• HMG

Guide to rebranding your business

Updated: Jul 12


A blackboard that reads “time for change”

In the digital age, rebranding is far from a novel concept. Even with the era’s unique circumstances, many businesses, small and large, have done so successfully over the past decade. It is, however, an endeavor that can take many different forms, depending on one’s explicit goals. It may simply be a redesign of one’s online presence or a complete overhaul of one’s identity. Therefore, it’s also a process that takes dedication. Many rebranding efforts remain incomplete, and thus ineffective. Where should you start, then, and how would you succeed in rebranding your business in the long term? Let us discuss this subject in some depth.


Reasons to rebrand your business

First and foremost, as with all business endeavors, there needs to be a reason behind rebranding your business. For better or worse, new needs, the changing market, and plain happenstance provide ample reasons to consider it. Among many, the three main ones are arguably the following.


Relocation and expansion

Moving to a different main location or expanding to international markets may warrant rebranding. The physical aspect of it is fortunately easy, as there is no shortage of commercial movers to consult. But as you get comfortable in the new premises or expand your operations, you also adjust to new target audiences.


A change in values and mission

Similarly, your business values and mission may change – whether due to relocation, a merger, or other factors. Naturally, how you communicate these new values directly informs how audiences see you online. Thus, rebranding offers a clean, precise way to do so.


Market repositioning and a new identity

Finally, the aforementioned and other factors may warrant forging and projecting a new identity. The most practical such factor is, simply, market repositioning. For example, consider how SEOMoz repositioned themselves in the market in 2013, rebranding and renaming themselves to Moz. Here, SearchEngineJournal helpfully explained:


“Why did they change their name?

  1. they are not just an SEO company

  2. wanted to get away from the unseemingly acronym, SEO

  3. people didn’t know how to pronounce SEO

  4. wanted to focus on software rather than consulting

  5. prepare for the launch for Moz Analytics (which is currently in beta)”

These factors combined into an emerging, redefined identity – which evidently succeeded.




Rebranding your business

Success stories aside, however, rebranding your business is no easy feat. It can be effortless if all you need is a minor change, but deeper restructures take planning and commitment. Such rebranding efforts may affect everything, from your name and logo to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing. Thus, you may consider these three steps to solidify your efforts.





#1 Start with a clear business reason

First and foremost, you should begin any such efforts with a clear, data-driven goal. Doing so will allow you to clearly define your exact purpose and the means by which you’ll do so. Indeed, different goals will necessitate completely different courses of action. To support this, among many, consider two primary examples of business reasons to rebrand.


Accelerating growth

It is not uncommon, or unwise, to seek to accelerate growth through rebranding. To meet this goal, businesses will need to open up to new audiences, enhancing lead acquisition and conversion rates. They may do so through redefining their customer segmentation criteria, investing in SEO for lead generation, and so forth. Here, one would need to reestablish one’s audience.


Simplifying and refining your message

Conversely, shortcomings in resonating with an existing audience may also warrant a rebrand. Here, the aim would be to simplify and clarify one’s existing message, bolstering marketing outreach. In direct contrast to the aforementioned, this goal entails narrowing one’s marketing scope, not expanding it. In other words, the goal would be to solidify one’s grasp on their existing audience.


#2 Redefine your identity

Having established a clear business reason behind your efforts, you should now have the data to inform them. Depending on your goals, you may redefine your identity as needed, starting from its fundamentals; your name, slogan, and logo.


Your name

Much like names but arguably less defining, business slogans also consolidate a business’s values and mission. Thus, changing your slogan may be impactful but also safer than renaming. Here, consider the following:

  • Memorability; how memorable is your new slogan?

  • Accuracy; how accurately does it define your new mission?

  • Language; can more or less poetic language resonate with your audience better?

In all cases, renaming a business will necessitate a strong SEO effort to recover one’s organic traffic. Thus, renaming may need to be approached with caution.


Your slogan

Much like names, but arguably less defining, business slogans also consolidate a business’s values and mission. Thus, changing your slogan may be impactful, but also safer than renaming. Here, consider the following:

  • Memorability; how memorable is your new slogan?

  • Accuracy; how accurately does it define your new mission?

  • Language; can more, or less, poetic language resonate with your audience better?

Typically, modifying one’s slogan is a safer approach to better contextualizing one’s new projected identity.


Your logo

Finally, a business logo offers the most visually powerful projection of identity. Graphics designers the world over will attest to the sheer power of a good logo and the pitfalls of a bad one.





This subject would require its own article to cover, but suffice it to say that logos see very frequent reevaluations. Consider, for example, 1000Logos’s analysis of the Mozilla Firefox browser logo’s evolution, and the implications that follow it.

In this regard, you may carefully examine how different factors of your logo encapsulate your new message, including:

  • Geometry and shapes

  • Color choices and bleeding

  • Overlaid text font, size, and color

Frequently, simple changes to one’s logo will suffice for modest rebranding efforts. Still, a complete reinvention of one’s identity may warrant large-scale changes.


#3 Inform your online presence and align your marketing with your new identity

Finally, this step is where you put your rebranding practices to use. The two main fronts where you may do so are your website and marketing outreach.


Your website

The heart of your online presence, all rebranding efforts will inevitably transform your website. Here, consider the following, among others:

  • Update your domain name to align with your new name, if you renamed your business

  • Apply your new slogan and logo wherever appropriate

  • Update content, backlink anchor text, images, CTA copy, and other material with your new assets

  • Consider if a new website layout or UI can better frame your rebranding

  • Evaluate if a general shift in messaging tone will better frame your efforts

However, on the subject of backlinks, it’s notable that your website is only where rebranding your business begins.


Marketing outreach

To consolidate your efforts, your marketing outreach will need to be informed by your new objectives. Marketing is how you will project your new identity, after all, and likely how you’ll meet many of your goals. Here, consider the following, among others:

  • Social media marketing; consider if a new style and tone will better serve your audience

  • Social media presence; ensure all of your social media and other online profiles match your new name and visual identity – consistency is key

  • Newsletter; consider informing your subscribers of your efforts, outlining your goals and new direction

  • SEO; enhance your efforts to recover from lost organic traffic more quickly

  • PPC; consider PPC and other forms of paid marketing that may promote your new image

In all cases, it is crucial that marketing outreach retains consistency and clarity. Unfortunately, inconsistent use of new assets across departments or profiles is a very common, preventable misstep when rebranding.


Conclusion

To summarize, rebranding your business can be discreet or substantive; it may augment what’s there or reinvent your identity. In all cases, you will need to decide how heavily you will choose to rebrand to fit your business goals. From logos and slogans to your very name, you will need to commit to your efforts and communicate the changes clearly and consistently. It is by no means an easy feat, but its benefits can far outweigh the initial burdens.


Sarah Gray

HMG / HWD

Content Guru

"I want to tell your story!"

sgray@hmgroupmi.com

11 views0 comments