Relaunching a brand is every bit as critical as launching a brand the first time around.

Why? Because if done well, a brand relaunch gives your audiences a very worthwhile reason to sit up and pay attention.

Organizations relaunch brands for any number or combination of reasons: to signal a change in direction, as a result of a merger/acquisition, to roll out new product lines or services, to open up a new market, to revamp a brand story, and so on. Properly relaunching a brand is a fantastic opportunity to communicate a clear message about new changes in your organization.

So, what are the best practices for relaunching a brand?

  1. Start with the end in mind. Before relaunching your brand, determine your goal. Where’s the “final destination” that you want to arrive at once you’ve relaunched your brand? What things need to occur in order to indicate a successful relaunch? Do you have a litmus test to see how effective your rebranding efforts are? How do you want your customers to think, feel and act as a result of your new brand?
  2. Don’t rebrand in a vacuum. Relaunching a brand is a serious undertaking. It’s not an Ivory Tower exercise that can happen single-handedly behind closed doors. Research your marketplace. Talk to your customers, your employees, your leadership, your marketers and anyone else who has a stake in the brand. The number one principle of marketing holds truer than ever when it comes to relaunching a brand: know your customer. Talk to them, find out what they think, what’s important to them. You may be surprised. Your stakeholders shouldn’t have authority over your brand but it’s critical to factor in various perspectives as they play a key role in your brand relaunch efforts.
  3. Give your audience a reason to care. Relaunching a brand needs to focus squarely on how it will benefit your audience. This is good old-fashioned WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) at work. Why should your audience care? How can you make them care? Your audience needs to “get it” and on top of it, “get it” in about 6 seconds. Nobody wins when a brand doesn’t resonate with its audiences. Don’t rebrand for rebranding’s sake. Rebrand to give your audience a reason (and ideally a pretty big one) to care.
  4. Test, refine, and re-test your brand messaging before you go prime time. Messaging is one of, if not the, most important component of a brand relaunch. What exactly will you say to your customers? What are the specific words and phrases that you’ll use in your communications? Is it compelling? Will it come out the way that you intended and prompt the right reaction? Is there a chance it might be misinterpreted? And is the tone of your messaging consistent with how you’d like your organization to come across? It’s a fascinating exercise to see how specific words or phrases can potentially trigger very different responses. Take the time to test your messaging as a few words or phrases can often make a huge difference in how your brand is perceived.
  5. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Branding, by definition, shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence and given the typically rare opportunity that you might have to rebrand, don’t be afraid to be bold or provocative (assuming your brand promise can back it up). Here are a few companies that nailed their brand relaunch stories with bold moves.

Whether you’re creating a new brand or relaunching an existing one, building brand experiences that align with your organization’s vision is critical. Learn how to harness the power of your brand story to create a clear and compelling message that engages your customers and grows your business by downloading our latest ebook Transformational Marketing: Moving to the TopRight.

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