Rebranding a company means much more than tweaking a logo or changing a name. Rebranding is an extensive process designed to better align a company's products, services and image with its target audience.
When Apple Computer, Inc. rebranded to Apple in 2007, for example, the company did change both its name and its logo, but the name change reflected a strategic expansion into products well beyond computers — phones, tablets and music — and the new, shinier logo matched this forward-looking stance.
While a company with the reach of Apple won't have any trouble getting its rebranding noticed, it's smart to actively engage consumers on strategic shifts.
Make an announcement
Since these changes don't just happen overnight, when rebranding a company it's important to formally announce surface-level changes like new names or logos first, so that customers aren't confused when they start seeing evidence of the new brand image.
Along with this kind of announcement, it makes sense to explain why the changes are being made and how consumers, employees, and investors will benefit. Where is the company headed in the future — and why? Is the change in response to industry evolution, shifting opportunities or customer feedback?
Spread the word
Once the rebranding has been announced, it's time to implement those changes across all communications channels at your disposal. You'll need to:
- Announce the rebrand changes through your internal channels
- Inform investors. Consider giving them an opportunity to discuss the meaning behind the rebrand, such as a Q&A meeting.
- Update the website, corporate blog, investors relation portal and intranet
- Change social media accounts
- Reprint marketing materials with the new look
- Replace corporate signage with the latest name and logo
- Send email messages about the rebranding
- Send direct mail explaining the rebranding
- Create a public relations strategy to spread the word through the media
- Advertise the news
Reinforce the changes
The more places your internal and external stakeholders see evidence of rebranding, the sooner they'll become familiar with the updated image. Repetition is key for people to recognize, accept and start to prefer a company's new look and feel. The "Rule of Seven" in advertising indicates that consumers need to see your message seven times before it sinks in.
Remember that communicating a corporate rebranding is a key opportunity to shape the conversation about your brand. Don't miss it.