The Rebranding Process…From BEGINNING to END
How do businesses go through a rebranding process without alienating their customers and losing the trust they’ve built?
As businesses change, the brand may need to follow suit. Whether through setting up extensions to the existing brand or making design changes that reflect the services and products the business offers, there is a balance to strike that engages existing customers and helps to attract new customers. That balance needs to be a gentle evolution rather than a complete revolution.
Straying too far from your existing branding will give your existing customers a reason to reconsider their loyalty to you, which you obviously would want to avoid.
Your customers may query why your business is making branding changes. Firstly, you need sound reasons for rebranding. It should be because there is a business benefit in doing so. It could be a costly process. If you are convinced that the branding needs to evolve, make the rebrand something your customers should be excited about. Create a rebrand launch date. Use social media to advertise your rebrand and maximize your exposure through PR. Your energy and passion for your business will be the biggest factor in delivering a positive message.
Adding an additional product or service may require attracting a different type of customer. You need to balance keeping your existing customers and attracting new ones. You should start by analyzing the habits of your new customer base. Do they operate in the same circles as your current customers or does your business need to market to that new customer base in a different way? Then consider how you can attract your current customers to your new products and services. It’s much easier to keep a customer than it is to attract new customers.
Existing customers may feel alienated by a rebrand or by the business focusing on a new market. But you can use the opportunity to show how your business is growing, thriving and expanding. Don’t give the impression that your business is moving in a new direction because you’ve exhausted your existing customer base, even if you have. It’s important to recognize and respect that your business has the opportunity to move into exciting new directions because of the engagement you’ve had from your existing customers, so don’t forget about them. Show them, love.
Your business should really focus on why the rebrand is important and what you expect it will deliver. What new opportunities does it open up? A business rebrand is a significant investment. It’s much more than a logo. It’s about perception, language, identity, and belonging. Give your existing customers plenty of reasons to stay engaged with you and potential new customers a reason to be a part of your project.
Director at onefoursix Digital Marketing Agency
Being Organized & Methodical
Talk about your rebranding publicly on different forums. Use social media, press releases, and other public platforms to communicate with your customers and the general public. The more your brand is heard and seen, the more you’ll see an increase in your traffic. People will develop an interest in a brand that cares about its customers and is so sincere and honest with them. This will help in attracting new customers.
Community Manager at Ridester
Options to consider when “Rebranding”
How to present (launch?) the new brand to the public? There are a number of strategies for this, the slow roll, (an introduction in ads and on packages as a specialty sub-brand of the parent or existing brand [Glow Wax, an S.E. Johnson company]), the gradual take over,(where one old brand is gradually taken over by the new one. The old one gets smaller and appears less often, and the new one gets larger in packaging and in ads and marketing as the old one fades away) the band-aid method, (where the new brand is launched in every media, in your face, all at once and the old one just disappears). Which one you select depends on the reason for the rebrand, and the level of expediency needed to accomplish the change. The slower you go, the more time the existing customer base has to adjust to the change and the fewer you will lose as long as the product QUALITY and FUNCTIONALITY remain the same.
Remain Loyal to your Customer Base
Keeping the existing audience is largely a matter of maintaining the core qualities that attracted them and making sure that they are shown not to have changed. Quality and functionality should remain staples of the brand to retain the audience they attracted initially, but can be updated and refreshed, potentially by adding new uses for the product or category, or by partnering with another brand to create a combined product (Cleansers of many different types containing Clorox comes to mind as an example).
The Marketing Doctor
The main thing is, well two things...
1) Validate with market research and Time.
2) Do it in phases. Begin to phase out the old branding and incorporate the new branding. Del Taco did this recently with their focus on freshly made food. They are slowly changing their consumer perspective of a fresh and affordable brand rather than another fast food taco shop. But by doing it in phases it hasn't been a shock to their current customer base. When you shock the current customer base they can feel alienated and stop patronizing you.
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Rolling out the Changes to your Customers & Clients
All too often, rebranding is taken in a negative light; however, the move can actually open doors to a new customer base without dismantling the existing users. But, it's important to understand the consumer psyche, if you want rebranding to go in your favor.
Any customer, in a rebranding scenario, can get intimidated by one or the following things:
· Confusions about the changes happening to your brand.
· Resistance to the immediate change as they have established an emotional connection with your brand already.
In my experience, if you break the news overnight that you are rebranding and these are the changes to accept; your customers can get a bad impression or even get furious. It's like after spending so much of emotional currency on your brand, they don't have a say or involvement at all.
So, keeping them in the loop about the changes in advance and providing consistent updates during the transition can help your customers stay on the same page with you. This way, you are going to keep their trust. But, there is a caveat to the strategy. Simply keeping them in the loop isn't going to help. You have to assure them the change is only going to enhance their lives and there isn't going to be a single disruption whatsoever.
Founder, The Digital Education
Make It Public, Make it Known!
Talk about your rebranding publicly on different forums. Use social media, press releases, and other public platforms to communicate with your customers and the general public.
The more your brand is heard and seen, the more you’ll see an increase in your traffic. People will develop an interest in a brand that cares about its customers and is so sincere and honest with them. This will help in attracting new customers.
Community Manager at Ridester