If you find yourself in the position of needing to reinvigorate your brand, to stimulate growth, don't feel alone. Many of the most successful companies in the world, from Apple to Harley-Davidson, have undergone significant brand relaunches in their histories.
It's a crossroads many leaders find themselves in eventually, and there are several vital strategic components that can help form the foundation of an effective brand relaunch:
Decide what core components need to be changed.
No matter what the reason is for your brand relaunch, it needs to be specific, targeted and backed up by a concrete plan. The first step in the journey is deciding which aspects of the brand need to be retooled; this will require a thorough evaluation of your core brand identity across all of its various components.
You may find, after a comprehensive review, that your brand positioning and distribution channels are suffering from misalignment. In this case, you could investigate alternative possibilities for distribution and work on creating a cohesive new positioning strategy that meshes with them.
Other times, you may discover that the entire suite of modules making up the perception of the brand needs to be changed, including the name, design and pricing structure.
Before you can begin to plan for the relaunch, you need a tangible idea of how extensive the process is going to be.
Leave no stone unturned in your research.
Most situations involving a brand relaunch are going to be long-term affairs, and the planning stages need to be filled with exhaustive research conducted on all aspects of brand performance so the reintroduction itself will have maximum impact. Depending upon the complexity of the relaunch effort, this process can take up to 12 months.
Recently, for instance, we unveiled the latest iteration of our own Amerisleep brand, capping an effort we'd spent the better part of a year designing and developing.
You will need to carefully examine your customer segments and gather as much data as possible that details customers' specific needs and buying circumstances. Then, you can begin crafting a new brand identity that addresses these realities in an engaging way and sets expectations for a new relationship between the customer and the brand.
Target your previous customers.
Brands that are relaunching often have to put in the same effort as with a startup, but they have a distinct and notable advantage over new companies in terms of existing customers. Because retaining customers costs up to five times less than acquiring new ones, it's clear that reaching out to those who had a previous relationship with your company needs to be a part of the initiative.
As you plan to reintroduce your brand to the world, take advantage of the information you already have on previous customers, to spur growth from the preliminary stages of the relaunch. If you've only been tweaking certain aspects of your image, you can play off the positive feelings buyers hopefully still associate with you in your messaging.
If you're rebuilding the brand wholesale, you can still reach out, with detailed information about the changes in your company.
Refine your internal and external communication efforts.
Clear, concise and consistent communication is vital if you hope to succeed in your rebranding efforts. This holds true both for the messaging you deliver to your customers and the communication mechanisms within the organization. Prior to the rollout, you need to ensure that every member of your team is on the same page in terms of your new brand standards and messaging components.
Perform a thorough financial analysis of the relaunch.
A brand relaunch can present difficulties in financial forecasting. You can examine market research data, look at similar case studies and analyze buyer behavior within the industry, but it's still difficult to know exactly how your customers are going to react to your new initiative.
To prepare for this unknown factor,create an exhaustive account of the financial costs of the process for the organization. Overhauling a brand typically involves numerous small details that can add up, such as the costs for new branded materials and redesigned digital media. So creating a budget for all anticipated expenses can help you assess the ROI of your program.