It goes without saying that your customers are the lifeblood of your business. It’s essential to maintain and deepen their loyalty to and trust in your brand to meet your long-term growth and revenue targets.
When your company’s strategic vision has led to the decision to rebrand, you must do so without compromising that hard-won consumer trust. This can be challenging if you’re evolving well-known aspects of your brand identity, especially your name.
With an expertly coordinated implementation strategy and an effective communication plan, you can minimize customer confusion and mitigate potential risks during brand change. Here are three best practices focusing on timing, customer experience, and consistency to help your customers feel connected along the way.
1. Thoughtfully time the launch of your rebrand
Launching your new brand is a momentous occasion. But if your audience is attached to your legacy brand, they’re bound to wonder why the change is occurring and what it will mean for them.
One way to assuage potential concerns and galvanize your customers around your rebrand is to coordinate your launch around milestone events or announcements pertaining to shifts in your business strategy.
- Mastercard dropped its name from its iconic logo to signal its shift to a digital-first payment model.
- Airbnb redesigned its logo to convey a sense of belonging and unveiled it in conjunction with an announcement about improvements to their search feature.
- Facebook’s company name rebranded as Meta with the social media platform retaining its name and becoming one branded product within a larger context. This rebrand coincided with Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that Meta would be moving its focus toward creating broader immersive digital experiences and online social technologies.
Providing clear rationale for the decision to rebrand and emphasizing the benefits your company stands to gain is a critical component of launching a new brand. But to maintain trust over time, you also need to follow up your launch with a seamless, well-timed implementation.
2. Create your branded asset conversion strategy with consumers in mind
Consumers lose trust in a brand when their experience doesn’t match what they think they know about a product or service. And during a rebrand, this disconnect is most likely to occur when there is prolonged mixed branding in the market.
Therefore, if preserving your audience’s faith in your brand is of paramount concern, minimizing audience confusion should become a driving force behind your branded asset conversion strategy.
- Taking a thorough inventory of your branded assets to understand the full scope of your rebrand.
- Identifying the branded assets that are audience-facing and planning to convert them first.
- Evaluating what your internal team can handle and what will need to be outsourced to expedite the conversion process.
- Communicating with workgroup leads and other internal stakeholders to establish specific expectations for when (and how) to execute the change.
This might sound simple and straightforward. But getting it right is more challenging than you may realize — especially if each business unit is responsible for converting the branded assets within its purview.
It’s important to communicate proactively and regularly across every channel to maintain consumer trust during a rebrand.
Without clear direction, a decentralized conversion strategy can quickly become haphazard. Employees might focus on quick wins and convert easy-to-update assets first, whether or not your external audience interacts with them. Or they might convert assets location-by-location or follow a system that doesn’t factor priority into the equation. Their intentions are good, of course, but the end result is the same: a prolonged mixed branding situation that can lead to a dip in consumer trust.
3. Reinforce your rebrand using consistent messaging in all your communication channels
As a marketing leader, you know how important it is to use all the communication channels at your disposal to reach and influence your audience. But to maintain and build consumer trust during a rebrand, it’s even more important to communicate proactively and regularly and deliver a consistent message on every channel.
First, audit all your communication channels — including third-party partners and affiliates — to ensure each one reflects your new brand identity consistently. Then, think through how to use each one to reinforce your rebrand message and underscore your business strategy.
For example, creating engaging content on your social media channels can help you highlight the key elements of the rebrand and foster two-way communication with your audience. By leveraging social listening tools to monitor conversations and sentiment surrounding the rebrand, you can also address concerns and misconceptions promptly.
Again, the most critical thing is consistency. BrandActive can advise you on how to build your external communications to align with each stage of the rebrand implementation process. Expert coordination goes a long way to reducing audience confusion and maximizing trust.
Keep your customers at the heart of your rebrand implementation plan
Once consumers lose trust in a brand, it’s incredibly difficult for companies to win it back. So if you’re planning to rebrand, it’s vital to consider your audience’s needs and perceptions from the outset.
Tell a good story about what your rebrand means and what it will do for your audience. Minimize confusion by transitioning high-value, audience-facing branded assets quickly. And underscore it all with an integrated, multi-channel communication plan that reinforces a consistent message.
Just remember: A rock-solid implementation plan is the foundation upon which all three of these strategies are built. And you can’t afford to get that foundation wrong.
BrandActive knows what it takes to plan and execute your rebrand from launch to completion. We’d love to help you get it right so you can maintain your audience’s trust every step of the way. So let’s talk.