The most overused tagline for advertising around the new year is “New Year, New You.” Moving to a new year suggests to us that we can start over and do some things differently. For businesses, a new year means new budgets and new strategies.
For some businesses, it means building a new identity through rebranding.
When discussing a rebrand, it’s important to look at your business and the industry to see what changes have happened. Rebranding is not something that should be done frivolously, because it is expensive and will have a lasting impact on your business. As such, it is in your business’s best interest to consider your reasons for rebranding. A rebrand does not provide your business with the direction and purpose; it happens because you have both of those. Maybe what your business needs is a refresh.
As you consider the reasons for rebranding, look at these five areas and the predictions for 2016 to help you not only decide whether to rebrand, but also know how to do it successfully.
Demographic Shifts Among Consumers
Demographic shifts are happening regularly as new groups step to the forefront armed with buying power and new consumer trends. Appealing to this new group of consumers is one of the most compelling reasons for a business to rebrand.
Many businesses have been content to market to those originally called Baby Boomers. Now known as the Aging Boomers, this consumer group will shift into an elderly group who are more concerned about living off their retirement fund and spending their fixed income on health care and other essential products. Your business will not be able to survive if you continue marketing to the same consumers.
Many businesses have already recognized this and tweaked their marketing to reach a new growing group known as millennials. Studies are predicting that by 2017, this consumer group will be spending $200 billion annually. If you are not reaching this group by next year, you will have lost your opportunity.
As you build your plan for rebranding, it is important to learn from your consumer and understanding how your brand will be relevant to them.
- What do millennials value?
- Do these value align with our brand?
- What problems does our brand solve for millennials?
These are some questions to consider to help you determine how your brand can continue to market your products long-term to Millennials. You may discover that all your business needs to is to revitalize and create a new campaign that speaks directly to this new audience.
Personification of Your Brand
Your brand is more than your logo or your business’s name — it is your business’s identity. Going through rebranding process means that you need to give your brand an identity, complete with a personality, values and interests. Determining WHO is your brand is the only way to start differentiating your business from others in the industry.
There are various ways to identify your brand’s personality. These exercises can have you finding the car or celebrity that is most similar to your brand. For some businesses, personification leads to the creation of an easily identifiable character like the Aflac Duck or the Keebler Elves.
One of the most important brand characteristics for millennials is whether or not the brand fits their personality. Your business needs to have your brand personified in a way that will invite your new customer base in and make them just as loyal as they were before the rebrand. When you take a minute and strategically engineer your brand’s personality, you see what kind of customer experience you want to shape. This process will help you plan your strategy and define other aspects of your rebranding including communication.
When you see your customer experience laid out, it becomes easier to identify every touchpoint for your new customer base. The most noticeable touchpoint is always the tone of the new brand’s communications directly to the customers.
The biggest headache for consumers is when a rebrand happens. There is a sense of betrayal as their favorite brand tosses aside everything that they used to know and love to try and get a new audience. The way your business communicates the story for the rebranding will determine your success of maintaining your current customer base while bringing in a new one.
A shining example of navigating this post-rebrand customer communication was displayed by Utah marketing agency Eli Kirk following its recent acquisition of Riser and the rebrand that followed. The merging of the two firms into EKR meant merging customer bases, as well. Bill Brady, President and CMO of EKR, and his team knew that communication would be critical during the transition.
Accordingly, Brady and the folks at EKR crafted 50 case studies to serve as the foundation of the brand’s new website. Clients from both sides of the merger are featured in the content, so both groups feel a continued partnership with the agency while gaining exposure to its expanded capabilities and clientele. Brady attributes an extremely smooth merger to the process of creating content that would make all clients feel at home while getting them excited about new possibilities for their own brands. “The content we created has made the transition extremely smooth. We haven’t dropped a single client—everyone is really excited about what’s happening,” he said.
The story is critical to be communicated, but also the tone and voice of the new brand will be the consistent thread to carry customers through the rebranding experience. Your customer needs to know from the beginning that their important values are not lost in this new direction.
Technology has continued to play a big part in any business’s future. From the launch of Apple Pay this year and to the rise of Snapchat, there is always going to be a new channel or a new technology tool that will be adopted by your customers and may affect your business model. During the rebranding process, your business has to look into the future and consider how people may be communicating in the future.
This year, many websites were hit with Mobilegeddon and most experts express that this is only the beginning. If you haven’t considered mobile technology for your product or even website, you are already behind the crowd. When your business rebrands, you can make the changes to help your business grow in a new direction more quickly than if you had tried to do a refresh.
Content Remains King
Regardless of all these changes and meetings you are having, your content still reigns as king in the castle and cannot be neglected. Remember EKR’s case studies? Through content you will effectively communicate your new identity to your new consumers. You must make sure that your content remains true to your business’s values and purpose.
The rebranding process can also give you the chance to expand beyond your current content media and channels to your new audiences. Old Spice turned their business around and built a YouTube channel by rebranding through a campaign. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” video has now received almost 52 million reviews and their YouTube channel has amassed over 500,000 followers. Old Spice realized their rebrand opened new doors to sharing their content that made more sense for the new millennial audience.
The new year is a few weeks away and while others may be rushing to finish holiday gift shopping and plan budgets for 2016, it’s a great time for your business to take a minute and consider whether it’s time to rebrand. Or as others say, “Out with the old, and in with the new.”