Is your brand keeping up with the competition in the biz world?
Are you trying to change the overall aesthetic of your brand across all marketing touchpoints?
Is carving a new niche for yourself with a brand-new positioning leaving you high and dry?
Regardless of the reason, going through a rebrand especially as a small business with limited resources can be stressful.
To help you make the right decision, we have created a stress-free small business rebranding checklist. This checklist will guide you through the process of rebranding, from defining your goals to launching your new brand, and everything in between
What does rebranding mean to small businesses?
One thing you should keep in mind before going further into this blog post is that it is not necessary to change the identity of your brand unless absolutely required.
Rebranding can be challenging, even for small businesses. So before you take the big leap, let’s make sure that you have valid reasons such as:
- Your company is restructuring or changing its name.
- There has been a major change in your product or services.
- You have merged with or acquired another company.
- Your brand values no longer match the business goals.
- The market value or position of the brand is deteriorating.
- The current brand has negative links.
Reasons to not rebrand your business
It is crucial to understand that rebranding cannot always help your business. It’s always imperative to assess if a rebrand is absolutely necessary before taking that first step.
Here are a few reasons why you could choose to forgo a rebrand:
- When new management pushes for a rebrand: There will be a tendency to change things in the company when a new leader takes charge. But make sure you learn the brand values and market before taking any such steps.
- Your competitors are rebranding: What might work for them might not work for you. Learn why they’ve rebranded their business and see if you are facing the same issues.
- Changing your visual identity to match up to the trends: Don’t immediately jump on the trends bandwagon, especially if it means making huge changes to your brand. Remember that your audience recalls your brand for its logo and the color because they could relate to the experience of it.
Should you just get a brand agency to do it?
Small businesses sometimes hire agencies to help tackle their marketing or brand-related problems. In many cases, an agency can help you come up with a strategy for a successful campaign, get more hands on deck, and gather marketing expertise.
The downside in some cases, however, is that hiring an agency would mean going beyond budget and not being able to control the pace of how they work.
So, before hiring an agency it is important to consider whether you can afford them and handle the communication with them.
Your rebranding checklist for 2023
When you’ve decided to rebrand your small business, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. With clear goals and resources, you can ace it like a pro. Here are a few things that need to be on your checklist while changing your business identity.
1. Audit what you already have
Once you know the direction in which you want to move ahead, study what your brand already does. That’s how you find out what can be kept and what needs to be updated to reflect your new path.
- Re-establish your audience and market
Imagine realizing that your target audience isn't the same group despite conducting extensive research on them. It can be a result of demographic changes or a new competitor entering the market with similar goods or services to yours.
So, look at who’s buying your product and who isn’t. By contrasting the discrepancies, you might be able to discover something that will help you identify your actual target market and audience before rebranding your business.
- Re-evaluate your competitors
You can frequently check up on your competitors, even on social media. Knowing their USPs, partnerships, and current positioning is a smart idea. Giving your audience what your competitors can't will give you a slight competitive edge.
2. Rework your brand assets
Now onto the creative part, here are a few elements that you should consider while rebranding.
- Company logo
With time, it’s good to give your logo a makeover — something that your customers can resonate with. The basic rule of designing the logo is to always stick to the basics instead of overdoing it.
While changing the font, evaluate what worked out and what didn’t for your previous font. You might also want to consider whether your font is consistent with any markets or messages uncovered while rebranding.
- New brand guidelines
During rebranding, brand guidelines on both the visual and content front can help you navigate the change and ensure brand consistency from the start.
- Get feedback on your new brand ideas
Taking feedback at each stage of brand strategy is necessary. It is important to get feedback from your customers and your team before introducing your rebrand. That way you can learn how the audience is going to welcome your brand. You can also A/B test your visual assets and copy and assess the results for a better marketing outcome.
3. Plan a successful launch
A rebrand is about communicating your new message: What are your new mission, values, and vision? To communicate this, it's important to plan a successful rebranding launch.
- Build a brand tool kit
Ready to launch your assets? The best way to store and manage them is through digital asset management tools. These tools facilitate collaboration between you, your team, and external teams like agencies who will have access to your visuals in a central workspace.
With a digital asset management tool like Artwork Flow, you can streamline your rebranding process. From organizing your brand assets to proofreading them, it's an all-in-one tool that we would highly recommend
- Create a rebranding checklist
Changing your brand identity is a step-by-step process and keeping track of every key area might not be easy. So, it’s always better to keep a checklist and make sure to check off a few elements such as:
Brand assets: Ensure that you have created all the different variations of your assets. For example, different-sized creatives to post on your various marketing channels.
Website: When rebranding your company, make sure your website — from your home page to product pages — reflects the new brand. You’ll also want to make sure any downloadable content follows the new brand guidelines.
Paid ads: If you are running any ads, make sure you run the new ones to reflect your current visual identity.
Emails: Update your templates and email signatures to reflect any new social links, job titles, and logos.
Employer branding assets: Update the branding anywhere you advertise job opportunities in your company. That might include websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn.
Common rebranding mistakes to avoid
While rebranding a small business is a challenging task, there are ways to make it easier. One of the best ways is to learn from the mistakes of others. Following are a few that you can steer clear of.
1. Changing the name
If you are planning to change your brand name, is there a motive behind it? Changing the name can affect the audience’s recall of your brand and may as well affect your branding. So it is unnecessary unless it is not related to your brand’s growing products or services.
2. Not having a brand style guide
Without brand guidelines dictating your new look and feel, your new image can become inconsistent and the efforts put into rebranding can go to waste.
3. Rebranding only the logo and website
A brand is not just about the looks, it’s also how the customer feels about it. So while rebranding, focus on both visual aspects and the services you provide.
4. Rushing behind the trends
Sure, there are times when you have to keep up with the trends. But before doing that, take a step back and think about how it is going to affect your business or the audience.
Small business rebranding examples
Achieving a successful business rebranding is no small feat. Here are a few examples of small businesses that have successfully rebranded themselves.
In 2019, two leading philanthropic organizations, the Foundation Center and GuideStar merged to form Candid, with a mission to transform the way the world connects to giving. The challenge was to combine the resources, expertise, and databases of both organizations into a single platform that would provide accurate, reliable, and comprehensive information on the nonprofit sector.
The teams worked to integrate the data, remove duplicates, and ensure the accuracy of the information while merging their databases and technology platforms. The newly formed organization adopted a new name, branding, and website to reflect the merger and its new mission.
The merger of Foundation Center and GuideStar resulted in Candid - a single, unified platform that provides a wealth of information on the nonprofit sector. It now has a new website with a new mission statement.
The merger is a prime example of how collaboration and innovation can drive positive change in the nonprofit sector. By combining resources and expertise, the organizations could meet their goals while living up to the brand promise.
Laka is a UK-based insurance company that offers a unique insurance model, where premiums are shared among community members. In 2021, Laka decided to undergo a rebranding effort to change the misconception about insurance companies. The challenge was to create a new brand identity that would resonate with customers and differentiate Laka from its competitors.
To rebrand Laka, the company conducted extensive market research and worked with a branding agency to develop a new brand identity that aligned with its values and mission. The new brand identity included a bold new logo to represent the focus group, website design, messaging, and brand colors. Laka also improved its customer experience by simplifying its insurance products and providing more transparent pricing.
The rebranding effort was a success for Laka, as it helped the company increase its market share and attract new customers. The new brand identity and messaging resonated with customers, as it communicated Laka's unique community-based insurance model and its commitment to transparency and simplicity.
The Laka rebranding effort shows the importance of aligning a brand's identity with its values and mission. The rebranding effort also highlights the importance of customer experience and transparency, which can help increase customer loyalty and retention.
In 2017, Chobani, the popular Greek yogurt brand, underwent a major rebranding effort to refresh its image and appeal to a wider audience. The challenge was to strengthen the brand while staying true to its core values and maintaining its loyal customer base.
To rebrand Chobani, the company launched a marketing campaign that included a new logo, packaging design, and messaging. The new logo featured a modern design with a fresh, healthy image. The packaging design was also updated from a plain white cup to a folk art design that would definitely gleam on your shelves. Additionally, Chobani launched a new advertising campaign featuring real people and their stories of how Chobani fits into their lives.
It was a resounding success for Chobani as it helped the company grow its customer base and increase sales. The new logo and packaging design were well-received by consumers and helped Chobani stand out in a crowded market. The new advertising campaign also resonated with consumers, helping to reinforce Chobani's brand values of health, simplicity, and community.
The Chobani rebranding effort is a great example of how a brand can evolve without losing its core identity. By refreshing its image and messaging, Chobani could appeal to a wider audience while staying true to its values and maintaining its loyal customer base.
4. Van Leeuwen
Van Leeuwen is a Brooklyn-based ice cream company that was founded in 2008. In 2019, the company underwent a rebranding effort to create scroll-stopping product packaging that would capture the attention of customers in a crowded market. The challenge was to create a new packaging design that would reflect Van Leeuwen's brand values and communicate its commitment to using high-quality, natural ingredients.
To create scroll-stopping product packaging, Van Leeuwen worked with a creative agency to develop a new packaging design that would differentiate it from its competitors. The new packaging design featured bold colors, simple typography, and a focus on the product's natural ingredients. The company also launched a new advertising campaign that focused on the taste and quality of its ice cream.
The rebranding effort was a success for Van Leeuwen, as it helped the company to increase its market share and attract new customers. The new packaging design and advertising campaign resonated with customers, as it communicated Van Leeuwen's commitment to using high-quality, natural ingredients and its focus on taste and quality. The company also received positive feedback from customers who appreciated the new packaging design and found it easy to recognize on store shelves.
The Van Leeuwen rebranding effort highlights the importance of creating product packaging that stands out in a crowded market while remaining loyal to its values. The success of the rebranding effort also shows the importance of advertising campaigns that focus on the taste and quality of the product, which can help to increase customer loyalty and retention.
5. Modern mammals
Modern Mammals is a startup company that produces natural, eco-friendly shampoo products. In the first year, they could see their products resonating with men. As a company whose mission is to provide safe and sustainable hair care products, the challenge was to create a new brand identity without jumping on the super-masculine narrative most men's hair care products tell.
To challenge the established narrative of traditional shampoo products, Modern Mammals worked with a branding agency to develop a new brand identity that communicated its mission and values. The new brand identity included a new logo, packaging design, and messaging that emphasized the company's commitment to using natural and eco-friendly ingredients. The company also launched a new advertising campaign that focused on the benefits of using natural hair care products for men and the environmental impact of traditional shampoo products.
The rebranding effort was a success for Modern Mammals, as it helped the company to differentiate itself from its competitors and attract new customers. The new brand identity and messaging resonated with customers, as it communicated the company's commitment to safe and sustainable hair care products.
The Modern Mammals rebranding effort illustrates the importance of breaking the traditional norms set by the industry which made the brand stand out from its competitors. The success of the rebranding effort also highlights the importance of emphasizing the benefits of natural and eco-friendly products along with tapping the right audience.
Ready to put this rebranding checklist to work?
Now that you have learned the rebranding process and still want to change your business identity, I hope you have found this article helpful. It is important to respect your audience and the brand values. So, before any alteration, putting your audience first is always a good choice.
To take your rebranding strategy a notch above the rest, you can use a digital asset management software to organize and share your brand assets. Artwork Flow is an ideal choice — a tool that helps your team to collaborate with external agencies easily, get feedback and proofing done quickly and help you maintain brand consistency. You can book a demo to see if we meet your brand requirements.