1. Plan. Ensure you have a clear strategic reason for rebranding and tie it to the commercial objectives of the organisation. If you don’t, you’ll end up confusing yourselves and the customers you’re trying to attract. At that point your investment starts to become a cost.
2. Understand Brand v Branding. They are different. Your brand IS your business and branding is how you communicate that. This means a rebrand should be lead from the top of the organisation and not just the marketing department.
3. Find your purpose and wear it on your sleeve like a creative badge. Brands with a clear purpose are easier to understand.
4. Know your customers. If you’ve never done it, spend a day in their world to obtain user insight that will go on to shape the entire project.
5. Don’t make assumptions. Understand the true commercial needs of your market and tailor your messaging to evoke the behaviour you hope to drive.
6. Think message before logo. Logos can make brands famous but this is only a small part of your identity. Branding goes so much deeper and conveys the real personality of your business – make sure you find your tone of voice first.
7. Set realistic expectations for your brand. As brand guru Marty Neumeier says: “Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what your customers say it is.” It’s therefore crucial to deliver the experience you’ve promised, as customer feedback will ultimately shape your brand in the long term.
8. Exclude employees at your peril. Make sure you launch your new brand internally before it goes external. It’s essential that you involve your team in the actual development work. They need to understand the purpose of the rebrand if they’re to communicate it well externally, so make sure they’re 100% behind you.
9. Keep it simple stupid. Even complex brands rely on simple ideas. We have enough information to take in everyday without more clutter to add to it.
10. Be creative. True differentiation comes from being brave, being visionary, being people-centred and not following the herd. Return on investment is sure to follow if you look after the detail.