The rebranding of a company can be a very rewarding process if carried out carefully, and a public relations disaster when poorly executed. Uber is a brand that experienced the latter.
A couple of weeks ago, the mobile ride hail company underwent a brand update that received unpopular reviews. It seems that the new logo falls short in the following areas: identification (it doesn’t immediately register as brand “Uber”), differentiation (it can be mistaken for another company e.g. biotech) and association (the public is confused by the update, as such, there isn’t a favourable connection in their mind).
For CEOs or CFOs that are about to embark on this journey, the following tips should steer you in the right direction.
1. Understand that it’s more than a “logo change”
A common misconception that many executives have is the narrow thinking that a re-branding endeavour is a meager “update” or “tweak”.
Essentially, they see their brand in just physical terms.
While physical indicators like a logo, name and colour are part of a company’s brand - they are not the only things that make up a brand.
“A brand is a way of remembering something for future reference… It is simply a word for a file in the mind, in which you put in prejudices and personal experiences… it is made up by the customer”
This definition of a brand by Michael Wolff clearly highlights the intangible and deeper meaning of a brand.
Business executives should see their brand in it’s totality (in both hard and soft metrics), and use a re-branding process to reinforce positive prejudices for the consumer to remember.
2. Thoroughly understand your consumer’s needs
Before embarking on the extensive re-branding process, most businesses forget to clearly understand what a brand means to their respective customers.
Specifically, how the products and services fit practically into their lives.
The last thing you want is to leave your consumers confused, or trigger unsettling sentiments that prevent purchase.
3. Don’t “re-brand” for the sake of it
Another exercise for a company considering a re-branding process is to understand why such activity is necessary. It must be accomplishing distinct objectives.
Never re-brand for the sake of it!
4. Test! Test!! Test!!!
Before the brand re-launch, always test the new identity or process with a focus group (of any size) so as to get an external reaction.
If there is negative feedback from the focus group, it is cheaper to make adjustments then, rather than after a country-wide or international roll-out.
5. Fully integrate your new brand
Consistency is the name of the game post rebranding.
You need to ensure that every single aspect and touchpoint of your business clearly reflects the new direction that your company is headed.
A poor systematic integration will negatively affect the public perception of your brand.
Remember, perception is a reality for brands.
Rebranding is no easy feat - it involves numerous moving parts. These pointers hopefully give you the tools to flawlessly execute such activity.
Written by David Fastuca @Locomote