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REBRANDING. THE WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW

Having something new and fresh is always nice. It’s a way to look forward and to give it a makeover. Having that before and after comparison can not only make you happy as hell to see the differences, but it can also be seen as a way to show your growth. I am talking about rebranding here.


Rebranding is a huge job to take on. Honestly, I believe it’s a harder one than creating a brand from scratch because it involves a few extra components. And rebranding isn’t only a change of your website or a new logo or some new rules. The point of a rebrand is to make sure that your message can come across, no matter what.


WHAT IS REBRANDING?

Most often, rebranding is looked at as a marketing strategy to get new attention. This includes changing any parts of your brand strategy or your visual identity with the purpose of giving your audience something new to look at. However, rebranding is not only that. Rebranding is more often (though less discussed) used to fix something within a brand that doesn’t work for the intended audience.


As I’ve mentioned multiple times before, a brand is created for your audience. And if that audience doesn’t get the message you are trying to get across, then a rebrand may be a future solution for you. A rebrand can be as small as changing one element in your visuals to as large as changing your entire brand around.


WHEN TO REBRAND?

The tricky question. This is equally dependent on you, as the entrepreneur that the brand belongs to, and your industry. Let’s go backwards here for a bit.


There are some industries that rebranding often is important for them. However, in those cases (such as seasonal workers) usually the rebrand is only on the surface with the purpose of it being a marketing strategy to draw in the same crowd a different way.


On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, you can decide when to rebrand based on how your brand is currently doing. I am going to use myself as an example here for a moment. I’ve been in the process of rebranding myself for almost a year now (yes, it’s been a long process for me). And this is because I have decided to make some changes to my main audience. As my entire brand strategy and visuals were built around a specific audience (and a brand is made for your audience) that means I am changing everything.


And yes, it is a slow process and it’s not something you may notice right away. The most obvious places for how my brand is changing is actually in these blog articles. If you haven’t read that many of them, I’d suggest going back three or four pages on my blog page to see what the topics of articles back then were about. Completely different audience than any of my most recent ones.


So, quick answer here… when you see your current brand isn’t working. Keeping that in mind, remember that a brand is similar to organic reach for social media. It takes time for it to root itself in people’s minds. So, don’t expect to rebrand yourself today and tomorrow you get the results of that change. Both the process of rebranding yourself and for that brand to take root is long. I, personally, like the three-month rule. If I see no results in three months, then I go back and analyze what didn’t work.


HOW TO REBRAND?

There are a lot of steps to rebranding yourself so I am going to give you the first three right here…

  1. Analyze your current audience and consider if you want to continue working with them.

  2. Analyze your current brand and check to see how it connects to your current audience.

  3. Check which parts of your brand would have to change to make the switch.

After you’ve done these parts, then you get into the individual components of your brand to see what will change, where, when, and how in order for it to work for you. But when I said that rebranding is more work than creating a new brand, this is what I meant. Rebranding involves a lot of introspection, analysis, and research. Without any data to back up why you’re rebranding, then you’re doing it for yourself, not for anybody else.

Note. Changing your visual identity for a marketing campaign is not rebranding.

WHAT PARTS TO REBRAND?

Firstly, I want to clarify something. Rebranding is not limited only to your visuals, but that is usually what we all think about. Technically, your brand’s visual identity should remain the same for as long as possible. Visuals draw your audience in and if you rebrand those every six months, you’re attracting a different audience every six months.


Now, keeping that in mind, if you’ve done a bad job the first time around or drastically changed your brand core, then your visuals should be the first to go! But you should look at every single part of your brand to learn what to change and, more importantly, how. Your brand’s visual identity is based on your strategy, and your entire strategy is based around your audience. So if your audience changes, that means everything in your brand will change. If, on the other hand, you’ve noticed only one minor thing about your brand’s visuals isn’t working, then figure out what will work and change it accordingly.


EXAMPLE OF REBRANDING

Rebranding can also sometimes be seen as brand evolution. Think of it as one is a major change and the other is a gradual change. Now, since nothing is static and everybody changes gradually, I want to share two different directions of how one brand example can evolve and rebrand.


If you target girls in high school, do you want to always target them or grow with them? Let’s say you always want to target high-school girls, regardless of the generations. Your brand will still have to change since girls in high school now are completely different from those in the 50s or even 90s.


On the other hand, you can decide for your brand to grow with them. That means those high school girls when they go to college, get jobs, become moms (for example) and your brand will have slowly evolved over time to keep with the same audience.

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