Rebranding For Better Customer Connection
Are you missing the boat when it comes to connecting with your customers? Is it time for a change? Changing a brand can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially if you have been around a while. The risks can be very real and intimidating.
In this article, I hope to impart the key points to remember when going about a rebranding process. Building on the historical value of the brand while maximising success from the new opportunities created.
1. Take a good hard look at your brand first.
Be honest with yourself and if possible, get others to be as well. The best rebrands we have worked on have started from insights gained from staff and customer research. It can all start with what you should be doing but aren’t, or vice versa, what you are doing but shouldn’t.
2. Build on the past where possible. Be thoughtful in what you change and how you change it.
If there is irreversible damage to a brand from past activities or if brand assets are exceptionally poor and the brand doesn’t have a long history, a clean slate may be required: a new name, new logo, new colours, etc.
Often there is some real value from a brand’s past activities so think carefully about working with some core brand assets. Rebranding around them or reinventing what is there already can be the smart thing to do. It can signify continuity, sticking with the core that has made the brand successful.
Here is a brilliant example of a successful rebrand. Guinness looked at their brand and realised it was craftsmanship that was at their core. Bucking the trend of rampant modernisation for the sake of it, this rebrand speaks of a brand that knows what makes it special.
3. Use all the communication tools at your disposal.
It’s not just about changing your logo and colours, though that can have quite an impact. Who can forget Vodacom’s change from blue to red? Some of the best turnarounds can happen even without these dramatic and obvious changes.
We have recently been working on repositioning our client Curves, to appeal to a younger and broader racial and cultural demographic. Due to restrictions placed by international license agreements, they can’t change assets like their logo or brand colours.
These restrictions, however, don't mean they can’t change their brand messaging to help with their repositioning. Here are some things we did to help with their repositioning:
- Developed campaign themes that spoke directly to their target market.
- Reviewed how their brand colours are used, introducing secondary colours.
- Looked at image choice both regarding the subject matter as well as mood.
- Reviewed how the message and offer are worded and presented.
4. Lead with the need not the offer.
To really reconnect with your market, your new brand message needs to speak of and to your customer(s). It’s easy to lead with the ‘what we can do for you’ message. But if you go deeper and speak to the why of the need(s) you fulfill, you can show real understanding, and, where possible, empathy with your customers.
5. It can’t just be an external change.
As mentioned in the first point, the best rebrands often start with customer feedback. Let’s qualify that further - the best rebrands happen as a genuine response to customer feedback. Meaning that for external branding and marketing to be effective, it needs to happen after or in conjunction with real operational changes to improve the customer experience.
In the fast-paced brand landscape of the 21st century, brands should be ever evolving and improving. Yet change for the sake of it can be precarious, especially for brands with history. In recent times, the backlash over poorly executed and thought through rebrands has risen as consumers start to embrace their power and influence as rightful stakeholders in the brands they consume.
You don’t need to worry about doing this on your own. We are well experienced in guiding brands through change. So, if you would like help with the principles above, please get in touch.