Reinventing a brand is a delicate science. It requires careful consideration of current brand perceptions along brand aspirations for the future. The most successful rebrands are rooted in truth (e.g., “are audiences perceptions in step with how we are positioning ourselves?”) In order to get to that truth, you must ask a few key questions when beginning to reinvent your brand:
1. How have audiences’ perceptions of your brand changed?
First place to start in any re-brand initiative is to deep dive into your audience perceptions of the brand. Just like people, brands adapt and change with the times and can mean different things to different generations.
Begin by prioritizing your audiences, revisiting your segment profile details, and redefining these individuals and their motivations. Following that initial audience definition work, conduct primary research including focus groups, online surveys, ethnographic studies, and other qualitative methods to learn about current brand perceptions. Develop a brand audit report that summarizes qualitative research and synthesizes “then vs. now” attitudes towards the brand.
2. How has the marketplace changed?
Since your last branding initiative, how has the market changed? More/less industry regulation? New product/service alternatives? Market oversaturation leading to more competitive pricing?
Conduct an audit of the marketplace through secondary research sources such as Mintel or Iconoculture. Determine how the marketplace has shifted from your last branding initiative. Hopefully, this also leads to hypotheses on where the market may shift next, allowing you to incorporate forward-thinking components into your brand work.
3. Have competitors repositioned themselves?
Similar to the market assessment, dive into your competitor branding work and develop a comprehensive grid. This competitive grid should include articulated brand position statement, tone/voice, main “reasons to believe” their brand position, and other specific brand traits to your industry. This is the time to re-evaluate whether a competitor is still in direct competition with your offerings or if they have focused on a different audience.
Because branding initiatives take time and thoughtful consideration, it’s crucial to start by answering these three questions before beginning a rebrand exercise.
-Jordan Bainer is a senior account executive at d.trio marketing group