Whether you’re overhauling your brand or just giving it a bit of a facelift, rebranding is a daunting process. A step in the wrong direction could chase faithful customers right into the hands of the competition or frustrate powerful shareholders. Not even large household name brands are immune to the potentially harmful effects of a rebranding faux pas. But when done correctly, rebranding can yield big results. St Pete-Clearwater International airport saw a clear increase in passenger numbers after it revamped its brand and refreshed its look. The revenue of a Washington-based law firm jumped a full 84 percent following a name change and content marketing overhaul. Adding visual content to your social media campaigns makes the rebranding process a little easier. Here are a few rules to follow and potential pitfalls to avoid:
1. Make sure your visual content passes the sensitivity test
Surely your brand refresh was vetted for accidentally offensive interpretations during the creative process. Make sure to do the same for any collateral images you create to promote your new look. Science fiction cable outlet Sci-Fi Channel missed the boat on this when it unwittingly associated itself with a venereal disease after changing its name to SyFy. Kraft’s snack spin-off, Mondelēz, didn’t fare much better when it was discovered the brand name was too similar to a Russian term for a sex act.
2. Consider micro-videos to highlight logo changes
Few people want to sit through a 20-minute movie detailing every change to your brand — or even a quick two-minute one — but a quick video highlighting the main changes will capture the attention of your customers and solidify your new look in their minds.
3. Crowdsource your rebranding efforts
When toy retailer Wild Creations decided to refresh its brand, it turned to their customer base for ideas and guidance. “You can tap your professional, personal, and social networks to vote on your top choices, which will empower your fans and create excitement and anticipation for the contest,” company co-founder Peter Gasca told Inc.
4. Think shareable to go viral
When creating visuals to complement your brand re-launch, think about what types of content compel your fans and followers to share your posts. Tap into people’s love of history by documenting the evolution of your logo in an infographic or sponsor a contest asking customers to share favorite memories of your brand on Instagram or Pinterest.
5. Test-drive a few visuals for your brand before you commit
Yahoo! takes it on the chin for some of its business decisions, but one thing it got right was the way it tested a new logo before committing to a final selection. Last fall, the company launched a “30 Logos in 30 Days” PR campaign and positioned it as a way to “get everyone warmed up” for the final unveiling. As Fast Company’s Alec Lynch astutely noted, it was most likely a cleverly designed “large-scale logo design A/B test to find the best logo possible.” Well played, Yahoo! It might be difficult for most companies to pull off that kind of rebranding scenario without confusing customers in the long run, but the concept is solid. There’s no rule against creating visuals for a handful of design themes that have made it to the finals and asking for input from your followers. Many people enjoy connecting to brands this way and the increased potential for post-launch customer buy-in is nothing to sneeze at, either.