Occasionally there are times when a business must rebrand. This happens for some reasons, including new ownership, a name change, conquering an awful reputation, or even just to keep the business fresh and current. Whether you’re going right through a total rebranding or you’re just updating your logos, the “look” of your business will change, which means you should upgrade your signage as well. (Do you need to rebrand?)
Rebranding is the tough process because you do not want to change your brand elements a lot that customers don’t discover or don’t approve of them. Check out Gap’s recent logo design makeover, which backfired significantly. At the same time, rebranding inherently will involve change so that some things will look different by the end of the procedure. It’s all about discovering the right balance-new enough for individuals to note, but similar enough to the old the way you do not offend those who can’t stand change.
My recommendation is to continue to keep one brand factor the same. For instance, if you are changing your name, keep your colors the same so that, visually, your signage can be known (think of the AT&T and Cingular merge). The one time I’d recommend doing a total overhaul is if your business wants to break ties using its background (if it is rolling out an undesirable reputation or is changing its purpose), or if you have been purchased by a more strong brand that will still sign-up with customers.
The tangible elements of your brand are exhibited through your signage, so it’s important that your storefront demonstrates the new brand. Changing your website and your off-site advertising isn’t enough since it creates a disconnect with customers (what they see in your advertising or on your site does not reveal what they see in the store). Hang a large vinyl fabric banner above the entrance to your store which announces your “Grand Re-Opening,” or says “New Look, Same Great Prices!” The idea is you are acknowledging the rebranding without scaring off customers when you are unfamiliar.
Once customers have come into your store, you should screen more signs that direct them around, as things probably look different. Use a large poster in your lobby or entrance which welcomes customers and helps them find common merchandise. Most of the time rebranding doesn’t invariably entail store reorganization, so customers need to find out this. Another important part of rebranding is solidifying the new brand in customer’s imagination. A terrific way to do that is to print die-cut vinyl fabric stickers featuring your brand-new name or logo to spread to customers. These can be handed out at the point-of-purchase, or found in a direct email plan to your surrounding area.
When presenting your rebranded business, be comfortable in your brand-new brand elements. If you have done the research and also have made changes carefully, the process should be relatively-painless. Some customers may be upset at first, but as time passes they’ll change and get used to the new look.