The Anatomy of a Successful Rebrand

Rebranding means reinvention — a wiping away of the old and replacing it with the new. Such an identity shift can be both exciting and frightening. Make sure you know what you're getting into before embarking on an identity shift.

If I learned anything from taking upper-division college courses back in the day, it's that prerequisites exist for a reason. You don't take German III without having first mastered German II. Philosophy 450 is a lot harder if you haven't already been through 101. As entrepreneur Henry Helgeson writes over at Mashable, the same applies to making major decisions about the future of your company. Helgeson focuses in particular on rebrands, the Extreme Home Makeovers of the business world. It's important when considering an identity shift, he writes, to make sure you've dotted all your i's and crossed your t's before taking the plunge:


"A rebrand is not something to be taken lightly. You should only do it if you have a very good reason. So what constitutes a good reason to change your name or your brand’s aesthetic?"

The first law of rebranding is "don't rebrand," at least not if you don't need to. To answer Helgeson's rhetorical query, apt motives for a rebrand include attempts to keep up in a transitioning industry, efforts to disassociate yourself from newfound negative connotations, and forays into new arenas vis-a-vis mission and market. Each of these is in one way or another a reaction to shifting market perceptions. A rebrand needs to serve as the Hydro Thunder boost that propels you toward the front of the pack in a move for first place. 

Another prerequisite for making the rebrand decision is to investigate and understand your brand equity. How much value does your logo/name/reputation currently hold and what do you risk losing if a switch doesn't go as planned? You should also think about what parts of your current brand resonate well with customers and fans. There's no point in replacing what's working. 

Another good idea: survey your workforce. Helgeson writes about how important it is that your rebrand reflects company culture and that your employees are on board with the shift. 

"Never underestimate the importance of clearly and positively communicating the new identity to your employees and showing how it will benefit them. Rebranding, when done right, can help the whole company rally around an exciting future, while still staying true to the company’s foundation and core values. It gives everyone a fresh company description to be proud of too."

Take a look at Helgeson's full piece to learn more about what goes into a great rebrand and why it pays to be thorough when working toward a change.

Read more at Mashable.

Photo credit: Kasza / Shutterstock

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

Sponsored
  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.