Many companies perceive rebranding as a failure. But, is this really so? Just look at the most popular world’s enterprises like Netflix, Nike, Apple, and Google and you will see that most of them went through multiple revamps over time. A rebrand often means changing your company image because it has reached new heights. It doesn’t mean that you will give up on your previous ideas and values. On the contrary, this is an opportunity for you to tighten your small business’ presence and stay competitive in a fierce market. Still, you need to know that rebranding is not easy. It’s a complex process that requires lots of strategizing and hard work. Here are a few things you should know.
When to Rebrand?
Before you dive deep into the process of rebranding, you first need to know why you’re doing it. Ask yourself whether rebranding is the solution to the problems your company is facing.
There are a few common reasons why companies decide to rebrand.
- Your audience has changed over time.
- The number of your competitors has grown and you have a problem differentiating yourself in the overcrowded market.
- Your business’ goals have changed. Have you been acquired by or merged with another company? Maybe you’ve pivoted or expanded your services to the international market?
- You still don’t have a cohesive and recognizable brand. If your company is still relatively young, then it is logical that its audience, goals, and branding efforts will fluctuate continuously. Just like Airbnb, you will probably change loads of logos in order to make your growing brand more trustworthy.
- Your brand doesn’t support your company’s values and missions anymore.
Keep your Customers Involved
To make sure that your rebranding efforts are working as expected, you need to involve your customers in the process. For starters, create online surveys to see what they like or don’t like about your brand. Learn why they chose you over your competitors and why they stay loyal to you. Be honest with your customers and share the news about the rebrand with them. Seek customer feedback on social networks. Encourage them to share their opinions of your brand, no matter how positive or negative they are. When asking for customer feedback, emphasize that your main goal is to make them satisfied. They will be happy to have their opinions considered and be more likely to stay loyal to your company after the rebrand.
Rebranding Online: How to Maintain your Authority and Rankings
Website rebranding is not an easy decision to make. It usually includes domain migrations, company name changes, and numerous formal website changes. And, if not strategized properly, it can hurt user experiences and your search rank on so many levels. Here are a few tips on how to prevent that.
Do a detailed audit of your current website
Analyze your current keywords and rankings for each website page. You should also perform a thorough technical audit of your website. With tools like Screaming Frog, you can crawl your website and see a detailed report on your website architecture, URLs, meta descriptions, title tags, and so on. You also need to see whether there are any blocked pages, as these pages should remain blocked after the rebrand.
Change your company name and domain name only if necessary.
Changing your company name is a bold move that impacts the entire perception of your brand and your credibility. However, if your company was acquired/merged with another company, expanded to a new market, launched a new product, or its audience changed, in these cases changing the company name is inevitable. Parallel with your company name, your domain name needs to change, as well. It is always a good idea to use your brand name for your domain name. This way, when someone googles your business name, the first thing they will see in the SERPs is your website. As for changing the domain extension, keep in mind that, from the SEO point of view, all TLDs are equally valuable. Still, .com seems like the most reliable option, as people don’t seem to trust its alternatives. If your desired domain name is already taken, you can also choose an alternative TLD or a country-based TLD. When migrating to a new domain, you need to let search engines know about it by submitting a new XML sitemap.
Choose reliable hosting
Choosing a reliable hosting provider is important. The good thing is that the majority of domain registrars also offer web hosting services. Before investing in a hosting service, always analyze its reliability. Namely, talk to them about website uptimes, speed, and security, as these factors will directly impact both user experiences and your SEO performance.
Set up 301 redirects
The annoying 404 Not Found message increases customers’ frustration and gets them to kick your site faster. This is why you need to set 301 (Moved Permanently) redirects. They are considered the best method of implementing redirects on a website and they pass up to 99% of link equity to your new page.
Make your site user-centric
When rebranding your website, you need to focus on your customers’ needs and expectations. Think about the main reasons why people leave your website. Is it poor page load times? Maybe your website looks too spammy or your messaging across the site is not consistent. Consider your website design elements, such as the colors, CTAs, fonts, and visuals. Does your site meet the needs of mobile users? Each aspect of your site needs to make your website look and feel trustworthy and professional.
Update your Google My Business listings and business citations
Pay attention to all significant sections on your GMB and business listings, such as your business name, categories, address and phone number, logo, and photos. Don’t forget to update the link to your website if you changed your domain name. These are some of the most significant local SEO factors that may impact your rankings in the local search.
Inform the Public about your Rebrand
Your rebranding efforts need to supported by a solid PR strategy. You need to craft an engaging story around your rebranding efforts, emphasizing the how and why of this process with your target customers. This will certainly reduce the risk of confusing your paying customers when they land on your new website or see your new logo. Most importantly, by letting people know of your brand upgrade and the reasons that lead to it, you will evoke emotions in them and encourage them to stay loyal to you. Precisely because of that, you need to look at rebranding as an opportunity to establish firmer brand identity and make it more credible and relatable.
Over to You
No matter if you’re updating your logo, being acquired by a new partner, or altering your entire business model, these are some of the key things to keep in mind.
For starters, determine whether rebranding is the right choice for you.
Set the clear goals and scope of brand refurbishment.
Focus on building a user-centric rebranding strategy that will preserve your high rankings and online authority.
Finally, let the world know about your refurbished brand.