The rebranding process for a product, service or company is not something that should be entered into lightly. Still, because markets are more competitive today, rebranding is a strategy that the most aggressive brands need to consider. If your rebranding process is going to be successful, there are a few ground rules you must follow.
Your most difficult job when rebranding is to be dispassionate
You must create some separation between your emotional attachments to your brand and market realities. Often you will have an emotional investment in some brand values that are simply not important to the prospect. The whole idea of a rebranding process is to fix problems not reinforce old and worn out ideas. We often find that when you strip away all the clutter of messaging and values that companies claim as their own, the essence that is left has little meaning beyond the generic benefits of your category.
When you dispassionately look at your brand, is it underperforming? Are those reasons for underperformance linked to your brand’s meaning in the category or because your product or service is a bit out of date and has lost some relevance in the market? Even the mot rigorous rebranding process cannot fix a defective product offering.
The product or service itself should be updated and fixed before any rebranding process. Nothing is more wasteful than a finely tuned brand message (which promises the customer an emotional connection) and a product that is now irrelevant. Fix the hardware first. Then we can fix the software.
To critically evaluate your brand’s performance, you need to assess the performance in a dispassionate way. Is the problem your brand or your marketing? Brand should be a powerful marketing tool but it is often confused with the tactical application of current marketing.
Marketing had its own department, a department that is responsible for the tactical application of product messaging. Brand is the foundation that the marketing message should be built upon. It has within its bricks and mortar the permission from the prospect and customer to be important. It is why the prospect should believe your marketing message. It is why they can count on your message for importance and place.
Interestingly, even KENYA’s most successful brands, like SAFARICOM and EABL, like to think they are underperforming. The reason for this is found in their corporate DNA. These are fiercely competitive companies that have deep passion and love their products and services, and are never satisfied with results. They believe underperforming is when any customer chooses a brand beside their own. They truly believe that every customer should be theirs. It is their laser focus on their brand promise that keeps them on track. In so many ways their brand is constantly being honed and sharpened by the simple way they approach their business itself. In many ways, these successful brands are engaged in an ongoing rebranding process. They think of their brand as fluid.
How the strategy comes alive.
Once the strategy is established all visual and verbal customer touchpoints must be aligned with the new brand. As with all things visual, there are many signals between the lines that communicate to your potential customer. Color palette, typography, graphic and photographic style all contribute to the personality. However, without a core concept to drive the way, the parts can only amount to mere decoration.
The Importance of concept in logo design and brand identity
When we speak of the concept, we are talking about a central idea. In logo design, there must be one central idea that connects with customers. Further, all energies must be staged so that they are immediate and apparent. If the viewer has to work to get it, then the logo is not doing its job – being a symbol for the brand.
Simplicity as the path to clarity and immediacy
Simplicity is the only way to ensure the logo concept is immediate. Complexity adds confusion and is, therefore, a barrier between the brand and the viewer. The thing about simplicity, however, is that the elements can be elegant. It always must be of the utmost quality and craftsmanship.
Simplicity and production values
Simplicity also greatly affects the ease and difficulty in producing the logo in a vast variety of required sizes and media. Complex logos are difficult to reproduce when they are small – in addition to being unreadable. Complex logos are always more expensive to a company as well, because additional production processes are required to make them readable.
Brand Standards should be more than a set of rules.
They should promote the strategy and personality. When done correctly, Brand Standards help an organization reinforce the brand with energy and guidance. Examples with rationales go much further than direct commands. They should also address language and messaging in order to make all parts work together in concert towards a dynamic impression. In our Brand Standards, we also have a list of Do’s and Don’t’s that keep the focus tight.
ACAL Consulting Design Services creates comprehensive visual and verbal systems. It’s one thing to create a system that works together. It’s quite another when the standards help create a personality and messaging system that reinforces the strategy.
Design creates involvement.
You know your brand is more than a logo. It is strategy, design, communication, services – a unique identity in a compelling showcase that spans all forms of communication. Today more than ever before, your brand needs a variety of channels to tell a powerful story that captivates and moves its audience to take part in its growth and evolution.
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