Is your brand in need of a makeover? While it may seem as simple as something like changing your company’s name, rebranding is a complicated process with many moving parts.
After a time, many companies change or update their missions, and rebranding is an effective tool for signaling to customers that a company is undergoing major changes, but it can also result in pushback from the target audience if not handled well. Below, nine Young Entrepreneur Council members reveal steps you can take if your rebrand doesn’t achieve the reaction you were hoping for.
A rebrand is more than a logo or name change. It needs to guide values and culture changes as well. There will always be mixed reactions, but if you know where you want to go next, you can overcome them. Use the rebrand to guide shifts in operations and experience aligned to customer needs. If you know the unmet needs of the market, you will know when to pivot a brand and where to take it. – Ryan Stoner, Dendro
2. Ask Why
Most people don’t care much at all about the corporate name they are buying from. Product and service names are more important. If your corporate rebrand gets a negative response, don’t be too proud to ask why and react accordingly. Changing the name back again might get more press anyway. – David Boehl, TravelSite.io
3. Give People Time To Adjust
Don’t give up right away. Most people shy away from change because there’s an unknown element. When a brand starts making changes to things like their name, people wonder what else may be changing. Will the experience or quality be the same? Give people time to adjust, and employ strategies to make it a positive experience for customers. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
4. Explain Your Reason For Changing
Any rebranding will be met with at least a little criticism. Especially if your brand is well-loved and well-established, your customers will find it hard to see you in a “new light.” The key is to be incredibly transparent. Explain what brought about the change and show them a glimpse of what you have planned for the future. Make sure they feel like they’re a part of it and give it some time. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
5. Get Clear On Your Purpose And Values
Go back to the beginning to ask yourself some fundamental questions. Do you know your company’s purpose? Vision? Mission? Values? This sounds cliche, but being able to articulate these things is fundamental to your brand and core identity. Be clear about who you are, what you do, why you exist and how you operate. If a rebranding failed, these questions should get you back on track. – Shu Saito, Fact Retriever
6. Create Something To Celebrate
A great way to deal with negative pushback around a rebrand is to create something to celebrate. I’d introduce a new feature, offer a limited-time discount or create an event. It’s not so you can distract your audience from a brand change they don’t like; it’s to associate positive new changes with the rebrand and to help people realize growth can be a mixed bag of experiences. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
7. Operate With Excellence
Stay the course and focus on the areas that you excel in. Change is hard on many, and some things take time to grow on people. By continuing to operate with excellence and take care of your clients in ways your competition can’t, you’ll make a name for yourself no matter what you’re called. – Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting.
8. Do Some Research
The best people to answer what went wrong are your customers. If my rebranding efforts don’t receive the response I was hoping for, I would definitely try to understand what went wrong by conducting thorough research. This can be done by sending out feedback forms, asking for customer reviews, having live sessions on social media and more to ensure that the same mistakes aren’t repeated again. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
9. Monitor How You’re Tracking Implementation
Notable rebranding always receives criticism; people love criticizing, and everything new feels wrong and scary at first. New identity and messaging is just the beginning of rebranding—the crucial part of it is implementing your new brand internally and externally. Before tearing everything down and pivoting, take a look at how you are tracking your implementation efforts. – Daria Gonzalez, Wunderdogs.