Companies undergo rebrands for various reasons – for some, it happens because they’ve outgrown their original persona and wish to update their company perception; others, because they want to generate buzz after being long-forgotten and outshone by competitors. Some implement a rebrand when they wish to move their business in a new direction, or find that their values and goals now differ from when they were first established.
Whatever the reason, there is an art to redefining the image and perception of your brand.
How to go about a successful rebrand
Fast Company recently published an excellent article on how to bring back buzz to a forgotten brand. In essence, there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration when proposing or implementing a rebrand.
•Consider the questions. Why do you want to rebrand? What do you want to achieve?
•Listen to your customers. How do they perceive you? What do they wish you would change or improve regarding your products and/or services? What do your competitors do better? Once you have this important information, you can go about altering your company image in line with your target audience and their desires.
•Remain relevant and up-to-date. Once you have established a winning formula, don’t become complacent. You will eventually become stale and lag behind your competitors. Customer needs and wants change frequently – it is important to remain attuned to developments in your industry, and offer customers the best product or service possible. Even if your target audience remains set, e.g. the 20-30 demographic, remember that the needs and likes of this demographic change over the generations. What appealed to this specific group 100 years ago will not work for today’s millennials.
•Embrace creativity. Paul Kuzma, quoted in Fast Company’s article, commented that the best brands discover “simple ways to reinvent themselves by unlocking their social relevance, listening to their consumers, and finding new ways to get creative in support of their real, genuine role in the world”. Brainstorm new ways of remaining relevant to your customers, and innovative methods of attracting a new audience. There’s no better way to get people talking and generate publicity than a simple, yet striking campaign that inspires conversation.
•Outline your new goals and key traits. What values does your brand embody? What do you wish to achieve in the future? What key values and messages are you trying to convey to your customers? Once established, you can go about updating your products and services in line with these new values and company promises.
Examples of successful rebrands
Once of the most memorable rebrands in recent years is that of British high fashion label Burberry.
In the late 1990’s, Burberry was associated with British gang culture, hooligans and violence. Indeed, 2 pubs in Leicester went so far as to ban anyone wearing the label. The company proceeded to hire a new creative director in 2001, and reduced the number of products bearing its trademark pattern. Creating an aura of exclusivity and luxury, Burberry also focused on updating their sense of style and creating a new mix of modern yet classic looks. To boost their rebrand, the label also brought high-profile celebrities on board, including Emma Watson and Kate Moss.
The success of their strategy speaks for itself. Burberry built 50 new stores in 2010, achieved sales of US $307.6 million from their Burberry beauty products in 2011, and made £428 million in profit last year. Burberry aim to spend around £200 million this year, opening up an estimated 25 stores.
A Word from the CEO
MediaVision recently underwent a rebrand earlier this year, complete with a new logo and expanded services portfolio. In essence, we transitioned from a straight-up SEO agency to a more integrated, innovative digital marketing agency.
Our esteemed CEO Louis Venter explained the decision for a rebrand in a post for State of Search. “I feel that to do great SEO in the future you need to be a great cross digital marketer with the SEO knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. We are spending far more time now, since we rebranded, understanding what makes the target market tick and how we can influence them. And from that perspective the SEO just flows because it’s bolt-on knowledge to great digital marketing ideas. This was the catalyst for us to rebrand MediaVision from a specialist search agency to a digital marketing agency. While SEO will still be at our core, we no longer want to limit ourselves to SEO campaigns when cross digital campaigns have so much more impact both on SEO and the broader marketing objectives of our clients.”
As for challenges during the rebranding process? Jodie Harris, our head of digital PR, noted that consistency was key. Indeed, “consistency had to run through everything; artwork, brand message, tone of voice, social media profiles and more importantly have our target audience at the heart of every stage. The rebrand could have taken a couple of months, but it was important to not bargain any aspect of the process.”
We also redesigned our logo, consisting of brightly coloured interlinking circles. “These colours were now our brand colours, filtering into our new website, our document templates to our business cards. We wanted our website to demonstrate the vibrancy and the personality of the brand so we made sure that all copy on the website would be written by us, the agency, with no third person tone in sight. This was the biggest change in the agency itself. We wanted to be more personable with the people we aim to work with, and if they saw how we work and how the character of MediaVision shone through the website, then ultimately they would have the most accurate perception of us.”