Rebranding your business is often regarded as a last resort, most of the time it is either done as a final attempt to revitalise a company if it is stuck in a slump or if it has been the victim of some particularly bad press that requires them to separate themselves from it by changing their public image.
What will your new image be?
The first stage of the process is obviously to decide on what your new brand will look like and why you are changing to it, are you just looking to modernise a tired business or are you looking to target a different market instead, perhaps you own a clothing store and used to target 16-25 year olds and now you are looking to go for 30-40 year olds instead? Hire a good designer and get him to draw out some ideas, don’t do this yourself, you want to spend a little extra money to ensure you have the right look as it will become much more expensive after that if you have to change your signage again. You need a new colour scheme and a new logo designing to start with.
Close Down & Re-launch
Don’t just change your signage and then re-open the next day as normal, close your business/store down completely for a week or two, let the public know that things are changing by displaying ‘coming soon’ signs and then completely re-fit your entire store. A great way of standing out from the crowd now on the high street is to use LED signage, it really draws your attention to it much more than traditional backlit plastic signs. It isn’t as complicated or expensive as you’d expect it to be either, all you have to do is buy the LED sign and then get a rack mount computer to control the sign, a company called G2 Digital specialise in this kind of hardware.
Advertise & Hold An Open Day
As part of your re-launch you should consider an open day, give away some free sample of products, have some competitions, some one off special offers and make a big deal out of it with balloons outside your store to attract as much attention to the fact that you have changed as possible. Then comes the advertising stage, invest heavily in getting your name out there both online and in person, once your new opening has passed so has a massive opportunity, then you just become another store again.
If your rebranding has been successful you should see a noticeable increase in footfall through your store/traffic on your website, you will also hopefully notice a change in demographics with the customer (if that’s what you were targeting). Rebranding does work, massive multi-national companies do it all the time, it can be done with individual products like chocolate bars when they changed ‘Marathon’ to ‘Snickers’ or with an entire brand in the way Burberry did it. Burberry were seen as a football hooligan/gangland brand and now their clothes are worn by Emma Watson and Kate Moss.