Rebranding mistakes to avoid
- Jumping in without setting a strategy
- Trying to appeal to everyone
- Failing to connect your updated brand with employee behavior
- Implementing branding inconsistently
- Sticking with outdated designs
- Taking the cheapest route
- Changing too much or not enough
- Skipping over messaging
- Not creating a rollout calendar
- Thinking locally instead of globally
- Hopping from trend to trend
Your brand is the essence of your business. It’s what people think of when they imagine your organization. And it can be a significant factor when deciding whether they’ll choose you or a competitor. But what is a brand?
It’s more than the compilation of all the visual elements of your company. Your people, design elements, messaging, and products all contribute to how your brand is perceived in the minds of others. To create a truly compelling brand, all of these elements need to work in harmony.
Here are 11 mistakes you should avoid to help make your next rebranding a success.
Don’t fall into these traps during your next rebranding
1. Jumping in without setting a strategy. A rebranding initiative can cost tens of thousands of dollars up front and even more on the back end to update brand collateral. When rebranding isn’t tied to measurable business outcomes, it’s unlikely you’ll see an ROI for your investment. Your brand strategy should include user research to help you understand your audience so you can create branding that resonates with them.
2. Trying to appeal to everyone. Without a target audience, your brand can come across as generic. This can result in a bland brand that doesn’t inspire loyalty in your customers and makes it difficult for employees to create engaging content. It’s far more effective to identify your target audience and what sets your brand apart, and then build your branding and messaging around those elements
3. Failing to connect your updated brand with employee behavior. Your brand promise is the value and experience customers expect when they interact with your company. When employees don’t buy into your new brand, you’ll likely fall short of your brand promise. Helping your team connect with the updated brand means allowing employees to visualize how updates will change the way they work and ultimately benefit them.
4. Implementing branding inconsistently. Inconsistent branding can confuse customers and even make them feel like they’re dealing with different companies. Therefore, it’s essential to account for and update all branding touchpoints simultaneously during your rebrand rollout.
5. Sticking with outdated designs. Antiquated designs can date your company and even give customers the impression that you’re not keeping up in other areas of your business. Updating your branding doesn’t have to mean a complete rebranding initiative. But if your designs are from the 90s, your mission likely isn’t the same as it was then and may require more extensive rebranding work.
6. Taking the cheapest route. Some companies try to do everything in house or choose the most inexpensive options. This may work if you have strong internal branding capabilities. However, choosing the cheapest option to save a few bucks often leads to results that fail to impress. If you find yourself tight on funds, it may be best to postpone the rebrand, find professionals within your budget, or perform the rebranding work in stages.
7. Changing too much or not enough. Completely changing your brand can result in something that isn’t recognizable to your customers. You don’t want to go so far that you give up much of the brand equity you’ve gained in the course of doing business. On the other hand, it’s possible to turn your brand into something generic and bland by playing it safe — making your brand unappealing or incapable of differentiating itself.
8. Skipping over messaging. When you update your brand, it’s important to update the language you use to support your company’s mission and direction. To help your team communicate using the updated style, develop a brand style guide that outlines grammar, tone, and voice. When all the design and copywriting elements of your brand work together, it’s much more effective.
9. Not creating a rollout calendar. Failing to plan when you’ll release elements of your updated brand will affect the impact of your rebranding rollout. This is because changes are more likely to be made sporadically and less likely to be noticed by customers. As a result, customers may perceive the change as a footnote instead of something important.
10. Thinking locally instead of globally. The internet has extended the reach of most businesses. Unless you’re physically restricted to a regional location, it makes business sense to cater your branding to a broader geographic audience. Customer research will help you understand where your customers are and how regional differences may affect brand perception.
11. Hopping from trend to trend. Just because there’s a new design trend doesn’t mean it’s time to rebrand. Rebranding needs a solid business case. Your team should investigate whether your brand reflects your organization accurately and effectively communicates your brand purpose and quality of service to your audience.
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