Rebranding can be a great opportunity for any business to start afresh and build a loyal customer following, but it can also lead to massive expenses and even loss of credibility with your target audience if not done correctly. Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council discussed some of the key factors a company should take into account when planning a rebranding strategy. Here is what they said:

1. Know Your Brand Story

Knowing your brand story is essential to a rebrand. A great brand story serves as a call to arms for everything your company does and why it matters. Which means that you can bring others along with a compelling vision. You can give a voice to your company that helps shape your culture. You can always be consistent with your message. And ultimately, you can have a stronger story for new customers. – Ryan Stoner, Phenomenon

2. Remember Your Existing Customers

Sometimes companies go through rebrands that leave their existing customer base wondering how they fit in with the new brand. The strategy error that is made is that companies tend to put too much focus on acquiring new customers, rather than how the new brand fits in with the expectations of their existing customers. Instead, make sure your existing base knows what’s in it for them. – Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

3. Seek Feedback From Multiple Sources

Many companies think rebranding is a one-and-done type of thing. They have a designer create a handful of logos and call it a day. Successful rebranding can take time. Your rebranding efforts have to be all-encompassing. Your brand is more than just a logo or font. Everything you do should refer back your mission statement. – Jeff Pitta, Medicare Plan Finder

4. Study Your Competitors

When planning your rebranding strategy, don’t forget to check out your competitors. Pull the logos from your top competitors. Look at what they have in common but also look at what they’re missing. By analyzing the brands of your competitors, you can come up with a rebranding strategy that will make your company stand out from the crowd. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

5. Integrate Your New Branding

When rebranding, some companies make the mistake of just slapping their new name and logo on everything and calling it a day. But if you want your rebranding to be successful, you need to integrate it everywhere. For instance, you need to consider updating your internal processes to make sure they match your new brand as well. If your rebranding stops at “the look” of your company, it won’t work. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

6. Watch for SEO Implications

If your company rebranding includes changing your website’s name or page structure — like adding or changing your “About Us” page or other website content — don’t forget to keep the search engine optimization impact of your website changes in mind. You’ve likely spent valuable time ranking for various keywords and phrases, and you don’t want your rebranding to set you back in the Google results. – Keith Shields, Designli

7. Reinforce Your Mission Statement

It’s essential to stick to and remember the reasons you started your brand in the first place, and a great way to do this is by reinforcing your mission statement and putting it in everything you do. It tells your audience what your company stands for, as well as its values, which people want to know when they invest in a new brand. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

8. Overcome Past Perceptions

One of the most universal sticking points of rebranding is overcoming an old reputation. Old customers will have a harder time moving past their perceptions of the original brand. Unless you’re trying to completely erase your old brand, you will want to carry some elements through to the rebrand. For example, you could keep some of your basic colors or design patterns to help ease the transition. – Shu Saito, Fact Retriever

9. Watch Out for Trademark Issues

When you’re rebranding, it’s important to keep in mind awareness of, and adherence to, trademark law. Remember to check if your new business name is being used on the market, or if your new brand resembles any other brand on the market. You want to avoid similarity with any other brand as much as possible, lest you fall in hot water with the law. – Frederik Bussler, bitgrit Inc.

10. Consider Making Changes Gradually

Rebranding usually takes a lot more time and effort than you plan for. As with any big project, there will likely be unforeseen issues and costs that arise. These might be related to marketing, customer retention or SEO. Implementing small changes gradually to bring you closer in line with your target audience may be a better option for some businesses, as opposed to investing in a complete rebrand. – Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

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