By Andrew Ciccone
Re-branding a company involves many nuanced decisions, and it isn’t always clear when a re-brand is necessary. A marketer may wonder if his or her company should commit to a re-brand or if there’s a simpler fix available. Pacing is also an issue, and there’s always the risk of alienating your current customers.
There are many reasons to consider a re-brand – mergers and acquisitions, leadership changes, an evolving customer base. But it’s not always clear when a re-brand is absolutely necessary.
Resisting the temptation to re-brand is often the best way forward. When two strong organizations are merged, combining their name and logos is a good idea. Sometimes only the stronger organization’s brand survives, thus maintaining one brand identity and losing the other over time. It may be best to retain each brand and form a larger parent company, such as Google did when forming Alphabet.
All said, when a brand or organization is no longer relevant, then yes, re-branding can breathe new life and in fact save a failing brand. A true re-brand throws out all the old letterhead, changes all the signage out front, and re-opens the doors with the new brand identity and a public relations campaign that educates and generates high levels of awareness with key stakeholders. Definitely the best way to rebrand.
Mergers & Acquisitions
A re-brand after a merger should be balanced and phased in over years if critical benchmarks must be met before elements of the new brand can be changed. For a totally new brand identity, every detail must be developed and created before launching the re-brand. Then during the re-brand, everything needs to happen overnight. Literally all the signs, the stationery, the website – everything needs to change with a publicity campaign that is integrated across all channels, especially digital. When it’s done right, it’s great. If it’s not perfect, your stakeholders will let you know in about 24 hours, believe me.
Getting it right
The collaborative work of great people creates great new brands. There will never be a consensus throughout this creative process – this is not a democracy. Committees kill time and most good ideas. Working with a great strategic firm who understand branding will create a great new brand.
(Andrew Ciccone is President of Hudson Valley Public Relations, an agency that optimizes connections, builds relationships and targets the right audience with the right message every time. Andrew can be reached at 845-702-6226 or Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.hudsonvalleypublicrelations.com for more information.)