First and foremost, I should point out that I am not a branding specialise by any stretch of the imagination. Far from it. But I have been involved in several rebranding campaigns and have witnessed close to fifty firms go through the rebranding process throughout my long-lived online career.
I decided to put together the below as lots of people decide to go down the rebranding route at some stage of their business life and having just witnessed my web host, hostpresto.com go through the same thing I figured now is as good a time as any to document my thoughts on the subject. So here we are.
Changing the name is often one of the primary reasons for going through a rebrand. There can be many reasons for this, often it’s because you think the intended new one sounds better. Maybe it sounds more professional for example. Or you could be changing industry or forced to change your name because of legal issues. Whatever the reasoning, it does need important consideration as the right (or wrong name) can make or break a business. You need to choose something simple, professional, related to your industry, memorable and something which passes the radio test. If you can achieve all that you’ll be well on your way to a successful rebrand.
The Domain Name
You may think the domain name will be dependent on your company name, which is somewhat true. But it still needs some though. Some people opt for single word/generic brandable domain names which aren’t necessarily their company name. Some also opt for keyword domains that include the product or service you’re offering. On top of that there is the extension, do you want a .co.uk to target the UK market or a .com to target a more global audience. These are all things to consider.
This is what really makes or breaks your branding in my opinion. The colour scheme is something that needs an equal amount of thought as to the name itself. We’ve all seen hideous branding before so you’ll know what I’m talking about. Stick to clean, tried and tested professional looking colours. Whilst certain colours can be attention grabbing such as vivid/vibrant/rich options, they can also lack in professionalism. Your colour scheme needs to be attention grabbing enough but still portray professionalism.
Your marketing material will say a lot about your company. Your flyers, leaflets, business cards, letter heads and compliment slips should all be done in your businesses colours and styled in a professional manner. They should all obviously contain your brand/logo too. Having consistency across the board in terms of colours and font weight screams professionalism.
When getting feedback on your proposed branding you probably think it’s best to ask people in the industry. It’s not. The last thing you want is feedback from your direct competitors or even those in the same field. You want it from the very people who will be buying your products and services from you, your customers. This is the only group of feedback you should get input from. Hopefully if you’re rebranding your previous brand will have built up a big enough customer base to survey to get their opinion on your new ideas.
Going live with your new branding, be it offline or online can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Hopefully you’ve got the thoughts of enough people and tested what you propose thoroughly. Then all that’s left to do is to let the public decide what they think. The worst rebrands in history have some from people choosing stupid brand names, not getting the necessary feedback from their existing customers and trying to hard with the styling. If you can avoid these traps then you’ll go some way to making your brand a success.
Obviously the roll out of the new brand will be dependent and influenced by factors in addition to the above. There are lots of considerations which need to be given adequate thought before jumping right in and rebranding. However the above does cover the fundamentals should a rebrand be something that you’re actively undertaking or if it’s on the horizon for the future.
Rebranding can be a fantastic way to give your business a shot in the arm if it’s faltering but be warned, there are pitfalls and mistakes are often plentiful if not done right.