At some point in your career, you’re going to have to rebrand. It can be a frustrating and exhausting process, but it is essential to growing and improving your brand. Whether your business has been around long enough to outlive your initial style, or you’re struggling to find your niche and simply need to take a different route, rebranding can help you change the way your business is perceived.
How to Rebrand
Don’t wrack your brain thinking of how to rebrand, that question is simply too nebulous and bound to leave you with choice paralysis. Instead, try and tackle it from the perspective of the things you want to achieve with your rebranding. One of the major reasons small businesses rebrand is because of the poor performance of their brand in the digital landscape, so we’ll focus on this type of rebranding.
However, you may also decide to rebrand for a variety of different reasons, such as difficulty marketing to your target demographic, poor perception of your brand, or a desire to modernize and capture a new audience. All of these factors will affect your overall rebranding strategy, but you will nonetheless want to focus on how your rebranding will be perceived digitally.
Rebranding Strategy for Digital Optimization
Simple, Clean Designs
Busy complex designs were common in the early days of the internet, however, modern internet users are more drawn to simple elegant designs. Sometimes, businesses get away with complicated designs in their brick-and-mortar stores and then stumble when they move online. This will be the biggest culture shock if you’re transitioning your brand to an online medium for the first time, as it would quickly become evident that something isn’t working.
If you’re struggling to achieve a simpler design, just take a look at recent logo rebrandings. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts chose to drop their coffee cup graphic and opt for the simpler DUNKIN’ in a stylized font. Another good example is the Master Card logo, which previously consisted of two overlapping colored circles with their company name in the middle, while the new logo dropped their name altogether.
Opt for Cohesive Rebranding
When you begin your rebranding project, you may be tempted to look at isolated elements that have been irking you. Maybe you just want to change your background color or font. However, we recommend that you look at rebranding as creating an entirely new brand from the foundation of your existing brand. Of course, you’ll still want to retain many elements from your initial branding, but this perspective allows you to think of your new branding more holistically.
If you go into the project too single-mindedly, you may very well create disjointed and incongruous branding. The most obvious spaces where this will apply will be your logo, graphics, and digital designs, but other elements such as your voice and the tone of your marketing may also be affected. For example, Uber rebranded itself by simply changing the font of their name. However, their new font sought to be more approachable, so their entire voice and marketing style needed to change to suit this new image.
Use the Squint Test
In terms of your logo and graphic design, you need to ensure you keep the most recognizable elements of your branding to ensure your core customers remember you. This will help you retain your brand reputation and credibility. If you have difficulty figuring out what your most striking and recognizable visual elements are, do a quick squint test. Simply sit at your desk and open an image of your core branding on your laptop, such as your packaging or logo. Ensure the image is as far away from your face as it would naturally be if your product or branding material was right in front of you. Now, squint your eyes until the image is just barely visible.
What do you see? For example, if you do this with a bottle of the soda 7Up, you will likely only see the number seven, a small red dot, and a green background. This suggests that these elements are the most iconic visual features of the 7Up brand, so any redesign that wishes to maintain its reputation and recognizability will need to retain them.
Take the Time to Optimize Your Rebranding Strategy
Although these tips will help you formulate a stronger rebranding strategy, there’s a lot more we couldn’t possibly cover in a single article. The best advice you can get is simply to take the time to optimize your rebranding strategy through in-depth research. If this seems like a difficult task to manage on your own, you may benefit from the guidance and input of a digital marketing professional, who will have the experience and expertise to help your rebranding succeed.