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The Balanced Rebrand: The Art & Science of Brand Building

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Read how to balance business value and emotional value to create an authentic brand that not only sets your business up for success, but also resonates to your audiences’ needs.

Veröffentlicht in: Marketing
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The Balanced Rebrand: The Art & Science of Brand Building

  1. 1. The Balanced REBRAND The Art & Science of Brand Building
  2. 2. Finding Balance Deciding whether or not to rebrand is a critical moment for a company. Getting your brand right can sometimes mean a significant investment of hours, team resources and dollars for your organization. Usually the decision to rebrand stems from an immediate business challenge or need making the efforts worth it. Being clear on an effective process and the value you wish to drive for your business and your audience is an art and science vital to a brand's success. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENGE ART EMOTIONAL VALUE SCIENCE BUSINESS VALUE
  3. 3. Committing to a rebrand is one of the biggest decisions a company can make and oftentimes it happens at a most critical moment – a change in company vision, needing to attract the right audience, having negative brand perception. Use these moments as a launch pad for business and brand soul-searching. Does your current brand align with your business goals? If it doesn’t, it may be time to rebrand. From Pain to Opportunity Shift in vision Customer growth Outdated perception Shift in market category Negative perception Align brand to broader vision Attract the customers you need Look the part Controlled repositioning Change the narrative
  4. 4. Winning brands find the sweet spot between art and science – business value and emotional value – to address the biggest business pains head on. Having a balance between these two disciplines across every step of the rebrand process allows for brand building that is not only emotionally relevant to your audience but also addresses critical business matters. Trust the process – each step will arm you with tools and ammo necessary for the next step. A Balanced Approach BUSINESS VALUE EMOTIONAL VALUE VISUAL IDENTITY Emotional Connection Meaning Building TESTING Audience Validation Message Testing NAMING Emotional Shortcuts Logical Word Associations BRAND PLATFORM Audience Relevance Brand Infrastructure RESEARCH Audience Perception Market Landscape Insights
  5. 5. Research Beginning the rebrand process with research is vital to equipping your team with an insights-driven roadmap for success. The research process takes a look at brand assessments and market segmentation analysis to help better understand your brand equity, customers, and competitive market. Research may find discrepancies between where you think you stand and where you actually do – embrace this! Turn research into a competitive weapon by fully leveraging data and insights across all aspects of your business.
  6. 6. Ask Yourself Do I have preconceived ideas about what our research may reveal? If so, leave them at the door and be open to new – and perhaps even contradictory – insights your data may uncover. Challenging your preconceived notions may help you uncover new opportunities to help your business succeed. Can this research support other facets of our business? Take a holistic approach and leverage these insights in ways you may have not previously considered, like for your go-to-market strategy, sales enablement, persona building… the list goes on! EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENGE Where does your brand stand in the market? What is your audience’s perception of your brand? BUSINESS VALUE EMOTIONAL VALUE
  7. 7. Brand Platform A strong brand platform is one of a business’ most important assets – it defines who you are, what you stand for, and why you exist. Brand platforms are developed after in-depth working sessions between key stakeholders using insights from research to find one’s “raison d’etre.” A brand platform includes a brand’s positioning and messaging, mission and vision, brand story and promise, among other important brand-defining agreements. Use this tool as a compass to guide everything your brand does – from marketing, to sales, to product development.
  8. 8. Ask Yourself Can our brand platform live with us into the future? A brand platform is ultimately a company’s north star – make sure you can follow it across every interaction point and that it will guide you to where you need to go long-term. A brand’s mission, vision, and values should not change every time you have a new idea. Does our point of view align with audience needs? Commit to a specific point of view that aligns with your audience’s needs. Why are you relevant to them and why should they believe in what you stand for? Failure to do so will leave you with a generic brand that connects with no one. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENGE What is your value proposition? How are you emotionally relevant to your audience? BUSINESS VALUE EMOTIONAL VALUE
  9. 9. Naming Changing a company’s name involves many tactical and legal implications and should be driven by major business pain. Perhaps your current name is not well- understood or is misaligned to a naming hierarchy between parent brand and products. Whatever the reason, the naming process is a clarifying exercise of who you are as a brand. Begin with core values from your brand platform and build word maps aligned to your key messages. Balance logical and intrinsic connotations and consider how they may be interpreted across industries, audiences, and regions. Most importantly, remember that a name change isn’t always necessary.
  10. 10. Ask Yourself What are the risks associated with changing our name? If you have started considering a name change you are already facing challenges with your current name, however, stop and think of the risks involved. Are the risks of changing your name greater than the challenges of your current name? Is there an ideal time to roll out a new name? Consider what else is going on in your business and industry as a whole. Look at your product roadmap and find opportunities to maximize impact. For example, launching a new company name at the same time of a new product release helps better explain your company story and why a name change made sense. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENGE How can your name explain your value proposition? What emotional associations should your name evoke? BUSINESS VALUE EMOTIONAL VALUE
  11. 11. Testing Testing names and messages with select focus groups allows for better insights- driven decision making. Focus groups should consist of an inner circle of customers, employees, and partners who are tasked with reacting to potential company names and key messages. Testing can also happen through broader survey research using larger pools of people within the industry or audience sectors. In either case, look at what audience sentiment/ perception is toward specific options. Are they in line with what you were expecting? Discard options that perform poorly and move forward with the closest to the desired reaction.
  12. 12. Ask Yourself How do our name and messages perform in other markets globally? Test your names and messages in different markets and languages to make sure you’re not accidentally offending anyone. Consider how adding domain names and other “extras” (#, @, etc.) may change or add unintentional meaning to your name. Are our name and key messages performing like we expected them to? Use this moment as an opportunity to “check yourself” and your messaging. As insiders, we sometimes forget that just because we understand what we are trying to communicate doesn’t mean others do too. Are your messages resonating and evoking the intended feelings? EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENGE Does your name/messaging convey what you intended it to? How is your audience reacting to your name/ messages? BUSINESS VALUE EMOTIONAL VALUE
  13. 13. Visual Identity Changing a company’s name involves many tactical and legal implications and should be driven by major business pain. Perhaps your current name is not well- understood or is misaligned to a naming hierarchy between parent brand and products. Whatever the reason, the naming process is a clarifying exercise of who you are as a brand. Begin with core values from your brand platform and build word maps aligned to your key messages. Balance logical and intrinsic connotations and consider how they may be interpreted across industries, audiences, and regions. Most importantly, remember that a name change isn’t always necessary.
  14. 14. Ask Yourself Are we addressing our initial brand challenge? Keep in mind the initial reason for rebranding - whether it was a shift in market category or a negative perception - make sure your new visual identity clearly addresses your original business challenges. Is our new visual brand giving us room to grow? Don’t pigeonhole your brand with a visual identity that doesn’t leave room for growth. Look at your business strategy and product roadmap to ensure your visual brand will align with your long-term plans. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENGE What meaning are you creating through design? How should your brand make your audience feel? BUSINESS VALUE EMOTIONAL VALUE
  15. 15. The work does not stop once you’ve built your brand – it’s just getting started! Bring your brand to life by considering every possible touch point for both internal and external stakeholders. Turn your employees into your biggest ambassadors by letting them in on the fun and getting them excited about what the new brand means for them, for the company, for the future. Do the same for your partners, vendors, and most importantly your customers. Consider opportunities to “plus-one” their experience – how can you go above and beyond? Bring Your Brand to Life
  16. 16. At this point, the stakes are higher than ever and engines are running at full throttle to produce all necessary assets for launch. Keep open communication and set clear expectations among your teams. Bucket activities into categories and assign owners for each. Check in on a weekly basis to make sure everyone has what they need and that everything will fit together at the end. Consider the many touchpoints and how you can create a cohesive experience: Combining The Pieces Internal Brand reveal celebration Company all-hands Commemorative swag Employee Q&A External • Website • Social Channels • Marketing Collateral • Offices • Products • Customer Communications • Partner Communications • Media Relations
  17. 17. One of the most difficult parts of rebranding is keeping true to your new brand post-launch. Leverage all the work you’ve done up to this point to build integrated campaigns across multiple channels and disciplines. Reference your brand platform and visual guidelines to ensure all content and messaging is in line with everything you’ve worked so hard on. Consider the following: Keep It Consistent Media Relations • Product releases • Executive visibility • Thought leadership • Momentum releases Product Marketing • Training Material • Email campaigns • Video content • Leave-behinds Online Communities • Interactive content • User generated content • Micro-content • Tweet chats Event Strategy • Tradeshows • Roadshows • Interactive experiences • Branded giveaways
  18. 18. One Size Doesn’t Fit All Rebranding is an exploratory process that allows brands to reinvent and realign themselves to better reach their business goals. The exact process and outcome will vary from brand to brand, but one factor will always be the same: finding a balance between business value and emotional insights will unlock the opportunity to create an authentic brand that not only sets you up for business success, but will also truly resonate with your audiences’ needs. Be open to new ideas and unafraid to let go and take risks.
  19. 19. Hotwire is a global communications agency dedicated to helping ambitious companies change the game, build their reputation, and stand out from the crowd. Our Digital Brand Lab brings together the power of insights and analytics, digital media, content marketing, and creative services to develop cutting-edge campaigns that raise brand awareness, engage audiences, stir up demand and drive new leads. Contact us today! DBLUS@HotwirePR.com

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