Sahail Ashraf posted on 12 May 2017
Sometimes digital agencies are called in and hired for a rebrand of an established company. This is even more common now, due to various factors that affect brands.
These factors could include a repositioning of a brand, a need to develop a new image after a negative period, or a desire to develop a rebranded offering in a new market. As social media becomes even more powerful and influential, companies are finding that their standard look and feel may need an update or two. A digital agency can work wonders in this area.
However, it is never easy. The work a brand has put in over time means that an image and a story is in place. It’s the job of an agency to ensure that any transition is handled sensitively and professionally, with clear results.
Not every company will have to do this. But sometimes a brand has problems, or is simply just growing quickly or in an unexpected direction. A new look and new ethos, a refresh, is what is needed.
Obviously, this kind of work is not to be taken lightly, and brands and their agencies have to work closely to ensure a smooth and problem-free transition.
When it comes to considerations, think about the following.
This is one clear problem. Social media platforms are not necessarily the easiest places to effect a re-brand. Let’s suppose you want to rename a division of the client you are working on behalf of. The client simply wants a new logo and new name. It shouldn’t be too difficult to make this happen, right?
Well, maybe. Social media is easy in plenty of ways, but once someone or something tries to change the basic details of an account, platforms get a little difficult. There’s a reason for this. If it was easy for an account’s details to be changed, then spam and trolling would be on the rise. No, it takes a little bit of effort to rebrand through the name of the company or division. Some careful work is required.
Twitter, for example, allows username changes quite freely. A problem will occur though if you change your Twitter handle and don’t tell your followers. And if you’re creating a new handle for a division and you want current followers to move across and migrate, you need to make your changes clear to your current fanbase.
And that’s a consideration before you change a verified account. Verified accounts have changed of late, but they are still attractive and valuable to brands. You may lose your verified status if you rebrand. And that’s no fun.
The upshot? Take your time on each platform and work out what restrictions or consequences may occur if you rebrand. You can usually avoid problems as long as you research the situation.
Kind of piggybacking on the last point, it is absolutely vital that you inform your loyal audience well in advance, especially if you are planning a complete rebrand.
Let’s say your client is changing the brand entirely, and wants it to be a major shift in how the company is perceived. This requires a lot of groundwork, and a clear plan to inform customers and followers on social media of the big changes ahead.
There is a way to make this an incredibly positive thing. By promoting and sharing content around the upcoming rebrand on all of your social media channels, you build up anticipation. And by making sure your followers know what is coming, you are treating them with respect. It’s a great way to smooth the transition.
You could also take things one step further and create a letter that announces the changes ahead. This letter doesn’t have to be anything other than a page online where you send all your followers and friends/subscribers. Like any open letter, the Web page will go through what is coming, and tell readers why the change is happening.
As you will most likely be aware, social media channels are great places to be as long as the brand is consistent. This applies to rebranding as well.
When rebranding a company, ensure that any new logo or tagline is the same on all the rebranded property. If you’re rebranding a division for a client, the same applies. It’s pretty obvious that the new direction is going to need social media channels, rather than just one platform, so the rebranding has to be uniform across the board.
And start as you mean to go on with the content. All content for the rebranded presence has to be the same in tone and style. This is something a good digital agency should be able to pick up on and act decisively with immediately. The new content? It has to be bold, new and effective. But it also has to be consistent across the channels.
The basic message is clear. If you are re-branding or re-launching anything around a client, make sure your principles and experience in consistent branding are present with any new work. This will allow your client to make that smooth transition, and gain ROI from the experience. Branding is all about trust. Missing out platforms or fluffing content styles just looks flaky.
In business, there are a lot of variables. And on social media, there are a million more. Okay, we exaggerate a little there. But knowing what to expect is important when going through a social media rebrand.
Have your customer service team on social media ready to answer any questions that come up. Again, this is about the trust the customers have for your brand. A big change needs a level of support. On social, brands are perfectly positioned in this respect. You can take questions, be available 24/7 (either through bots or a very organised customer service team) and generally be there for your loyal customers who want to know what is going on.
Basically, help with the transition by being available wherever your customers need you.
A rebrand is not necessarily something that every company will experience in its lifetime, but there are always clients out there, old and new, that will require something along these lines. Take the principles here into account and be ready for such an event. It will bring massive value to your client and also position you as an agency that can handle the big stuff.