Lessons Learned: What Makes a Successful Rebranding Campaign?

Lessons Learned: What Makes a Successful Rebranding Campaign?

Just as your franchise brand changes over time, so should your branding evolve. Although many brands make periodic tweaks to their look, typography, etc., a rebrand entails much more: A rebrand could include a new logo, color palette, fonts, photography and design or visual elements. So, what makes a successful rebranding campaign? A rebrand may be considered successful if the new look still “feels” like your company and your target audience continues to engage with the brand.

What are good reasons to rebrand? A company may rebrand to better align its visuals with the franchise’s positioning in the marketplace. Rebranding also will allow a company to keep up with trends, such as using a more modern font or simplifying the color palette.

Let’s go through the steps to building a successful rebrand.

Product/Service Evolution

The rebranding process begins with an evaluation of whether your current branding represents your brand as it currently is. Has your brand launched new products, or have your services changed or expanded? Does your look or logo seem outdated or emphasize a part of your business that has become less important or even obsolete?

In addition to deciding what you can step back from, you’ll want to gather historical insights to determine your future direction. If your original product is still your best seller, emphasize it. You want to be true to your roots and core values, so your loyal customers recognize you and understand that you remain the brand they already love and trust.

Research-Driven Refocusing

Do extensive research of your industry, your competitors and modern design trends. What colors are your competitors using? If you’re in the financial industry and all of your competitors’ logos are blue, and your new logo is magenta, you are going to stand out! But will you still look like a financial institution?

Also, remember that updating does not necessarily mean making a dramatic change to embrace every trend … and lose yourself in the process. Research the trends but don’t lean too heavily into them or your brand will look outdated very quickly.

Although this blog focuses on visuals, bear in mind that a full rebrand involves more than design. A rebrand provides an excellent opportunity to consider whether the tagline still works for your franchise company, or whether the brand positioning or the brand voice needs some work.

Explore Your Options

Armed with research and a strong sense of brand priorities, it’s time to get serious. This is where the practiced eye of a professional designer or branding expert becomes very important. They can help you develop a rebranding strategy to determine which elements can simply be updated and which ones need to be scrapped and replaced altogether. They can point you in the right direction with your color palette and help you look modern without being overly trendy.

Unified Brand Presence

The next step is to begin trying out the new look in different ways and places. Remember that a brand comprises more than the logo. Everything must be updated for branding to feel cohesive. Make sure the branding works with your new logo, web and signage. Try mockups of ads, social media posts, print collateral, etc.

Revise/tweak things that don’t work across all iterations. Don’t rush. Take your time and make sure you have exactly what you need so your branding will stand up over the long term.

Engaging Team Alignment

When you are happy, plan a proper rollout for both your internal and external stakeholders. Internally, you may want to unveil the franchise brand’s new look with your corporate team and franchisees well before you share it with your customer base. Be sure to include a brand style guide so everyone is aligned on the correct way to use new colors, new design features, etc. Spell out when the new branding goes into effect and what you expect franchisees and others to do with outdated marketing material or collateral (for example, use up old flyers before printing new, discard business cards and uniform shirts, etc.)

For your target audience, tease and/or announce the rebranding on your social media channels, in a news release, through e-blasts or commercials. It’s a big deal to change your brand’s look, so don’t hold back!

Holistic Brand Experience

This might feel like you’ve reached the finish line – but hold on just a bit longer. Give the branding about six months, and then reconvene with your team to see what’s working well and what might need to be tweaked a little more to provide a holistic brand experience to your customers. Be prepared to pivot when you realize what needs further refinement.

Rebranding efforts take time but can be extremely rewarding. If your branding is feeling a little tired or your products or services have shifted to meet demand, it’s time to contact a creative agency to consider how you can update your look and boost your bottom line.