Re-branding is gaining prevalence as a way to create an identity aimed at a targeted niche and to stand out from the crowd in highly competitive industries. If your company is undergoing a re-brand, these quick tips can help you have a smooth transition. If it's you, personally, in need of an online facelift- consider the following to be the base-layer, foundational advice.
Research and plan
Re-branding is about more than just creating a new logo or making cosmetic changes. It’s about identifying the key strategies, business or personal, that will guide your new direction as well as re-fashioning your brand to align with that plan. Consider your current and prospective audience when brainstorming creative solutions and work with key personnel. In terms of business- personnel would include the general manager and director of sales. In terms of re-branding yourself online it means working with existing information out there already- whether self-created or linked to or from your personnel- your friends, your connections and all the people that like, tweet, poke, ping and +1 you. It also means planning to work with an existing website or a new platform from which you’ll want to launch your new self-brand.
There are a lot of moving parts in any re-branding effort, and keeping everyone involved in the process can be tricky. Navigating without a detailed map can be detrimental to the long-term success of your rebranding efforts. You need a concise plan that provides situation analysis and clearly lays out the objectives for the targeted markets. Set a realistic timeframe and assign metrics and checkpoints that will help you measure success along the way.
Implement your new brand image
Once you have the key messages and design elements in place, you’ll need to implement your brand consistently throughout the organization. One of the most important parts of a successful rebrand from a business aspect is training and educating staff to facilitate a successful change.
Creating a “brand guide” for employees will help them understand the new direction of the company. This guide should include key audiences you are targeting with the rebranding, the message aimed at these audiences, logos and fonts to be used, and a revised elevator pitch describing the company’s mission and goals.
In terms of your personal brand – implementing a consistent message is crucial. As mentioned, understanding the audience you want to attract and implementing your name, logo and bio accordingly - requires a conscientious approach to details. That being said, consistency must also be met with a little finesse. Your Facebook profile may include more about your hobbies and extracurricular life whereas your profile on LinkedIn should be tailored to a professional crowd and written in the third person, etc.
Consistency in online visibility
Make sure your new name, address, phone number (NAP) and logo are consistent across all channels online. This includes, but is not limited to- email signatures, directory listings, social media bios, community groups, forums, paid advertising, website content, off-site content, and more.
Again, your image should declare a constant message while being unique and appropriate to the platform.
In today’s consumer market, SEO and social media play a vital role in re-branding. If you're endeavoring to re-brand a business- an SEO team can help make your new site visible to your target market and ensure your new brand name and contact information are updated and accurate across external sites, databases and media.
Work with a high quality web design company to redesign and develop your site in a way that aligns with your new brand image. For example, if your brand is e-commerce oriented, add high quality photos of your product to wake up and entice customers visually. If you are re-branding a hotel, blow those pictures up real big and ignite anticipation of visiting your hotel. Ensure that your site design is easy to navigate and mobile friendly to ease the online experience of the end-user. Including beautiful imagery and accurate information will entice anyone looking to want to know more.
Surround yourself with a great team
This is a very important part of the strategy. Effective re-branding can be quite difficult if you do not have the best hands on deck. Ensure that you’re networking with people who are highly skilled in their fields and keep them in the loop so they can anticipate the changes. They can make the journey much smoother and can alleviate unnecessary stress.
Whether re-branding a business, or your own presence online, the endeavor can be exciting and challenging. If you have a solid action plan, stay consistent and have the right team in place, you can achieve your re-branding goals in a timely manner and start to reap the rewards.