Why is rebranding difficult?

Rebrands can be difficult

Why is rebranding difficult? – There are many reasons for rebranding but, even when you know it’s absolutely the right thing to do, there are a few hurdles you’ll probably come across once you get the process moving.  As forewarned is forearmed we’d like to share some of the rebranding challenges we come across most often.

1. “It’s just a new logo isn’t it?”

Many rebrands start with this very popular misconception.  Yes, your logo will be the obvious sign of your rebranding but the most successful rebrands are the ones that dig deeper and really embrace the culture and values of the business.

If you get that bit right you will know what you have to say and exactly how you need to say it.  This will make finding the right external manifestation of your brand (your logo, your font, your palette, your website and your marketing collateral) so much easier.  

More importantly it’ll also help you deliver the internal manifestation (how you look after your customers/clients, what you stand for and how you do what you do and why).

If you take the best known definition of brand – what people say about you when you’re not in the room – successfully achieving that objective will come from the internal stuff, not from your logo. 

2. Resistance to change 

Before you start set out the reasons you want to change your brand.  This will give you a consistent and cohesive answer when people inside and outside of your business question your new identity …

… And they will.  It’s human nature!

3. Maintaining brand equity

Whether you’re changing your logo, your name or your complete visual identity, you are unfortunately at risk of losing all of the brand equity (the commercial value you derive from your consumers’ perception of your brand) you’ve built up.

Make sure you have an effective plan to transition from your existing brand to your new brand.  The last thing you want is for your new brand to crash before it lands. 

And don’t ignore the digital component.  Your online positon and your ability to generate traffic to your site/s will be vital in establishing your new brand.  

4. Your timeframe, resources and budget are unrealistic 

A lot of businesses underestimate just how much is involve in a rebrand or how much of their time it’ll take up.  As a result they don’t give themselves the time they need to go through the process.  

You need to go into a rebrand with your eyes open.  Firstly, remember how much will be affected.  It’s not just a new logo to show the staff, you will need to change your website, signage, stationery, email signatures, document templates, invoices, tender documents, marketing material, social media, presentations, apps, exhibition stands and giveaways, graphics, uniform etc. etc.

Think about how much time and budget will be needed to change everything once your agency delivers the words and pictures and, if necessary, where you’ll draft in extra pairs of hands from. 

5. Achieving consensus 

Once things are underway you will need to achieve a consensus internally and externally.  This is sometimes the trickiest part of the rebranding process.  

Because people’s reactions to your creative will be purely subjective and everyone has their own likes and dislikes, there is bound to be a difference of opinion for you to referee so you have a unilateral buy-in, first from your leadership team and then from all your other employees and your customers.  

The best way to do this is to make sure the rebranding process involves comprehensive and open discussions that involve as many stakeholders as is practical.  You will also need to offer workable feedback mechanisms so that you can monitor the reactions as you progress.  Some of these comments can be ‘filed’ (!) but others could actually provide a very valuable ideas you may have missed. 

5. Formulating the future is tough

And it’s even tougher when there is no consistency of message within a business!  

Please make sure that if you don’t have a fully formed brand story already, you put yours together right at the start of the rebranding process.  If you can’t envision where you want to be in the future, you won’t be able to work towards the future you want.

6. Criticism kills progress

Regardless of what the self-help books say, people really don’t like criticism and believe me, during any rebranding process you’re going to come across quite a bit of criticism!

Your employees, customers/clients, shareholders, families and social media followings will all scrutinise your new brand and the more they scrutinise it, the more they’ll want to share their opinion …

… Warts and all!

Be ready with your response and stand your ground.  You will have put in so much work by this point that you cannot afford to take any uninformed or unwanted opinions to heart.

7. A less than seamless transition

Be ready to move everything to the new brand a once.  If some parts of the transition lag behind, the impact of your new brand will be hit and you may even cause confusion in the market that you can’t recover from.

Many people have asked me what I think the essence of good marketing I and my answer is always the same – consistency.  

It doesn’t matter how you’re communicating with people, your message has to be consistent, your timing has to be consistent and every touch point has to be consistent.  If you don’t have a seamless transition, you can’t achieve consistency.

8. Identity problems

The trickiest part of any rebrand is to come up with the identity and messaging that strikes the perfect balance between the demands of your business and the demands of your customers/clients.

If you don’t get this right you will not only have wasted a great deal of time and money  a major project, and if you don’t get your identity right, starting over can lead to further challenges and problems down the road.

Somewhat predictably we’d suggest the only way to overcome that is to work with experienced professionals.  And that’s where we come in!  If you’d like to discuss a potential rebrand or have any other questions regarding your brand, your visual identity or your digital presence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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