While analyzing the future of economic growth and development, a small city in Texas realized competition was fierce. With a growing population of 34,000, Midlothian boasts economic advantages in education, a robust workforce, resources and tax incentives for new businesses, but needed a fresh voice to communicate its potential.
City officials decided they needed to better tell their story – and asked our agency to create a fresh, innovative brand to set them apart from the competition.
There are many reasons an organization or a municipality would rebrand – and many ways to tackle it. With the right processes and the right mindset, a rebrand can be the crux your business needs to improve future marketing endeavors. Understanding the key pieces to a corporate rebrand is critical to developing a successful message to your audience.
Identifying why the company wants to rebrand will help determine the type of rebrand that will best achieve its goals. Rebranding can redefine the entire brand identity or simply refresh it. Reasons for a rebrand may include a merger or purchase, the company’s goals shifting in a new direction, updating a brand that no longer connects with an evolving target audience, or, like Midlothian, trying to stand out in a cluttered market. Depending on what message the company would like to communicate, there are two types of rebranding to focus on:
The partial rebrand is for the business that is well established, yet needs to refresh or update its services, marketplace or identity. This version tweaks parts of the brand to reflect a new focal point, be it new product offerings or a more contemporary look.
Consider the Old Spice brand. Prior to 2010, the brand was focused on older generations of men. With increasing competition in its space and research to determine the changing target audience, the established brand had an identity crisis. The result of the Old Spice brand revision was an energized, barely recognizable brand whose campaign used humor and wit to speak not only to the men who use the products but directly to the women who purchase them. The rebrand surprised, entertained and engaged a new demographic.
The total rebrand is necessary when an entirely reimagined identity is required. This is often the case when two companies merge and undergo critical changes that can include new goals or a different focus altogether. The rebrand typically results in a name change, new messaging, and fresh imagery. A business might determine that a total transformation rebrand is necessary to position themselves in a new direction. Either way, the brand undergoes a transformation from head to toe.
In 2016, Atlanta-based real estate investment and multifamily leader, Cocke, Finkelstein Inc and CFLane, announced a company-wide rebrand. An acquisition in 2013 led to success across two platforms – investments and multifamily services – but the company functioned as two organizations. A thoughtful, strategic approach was taken to a rebrand that would allow them to operate as one company with one brand. A new name, CF Real Estate Services LLC, was unveiled as part of the rebrand, along with strategies and commitments that would position them for widespread growth.
Is A Rebrand Needed?
The most important factor in a rebrand is to ensure that a business actually needs one. Consider what the motives are behind this decision and move forward cautiously — it’s quite an undertaking. With SEO, website redirects and strategic PR placements (just to name a few things) to think carefully about, a rebrand needs to be purposeful and deliberate, aimed at communicating a message tied to specific goals.
- The Wrong Reasons: Rebranding should not be a reaction to low sales cycles, or an attempted solution to poor brand awareness or marketing efforts. If the main goal is a marketing push to help create buzz or generate leads, a total rebrand should definitely not be the first option. This can actually hurt the business, as efforts will be directed away from addressing the real issues. Rather than starting over with a new brand, look to form a comprehensive marketing campaign tied to business goals, which will promote brand awareness.
- The Right Reasons: A brand should reflect the company’s values, mission, market, and purpose. Therefore, a rebrand should help a business realign how it envisions the future progress. If the logo, tagline, messaging, website, marketplace or services no longer speak to the direction the company is focusing on, it’s likely time to rebrand. The ideal clients will recognize the purpose and direction of the new brand, and it should naturally increase awareness and draw in business through a novel identity and exceptional creativity.
Remember that the key to any brand or rebrand is to craft a message that speaks honestly to the target audience while staying true to the values and direction the company envisions for future growth. Your brand is your being. Make it count!