Ideas + Insights
July 3, 2018
Do you ever have those thoughts of ‘Thank GOD I don’t have that haircut anymore?’ Like when I look back at photos from the early 2000s and realise that I had a peroxide blonde mullet? #nojoke
Or looking back at that dreadful 90s outfit you donned as a kid and thank your lucky stars that you’re actually somewhat fashionable now? (Thanks for the polka dot leotard with matching scrunchie mum!)
Or realising that you once drove a 1991 rusty Nissan Pulsar that was rustier than a tin shed and feeling ever so grateful for your sleek new Volkswagen Tiguan.
I love discovering little life hacks like that that fill you with newfound self-confidence.
I get this feeling when I look back at the Smack Bang logo circa 2011.
At the time I had a sickly obsession with bright turquoise green – like the kind of green you need sunnies on to look at. Our logo had a bright green circle behind it that felt like the nightclub lights turning on when it was time to head home and, in retrospect, fills me with the same kind of anxiety.
(Let it also be known that I even painted one of our studio walls this colour. I’m not sure what I thinking, but the creative juices were obviously really starting to fire up.)
When I compare that ‘brand’ to our now slick, sexy and sophisticated brand, I am elated with confidence, clarity and a massive sense of relief.
The power of a rebrand, no matter how big, can be truly business-transforming.
I recently fell down the rabbit hole that is our rather juicy archive of projects. I got all the way from A to M (and only aged a few years in the process), and stumbled across our designs for one of our most treasured clients, Mukti. Sifting through the files in that folder sure was a trip down memory lane. When Mukti first came to us, her beautiful formulations were trapped inside outdated little bottles that no longer reflected the quality and greatness of where she wanted her brand to be. We’ve worked with Mukti over the last 5 years to reposition and alchemise her brand from bland to grand and have since rebranded almost every aspect of her business. It has been one of the most satisfying projects to date because we’ve seen first-hand what an impact a refresh and repositioning can have on a business’ bottomline.
In Mukti’s case, a rebrand was necessary to encourage growth and clarify their services,
“I wanted our brand to be cleaner and less pigeon-holed as a
hippy-boho-natural-organic brand. I want to be taken seriously
as a global contender – an organic skincare brand that delivers real results.”
The Mukti rebrand and repositioning is just one of many projects where we’ve had the pleasure of playing make-over magic and helping our clients reap the rewards of a refresh.
I’ve written about why to rebrand and how to rebrand before, but I haven’t shared how to communicate a rebrand to your audience. A rebrand, when done for the right reasons, is a surefire way to get positive alignment for your brand, both externally and internally.
Here are my six golden rules to revealing a rebrand to an existing audience without losing your street cred.
When a company rebrands, there’s always the fear that your existing audience will feel alienated or confused by the change. The biggest fear Mukti had when it came to rebranding was exactly that:
“I was scared that if it was radically different our customers may not
recognise the brand. But I believe my approach to business has evolved
and matured. I do my best not to be attached and to be open to others
input and advice. Sometimes letting go is hard especially if decisions are taken
out of your hands but in order to grow you have to take the leap of faith,
experience a little discomfort and jump into the void.”
We often find that when our clients are more vocal and transparent about the reasons for their rebrand, their customers aren’t alienated at all, and in many cases step up to offer their encouragement and support. If you’re transparent with your audience about why you’re rebranding, then there’s more potential for them to get behind your mission and support you on your voyage.
Back in 2010 GAP (or more officially, The Gap) did exactly this. One day they were the familiar old, preppy, GAP, and the next? Customers went to the company’s website expecting to see the familiar dark blue box and white name were met with a logo that left them confused. It was impossible to tell if this was even the same clothing store? It’s safe to say the rebrand was a complete flop, and within a matter of weeks they reverted back to their old branding *Command Z* and see-ya-later $100 million (that was an expensive mistake).
Ensure you communicate your rebrand to your followers far in advance. Sit down with your team and come up with the a well-thought-out timing strategy to execute the evolution. If it happens too slowly, you’ll lose the impact and rewards of a rebrand. If it happens too fast, your customers will be confused and, most likely, resentful.
Remember, that all of your followers connect with your brand in different ways, some people will learn of your refresh via social, but others will be more inclined to read a newsletter. Check that you cover all bases by getting up on all your different soapboxes to ensure all your party people are kept in the loop and reassured they’re going to get the same great products, services or dedication to mission that they’ve come to expect.
Image credit: Joost Termeer
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