1st November 2016

Ditch in the Road or is it Time to Rebrand?

Ditch in the Road or is it Time to Rebrand?

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Have your sales become stagnant and are you struggling to stand out from competitors in a crowded market place? Maybe what you need is not a site overhaul, or a closer look at how to tweak your user journey in order to increase site stickiness, the answer perhaps lies elsewhere. Perhaps what you really need to do is look closely at who you are as a company, what you stand for and what message you project to consumers. If it is the case that your values and image don’t appeal to the type of consumer you are trying to attract, then maybe it is time to rebrand your entire company. Look at ways you can appeal to your target consumer group by tweaking and refocusing your company, so it exudes the right image. There are of course timing and financial costs in doing this and you do risk becoming unrecognisable to your long standing loyal customers, but if you are failing to attract new consumers and your business cannot be sustained through your current pool of buyers alone, do you really have a choice in whether or not to move on and rebrand?

If your company was set up in the pre-digital age, when you move your store online to an eCommerce model, there will be many digital incompatibilities that will have to be ironed out and you may require an overall rebrand. Some brand logos, which predate the online-era are not digitally friendly. They may have small lettering, too much lettering, too intricate a pattern in their design, either way these qualities prevent the logo looking good when scaled down to smartphone size. Many brands have changed their type faces and logos in what has come to be known as undesigning. This is where brands simplify their logo designs to make them more web friendly.

Many online brands evolve rather than completely rebrand, in order to improve user experiences. We see this with the likes of Air bNb and Instagram, although cynics would say this is done to draw attention away from negative publicity or changes to their sites algorithms. The likes of these online sites changing their logos is not without risk.  The internet can be a hostile and unforgiving environment, with Social Media trolls always waiting in the wings to rubbish your bold ideas. When you do change your logo or name online, have your social media gurus ready and waiting on Twitter and Facebook to rebuff any negative feedback with good humour delivered in a tone and voice that is in keeping with your new brand values.

The biggest challenge with many rebranding exercises is the timeline.  Launching a brand, along with a new brand identity, platform and market position, can be a daunting task. You won’t want to spend too long on it as the resources you will have to allocate towards it in terms of people power, will render you temporarily unable to fully focus on the overall operation of the business. That’s unless you out-source to another company who will administer the rebranding for you. Getting it done elsewhere will mean you can get on with your day-to-day admin, but this will be costly and you won’t want it to run on. Whichever option you choose, the fact remains that rebranding once you have identified it as the way forward for your business, should be carried out swiftly, so you can begin operating more robustly under your new guise.

Rebranding, always brings about the risk of losing an already established SEO position. The transferring from one domain to another is always a mammoth task in itself, but the potential for SEO success with new brand positioning could far outweigh any short term hits. Furthermore, after rebranding, companies can often find themselves in a position whereby they have a bigger SEO field to play in.

A successful rebrand is always about hiring the right talent. A strong management team can negate the risks brought about by rebranding and take on the laborious challenges that will lie ahead in the event of a full schedule of change. Brands must always adapt to new challenges, new customer wants and needs and a changing digital landscape. Sometimes this quite plainly requires a rebrand and taking up that challenge is a decision your company will have to take if it wants to stay healthy.

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