3 Key Rebranding Mistakes to Avoid
Branding and rebranding is part and parcel of any business.
09:38 26 February 2020
When done well, it can give your business the push it needs to grow and become a better and bigger brand it aspires to be. And, if not done well, it can all come crashing down for your business.
Change is unavoidable in the current business climate. But changing the way you do business just for the sake of it could sometimes trigger undesirable effects in your partners and irk your customers. So it’s often safe to adopt an ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!’ stance especially if your business has invested a lot of time and resources in building recognition and market share. Ask any business that took a shot at rebranding and received a lot of flak from the market, and you’ll understand that a big change like that could prove to be costly. On most occasions, these rebranding exercises are so futile and hardly last a few weeks at best that companies lose no time in ditching their current plans and do what they can possibly do to revert to their original branding.
If you’re seriously mulling over rebranding to give your business a new form and feel, here are some key mistakes you should steer clear of to rebrand successfully. Not paying attention to these things cost many companies dearly and created situations where they had to cop heavy criticism from the market.
It is Just not about Changing a Name or Logo or Copy
It is normal for any business to confuse its brand with its logo, name, copy or culture. Any attempt to change visual identity and carry your customers might seem to be a brilliant idea for paving a new way for your brand to become something else. But rebranding could actually make things worse especially when done poorly. According to Brandality, one of the leading branding agencies in the UK, a brand is all about the trust that the customers place in your business and is usually built on an emotional connection they share with your product or service. And when you’re rebranding, you’re actually trying to change that image permanently. Think long and hard about what this rebrand could mean to your business as well as your customers. Ascertain that your rebrand - whether it’s a new logo or name- fits within the existing brand, communicates your company’s narrative, and, more importantly, continues to resonate with your customers.
Not Asking ‘Why’ and ‘’What’
American fashion retailer Gap made a failed attempt at rebranding that left its customers disappointed. Little did the retailer know that changing its logo could cause an outcry of pain and anguish among those customers who really valued the brand and its products. Tropicana had a similar experience when it copped harsh criticism from its customers for changing product packaging.
Gap least expected that changing a logo could cause serious displeasure in their customers and so did the orange juice maker, which underestimated the value their customers placed in its products. If you look at these cases closely, you’d realise that both companies failed to ask two important questions: Why is this rebranding necessary now? In what way will my customer’s perception about the product/brand change after this rebranding exercise?
Finding answers to these questions is super important, and so is doing the necessary legwork to test what sort of impact the new changes could have in the market. Make sure the new branding- whether it be a new logo or name- works for your audience and still fits in the identity/culture your business has created for itself. Before committing to making a change and before spending a fortune on your rebranding exercise, tease your ideas with your audience and find a way to get their buy-in.
Failure to track what matters
Included in the scope of most rebranding exercises are special monitoring and tracking campaigns that gauge how successful the new brand is. But, more often than not, what is measured doesn’t cut it. In many cases, it will be based on how well your external customers have engaged with your brand.
For example, the number of likes, favorites, comments left by followers on social media after rebranding compared to similar engagements before. Or, it could be something as broad and vague as the feedback of employees, or, in other words, internal customers. Tracking these things doesn't help at all.
In order to be able to truly measure the real success of your rebranding exercise, you need to clearly lay out what success is at different stages and how you’re going to measure it. For example, increase in web traffic is a good measure of success and the number of sales through the website is another one. Remember, both have different timelines and should be measured individually at different stages after rebranding.
There are many more mistakes that can cause your rebranding to fall flat. If you want to jump over these pitfalls and make yours a successful one, you could start by learning from the mistakes committed by huge brands like Coca Cola, Gap, Tropicana, etc. Despite their popularity, these companies had to quickly return to their original branding in order to save their pride and restore the trust their customers had in them. It goes to show that rebranding could make or break a company’s image and needs to be done carefully.