Which rebranding launch strategy is best for your brand’s next chapter? 4 core elements to point you in the right direction
It’s true in life, and it’s true when rebranding: you only get one chance to make a first impression. So, if you’re planning to introduce your new brand to the world, you’re probably feeling the pressure to make it count.
You know you need to capture the attention of your internal and external stakeholders by unveiling your new brand in a way that is memorable and meaningful. But with so many rebrands happening right now and the volume of business messages stakeholders see every day, how do you cut through the noise and make the impact that your rebrand deserves? What’s more, how do you do so in a way that maximizes your ROI?
As a marketing leader, you might only navigate one rebranding launch and implementation in the span of your career. To do it successfully, you’ll need a solid launch strategy that aligns with a seamless rebrand implementation plan.
However, not all launch strategies are created equally, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your reasons for rebranding and the type of brand change you’re making will factor into your ultimate decision on how to proceed.
We’ll help you think through which type of launch is the best match for your company’s rebranding objectives while considering the dependencies that influence each approach. Then we’ll explore four elements of a successful launch plan to set your rebrand up for long-term success.
The big bang launch strategy when rebranding
As its name implies, the big bang launch is all about the wow factor and is designed to make a significant, immediate impression on anyone experiencing your brand. Although the pandemic has caused businesses to re-imagine the big bang launch in order to adhere to safety protocols, the focus continues to be on creating an impression to remember.
For external audiences, this might be achieved through an in-person or virtual signature event, a media or advertising blitz, an overnight unveiling of new signage, the transition of all branded assets in one fell swoop, or the debut of a brand-new website. For internal stakeholders, it might mean surprising employees with rebranded apparel or other swag, holding a festive kickoff celebration, redesigning key office spaces for teams working onsite, or launching an in-depth brand training program.
If you want to make a big bang, you’ll need to invest significant resources into the process and the lion’s share of the spend occurs over a short period of time. You’ll need to budget wisely. But beyond that, consider how you want your stakeholders to feel and what you want them to believe and say about your new brand. Be sure to create an experience that is aligned with your overarching goals and reasons for your rebrand. Otherwise, your big bang launch runs the risk of falling flat.
A lesson in understanding the risks of a poor rebranding strategy
I was invited to visit a very upscale financial advisory firm to learn how to serve very wealthy clientele. Trust is a focal point of any brand, and this firm is regularly handed millions of dollars to invest (and risk) on behalf of their clients.
As the well-dressed host handed out expensive, extravagant booklets that had been embossed, laminated, and spiral bound for this one meeting, they sheepishly drew our attention to their new logo. What they said was part apology, part mockery: “We paid more than a million dollars for our new logo, and it’s just one italicized, underlined, upper-case letter.”
I glanced at their new brand and immediately understood their embarrassment and disappointment. It was in fact a single letter, in Times New Roman font, capitalized, italicized and underlined. While some enormous and mysterious amount of thought, research and money may have led to this logo, it really did look like anyone could have produced it with no real care or purpose. It remains their logo 10 years later, and employees are probably still struggling to explain their least thoughtful, least effective investment.
This is not how to update and re-introduce your brand. The brand update did not offer immediate and self-evident value to current and prospective customers. How had this rebranding strategy failed so completely at such a high-level company?
It failed because updated brands aren’t necessarily better brands. They only offer material, measurable improvements if they’ve been carefully reshaped to match a strategic, comprehensive and deliberate update to a company’s overall positioning strategy. If you’re updating your brand without any consideration for your customers, you risk making costly, public branding blunders.
How to Know if Your Company Needs a Rebranding Plan
When done right, rebranding can help a company connect with its customers deeper, increasing sales, and building brand loyalty. But when done in a poor way, it can alienate customers and damage the company’s reputation.
Rebranding can be an effective way to give a company a face-lift. But it’s important to approach it with caution. A rebranding campaign that doesn’t incorporate the needs of its customers can do more harm than good. By following the tips mentioned below, you can ensure that your rebranding campaign is successful and achieves the desired results.
1. Do your research
Before you even begin thinking about your rebranding strategy, it’s essential to do your research and understand your brand inside and out. This means looking at your brand’s history, understanding your target audience, and carrying out SWOT analysis. Only once you have a deep understanding of your brand, can you think about how you want to reposition it.
2. Define your goals
What are you hoping to achieve with your rebranding strategy? Are you looking to increase awareness of your brand, appeal to a new target market, or change the perception of your brand? Once you know what your goals are, you can develop a strategy that will help you achieve them.
3. Implement your rebranding strategy
Once you have the above elements in place, you can start implementing your strategy. This might involve designing new marketing material, launching a new website, or changing your company name or logo. Be sure to roll out your rebranding slowly and steadily to avoid confusion among customers or employees.
4. Consider your budget
Rebranding can be a costly exercise, so it’s essential to consider your budget at the outset. It would help if you thought about how much you’re willing to spend on new branding collateral, website design, and advertising. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a rebrand can take several months (or even longer) to complete, so you need to ensure you have the time and resources available to see it through.
5. Think about the brand name and logo
The name and logo are two of the most important elements of your brand, so it’s essential to give them due consideration when planning a rebrand. If you’re looking to make a significant change to your name or logo, it’s worth getting professional help from a branding or design service . They will be able to help you develop a new identity that reflects your brand goals and values.
6. Refresh your website
Your website is often the first port of call for people looking to find out more about your brand. Hence, it’s important to make sure it’s up to date and in line with your new branding. This means ensuring that your website design is on-brand, has updated content, and updated social media links, among other things.
7. Update your collateral
You’ll also need to update your printed collateral (such as business cards, letterheads, and brochures) to reflect your new branding. This doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. Often, a few simple changes (such as using new fonts or colors) can make a big difference.
8. Train your staff
Your staff represents your brand, so it’s important to make sure they’re up to speed with your new branding. This means providing them with training on how to use your new logo, what language to use when talking about your brand, and the key messages of your rebrand. You may also want to consider creating some brand guidelines for them to refer to.
9. Get the word out there
Once your rebranding is complete, it’s time to start spreading the word. This means letting your existing customers know about the changes and promoting your new branding through your website and social media channels. You may also want to consider running a marketing campaign or using public relations to raise awareness of your new brand.
10. Evaluate and adjust
Once you’ve launched your new rebranding strategy, it’s important to take some time to evaluate how it’s been received. This means looking at website traffic, social media engagement, and sales figures. If you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for, don’t be afraid to make some adjustments to your strategy.
11. Communicate the changes
Once you’ve finalized your rebranding strategy, it’s important to communicate the changes to your employees, customers, press and media, and other stakeholders. Let them know what’s changing and why, so they can be prepared and supportive of the transition.