Your brand conveys your identity to your customers, reflecting what you stand for, how you operate your business and what you have to offer the world. But businesses, like the marketplaces in which they operate, are dynamic; trends shift and change, some services become more sought after, while others may become obsolete. So, when is it time to rebrand?
Typical scenarios would include the following:
- A change in product/services focus: a business decides to offer more niched services to appeal to a specialised audience or, conversely, wishes to increase its product offerings to attract a wider customer base.
- Mergers/acquisitions: a buyout or merger of companies (with or without a name change) will require rebranding, preferably planned in advance of launching so as to inform and reassure existing customers of continued service and care.
- Changes in the market: customer demographics may change, and companies need to broaden their appeal to secure a broader, different (for example, younger) customer base.
- A change in mission, values, vision that pivots your company in a new direction.
The business of rebranding is a complex one and requires comprehensive market research; knowing what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and understanding what you want to achieve. Research, as well as buy-in from key role players, including marketers and creatives, forms the foundation of this process, but what is absolutely essential to its execution and success is content.
# 1 Content is currency
Intel’s award-winning content strategist Brian Rhoads says: “Today’s web is an endless 24/7 cycle fed by content and social actions. In this cycle, brands are realising that content is currency.” As currency, it’s valuable, it’s something traded for a customer’s attention, but it’s only valuable if it’s worth sharing. And it becomes more valuable when it’s shared by people other than ourselves. This has given rise to the concept of user-generated content. When you’re rebranding, you want to contribute to the conversation by creating shareable content that resonates and “sticks”. You need to figure out what is valuable to your audience, and gather the resources to produce that content.
#2 Brand narratives tell your story across all media
A brand or content narrative is a powerful tool that ties all aspects of your brand together. It conveys your business’s purpose, perspective and personality. Start by asking questions like: How is my business unique? What do I offer that my competitors don’t? What values do I instil in my staff? What is our creation story? How do we contribute to our chosen industry at large? How do we make a difference in our customers’ lives? Use the answers to paint a picture of your brand, the one you want to put out there. Distil it into themes to use as a consistent thread across all communications and strategies – from advertising and blogs to your (possibly new or revamped) website design, emailers and social media posts. Being consistent creates familiarity and trust, and allows for a consistent and streamlined experience for your audience.
#3 Your audience becomes part of your journey
Transparency about any changes you are making is important, especially if you’re already a trusted brand with a loyal customer base. You don’t want to lose customers because the face of your business is changing. Create hype around the new services and products you’ll be introducing; ask customers for their opinions; run competitions to “give something back”; tell them why you’re making changes; and reassure them they will continue to have top-notch service from you. Then stick to you promises.
#4 You own your content
Your website is your domain. Engage the services of specialists in SEO, analytics, UX, content creation and social media management. Be mindful of your content narrative when implementing changes, as this will impact your website structure and content. Having the benefit of experts is invaluable in terms of incorporating keywords to create long- and short-form content, sharing your successes via case studies, revealing yourself through company profiles, creation stories and what your company offers to your customers and your industry. Your website is your first port, and you want to generate leads who will engage with your content on home soil, that you achieve through SEO. From there, you can go about maximising content that extends to appropriate platforms.
When it’s done properly, rebranding allows a business to adapt to market changes; stand out from its competitors, improve its visibility and promote product differentiation. It’s also worth noting that public sentiment, the zeitgeist, plays a role too, as global issues permeate all aspects of business today. It’s something to keep in mind when you plan your strategy.
Establishing a content narrative that fits into your rebranding is vital. This allows you to home in on key themes that represent your company’s philosophy and which should be present in all the content you put out, be it blogs, social media posts, website content, adverts and videos. A content agency can help steer the way for consistent, engaging messaging, that fits in with your refreshed or overhauled brand. Get in touch with us for advice or recommendations.