How to effectively rebrand your business and not sacrifice new leads

Rebranding your business isn’t an easy decision. After all, you have current customers who’ve come to know you a certain way and you have no idea if a rebrand will attract new customers.

Around 77 percent of consumers say they don’t care about having a relationship with a brand. Your goal is to reach the remaining people who do want to engage. Here are eight ways to rebrand your business without losing current or potential customers:

1. Understand why your customers like you

Before you choose to rebrand, talk to your current customers. Get to know your target audience. Study the demographics through Google, via your internal data from past sales and by polling your customers.

The last thing you want to do is take away the things that make customers like you. Tropicana made this mistake in 2009 when it decided to change its orange juice cartons. Customers didn’t like the new containers and didn’t understand the reason for the change. Sales dropped. Your rebrand can be more successful, but you have to make sure you understand your customer base and what they prefer.

2. Communicate why you’re rebranding

You may have a good reason for rebranding. Perhaps you chose a complicated name when you opened your business and your customers have come to know you by a shorter version. Your rebrand may be to align your image with how customers already see you.

Make sure to explain to current customers why you’ve chosen to rebrand. New leads may also notice you’ve made a change and wonder why. Whatever type of rebrand you’re completing, know the reasons why and be ready to communicate with customers.

3. Research your competition

Study the brands that are your closest competition. What is their brand message and how does it differ from yours? The goal isn’t to copy what the competition is doing but to figure out how you differ and what unique proposition you offer to customers.

4. Grab customers’ attention in unique ways

Once you’ve come up with the reason for the rebrand and made sure it aligns with your target audience, think up unique ways to grab the attention of customers. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, floor graphics grab attention and draw consumers in. Online, you can stand out with unique graphics or personalized videos.

5. Create brand loyalty with content

If a new customer feels loyal to your brand, they’ll come back time and time again and refer you to those they know. One way to build brand loyalty is through unique content geared to help the consumer. Again, you must know your target audience, so you understand the questions they have and the areas where they need help.
Content doesn’t have to be on your website. You can also create content for email marketing, social media and snail mail.

6. Get your team ready

Before you release any rebranding, get your employees on board. Train them in the whys of the rebrand and show your excitement over the new name or look for your company. Think about KFC and how it rebranded from Kentucky Fried Chicken. People already called the company KFC, but the change also allowed it to tap into a marketplace that called for healthier foods that weren’t fried.

Your team should be ready to answer questions and point leads to the benefits of the rebrand.

7. Ask customers for feedback

Involve your customers in every step of the process. If you change your logo, ask customers for their feedback. If they hate it, ask what you can do to make it better. Conduct split testing and make sure your changes are effective. The last thing you want is to turn off your customer base and drive them away, so flexibility is a must.

8. Protect your new leads

Once you begin to gain new leads from your rebrand, keep the lines of communication open. Protect those leads from bouncing away and going with a competitor by showing them you’re willing to work hard to keep their business. Each customer should feel like they’re important to your company.

Rebranding efforts

Rebranding can be a minor change, such as choosing a new color palette, or a major one, like an entirely new mission statement. Keep everyone informed of changes and communicate every step of the way to keep current customers and attract new ones.

This is a guest article by Lexie Lu. Lexie is a web designer and UX strategist. She writes for Marketo, Creative Bloq, Manta, Website Magazine and Cats Who Code. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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