You may have started with an eye-catching logo and respected brand. But as a brand grows and develops, there may come a point when you’ll want to consider rebranding, to reflect the new identity of the company as it is now.
Sometimes a corporate merger or new product direction can necessitate the rebranding, and may drive a new company name and website URL as well. Other times, rebranding may mean just a change in the brand’s look and logo. Regardless, rebranding can be hard, especially if you’ve already established a strong online presence. However, this also can be a great opportunity to grow even further.
Weigh Your Rebranding Decision Carefully
Rebranding is a very big step and should not be taken lightly. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be radical to be effective. It can be a subtle change in your tone and image, to reflect new company principles and culture. For example, the evolution of the Maserati logo was gradual. You can barely notice the changes. And yet, you can easily tell which logo was made in the early 1900s, and which is the modern, updated one.
When it comes to social media rebranding, you should also consider the fact that Facebook does not really encourage page name changes. As a business, you can only change the name of your company’s page once. Whatever new name you choose, you’re pretty much stuck with it. Of course, you can shut it down and start a new one, but that may very well mean you’re going to have the start the process of gaining followers all over again.
You can slowly migrate to a new page, by encouraging your followers to subscribe to it. But this process can be very time consuming, and you’re bound to lose some of your audience along the way.
You can also create a separate page and eventually merge your old one with the new one. The two pages will combine their likes and check-ins. But only the information on the page you want to keep will remain unchanged. The merged page will disappear completely.
Twitter also permits handle or account name changes when you rebrand. You can do this without losing your followers.
Make a Teaser Campaign and Get Feedback on Changes
Rebranding can sometimes spark a lot of controversy, especially on social media. A big, total overhaul of your brand might not go down well with your followers. It happened this year when Instagram changed its logo and internet users completely freaked out. But you can use this possible controversy to your advantage.
You can start merely by hinting at the changes that are going to come. Without giving away too much, you can bring up elements of your future new and improved brand, like changes in color schemes, or name. You can allow your followers to give you feedback, and adjust your rebranding strategy accordingly. Just be careful to use your fans for input only. Make sure you retain final name or logo selection responsibility.
As your audience starts to get used to these things, when you finally to do bring out the big surprise, they won’t be as shocked. And they’re going to adjust to the change more easily. This slow and steady approach to rebranding can help you achieve some of the key goals any social media brand should aspire to. Thus, you can use the rebranding process as a way of increasing customer engagement, while preparing them for the rebranding itself.
Optimize Your Visuals to Fit The Platform
Many brands didn’t pay too much attention to the shapes and size of the image boxes on various platforms when they first established their social media accounts. As a result, many of these pages look wonky. The profile pictures may be good quality, but just don’t work as well in the cover photo box, or just spill out of the box entirely.
Apart from the buzz you can take advantage of when rebranding, you also get the chance to adapt all of your visuals to fit every social media platform. You can use a cheat sheet to remember sizes and proportions. When you do launch your new look, it’s going to look crisp and fresh. Your followers will be sure to understand the motivation behind your rebranding decision.
Maintain Some Element of Continuity
As we’ve said, many large companies have undergone some form of rebranding throughout the years, especially if they’ve been around for ages. What looked stylish and hip in the 1980s is unlikely to be as appealing in the 2000s.
But they’ve maintained some aspect of their image, or a core principle remains unchanged throughout time. People look towards a brand expecting to see a reliable and consistent business identity. So no matter how radical the change is, no matter how far you’ve moved on from your older brand, you should always try to frame it as an evolution, or as part of a bigger story.
By making your rebranding process part of this bigger story, your core principals will become more evident for your customers. And that’s going to help you create a lasting bond.
Rebranding is often times a necessary process. It’s a very big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But rebranding can be exciting, and may be just the thing you need to revitalize your identity to fit better with your future business direction.
What do you find to be the hardest aspect of branding or rebranding?