How to Create a Bulletproof Brand
Branding is easier said than done. The apple logo alone has been fine tuned over eight times! Everything to do with branding needs to reflect some aspect of your organisation. Not only do you need to shrink your entire business down to a single message, but you also need to make this message consistent! This can be as fiddly as choosing kelly green over sap green for your image borders, or choosing between Times New Roman light or medium.
Unfortunately there is no one size fits all answer to branding. A large corporation, a small corporation and a non-profit organisation all require very different branding strategies. Here are some simple pointers to help your business, whatever it may be, create an impeccable, bulletproof brand.
McLovin’ Large Organisations
At first, large organisations don’t seem like they need branding advice. Afterall, they are so large that everyone already knows them and therefore their branding is cemented right? No. Think about a really well known tv series or movie. When a character acts way out of character, everyone notices and disapproves. Large organisations have more at stake because everyone knows who they are. There are expectations they need to uphold.
Take for example when McDonalds released a ‘Love thy enemies’ themed ad. As AdWeek commented, McDonalds branding has focused mainly on the ‘I’m’ and ‘it’ parts of their phrase “I’m lovin it!” So this has been an interesting branding shift which many people have been uncomfortable with.
For large organisations, it’s essential to not make monumental rebrands suddenly. If you realise your brand is losing favor or becoming outdated, don’t suddenly switch everything. Remember when Telecom rebranded to Spark? They had many changes up their sleeve that we were unaware of – digital TV, high-speed broadband and other modern upgrades. They strategically didn’t change at once from an dial-up speed era company; they progressively evolved.
Building Up Smaller Brands
Smaller organisations don’t have as much at stake when rebranding. They won’t disappoint thousands or make news headlines. This doesn’t mean they’re any easier to rebrand! Smaller brands usually don’t have the same means or time to rebrand. They also mightn’t have a team of hundreds dedicated to aligning branding efforts!
Take for example Waikato renovations experts Roger Ramsey Building. If they decided to change their name, they couldn’t tap into mass advertising as effectively. This leaves the fear that if they rebrand, faithful followers will have no idea and think their favourite kitchen renovators just dropped off the face of the planet. But this can be prevented easily. A simple set of emails as part of an email marketing campaign can change this. Also make sure your old URL redirects to your new one.
Or lets say Roger Ramsey Building wanted to make a more dramatic change. If they decided to move from renovations to full commercial building, a large part of their target market would be irrelevant! Because of this, email marketing campaigns to a loyal customer base won’t do much as far as getting work goes. Instead wider communication would be needed to get new clients. Although a smaller organisation can make major rebrands faster with little damage, it makes sound business sense to change over a period of time. This way they could get more clients while restructuring their business.
Non-stressful Ways to Rebrand Non-profits
Rebranding non-profits are the most challenging to rebrand in my opinion. Firstly, just like large organisations, you have a lot at stake. Eager supporters of your social services or avid community members are likely to be more emotionally invested in your rebranding. Secondly, just like small organistions, you don’t have a massive advertising budget. With all work and no pay, rebranding seems near impossible.
Your first effort in rebranding should be to think of your people. Take for example Hamilton Church Grace Evangelical. If this church were to suddenly change to a different denomination, many members of the church would be upset and confused. A large proportion of them would likely just find a new church. It also may be challenging to find new members because they may fear that the church would change again. So first and foremost, your community must be considered.
It also helps to rely on word-of-mouth. This is an incredibly cost-effective way to get your rebranding efforts out in the open. Since your rebranding is likely to draw a lot of attention, this shouldn’t be too difficult.