announcing a rebranding  

From Start to Finish: How to Announce a Rebranding Without Losing Customers

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For a company’s forward-thinking leaders, nothing spells disaster like an unsuccessful rebranding.

Whether it’s due to lack of planning, execution, or just an unexpected downshift in the market, a rebranding gone amiss leads to a web of customer confusion and slumping sales. Fortunately, the majority of the time, rebrandings are successful and deliver on their (re)brand promise.

What is rebranding?

The formal definition of rebranding is “the creation of a new look and feel for an established product in order to differentiate the product from its competitors.” Rebranding takes your existing product or service and makes you more attractive to your customers than your competitors. Although many rebrandings happen as a company introduces a new product, some actually take a product out of the mix.

Back in 2014, CVS announced that they were going to stop selling cigarettes by the end of the year. This move was seen as risky and a huge loss in revenue, but CVS stood firm on their stance that “The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health.” Tobacco products accounted for 4% of the company’s sales, but CVS believed that this step would better align the company with its commitment to health and wellbeing.

This bold move is one for the books – rebranding is as much about differentiating your company as it is about making a statement.

Why do businesses rebrand?

announce a rebrand with new product

It may come as no surprise but most rebrandings are firmly rooted in the need to reposition the product or service in the marketplace. No matter how much the company may be tied to its own brand, at some point, it is time to give it a fresh new look. It could be because of a new product, a shift in focus or a new technology. Or as complex as as a major shift in target customers or business strategy. Take J.Crew as an example. Back in 2003, J.Crew badly needed a new business strategy. Competition in the retail space had left them scrambling for any bit of the market share. So with a new CEO also came re-positioning of the J.Crew brand. Within 5 years, revenue increased by 107%.

All businesses take a gamble when rebranding. The challenge is how to face that challenge head-on, while not alienating your core audience.

How to Announce a Rebrand (Without Losing Customers)

Regardless of how large or how small your company is, one of the biggest challenges of rebranding is maintaining the values that your company touts. Company values and mission statements may change along with the new brand, so how do you announce a rebrand while ensuring that core beliefs remain unchanged?

The answer lies in two words – your staff.

From the bottom up.

Let’s face it, how many times have you asked an employee a question about ‘the new look’ and seeing blank stares or worse, an ‘I don’t know what’s going on’ response?

On the surface announcing a rebranding sounds like a no-brainer – of course, you’d announce it to your staff first. But an announcement in a general email or with a video message from the President of the company is likely to leave more questions than answers from staff members. So beyond just that announcement, beyond training managers on what to say… the single most important thing you can do to announce a rebranding and not lose your existing customer base is to involve your employees as if they all had a hand in it.

Smaller organizations can accomplish this by getting first hand feedback and setting up meetings with customer-facing employees. But in a larger organization, relying on team leaders or ‘points of contact’ becomes even more important.

Every employee needs to feel personally involved in the process and excited about the end result.

Ensure your employees understand what your brand stands for so they can be your first line of word-of-mouth advertising.
-Simon Mainwaring

Final Words

Announcing a rebranding is an exciting time in any company. The fresh new feel, the new energy and updated atmosphere is contagious. Only when its not…. Then you have a lot of questions and not enough time to answer them all. If your organization wants to keep employees happy AND get customers excited about this new look, then engagement is key. Build a raving fan base in your staff and they’ll be all the enthusiasm your rebrand needs.

For help with all your rebranding needs, give us a call or send us an email.

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