A few weeks ago I picked my kids up from school and nursery. The nursery has recently changed hands and is currently going through changes, the most obvious one being the garden where many trees have been chopped down to make room for a large pirate ship play frame, a mud kitchen and a large sandpit. My daughter, 8, used to go to this nursery until she started school and she is very upset about the trees. My son doesn’t seem to mind, but he wanted to stay and play in the garden and because I didn’t and carried him out of there so we could get home by the time I’d got them both in the car – one screaming because he wanted to be in the playhouse and the other crying because she doesn’t like change, I was tempted to shut the door and stand outside until it blew over. I didn’t.
My son was fine. My daughter cried (real tears) all the way home. I explained – again – that change happens. The school my Dad went to is now a housing estate, change happens. We don’t always like it, change can be uncomfortable, but it’s inevitable. My son, 3, even said “They have to” as though that explained everything. Completely accepting of the change. My daughter was not placated and so by the time we got home I was feeling considerably less patient (this is not the first time we’ve had this happen since they cut the trees down last week…)
Change is not always great. I tried to explain to my daughter that the upgrades are not compete yet and that when it’s finished it’ll be amazing. She wasn’t having it.. often change can be uncomfortable, but it can also be worth it.
(I was hoping to post this earlier, but term is over and although the Mud Kitchen and Sand Pit had arrived, the Pirate Ship had not been assembled by the last day. Fingers crossed for a happy ending once the garden has been completed!)
There is change in so many aspects of our lives isn’t there? We aren’t even the same people we were six months, five years, ten years ago. We change. And so do our businesses. Quite often that can be quite gradual, but not always. Sometimes change happens because we know we need to make it happen. Because something wasn’t working. Because there’s something better.
In my world, businesses rebrand and it can be very frustrating for their customers who naturally have varied opinions about what they should and shouldn’t do and about what they like and don’t like. When a business rebrands it can plough full steam ahead and keep rolling it out, keep making the changes regardless and show continuity and faith in their decision, like Airbnb – or it can back pedal, forget all about it and go back to whatever it had before. Like Gap.
Rebranding isn’t all about the logo. Ever. It can be things like using customers to help create content, reaching people where they actually are, using personalisation, selling salads alongside hamburgers to show that you’re health conscious, improving your product, using social media better, creating a more positive experience for your customers, listening to what people say about you and making relevant changes to improve that.
There’s often no need to change a logo at all, or even the brand identity, it can be down to messaging, imagery, marketing, product development, improving the customer journey, staff training – of course you have to tell people what’s happening. And sometimes, that rebrand, that change in perception, will need to be accompanied by imagery to go with it. Like the nursery being part of a chain now and so being branded with the new logo and colours alongside all of the changes taking place.
Not everyone will like the change.
But those that do will help you to keep going.
Why might you need a rebrand?
If you’re uncertain, do a review. Does your imagery still match up to what you’re all about? Here’s some of the things you might find:
Change. Lots of change. Or maybe just one really big change. Something that’s enough to mean that your brand isn’t your business anymore.
Your reputation isn’t very good. You’ll have to do more than just change your colour scheme, but a rebranding exercise could help you to show that you’re not the business people thought you were.
Out of date. Sometimes branding can be very trend led and this can date quickly. If your brand looks out dated then you may want to spruce it up!
Not enough options. Your brand might be perfect, just lacking in some areas. Perhaps it just needs tidying up because your branding was created a while ago and there are things missing. You might need a suite of icons or a photography style or a whole style guide so that your brand looks amazing no matter who’s designing items.
Future plans. Perhaps your brand isn’t inline with what your business is aiming to achieve. You may be planning on moving your business to work with a different audience. You might need a more corporate image or a more relaxed image. Or expanding internationally.
These are all great reasons. So how do you know you’re doing rebranding right?
Talk to people. Ask your people – internally and externally. Help them to feel part of it. How do they feel about your brand and what do they associate with it? Maybe even use neuroscience or tech to find out like the National Trust. Create some surveys. Make sure that the niggly feeling you have is actually a real thing and not just a wobble. This is really useful information and you will be able to use it for years to come.
Involve people. Let people know it’s happening. Ask them for their opinions. What colours should we have? Which names do you like best? I’m not saying that you have a too-many-cooks rebrand, you would still need to be the decision-maker – but this information will be very useful AND it means that you’re preparing people and helping them to feel involved in the process.
Explain. Not everyone will be happy that there’s change. So let people know why. What has changed that means this change is neccesary? Why are you doing this? What are you brand values? What are you aiming for and hoping to achieve?
Tease people. When you’re getting closer to the end you can release sneak peeks of the work. This will help people to feel involved, but also prepare them and help them to get used to what’s coming so that it’s not a complete shock. It helps to ease the transition. It also helps you to create a buzz around this exciting thing that’s happening for you…
Excite people. Let them know it’s coming. Create the buzz I just mentioned. Have a countdown, hold a party, do things to show how excited you are and to help carry people along with you. Use this opportunity to create an amazing offer to create some beautiful marketing. Make the most of it.
Believe in it. Once it’s out there in the world, believe in it. Fight through the challenges, remember why you did it and why it’s better than what you had before.
If a rebrand is on your list for 2018 then get in touch, I’d love to help you out with this.