What’s the point of rebranding?

Branding / 02.03.22
Mark Vaesen

The decision to rebrand is a tough one.

There is often sentimentality for long-established brands, perhaps a loyal customer base that is familiar with the business and how it looks and behaves. There is the understandable anxiety about change and the risk of making an expensive mistake.

Many businesses undervalue their brand and don’t realise how much work it is (or isn’t) doing for them.

A well-planned rebrand can do wonders – giving you a significant competitive advantage, increased customer loyalty and access to new markets. And it can bring an injection of energy and impetus to a business that is infectious – for employees and customers alike.

Jumping for joy in the middle of a field is optional.

The value of a strong brand identity

Before we talk about rebranding we should establish why your business should be bothered about your brand at all.

A good brand identity comes with many advantages, including:

  • The ability to charge more (a strong brand identity is why people will pay more for Coke than own-brand cola).
  • An increased likelihood that customers will remember your business and remain loyal to you.
  • Creating the air of a well-established, professional business that customers can trust.
  • Differentiation from your competitors, giving you an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Read more about why your brand identity is so important to your business.

Why rebrand?

There are many potential benefits to rebranding your business.

Reconnect with your customers or find new ones

Your brand is your promise to your customers. From it, they will understand what your business is about, the service they will receive, and the expertise and experience that you bring.

A rebrand is an exciting opportunity to evolve and crystallise this message.

This can increase brand loyalty from your existing customers, which in turn gives you the opportunity to increase repeat sales and charge higher prices.

A rebrand can also give you access to new customers, for example by repositioning your brand to better appeal to a younger or more affluent audience.

In the case of the recent Facebook rebrand to Meta, this aims to change our perception of the brand from being only about social media. Mark Zuckerberg wants Meta to become a platform from which they can offer a wider range of services, such as virtual reality.

The more sceptical would say that the rebrand is to distance the company from recent negative news stories, creating a ‘clean’ brand to reconnect with existing customers and attract new ones. Whatever the real objective, a rebrand could be the best way to achieve it.

Differentiation in crowded marketplaces

In a crowded space it can be difficult to show customers exactly what sets you apart from the competition.

A rebrand can help you identify the aspects of your business and, importantly, the approach, that differentiates you from your competitors.

This competitive advantage could be used, for example, to target a specific niche within the market, portray you as a premium brand that stands above the rest, or give you an edge to win an important contract.

And if you’re not sure what makes your brand different, a Discovery Session will help you work out your unique selling points and how to use them to best effect throughout your marketing.

Charge more for what you do

We’ve already touched on this. To charge premium prices you need to be perceived as a premium brand.

A strong brand identity can help you to achieve this – lifting your stature in the eyes of your customers and enabling you to lift your prices accordingly.

Infectious energy

People like to be associated with a successful brand. They revel in the positive energy of a strong brand, whether that’s by using it as a status symbol or simply enjoying the reassurance of familiarity.

We’re not clear who’s benefiting most – Balenciaga from the association with Miley Cyrus or Miley Cyrus from the association with Balenciaga. Let’s say it’s a symbiotic relationship.

This has obvious benefits in terms of customer loyalty, but it’s also important to remember how valuable employee loyalty is. Having a strong brand reflecting the values of your business will give your team more pride in who they work for and can contribute towards higher staff retention rates.

Measuring success

A successful rebrand must have a positive impact on the bottom line – if it doesn’t then something somewhere has gone wrong. Remember the Royal Mail’s change to “Consignia”? Costing £2m back in 2001, the new brand lasted a whole 16 months before it was abandoned.

How that success is measured will be reflected by your objectives for the rebrand. While, ultimately, an uptick in turnover and profitability will demonstrate the return on your investment, more subtle measures should also be considered.

Market research can be a useful tool during the rebrand process to ensure your new brand identity is suitable for your target market. But it is also helpful once your new brand is launched, to check it’s achieving the change in perception that you wanted. Holding focus groups with your own employees can be useful in the same way.

The amount your customers are willing to pay for your products is another key measure, particularly where the rebrand has been to position you as a premium brand.

Marketing models, such as competitor matrices or the Boston Matrix, can also be useful in tracking your brand (or brands) before and after you’ve made the changes.

How we helped Stuart & Partners to rebrand

Stuart & Partners are long-established leaders in the residential lettings industry.

They were finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish themselves in a marketplace that was becoming crowded with larger, national agents. The USP of genuine expertise was getting lost.

Their existing brand identity had been around for over 15 years and was no longer reflective of the business that Stuart & Partners had become. It didn’t effectively communicate what their business is about and the service it offers to its customers.

Our role was to reposition Stuart & Partners as specialists in letting, and to undertake a rebrand through developing a new brand identity and digital presence.

Read about our work with Stuart & Partners, which has led to their delighted feedback:

This rebrand has helped us focus on what we’re best at and makes us stand out from even our biggest competitors. We’re now in a great position to attract our ideal customers.

Is it time to rediscover your brand?

If you feel that the time might be right to look with fresh eyes at your brand, we’d love to help you.

Book your Discovery Session with us and let’s see where it can take you.