In our first article of the “How to Launch” series, we introduced some differences between a soft launch and an official launch that new brands can take into consideration to get the word out to their niche audience. And today, we are back with another article on how to launch a rebrand!
You only get one chance to make a first impression.
When your company rethinks its marketing strategy with the intention of creating a new, differentiated identity in the minds of customers and stakeholders – be it the name, logo or brand positioning, we call it “rebranding”. Rolling out your rebrand is similar to unveiling an entirely new brand to the market, except that a preconceived image of your brand already exists. With the volume of content out there, how do you cut through all of that marketing noise and clutter to launch your rebrand with an impact?
A successful rebranding campaign doesn’t just happen magically. You would probably want to tap on the brand recognition that you’ve built for your old brand, while ensuring that your “new brand” reflects the current direction of the company. In order to launch a successful rebranding strategy, such that brand recognition is still preserved, the rule of thumb is to plan and communicate.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can create meaningful impact with your rebranding launch:
#1 It's a date!
After you’ve decided on a launch date, work backwards to plan a timeline for the different brand assets to be delivered across departments.
#2 Points of contact
Touch points are like points of contact you share with your customers. From your company website to social media profiles and business cards, these are various points of contact a customer may reach you.
It is essential to identify these touch points in order to update them to reflect your new rebranding. They include your website, profile logo, social media biography, email signatures and more! After all the effort you’ve put into rebranding the company, keeping the visuals consistent is necessary to get your audience (and employees) adapted to this change. Visual inconsistencies reduce the impact of your big reveal, as well as internal participation as employees become confused over which guidelines to follow.
#3 Hello, who?
Before communicating the rebrand to your audience, you need to first identify whom you are speaking to. We’re talking about your previous customers or clientele, social media followers and most importantly, your employees and company stakeholders who are the breathing representatives of your brand.
One of our clients, Waa Cow!, reached out to us to establish its branding as it approached its fourth year of operations. Our brand team first identified the need for clarity in its target audience and then worked towards balancing Waa Cow!’s positioning as a premium brand with a casual and fun personality through its visual look.
Through the application of brand patterns, we were also able to expose the target audience to subliminal branding. Besides rolling out this new identity in the form of takeaway coffee cups, menu and gin packaging, we also managed their social media account, ensuring that the visuals and captions encapsulated its unapologetic and fun personality.
With an idea of whom you are speaking to, you can then proceed to plan your mode of communication and message to convey your rebranding efforts effectively.
#4 Plan, plan and plan
Continuing from Step 3, you need to decide how to reach each of your audience segments.
Think in the shoes of your audience – what is least likely to confuse them? Is it giving them a heads-up or teasing them with the unveiling of your new brand logo?
You could reach out to your clients via EDM and engaging video announcements; your social media followers through various social media platforms; and of course your employees via weekly meetings and an employee handbook. You might also want to equip your employees with a brand guide that they can refer to at any time to ensure they stay aligned with the rebranded identity and direction of the company.
Next, plan a calendar! Put in specific dates as to when you are going to share the big news with the audience.
And you’d want to start from the inner circle – make the announcement to your employees and stakeholders before telling external parties. This internal launch could also double up as a soft launch as you gather feedback from your employees. It also allows your employees to remain informed about the company’s new direction, such that every member on the team is capable of addressing questions that the clients may have.
Another client, Geonbae, that offers access to quality Korean food and beverage products, needed to rebrand themselves to attract new businesses and expand their product range. Besides developing a stronger brand identity for them, we also shared marketing and social media strategies with their management and marketing team. They include diverse types of social media content, as well as a proposed timeline and marketing calendar to guide their staff – ensuring that the involved parties are all on the same page leading up to the launch.
#5 Say it with a bang
Now that you have identified your audience and the best channels to reach them, it’s time to craft your message – and it doesn’t just stop at telling them the company’s new name.
Besides sharing the name, wouldn’t it make a more indelible impression if you explained the new branding and why you chose to update the brand? Tell your audience: what has changed from before, what will remain the same and what this means for them. Drafting an impactful announcement takes time – and that’s fine! You could choose to hint at the rebrand through ephemeral content like Facebook and Instagram stories to build some suspense and excitement. The launch may also take up more than one post on your social media platforms in order for the rebranding to be fully entrenched in the minds of your audience. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate and explain the strategies behind these creative decisions made.
If you’ve read our previous article on how to launch a new brand, you would know by now that the launch date of your (re)brand isn’t the end. The content you put out also plays a huge role in telling your story post-rebranding. And that means you’ve got more planning to do!
Prepare a calendar for your post-rebranding content. Besides checking with the marketing team on the overall strategy, the branding person-in-charge has a crucial role of ensuring your brand visuals and copywriting convey the right look and feel. Preserving brand integrity is, after all, the key to ensuring your whole rebranding project makes a lasting impact.
As the Content Marketing Executive at The Outsiders Co. (now Superminted), Jasmine is a storyteller who translates her love for learning into content that is entertaining and relatable for the audience. She believes in connecting with the audience through the words she pens – or types.