Rebrand Fearlessly with These Expert Insights
Rebranding isn’t as scary as you might think.
It can be as energizing and uplifting as your fave sativa for your business, leading to stronger marketing, improved company culture and better partnerships.
Rebranding lets you build upon successes and prune out the dead ends to nurture a strong brand that can support your business as your seek higher goals.
And, with sophisticated brands entering the industry and companies consolidating across states, the maturation of the market with big business strategies can leave some OG businesses wondering if their own brand is performing at peak.
At Pretty Lethal Designs, we’ve rebranded companies with origins as far back at the 1910s, so we understand that it has taken careful cultivation to grow your success to this point.
We’ve put together a few of our best insights through the rebranding process on how to get the best results.
Is Rebranding the right move for your business?
Unless you’re planning a big change in your business, it can be hard to know when it’s worth it to rebrand. Afterall, when done well, your brand system should last your company years, even if it gets a tweak or addition here or there to keep up with your growing business.
Here’s how to find out if rebranding is the right for your business:
Take stock of what you’ve got
Get started by knowing what your brand looks like from the inside out. We recommend our clients to take an audit of their branded materials. It can be just the digital files, the physical materials or a combination of both.
Focus on what’s currently being used, shared or displayed at all levels. From high visibility items like marketing materials, packaging and online presence, down to the day-to-day details like invoices, and email signatures.
Also, take note of more abstract pieces of your business like team training, operation processes, strategy, or approaches to marketing and sales that have been used within your brand.The idea is to get an elevated look at your brand to see the breadth of ideas, messages and styles that are out there in the world representing your business—internally and externally.
Find the sticky spots
Seeing your brand across every level, you’ll see clear heroes and the areas that havent seen any love since launch. While some of your challenges are top of mind, what about other areas might turn into headaches as you expand?
Identify the ‘pain points’ or challenges. It can be big picture, like, “it’s not aligned to what we’re producing anymore”, or as practical as “it’s hard to read on a phone”. Also notice gaps or quick fixes that are eating up your team’s time or aren’t performing to full potency.
Once your detailed list of grievances is compiled, use it to create an overview of what’s currently working and what’s letting down in your brand.
Set your intentions
While you may not know the right solution, knowing what you want to get out of a potential rebrand will help you, and agencies, find out.
For our CPG client, Nature Blessed, they wanted to increase sales and expand shelf space in stores who are picky about what’s shown on their shelves. But—as fourth generation farmers, they wanted to stay true to their heritage and avoid looking too polished and ‘manufactured’. By rebranding with their heritage and product quality front and center, we were able to create a new shelf-pleasing identity and packaging system that earned more loyal fans and purchase orders signed.
Another client, The Simple Home, wanted a little extra polish to their existing brand and asset organization to make on-boarding easy. With a smaller brand refresh, we were able to keep the majority of the existing brand that works, while making minor updates that made a big impact like color and typefaces. And, with an updated Brand Guide, providing web developers, creatives and agencies with logos and direction they need became as easy as a click.
By looking at the overall size of your brand and the scope of challenges you’re currently experiencing, you should be able to assess how well your brand is working overall and if there are better ways to reach your ultimate goals.If you’re still unclear, a second or third opinion from an agency wouldn’t hurt.
“If we are heritage brands, we stood the test of time because we have [a] tradition of successfully innovating.”
— Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta
Ensuring your rebrand levels up
In order create a new brand that truly performs better, it’s important to get excited about graphs and reports as much as new designs (we do!).
This is a unique opportunity to pause and reflect where your business has been and where it’s next level is going to be. Digging into research can help you make informed decisions and answer questions that are burning for a solution.
Know your past
Collect reports from your marketing, email listings, sales reports, social media and anywhere else you have data about your customer engagement. Who seems to be your best customers? What do they have in common? When do they engage or purchase from you the most?
There could be a number of factors coming into play, so be careful not to get too into the weeds. But, an understanding of past performance, customers trends, and competitive field can help you and your agency build upon what’s thriving.
Get the big picture
Also, get a look at the other options in your customer’s view. How do they see competitors and how do you compare?
For Nature Blessed, looking at other companies in frozen produce showed a lack of transparency. Literally. Competitors had bag after bag of opaque packaging that doesn’t allow you to see the quality, characteristics or size of the product. Other frozen produce also charged more than Nature Blessed for less product.
Through competitive comparisons, we could see that through their background and products, Nature Blessed’s products are like your favorite summer farmers market in the freezer aisle.
Knowing who else is eyeing for attention will help you play upon your strengths and become perfectly positioned to expand your shelf space in dispensaries—or increase sales in the spots you’ve solidified.
Playing with a name change?
Whether changes in laws or changes in strategy, sometimes a name change is needed for a brand to pivot in the right direction. By diving into research before exploring creative options you’ll find insights into good practices and help for mitigating risks.
For our client, Jacquie Anderson GG, it was crucial to make an informed choice when changing the brand name of her business while repositioning from fine jewelry designer to couture with a cult following. Known as Sheffner’s Fine Jewelry since 1915, there was the potential for four generation’s of work to be lost.
To get a look at what’s been done before, we looked at the evolution of identities from luxe heritage brands that have stood the test of time, like Hermés and Oscar de la Renta. Comparing with naming trends of current brands, we were able to find insights that allowed Jacquie to develop a name that’s positioned to stand apart from competitors and incorporates the family business built over decades.
Rolling out your rebrand
Introducing your brand to the world—and getting them excited about it—looks different for every business depending on the size of your brand, if you have current inventory and how quickly everything can be updated.
Implementation is everything, and there are a few areas where extra effort will help lift your rebrand higher.
Get your team onboard
Your team members are your best brand ambassadors, and, hopefully, they are naturally enthusiastic for changes and the improvements it will make in their roles. But, there will always be those who aren’t as excited for change.
By sharing some of the strategic and solution-focused findings during the rebranding process, you can unite your team behind why the changes are needed and how this will improve the company big picture, as well as daily tasks.
And don’t forget to include revamping what your team sees in the scope of your rebrand. Change is always weird and uncomfortable, so the more you can bring your brand to life in your workspace, tools, or even exciting ways like new swag, the easier it will be to help your team feel as renewed as your new brand.
Give your biggest customers a heads up
How many of your customers have your brand on auto-pilot? If they’re not paying attention, they may miss you while searching in the store or scrolling through their social feed. Give loyal customers a couple of opportunities to be introduced and acquainted with your rebranded look by leveraging your email and subscriber lists.
For products on retail shelves, it’s even more important that loyal customers know of your new brand to avoid checkout confusion. While budtender awareness is top priority, point of sale callouts like window clings, end-caps and signage will help to make sure your new look is noted and purchases move seamlessly.
To expand your reach, hiring a PR or marketing agency to spread the word about your new brand can help form connections with new customers who may not have otherwise noticed.
Be thoroughly committed
Whenever and however your brand is rolled out, make sure your business is committed to your new look. Phase out any materials with your old branding with updated versions, and make sure nothing with your old brand slips through the cracks.
For product based businesses, it may take time before your inventory is completely turned over, but by reinforcing your new brand in marketing and online presence, customers can get start anticipating the improved experience to come.