5 marketing trends that should inform your rebranding strategy in 2022 and beyond

5 marketing trends that should inform your rebranding strategy in 2022 and beyond

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Monday, January 31, 2022 | Philip Guiliano, Ian Kaplan

Rebranding activity is at an all-time high. And that means if you’re planning to roll out a rebrand in 2022, you’ll need to act quickly. Your competitors are all having the same conversations.

But the truth is, you can’t afford to simply move fast. You also need to move smart. The stakes are higher than ever for you to get this right. As such, you need a rock-solid rebrand strategy that will propel your brand forward and solidify your competitive edge in the market.

You’ve likely kept up to date with myriad trends as they emerged in 2021. We’ve identified the top five of these marketing trends that will continue to influence rebrand activity in 2022. Building your implementation plan with these trends in mind will help you achieve your organizational goals and position your new brand to reach its full potential.

1. Marketers are modernizing their brands in a variety of ways

Name changes and vast shifts in brand identity aren’t the only factors driving rebrand activity in 2022. More companies are taking steps to evolve their brands to meet rapidly changing social norms and expectations.

If you want to position your brand for a modern audience, here are three ways you can accomplish that.

Digitalize historically in-person experiences

The pandemic forced brands in every industry to deliver services in new, digital-first ways. This led to rolling out many stop-gap solutions to meet immediate consumer and employee needs.

Because many of the changes marketers made hastily in 2020 need to become permanent, it’s time to ask yourself: How well are you delivering your brand promise both in person and in digital spaces? Have you trained your employees on how to be effective brand ambassadors on all the new channels you’ve adopted in recent years? And have you invested in the right tools, technologies, processes and people to shore up your brand and marketing operations for what comes next?

Take a hard look at whether you’re achieving brand consistency as part of your rebranding plans. And be sure to allocate funding to address any deficiencies you discover so you’re ready to meet your audience’s needs in 2022 and beyond.

Experiment with bold, playful, and/or simplified logos 

Many brands are seeking to communicate more personality to their audience. If that’s a goal you’re trying to reach with your rebrand, consider adding bold lettering, playful shapes, eye-catching colors, and unique design elements. These changes can help your logo communicate an approachable, down-to-earth style. Another tactic is to create a master logo that can be modified and essentially shape-shifted based on the audience or application.

Of course, you may want to go the opposite route and make your logo more universally appealing. To accomplish this, some organizations are stripping their logos down to their core elements and choosing strong yet simple typefaces.

Whatever message you’re trying to convey, a modernized logo can help you communicate your new brand’s identity. But remember: complex design styles such as 3D fonts, animated letters, kinetic typography, and shapeshifting elements present unique implementation challenges. Sure, they look crisp and perfect in a digital format, but you need your logo to look great everywhere it appears. So be sure to think through the impact of each design choice early in the implementation process.

Ensure your brand messaging is welcoming and inclusive

Has your organization taken concrete steps to improve its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in recent years? If so, have you evolved your brand messaging to keep up? Is there more you can do to convey a message of belonging and acceptance to your external and internal audiences?

Be sure to think through how you can use your rebrand as an opportunity to strengthen your commitment to inclusion.

Marketers are finding it’s important to be intentional about inclusion. A strong commitment to DE&I can help you build a loyal, dedicated team that’s fully committed to delivering your inclusive brand promise.  After all, the more welcoming and inclusive you are, the better positioned you’ll be to attract customers and consumers to drive your business forward.

So, as you’re crafting your implementation plan, be sure to think through how you can use your rebrand as an opportunity to strengthen your commitment to inclusion.

2. Immersive brand experiences are no longer optional

Your role as a marketer is to tell your brand’s story in a way that reaches your audience and meets their varied needs. Immersive brand experiences offer a way to generate connection and engagement with your brand more effectively. These experiences might take the form of jaw-dropping themed events, bingeable online content, memorable product packaging, or visually captivating videos.

To introduce your new brand to the world in 2022, you might want to make a splash through a grand, “big bang” launch strategy. Or you may choose to roll out a more gradual communication-driven rebrand to build increased consumer loyalty over time.

You can create immersive brand experiences using either approach. The key is to take your message directly to your audience on the channels where they spend the most time. Don’t wait for them to come to you.

Keep in mind that in today’s world, nothing is quite as immersive as social media. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn keep users scrolling thanks to an unlimited supply of engaging, shareable content. And because these channels have become legitimate avenues for advertising and commerce, you’d be wise to consider leveraging their power as a way for your brand to reach your audience in compelling, immersive new ways.

3. Organizations are revitalizing their employer brand in light of The Great Resignation

A robust employee training and engagement strategy is a crucial component of any good rebrand implementation plan. But in the wake of the Great Resignation and the resulting war for talent, defining your employer brand is more important than ever before.

Your rebrand is the perfect opportunity to communicate why prospective and current employees should invest their time, talent, and energies at your organization. As part of that, consider digitizing how you work, rethinking traditional office environments, offering ongoing opportunities to work remotely, and increasing pay and incentives to stay competitive. But beyond that, think through why your most loyal employees stay. Define your culture and use it to attract talented team members who will live out your brand promise every day.

4. M&A activity is on the rise, with a focus on brand expansion

If your organization is pursuing a merger or acquisition, part of the reason is probably to significantly expand and transform your brand. In the past, companies often used M&A deals to grow their existing business and increase volume. But now, organizations are embracing mergers and acquisitions as a way to move into lateral spaces and roll out entirely new suites of goods and services.

When your rebrand involves a change to your brand’s core identity, it’s crucial to communicate the why to employees and stakeholders alike. Ask your CEO to signal their support for the rebrand by outlining the overarching business objectives you’re trying to reach. Being transparent about how the M&A will affect your culture, values, and long-term goals is key to building trust and confidence with your stakeholders.

5. The stakes and risks are higher than ever

This last trend is not really a trend at all — it’s simply the new normal for marketing leaders everywhere. The demands of a rapidly changing marketing landscape require you to continually bring projects to market more quickly.

Annual marketing plans have given way to quarterly or even monthly plans. And everyone knows there are no one-size-fits-all strategic approaches anymore. There’s only what works today and what doesn’t.

This new reality means your marketing team is already stretched in countless ways. Adding the demands of implementing your rebrand to their already full plates could be a recipe for burnout. Worse, it could mean your rebrand stalls out and loses momentum before ever reaching the finish line.

There are two ways to combat this. First, commit to fully owning the rebranding process. Empower someone on the implementation team to make decisions and keep the project moving forward. This will reduce the frustration that can come from trying to negotiate a variety of internal stakeholder dynamics.

Second, acknowledge that it’s unlikely your internal team can handle the demands of rebranding alone. Make use of the external resources available to you by hiring agency partners, rebrand consultants, vendors, and additional support to ensure your rebrand reaches the successful conclusion it deserves.

Roll out your rebranding implementation plan according to your strategic goals

It’s important to keep a close eye on the marketing trends that are shaping your industry now and in the coming years. But ultimately, your rebrand is designed to capture your organization’s unique story. Therefore, your implementation plan should always reflect your overarching strategic goals and direction.

Keep your business objectives at the forefront of your mind as you weigh the trends that could impact your rebranding plans. And carefully incorporate only those elements that will help you drive your brand forward in 2022 and beyond.

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