Having a recognizable, clearly-defined brand is the keystone of marketing. Companies, as well as individuals, rely on brands to communicate what they are about to the world at large. A brand represents an encapsulated form of information, which tells people what they can expect when interacting with the holder of the brand, whether they are purchasing products or services, reading content, looking to do business, or trying to get hired.
While the function of a brand remains essentially unchanged though the life-cycle of its holder, its form is actually far from static. Rebranding is the process through which brands evolve in a controlled fashion. A brand that doesn't develop alongside its holder will quickly become outdated, as it will no longer be an accurate representation of the company or individual that originally created it.
Rebranding is a task not to be taken lightly. It can elicit as much effort as creating a brand from scratch. To make this essential process easier to carry through, we have created a step-by-guide to help brand holders transform their brand to better suit their current needs.
Before implementing any changes, you should take time to consider whether there are elements of your previous brand you might wish to keep. While it may be tempting to do a complete overhaul of your brand, keep in mind that too drastic a change might alienate your audience. Imagine if Apple abruptly changed their logo, device aesthetic, and business model. What you ought to do instead is carefully pick and choose the elements that are ripe for an overhaul, and keep the rest to preserve continuity with your previous branding efforts. People like novel things, but they also like things that are familiar, so your brand should ideally have elements of both.
Once you have decided on what you wish to change about your brand visuals, it is time to browse for ideas. Figuring out everything on your own has a certain artistic appeal, but a brand is something designed to appeal to a broad audience, and as such, it should conform to certain expectations. It might be tempting to remake recolor your logo pastel, and a bit more curves to it, but if the general trend is to use vibrant tropical colors and sharp edges, you are needlessly setting yourself back. Observing what your competitors are doing should give you a clue about what you should aim for.
Keep in mind that taking notice of trends doesn't mean you should just mindlessly copy what others are doing, you should also take into consideration the color psychology and other factors as well. Be sure to give your own unique spin to the ideas you see circulating.
After settling on a design you like, you should take care to apply it consistently across all elements of your brand that you have decided to change. For example, if you are going for minimalism, it makes no sense to have a sleek, almost austere logo, and a website that is a baroque mess. Mismatches such as these will look jarring to your audience. If you are not taking your brand seriously, so why should they? Conversely, if all elements of your brand conform to a singular visual theme and tone, it is sure to elicit a positive response. A strong, visually unified brand is a mark of a company that knows what it's doing.
Once you have overhauled the design of your brand, it is time to make it known to the public. Ideally, you should plan for this step even before you have started working. Announcing that your brand will undergo substantial changes while giving hints as to what it will look like, is sure to generate interest. Make sure to promote your brand both online and offline.
Launch a social media campaign to keep the hype going until the day of unveiling. Printing custom vinyl stickers is also a good idea – it is a quick and dirty way to create some extra promotional material at very little extra cost. If you have done everything right, your brand new brand (pardon the pun) is sure to cause a wave of positive feedback.
Rebranding your visual image may seem like a daunting task, but with forethought and preparation, it can be a smooth and pleasant experience. It will give your business a fresh new coat of paint, and your audience will appreciate it as well. Just make sure you stick with the basics which we have outlined here, and when in doubt, use common sense.