Rebranding a business to stay relevant and drive growth

Challenge — Rebranding

Some businesses grow. Some may hit a plateau. Adapting to changing customer needs, maturing markets, and increasing competition requires strategic decision-making and thoughtful design to evolve or pivot a brand effectively.

Typical Indicators

  • Consistently losing market share to competitors
  • Not aligned following a merger or acquisition
  • The visual identity is tired and outdated
  • Lack the focus & direction that once made decisions easy
  • Brand value is not reflected in profit margins
  • The business model and strategy have changed

Rebranding is about more than a fresh lick of paint or a shiny new logo. It signals a period of meaningful change and can range from a subtle evolution to a complete overhaul of the company's goals, message and culture.

It’s your ticket to successfully penetrating new markets, as it allows for precise tailoring of your brand’s messaging to suit diverse customer bases.

When growth begins to plateau, rebranding can be the catalyst for reigniting business momentum. The numbers speak for themselves; the Interbrand Brand Valuation Index identified an average 2.4x growth increase over five years amongst organisations that rebranded against those that hadn’t. Amid corporate transitions such as mergers, acquisitions, or spin-offs, rebranding is critical in merging different cultures and aligning disparate objectives, fostering unity and shared vision.

Is your brand indistinguishable from the competition?

Rebranding can provide the distinctiveness necessary to stand out and be remembered. If your brand’s look-and-feel seems out of step with modern trends, a rebrand can refresh and update your image, making your business more appealing to contemporary consumers. The impact of this change can be seen in the Airbnb rebrand from the last decade. Since then, the strategy has helped transform them from a slightly whimsical community brand into today’s global superpower.

Rebranding can also harmonise the brand’s identity across all channels, perfect for companies with inconsistent brand representation. If your brand has suffered reputation damage, rebranding is a viable strategy to restore customer trust and rebuild your brand’s standing. Furthermore, if your brand faces trademark disputes or legal issues, skilful rebranding can circumvent these challenges.

Six strategies to ensure your rebranding project is successful

The right rebranding strategy will set you apart from your competitors and help you build a powerful brand and culture from the inside out.

1

Build a business case

Before embarking on a rebrand project, spend time defining the business impact. A concise, problem-framing statement should identify the problem, the short and long-term benefits of solving it, and the consequences of inaction. The business case should also include estimated costs and timelines. 

Seek initial consultation with key stakeholders, including the SLT, experts from across the organisation and a rebranding partner to gather various perspectives and expertise. A well-considered business case secures funding and establishes consensus; it will ensure a holistic approach to the rebrand and sets a roadmap for new growth.

2

Assemble a dream team

Like the film Oceans 11, you need to create a Meta Team – a team of specialists from across the business, including leadership, marketing, HR and customer service. Each expert brings unique insights from their domain and collaborates with the team to drive the rebrand throughout the organisation. 

Assigning a decision-maker within the Meta Team is essential. Agreed and trusted by the leadership team, this person will be responsible for making final decisions and providing clear direction. Their authority will ensure the rebrand stays on track, avoiding delays and managing conflicts arising from indecisiveness or conflicting opinions.

3

Revisit your brand DNA

The strongest brands are built from the inside out. A rebrand is an opportunity to clarify or evolve your organisation’s purpose, vision, and values. Has the strategy been reviewed since the arrival of a new CEO or since the founder stepped away? If not, by evaluating with the new team, you may completely reimagine your brand’s identity, name and positioning to better connect with your employees, customers and the market. 

A workshop can provide the perfect forum to facilitate this. The senior leadership can use the opportunity to align on a bold vision of the brand’s future and how to get there. Employees can work together to uncover unique and inspiring brand values that they can own, creating an internal culture that fulfils and motivates.

4

Lead from the front

Leadership buy-in will help cascade the rebranding vision throughout the organisation. The CEO and other leaders should publicly support the rebrand through statements, interviews, or internal communications. Their presence at launch events adds credibility and importance. Good leaders embody the values and behaviours associated with the new brand identity. They actively demonstrate the desired culture and attitudes, setting an example for employees. 

Great leaders show a commitment to the rebrand beyond the initial launch. They communicate a long-term vision for the brand’s evolution and actively work to ensure that the brand remains relevant and practical. This commitment includes allocating appropriate resources, both financial and human, to support the rebranding efforts.

5

Get employees on board

Clear communication about the rebrand’s reasons, goals, and benefits will help employees understand and embrace the changes. Provide training and resources to help them understand and embody the new brand identity. Select and support brand ambassadors that can act as cultural champions; their role in employee engagement, onboarding and feedback cannot be overstated.

Once the rebrand is complete, celebrate the achievement with your employees. Recognise their efforts in embracing and embodying the new brand, and reinforce the positive aspects of the rebranding through internal communication and events. 

6

Change is healthy. Embrace it.

Change can disturb our ‘comfort zones’ and make founders, employees, partners, and customers uneasy. Address resistance to change and support employees as they adapt to the new brand identity.

This change theme is explored in “Who Moved My Cheese?” a motivational business book by Dr Spencer Johnson. The central message is that change is inevitable, and how one responds to it determines success and happiness. It emphasises bravery, letting go of old beliefs, and exploring new paths. To foster acceptance and adaption effectively, be timely and open in all communications, involve employees, and, where possible, simplify into more digestible pieces.

 

If you're thinking of rebranding, let's talk.

Start your rebranding project with a brand DNA workshop

A brand DNA workshop can help identify your brand’s unique strengths and competitive advantages, clarify its purpose and mission, define its personality and voice, and establish its positioning. Furthermore, it can create a shared understanding of what your brand stands for, guide future branding decisions, and create a more cohesive and aligned team. It’s an effective way to start a rebranding project.

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