20 Nov Rebranding a Business for Success, Why Now?
Asa professional website development company we’ve been down this road quite a few times for companies outside of ourselves. We see it all the time a company reach out to us after some real growth and decides to modify their product or service. So rebranding is not uncommon in our world and at the beginning of 2017 a decision was made, Cruise Control Marketing needed an update to reflect our current offerings and a new wave of services.
No need to be alarmed we’ve seen it in the biggest name brands and businesses – from McDonald’s to Unilever and even in relatively younger startups such as Instagram. These brands go through revamps regularly and while some of these “updates” are so subtle they tend to go unnoticed, every once in awhile, they roll out huge image changes that are meant to rock your world and this is what we needed!
When people want to go through an image revamp, they get haircuts. They revamp their wardrobe and adopt a fashion style totally out of character. More often than not, the image-change is driven by something, for instance, a breakup or a loss, it’s the new year, or they were told their current image is just too ugly and they should consider a change.
For us, it was a sheer need. CCM has gone through many changes from discontinuing services to adding more relevant and profitable services for our clients and we wanted to show that in every aspect of our presence online and off. The brand itself has matured, although the foundation continuous improvement, producing results, and having fun haven’t changed we’ve come a long way since the days of being an idea of producing customized marketing campaigns for businesses to compete in the digital era.
Similarly, a company could go through a rebrand for any number of reasons.
- A breakup – companies originally built by two or more founders could break up and decide to go their separate ways. In this case, the company will have to go through a major rebrand to let everyone know that the founders are parting ways and that they are now two different entities.
- Expansion – over the course of its lifetime, a company would have to expand its scope in order for it to grow. A rebranding exercise would be an opportunity to let people know that your business has branched out.
- Image makeover – thanks in part to the documentary Supersize Me, McDonald’s became associated with unhealthy eating habits and obesity. After a rebranding exercise to cultivate a new reputation for providing healthier menu options and fostering a dining culture centered on family and being with loved ones, the fast-food chain is slowly overcoming its bad rep.
- People need to know you more – you could have a high-quality product but the only people who are aware that your brand exists are your neighbors and their friends. It’s time for a rebrand to make some noise and get your product out there.
Rebrand with caution
Caution was taken when we starting the ccm rebrand because rebranding is a bit like treading a high-wire. It’s not something you just decide to do overnight and then roll out a new brand image the next morning. Many companies spend months, even years, coming up with strategies and implementing rebranding exercises. And even then, success is not always guaranteed. Remember the inappropriate memes that broke the internet when Airbnb unveiled its new logo? What about that time when Pepsi reportedly spent a million dollars on a new logo that didn’t make any sense? Our efforts couldn’t end up like this, so we carefully thought of all the things that incorporate the Cruise Control Marketing’s personality. If you’re not familiar with the archetype, then this is something you should look into when branding your company, no matter, if you’re, are a startup or mature business.
CCM’s dominate archetype is Hero, this means our brand traits are:
- Competitor/winner: Energized by overcoming obstacles and competing with others
- Dragonslayer: Energized by besting adversaries
- Crusader/rescuer: Emphasizes making a difference for others
- Achiever: Consistently produces results and succeeds through discipline/focus
- Coach: Shapes individual or team performance by bringing out the best in other
Typically organizations that portray the hero archetype are “normally successful at producing consistent results; creating teams and systems that fulfill objectives; and giving their all to achieve goals”. Look at Nike and their heroic brand consistently reminding us to “Just do it”. We had to show that it’s in our DNA without a shadow of a doubt we always gave our all to go above and beyond to help our clients. Doing this took timing and planning.
When done right, rebranding can breathe new life into a product and the company’s overall image. This is why a whole lot of planning goes into this exercise. Take a look at the McDonald’s rebrand a few years ago. Originally, the fast-food chain was associated with obesity and unhealthy food choices. In keeping up with the times, the chain started created a healthier reputation, incorporating salads and low-calorie snacks in its menu and advertising under slogans such as “I’m lovin’ it” with images of young, hip and healthy families enjoying more than just the burgers and oversized sodas featured in the documentary Supersize Me. Rebranding has the ability to repair a damaged reputation and reconnect with your target consumer base.
The mechanics of rebranding
So what’s the rebranding recipe for success? For starters, stop thinking that a simple logo change will do the trick. Although we did change our logo. A lot more than that goes into changing your brand image. Clothing brand, Gap, tried to change its logo in 2010. The new logo used an awfully bland font and a gradient detail that somehow didn’t make sense. Everyone thought the old one was better so backlash ensued. In the end, Gap decided to go back to its original logo because really, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
A good understanding of what your brand is currently about and what you want to accomplish moving forward is key. Identify the reasons why you want to go through a brand makeover. Is it because your logo looks like it doesn’t fit with everyone else’s? In 2013, Apple updated its iOS with a fresh flat design and most apps rushed to updated their logos to suit the new aesthetic. Everyone went on a redesign frenzy to remove the 3D look and flattened their logo except for Instagram. Instagram took its time. In fact, it didn’t come out with the new flattened logo design for its app and all other related apps under its umbrella company until 2016. By then, everyone has long done the change and Instagram became the talk of the town because its rebrand campaign didn’t get diluted by all the other companies doing the same thing. There’s no need to jump the bandwagon and start updating your brand just because everyone is doing it. Set a trend instead of simply following what others are currently doing.
You need to know your audience and the markets to which you want to broaden your reach. Thorough due diligence is key. In a generation where consumers are more likely than not to voice out their concerns and dissatisfaction over products, you need to be more careful about ensuring you don’t get accused of cultural appropriation or being too socially deaf when you run your campaign.
Finally, don’t rebrand just for the sake of your bottom line. Rebrand because you want to be a company that moves with the times and wants to remain relevant. Rebrand to reflect positive changes in your company practices with your target audience in mind. Netflix, in 2011, announced that it was splitting into two companies, Qwikster being the other one. Because of the split into two separate services, their prices have been announced to go up. Naturally, subscribers did not like this change so they switched over to other streaming services. After losing more than 800,000 subscribers, Netflix decided not to go through with the move.
Companies spend thousands and millions of dollars for a brand update and for a good reason. The exercise can make or break their reputation for the next few years until they decide to go through this process again. Maximize your rebranding budget by making sure that you are doing a rebrand for all the right reasons. This is our first rebrand and time will tell if it was the right move or not all we know is that it was the best move going forward for our market and audience we serve. Hope you’ve enjoyed this read let us know what you think in the comments below.