Maybe your franchise brand has been around a long time and the internal perception is the brand is successful and solid, but lately your reporting data continually shows less-than-stellar results. Or maybe your business dominates its category. Either way, how do you rebrand a franchise and when should you consider undertaking such a project?
Brands must continually enhance their offerings to meet customer demand and battle competitors to demonstrate their improved value. No matter where your company is today, it’s vital to objectively review your brand regularly to ensure it reflects the current values of the company, your franchise network and your customers. If you’re not paying attention, your brand runs the risk of becoming antiquated. It may be time to consider rebranding.
Your brand identity is the face of your business. Your logo, tagline, fonts, icons, color palette and even photography style are unique — or should be — to your brand. Combine these elements and it’s how you look, sound and feel to the world. It’s how customers understand who you are and, more importantly, how they judge your relevancy. What’s your value? Why should I care?
The rebranding process should be a part of an overall strategy aimed at repositioning the brand. To successfully rebrand your franchise, you typically need a new marketing strategy, new logo, typography system, color system, to build a new photography or illustration library and, in radical cases, potentially even a new brand name. Needless to say, this is a seismic shift requiring huge effort from multiple teams. It should not be entered into lightly.
If this sounds like a project that will require a lot of time and money, you’re not wrong. So why go through the hassle? The perception of your audience is critical. If negativity is associated with your brand, the fresh start of a rebrand can rebuild trust and brand equity. Left untouched, your brand could become outdated and less appealing. Does the brand suffer from poor differentiation from its competitors? If your business strategy has changed or the brand has recently undergone a merger or been acquired, evolving your brand is essential.
At Curious Jane, we love all things brand. We particularly love it when brands come to us with concerns and needs, and we’re able to partner with them to create a stronger, more authentic identity that truly reflects the company’s vision and values.
Our rebranding design process begins with a deep dive into your brand history. When was the brand first created, and for whom? Our analysis charts how the brand has changed over time and how it’s positioned currently. Through extensive research, we thoroughly understand your customer, the market and how others think of your brand (we ask them!). We deconstruct every piece of your current brand to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the design. These findings define the challenges your brand is facing.
To guide our strategy and creative process, we ask questions like:
- What is the brand’s new unique selling proposition?
- How does this rebrand change its position in the market?
- Does this change the brand audience?
- What type of personality should the new brand have?
- Who will be the brand’s main competition, and how will we differentiate the brand?
We then use the direction provided by the client, our competitor analysis and analysis of the current design to begin brainstorming and concept development. Our creative team explores many different ideas – from mild to wild – and begins creating logo designs, taglines, brandmarks and supporting branded materials and assets, such as business cards. Our many concepts are narrowed to the strongest key options, refined and then shared with the client for review.
Once the final direction is agreed upon, the creative team further develops the brand identity to ensure it clearly communicates and meets the requirements determined by our extensive research. We always show a wide range of approaches, such as how the system works when scaled small and large, in color and in black and white. When the final development stage is complete, all assets are once again presented to the client and any necessary adjustments are made. The final creative is delivered, along with a brand guidelines manual that we create to assist implementation teams.
Remember: Even with effective branding, it may take years to grow your customer base. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. A successful rebranding process will build trust and connect your franchise business emotionally with customers to create lifelong relationships.