ATYPICAL

6 Tips for Expanding the Brand's Identity

By Amanda Bowen
You’ve specialized in something and fine-tuned an awesome product or service. But you know staying stagnant is how great businesses lose to the competition. Expansion by adding new services that help customers and augments the great work you do keeps attracting your brand running. Only one hitch: these new services or products alter your identity, which in turn impacts your brand. What do you do?

You’ve specialized in something and fine-tuned an awesome product or service. But you know staying stagnant is how great businesses lose to the competition. Expansion by adding new services that help customers and augments the great work you do keeps attracting your brand running. Only one hitch: these new services or products alter your identity, which in turn impacts your brand. What do you do?

Rebranding is a big deal and takes months of work. How do you roll out a brand identity change in a strategic and cohesive way to build on the traction you’ve worked so hard to achieve?

#1. Smart brand design

Maybe you started with a brand identity that focused less on the product/service and more on brand values and ideals. Simply frame the roll out of new services or products as an extension of your values and ideals. Little work is required on your part, and you might skip the whole rebrand process altogether. Hip, hip hooray!

But let’s say that’s not you. That’s okay. Startups change plenty early on. Uber started as UberCab. Datsun is now Nissan. Instagram in its earliest days was Burbn.

What do you do if your branding assets aren’t completely aligned with your new identity?

#2. Make a plan

Like we said, it takes months of work to change a brand identity. It’s complex. Depending on what you’re doing, the process might be as simple as reworking the story, creating some new marketing materials, and tweaking the logo. Or, a complete website overhaul is in your future. You know how complicated that can be! On top of that, you’re facing a need for new branded company products, a new logo, and a new visual look. 

Start with a plan. List all the assets that need to change. Identify who’s in charge of executing the change and a deadline to have the new asset ready to go. Set a deadline the big announcement day, so there’s cohesion in your message. You don’t want a haphazard roll-out: press releases, emails to stakeholders and clients, website announcement, and social announcements all need to publish together. Preferably, at the same time. Even better if you can have the big reveal with your new branded assets. 

#3. Think to the future

While you’re putting in all this work to update your brand, think ahead so you don’t need to do this again soon. Will you possibly add more services and products in the future? How will these new additions impact the brand values?

Create a more evergreen brand with standards that last beyond five years. Focus on what you want customers to think when they encounter your logo or website. What values will all your services promote? Beware of creating a website or a brand look that’s too trendy for the times. Classics never go out of style.

#4. Keep the focus on the customers

Creating an update on the brand is exciting stuff, but it’s easy to get lost in creating new visual assets and forget about whom those assets are really for. Keep the rebrand customer-centered. Why will this rebrand benefit them? Always make it clear why these changes are happening and the benefits they’ll see from it. Don’t trash the things they like about your company. Do roll them into your new brand identity. 

#5. Be consistent with the new brand identity

Once the brand is changed, that’s it. No flashbacks to the past brand assets. Throwbacks to the past confuse customers.

Naturally there will be a transition period. Include text like, “formerly known as…” in your assets for a few months, but always lead with the new look and name. Did your rebrand require a name and domain change? Set a redirect page on the website explaining the new brand name and new domain name. 

#6. Capitalize on the rebrand

Use the rebrand to double your media coverage and gain new business. Leverage the new brand launch to talk about your phenomenal growth and to tease the roll out of your new product and service. A close, back-to-back roll out keeps your name top-of-mind in the social streams and news networks that matter to you.

Remember, always think long-term with the brand. Any changes you make must be thought out and customer-driven. Brands take time to show results, so changing too frequently dilutes your message. It’s all about how you deliver your branding strategy, and we’ve got experience on our side.

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