Rebranding is a significant, but sometimes necessary, step in a business’s journey; however, if it’s not done right, it may backfire. What an entrepreneur thought may have been a great way to update their brand to something more modern and in alignment with their company’s values could end up being a nightmare of confused customers and lost sales.
To prevent this situation from happening, consider the following advice from the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Here, they each share one critical yet common rebranding mistake businesses tend to make and what their leaders should do instead if they want to come out successful on the other side.
1. Rebranding In The First Place
A common rebranding mistake is often doing rebranding in the first place. Rebranding is risky. Your brand, even if not ideal, has been accumulating tremendous value to date. Starting from scratch can confuse or even turn away your customers. The first step, therefore, is to make sure you’re rebranding for the right reason. Some common but misguided reasons include slowing sales and underwhelming brand awareness results. Many decide to rebrand, but the correct solution to this type of problem would be to conduct in-depth market research and develop a new marketing strategy. The key reason to warrant a rebrand is a misalignment of your company’s vision, mission and values with your brand. Other reasons would be new markets, new products (which may not need a full rebrand) or mergers and acquisitions. – Daria Gonzalez, Wunderdogs
2. Forgetting To Prioritize Clarity
Whenever a business rebrands, it’s so important that the new branding be incredibly clear. For example, my massage studio renamed a few of our services with clever names, but clients regularly called and asked what the services were because they felt confused. We ended up switching names to be extremely obvious and clear, and suddenly we had a lot more bookings and no more confusion. Keep your rebranding and all messaging very clear for it to be effective. – Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
3. Failing To Align Changes With Your Values
I once wanted our business to be a “white-glove service,” but realized that the wording of it was wrong, especially in criminal defense legal services where a huge part of the population we served were low income, people of color and those from middle or lower class income brackets. While it was important to provide top-notch service, it was more important to be part of the solution toward social justice and not be a part of it. We believe in restorative justice, equity, inclusion and accountability with law enforcement, including police reform. That wasn’t communicated when we said “white-glove service” because it suggested we only offered services to people who could afford it. Luckily, a mentor pointed it out to me and we rebranded what our intentions were so it reflected our values. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office
4. Misunderstanding Your Brand’s DNA
Rebranding is more than changing your logo and your fonts; it’s what your customers think and how they feel about your business. Therefore, you need to clearly understand what makes up your brand’s DNA. Be clear about who you are and why you exist. Your brand should be your best spokesperson. It should have a consistent tone, building trust every time customers come in contact with you. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
5. Rebranding Without Informing Your Your Audience
A critical but common rebranding mistake is failing to communicate the change in your brand to your target audience. Rebranding involves a major change in your brand’s perception, and your efforts may go to waste or even cause misconceptions if your stakeholders are not properly informed about it. So, instead of going for a spontaneous change, companies should invest in a comprehensive communication plan to ensure the message about the rebrand and its reasons reaches their employees, customers and business partners accurately. This plan should outline how and when the rebranding will be communicated and what information will be shared. Clear and consistent messaging during the rebranding will build credibility while ensuring a smooth transition to the new brand identity. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
6. Failing To Properly Research Ahead Of Time
A big mistake can be not doing your due diligence with research beforehand—especially on your social presence. Complete a full social media audit to know what works, what doesn’t, who you want your audience to be and who your audience actually is. It’s so great to say, “We made a friendlier logo, so let’s debut it!” but a rebrand involves so much more in-depth analysis, especially if you’re already established on social media. Figure out where you currently stand among competitors and your audience and compare that to where you want to go. Then, lay out what your actual goals with the rebrand are. Set clear, achievable goals that you can measure quarter by quarter and adjust tactics as needed. – Kaitleen Shee, GROW
7. Neglecting To Consider Stakeholder Input
Businesses often make a critical error when it comes to rebranding and that’s neglecting the input from the stakeholders to make informed decisions. To make things right, it’s essential for you to consider the feedback and suggestions from key stakeholders like your team and your customers. Your team has been with you throughout the journey and can fill you in on some critical details worth considering prior to rebranding. You’ll also need customer insights to create a relatable brand that resonates with the preferences of your audience. So, it’d be best to involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process. The best and most convenient way to do it is by conducting online surveys to gather the needed information. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
8. Making Changes Too Quickly
Rebranding can help a business stay up to date and modern, but it’s important to avoid rushing the process. Changing too quickly creates confusion in the market and for customers who already identify with your original branding. It’s vital to transition into a new brand image slowly so that customers don’t feel overwhelmed by the sudden change. Even if you are making drastic changes, try to keep some things from the old image, like fonts or core colors. This will help people make an easier connection between what they know and what you want them to know about your company now. Keep in mind that even if your redesign aligns better with the current goals or desires of the company, being too fast can backfire since people may not recognize it as part of their existing relationship with you. – Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.