When a company has a powerful brand, it becomes more influential and more familiar to customers. Customers tend to spend more money on a familiar brand, too!
That includes a product or service they’re unfamiliar with, even if it’s more expensive – all due to that ever-powerful brand equity. With familiarity comes positive word of mouth, both literally and online. That’s the power of effective branding.
In this article, we’ll explore what a rebrand entails, why a company might benefit, and the positive and negative impacts rebranding can have on a business.
The Power of Branding
When you cut your finger, what do you put on it? Did you immediately think of a Band-Aid? Neosporin? Both answers are correct, but it’s important to note that these are brand names, not the actual item.
A Band-Aid is a bandage, and Neosporin is a topical antibacterial ointment.
But just saying Neosporin is probably easier. The fact that most people would refer to these items by their brand name and not by the technical name of the item shows how influential branding can be on the modern-day zeitgeist.
When your lips are dry, and you need relief, what do you ask for? Chapstick, right?
What you really need is a lip balm, and it doesn’t matter if its the Chapstick brand, Blistex, Carmex, or anything else. It all does the same thing. But, because of the power of branding, most people say “Chapstick.”
Why Do Companies Choose to Rebrand?
So why do companies choose to rebrand themselves? Sometimes this change can be subtle, such as a logo design or a slogan. This can be done to keep up with the times or to make themselves stand out from competitors.
- Brand outgrows the existing brand’s products and services
- New demographic change
- Brand name no longer reflects the brand’s vision
- New ownership
- Keeping up with modern times
- Separate themselves from a bad reputation
To sum up, rebranding is a powerful strategy for companies to improve their brand’s reputation, expand their audience, or communicate changes within the business or leadership.
Positive Impact from a Powerful Brand
Let’s explore an example of the effects of a positive impact of branding from companies that either perform the same service or sell the same product. Imagine you’re booking a flight, you’ve got a handful of airlines to choose from, and while price can be a big decision-making factor, brand positivity is another.
In the end, the majority of people will choose the brand with a more positive reputation even though the other options provide the same service.
Pros & Cons of Rebranding
Rebranding can be a valuable tool for companies looking to give their business a facelift, grow their audience, and stay relevant. Rebranding can be a great strategy for a company to expand its reach to new demographics and markets.
It also allows a business to improve its brand awareness, identity, and relatability to its existing customers and to new ones. A new look can really set a company apart from its competitors. In instances of a merger or acquisition, a partial or full rebrand can unify the two companies together for a stronger image. However, a rebrand isn’t always a good idea. If you’re already a very lucrative company with nationwide brand recognition, completely changing your name or logo can actually be a bad idea in some cases. Rebranding can have negative effects, such as being unrecognizable to the consumer, a loss of consumer trust, and a loss of revenue. It can even negatively impact your website’s SEO.
- Connect with a new audience
- Set the brand apart from competitors
- Improve brand awareness
- Set a company apart from its competitors
- Promote new products, offers, or values
- Can create a stronger image during a merger or acquisition
- Unrecognizable to the consumer
- Loss of consumer trust
- Loss of revenue
- SEO is negatively impacted
How Does Rebranding Impact Digital Marketing?
Rebranding has a significant impact on digital marketing. A business may decide to change a logo or change their name and look entirely. They may even change their domain and create an entirely new website. There are three categories of rebrand strategies, and can all be done for one reason or another.
When these changes are put into place, it does more than attract the attention of your existing customers. Rebranding affects search engine optimization (SEO) by impacting domain authority and page rankings, local business directories, name, address, phone number (NAP) consistency, and the loss of existing brand rankings.
- Google search console address change
- Redirects properly set up
- A site migration plan is put in place (Sitemap)
- Updating local directories
- Press Releases
- Temporary banner on website
- Monitoring performance
- Domain authority and page rankings
- Local business directories and NAP consistency
- Loss of existing brand rankings
So how do you resolve this? Companies going through rebranding need to make sure that Google Search Console addresses the changes, redirects are set up correctly, a site migration plan is in place if the website is being rebuilt, SEO reviews pages with backlinks, local directories are updated, and press releases are created. A temporary banner on the website can be used to inform customers of the changes, and performance can be monitored.
How Does Rebranding a Website Work?
A website is kind of like a house, and a domain is its address. No two homes can have the same address, right? Think of Google as a neighbor or a friend. Google comes over to your house every day. Since Google comes over so often, they know where everything is in the house. Because of your domain address, Google knows how to get to your house the same way every day. Think of the path to your house (or website) as rankings.
But with any move, there will be changes; streets look unfamiliar, the path is new, etc. So now, Google has to adjust to this change. In the meantime, Google takes longer to get to the new “house,” and rankings will drop. This is an example of how rebranding can affect rankings for your website – they can drop when a domain changes from what it originally was. So not only can a rebrand reduce brand awareness and confuse customers, but it can also affect your rank – and, therefore, your visibility.
The Impact on Social Media
When it comes to brand awareness, social media is an outstanding platform for companies to stay in touch with their customers. However, during a rebrand, it’s easy to make mistakes and cause confusion. Rebranding without giving any notice can really throw a wrench in your brand recognition.
Doing things like not responding to customer questions during the rebranding process can result in frustration and confusion. When you don’t use social media to communicate with your current audience, it can result in missed opportunities such as user engagement and consumer feedback. By following these steps, you can maintain strong connections with your customers, gain feedback, and avoid confusion.
- Rebranding without giving any notice
- Not responding to customer questions
- Not using social media as a tool to talk to existing customers
Once the change occurs, it’s important to make social posts to reassure customers of the company’s plans for the future.
- Audit existing social media presence
- Make social posts about the change before it happens, while it happens, and after
- Once the change occurs, make social posts to prevent additional confusion
Is Rebranding for You? Let’s Recap.
- Loyal customers generally spend more money on the “good brand” if they have a good experience/product.
- Customers are more likely to purchase again.
- Positive word of mouth (usually from customer reviews or friends/family).
- Well-established brands have more effective advertising.
Companies must take specific steps to ensure their website doesn’t lose traffic or visibility on Google after a significant change.
- Loss of brand recognition and customer loyalty
- Confusion among customers and stakeholders
- Loss in revenue
- Possible negative impact on domain rank
- Loss of existing brand rankings
- Less online visibility
- Perform an SEO audit of your current website
- Update your website’s metadata
- Redirect old URLs to new ones to make sure backlinks and traffic are redirected to your new website
- Update all internal links
- Update any external links to your website
- Submit an updated sitemap to Google and other search engines
- Update your Google Business Profile listing, social media profiles, and other online directories
- Monitor your website’s search engine rankings and traffic after the rebrand
- Update social media with press releases and news about changes with the brand to avoid confusion and gain consumer feedback
- Reinforces brand identity
- Keeps up with changing trends
- Attracts new customers
- Morale boost within the company
- Helps stand out from competitors
- Potential for growth
Branding is a powerful tool that affects how people view a company. Sometimes, companies need to update their image to stay current and attract new customers. Rebranding at its best can revitalize a brand and bring new consumers in, but at its worst can have negative effects. Digital marketing can be impacted, particularly your SEO. To make sure your business stays on top of potential pitfalls and your existing and new customers are happy, your company needs to take the necessary measures to execute a rebrand most beneficially.