• Business woman wearing a yellow shirt thinking of reasons to rebrand.

The Art of Rebranding: How To Be Smart And Strategic

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:

Partial Rebrand:

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.

Total Rebrand:

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!

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By | 2017-12-08T11:47:43+00:00 March 10th, 2017|Branding|Comments Off on The Art of Rebranding: How To Be Smart And Strategic