Shooting Your Rebrand In the Foot

The importance of strong brands is now being recognised more than ever, at least in Africa, which is fantastic. Companies now have a deeper understanding of how brand strength affects their bottom lines, and consumers are now expecting more from brands due to availability of choice. 

Recently, we saw Standard Group’s KTN and Nation Media Group’s Nation FM (formerly Easy FM) rebrand. However, the former’s latest brand refresh (in the form of a new logo) resulted in an embarrassing episode of publicised self criticism. 

If your internal team aren't on the same page as you, neither can your target audience. 

While obviously an internal communications blunder, the tweet-er did have a point. All rebrands should focus on the company’s communications with stakeholders. By failing to be consistent with the launch of their new logo on all platforms, the message failed to be delivered. Loose ends of “why?”, “who?”,“when?” are left hanging, possibly leading to a rebrand failure.

Let people know that you are rebranding and explain why

When a company decides to rebrand, it maybe to:

• Clarify their future vision 
• Reposition themselves in the market (Easy FM did this, thus changing to Nation FM)
• Refresh the customer experience 
• Refresh the visual expression
Pitfalls to look out for :
• Research and improve the negatives rather than changing the brand image completely 
• Don’t just update the brand but make it better 
• Little or no communication of big changes poses a high risk of a disconnect with customers 
• Consider how the brand will look on all platforms, signage, digital, stationery, packaging…      
   everything and everywhere that it will be present.  
How to get a rebrand right:
• Research your target audience, other brands that have rebranded, competitors etc
• Refer back to the company’s goals and positioning and understand them
• Create a comprehensive creative brief. Cover the company's background, products or services, desired target market, competitors, style and tone etc
• Contextualise and explain the rationale for the rebrand to stakeholders 
• Be consistent with the rebrand rollout across all platforms 
Starbucks ran an exemplary rebrand campaign