faceliftSure…  every now-and-then, a brand needs to be “refreshed.”  But just like plastic surgery, “refreshing” a brand and completely rebuilding are two completely different things (think Kenny Rogers or Bruce Jenner)Care needs to be taken not to destroy your brand integrity while maintaining your current brand loyalists’ expectations.

So, for the inaugural post on The Brand Chef’s new blog (new design and domain, at least), here is a Baker’s Dozen rebranding do’s and don’ts.

Do – Consult with a branding specialist at the very beginning, rather than charging ahead on your own and then going to an agency with a half-baked plan.  A good branding professional can provide additional insight that may not reside within the walls of your company.  And a third-party perspective is always advisable.

Do – Have the owner/operator, CEO and head of marketing all at the table with the branding specialists.  Without decision-makers in the conversation, the dialogue won’t reflect the TRUE brand of the company.  (Branding specialists should demand this.)

DoStrive for consistency. this seems to be an obvious point, but the rebranding must represent every aspect of every division of the company.  From its stationery to the way the customer service representatives answer the phones – the brand should take center stage.

Don’tCopy. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but in the rebranding game, it’s a signal to customers that your company is unsure of their TRUE brand identity and is satisfied living in the shadow of its competitors. — AND, If as a branding strategist, you hear “We want to be like…”  RUN!

Don’tSegregate the task to a small segment of the company. In addition to key stakeholders (see above), you’re better off getting in input form EVERYONE in the company.  If your company is too big to do that effectively, make sure everyone’s opinion is represented in the decision process.

Don’tGamble with the company’s name. If you’ve been around for more than a couple of years, there’s equity in your name.  If you haven’t been around for a couple of years…  why are you rebranding?

Don’tSecond-guess. If you’re changing your logo every three to four years, all you’re proving to your customers is that you don’t trust you OWN decisions… Stand strong and brand stronger.

That’s it, in a nutshell.  Some simple do’s and don’ts for rebranding.  So, before you put your brand “under the knife,” think about the ultimate consequenses.

Can you think of additional do’s and don’ts for rebranding?  Let’s discuss them here!  I’d love to get you in the mix…

Until next time…

Keep Cooking
Andrew B. Clark
–The Brand Chef