It doesn't matter how big or small your reBrand might be, if the launch isn't handled in the right way, you might see some of your previously loyal customers abandoning ship. A successful reBrand unites, connects and communicates with both your current customer base and your new target audience.
But how do you successfully reBrand? Is it actually possible to keep your old client list happy while also attracting a (possibly) completely different market?
Well, the good news is - yes, yes you can reBrand and keep your old audience.
The even better news? We've got some simple ways you can work towards keeping your old clients happy, throughout your Brand launch and beyond!
Know the real reasons why you're reBranding
Nobody reBrands at the drop of a hat (or they shouldn't anyway!) - reBranding your company can be a significant investment, both financially and emotionally. Knowing the real reasons behind why you're rebranding will not only help keep costs down (you're not going to have to keep rehashing things that aren't working), but it'll help keep your current client base.
How? Companies undergo reBranding for a whole host of different reasons - to grow, to clarify offerings, to escape bad PR or to establish a united personality through their company. When you get past the nitty-gritty details of why you're changing certain elements of your company, remember the real reason companies reBrand - to better serve their clients and customers.
When you let your current clients know you are wholeheartedly invested in improving your company for the benefit of their comfort, their value and their happiness, they'll follow you whatever you're called and whatever new services you're implementing. It's all about understanding the whys of what you're doing.
"Mass advertising can help build Brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the Brand" - Howard Schultz
Make sure your Brand strategy is clear, concise and strategic
Don't even think of implementing your new Brand without a detailed, focused Brand strategy. You'll want to know exactly what needs to change and what's staying the same - when you know, you can tell your customers what to expect. If you've never rolled out a reBrand before, it can be easy to overlook a lot of details.
Depending on the level of reBrand you're looking at, you might need to: replace your logo; roll out new print advertising; get new product catalogues printed and distributed; launch a new website and social media profiles; get a new domain name for your website; replace company products and gifts; replace décor and signage; and get new employee uniforms. If you operate from multiple locations, you'll have to ensure a smooth transition across all of them.
Whenever we work with companies looking to reBrand, we always complete a full Brand inventory. This lists absolutely everything that has your company's Branding on it - down to receipts, invoices and order forms. Everything should be accounted for - then prioritized. Once you know what the most urgent and important items to lead with are, you can create an accurate timeline and give responsibilities out to relevant team members.
If this doesn't happen, customers will get confused - are you two separate companies now? Are you just confused about what you're doing? The result is an unprofessional impression and a lost customer.
To make sure a smooth rollout happens, you need a clear strategy in place. Make sure you know which parts of your business are changing - and designate team members to implement them. Make sure each person knows they are responsible for their changes and communicating this to the public.
Embrace customer questions and keep concerns at bay
Expect and prepare for plenty of customer queries and questions about what you're doing and why. People are naturally scared of change - it makes them uneasy and wary of using your services. Clear and open communication with your existing customers is the key to maintaining those client relationships into the future.
To avoid confusion and loss of revenue, answer questions with clear explanations that address your clients' concerns and worries about the changes coming up. Tell them why things are changing and how it will benefit them in the long term.
An integral part of communicating clearly with clients is making sure your employees understand the reBrand - and that they fully support it. You need to explain any changes to your team and open a two-way dialogue with them. Listen to their concerns, address any issues they may have and get them fully on-side. Once you have a united front that's company-wide, it'll be easier for your customers to accept change. The new Brand will benefit everyone and once they understand how, they'll love it as much as you do.
When your team members fully understand what's going on within the company, they can answer customer questions a lot easier - meaning you have happier customers moving forward with your new Brand.
"For a reBrand to have the spark and momentum it needs, everyone needs to be behind it" - Alicia Johnson
Don't forget about your existing customers
The ultimate way to retain old customers during a reBrand? Pay attention to their needs. Give them that first class service they signed up for in the first place. Remind them why they chose you over your competitors. Keep them happy, keep them coming back for more.
Remember - your new target audience might not take up your services as quickly as you'd hope - you need to keep your regular sources of revenue flowing too. A great way to keep your old clients in the loop is simply sending an email out - let them know you value their business and look forward to a continuing partnership going forward.
Shout it from the rooftops
No doubt you'll be eager to publicize all that hard work you've put in - so get the presses running. Make your reBrand as public as possible - use social media, press releases, traditional media, billboards, TV, radio, email marketing - whatever you can afford to reach your target market (both old and new).
By making it so public, you should find old clients coming out of the woodwork to sing your praises publicly too - which is fantastic free PR to help your launch.
So, how do you reBrand your business without losing your audience?
The ultimate goal of any reBrand should be to grow the company by serving your customers better. Open and regular communication is key to keeping your old customers are just as happy as your new ones.
Sound simple? It can be. Get in touch.