We're pleased to begin our Summer at Verge Pipe Media with two rebranding projects, for two unique clients. In both cases, we were approached with the statement, "we're in desperate need of a rebranding and want your help."
In both cases, I restarted the conversation with the questions, "why are you rebranding and who is telling you it's a 'desperate need'?"
Don't get me wrong, I love when clients come to us with their problems. One, I know they trust us, and two, helping shape the tone, direction, and visuals of any brand is exciting.
My questions were designed to help us understand why a rebranding was going to fundamentally change their customers' understanding of their brand's for the better. Most businesses feel they need to rebrand when they aren't hitting sales or revenue goals or if a guru or expert has cautioned them their brand has become 'stale.' Some others believe a rebranding is in order when customers tell them they don't understand what their brand is all about.
In almost all cases, the first question of the rebranding process should be along the lines of, "will this change (rebranding) improve our customers' understanding of our: (1) value, (2) what they love us for already, (3) commitment to customers, (4) newly positioned character trait in the marketplace, or (5) what we stand for and why."
Brands (and agencies) miss the mark when they believe they are in complete control of their brand. Sure, they can shape, manipulate, and guide, but the customer experience and affinity has to be built brick by brick in the minds of the customer. Once that foundation is built, the brand experience is in the hands of the customer. The brand then reinforces (or destroys) that construction.
Our work with both clients is in full swing and both began with market research, customer interviews, and reviews with the client. Guess what? The customer insights in both cases were crucial to helping improve the direction of the rebranding and the client's appreciation for why they were undertaking the change in the first place.
So next time you're presented with customer or internal questions about rebranding, ask yourself, "what will this change improve in our customer's eyes."