Rebranding your business is no easy feat, and not something to be taken lightly, that’s for sure. That’s why it is important to take your time, and understand the direction you want to head.
Justify, Justify, Justify!
One simple rule to consider when doing this is to justify every decision. Every decision needs to have a purpose, and must benefit the business either directly or indirectly in some-way.
This could be decisions such as the colours used, fonts, what aspects you will compete on, and majorly, why are you targeting the consumers you are looking to attract?
If you don’t have a good reason why you are changing your brand image to be a particular way, then you need to look deeper into your business to get an understanding of it.
Find an Edge
It’s all well and good to alter your brand image to be perceived differently in the market, but it’s just as important that your business finds a unique aspect to focus on. This is the basis of your competitive advantage, and is basically the reason why consumers use your product/service as opposed to your competitors.
Don’t change your branding to copy a major competitor, as this will be transparent and ineffective. Discover your competitive advantage, or even identify a new possible competitive advantage, and base your branding around this. Make it the key message in all of your marketing material, and build on it.
Start from the Top and Work Your Way Down
This might sound counter-productive, but think about it this way. You don’t think of the directions you need to follow in order to get to a destination, before you decide on the destination. You choose where you need to get to, and then how you will get there.
It’s the same with rebranding. You won’t know how to achieve the right look, until you determine what the right look is. Then you can engineer all the aspects that make up that perception.
Let’s use an example: a brand that is considered to be in the middle price range for fashion wants to start targeting higher end consumers. Now we can pick apart each element of a brand image that encourages us to perceive this brand as being ‘high-end’ and ‘luxurious’:
- Classy and elegant logo and marketing material (fonts are either elaborate or very simple, use colours such as black, gold, white, strong imagery that evokes a sense of aspiration)
- Expensive fixtures and fit-outs for the shopfront, usually in a busy and rich area that is visited by high-powered professionals
- Prices are much higher than average, as their business model is aimed at selling a small amount of products but at a higher profit margin to promote exclusivity.
- The uniforms of the employees are classy and they are always well-groomed, polite and in some cases, are even encouraged to act ‘snobby and pretentious’ as this reinforces their brand image.
Let’s look at our second example. A company that has dominated its industry for as long as we can remember, but in more recent times has had to change its branding to capitalise on changing trends, and negate some potentially dangerous events.
This month’s example is McDonald’s.
After virtually taking over the world one Big Mac at a time, the growing concerns surrounding obesity levels in the developed world threatened to derail the growth and sustainability of McDonald’s as the public looked for more nutritious options, and had a greater interest in the origins of their food. McDonald’s reacted positively, by offering more healthy options and recreating the way they are perceived in the market, catering to existing consumers who were looking for more alternatives, and even capturing new consumers who would have previously never considered purchasing McDonald’s because of their nutritional value.
As well as this, McDonald’s introduced McCafe and high-end, boutique-styled burgers to capture a larger consumer base, as well as improve their product offering reputation in the market.
Love them or hate them, they’ve got a great business model, and know how to capitalise on changing consumer trends, while turning potentially negative PR into a positive.