with your current pipeline and have stayed flatlined longer than you wanted. Sometimes a little shake-up is exactly what you need to re-awaken your target audience to your brand.
If you’re about to pivot on the way you’ve done business, rebranding is the perfect way to let your clients and prospects know that changes are happening. Whether you’re keeping the same business name or introducing new brands or services, it’s important to try to keep some note of your previous brand in the update. It can be a small nod to your history or part of a secondary color palette, but a new look can confuse some of your legacy clients who may not be affected by the change but may worry about it anyway.
It’s easy to want something new and shiny once you’ve acquired a new brand or company. However, it’s important to note that not every new acquisition requires an update in the brand. If an operating company has acquired you, it might not be necessary. If you’ve been acquired by private equity, a rebrand can help create excitement and generate new returns that will help keep investors happy and your business growing.
Having an out of date or stale feeling brand is a valid reason to embark on this journey. A rebrand can help get clients *and* employees re-energized about the company. Updated swag always helps!
There's often a difference between who you think your competitors may be and who they actually are. With that in mind, it’s important to do a little research as part of the beginning of your rebrand. Here are a few things to ask:
If things start to slow down, the call might be coming from “inside the house.” Classic horror tropes aside, it’s not always just your clients’ and prospects' reactions (or lack thereof) to your brand that may make you want to consider rebranding.
Before you begin the rebranding process, you must have all of your proverbial ducks in a row. This means researching; you begin the process to create a strong foundation of data and information to guide your rebrand based on strong, thoughtful, and careful consideration.
It’s never good to make assumptions about how people feel or think about your brand. Make sure you pull your stakeholders into one or a few conversations about the brand as it is, how they perceive it, and what a change would mean to them.
By exploring their understanding of the brand, you’ll be able to pinpoint their understanding of your mission and values. You’ll also be able to use their valuable feedback to help inform how your rebrand takes place.
Do your research on successful and failed rebrands so you can learn the mistake of those before you. Check out other B2B brands but be sure to look at the brands you admire, as well, even if they’re not in your industry. Having a wide spectrum of information and examples to pull from can actually help you narrow down what you like and don‘t like easier.
h3 Pinpoint your business goals
Once you know your business goals, it’s important to think about how a rebrand may bolster or hinder them. Do you have a lot of products with disparate names and brands? Rebranding could help you tie everything back together and make it easier to present solutions to your clients. Did you just update your brand a year or so ago? It might not be a good time to make even more changes that can signal a lack of stability to your client base and shareholders.
You need to think of your rebrand as reinvestment in your brand. You will quantify your return on investment as long as you pay attention to how the money you’re putting into the rebrand can increase things like conversion, sales goals, reach, engagement, etc. Show how your brand is performing now and what your project will happen with performance once the rebrand has rolled out. If you have a specific plan with metrics attached, it will be easier for you to discuss or defend your investment.
Not everyone is going to be a good fit for your rebranding project. There are a few vetting steps to take in your search to get the right people to help you along the way. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
While it can be hard work to rebrand, it’s an exciting undertaking that can yield tremendous results if embarked upon for the right reasons. Once your rebranding project is complete and you're ready to build a content marketing engine, we can help. Contact us to get the conversation started.