The Art of the Rebranding – A users guide

What is rebranding?

When most people think of ‘rebranding’ the first thoughts that pop into their heads are visual changes to a brand’s identity. And while it’s true that rebranding often involves tweaks to logos, typography and colour palettes, those elements only scratch the surface of a true rebranding process.

A rebrand should be about meaning, personality and feeling – not just aesthetics.

It should lay everything out on the table for consideration – including your brand’s identity, your purpose, and your vision, mission and values.

 

Why do companies rebrand themselves?

Why your company is rebranding should always be the starting point of the process.

There are many reasons why companies rebrand, including:

● Expansion into different markets with differing customer demographics
● Mergers and acquisitions
● Changing markets
● Outdated brand identity

In some cases, though, companies rebrand for the wrong reasons.

If you’re a marketing director and your CEO demands a brand refresh because they’re ‘sick of looking at the same logo day after day’, that on its own is not an adequate reason for rebranding and the alarm bells should be ringing.

Nor is ego or personal gain. Often, new managers or directors are keen to exert their authority and make their mark, so embark on ill-advised rebranding processes in a bid to do both, with no real business justification for doing so.

And rebranding should never be used as a way to cover up poor performance. If sales are falling off a cliff, it’s far more sensible to look at your product, value proposition and marketing strategy before undertaking a rebrand process that could wipe out the brand equity you have and leave you worse off than when you started.

 

Why rebranding is good?

There are a multitude of benefits – both short-term and long-term – that come with an effective rebranding process.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, rebranding can open new doors for your business and place you in front of a new audience.

Of course, once your business or product is in front of those people, a refreshed brand won’t, on its own, be enough to convert them into customers and fans.

But rebranding can act as a catalyst, stimulating your business to grow in changing markets.

Rebranding can also be a good way to:

● Help you stand out from your main competitors
● Stay current and on trend
● Help you market new products or an amended value proposition

But, essentially, any rebranding process is about boosting your bottom line – and if done well, the success of your rebranding will be measured in more profit.

 

How to rebrand and nail it and some amazing rebranding examples

Think Apple, IBM, Microsoft and McDonald’s – all enduring brands and all have stood the test of time.

And not because they stood still. They’ve changed with changing times, stayed fresh and relevant and have been brave enough to realise when their positioning, brand identity and ‘feel’ has run its course with their customers and the current market.

Nailing a rebrand is as much about knowing when it’s needed and having sound reasons for doing it as it is about the actual process itself.

 

Our Rebranding Users Check List 

Ask yourself:

1. Has your business had a major change in management?
2. Are you looking to expand or diversify the markets your business sits within?
3. Has your product or offer changed since you launched?
4. Has your customer profile changed since you launched?
5. Have your competitors increased in either numbers or market share?
6. Have there been technological advances since you launched that you haven’t explored?
7. Does your brand identity work across all media now with the impact of online?
8. Do you need to reach out to new audiences?
9. Have you received any bad press or negative feedback from customers?
10. Are your sales still increasing at a healthy rate?

If you answered YES to most of the first nine questions and NO to the 10th, then it could be time for you to consider a rebranding exercise to help drive growth to your business.

This doesn’t have to mean a total overhaul – it could be a brand audit and then some subtle changes to positioning, strategy, identity and the way you communicate with your customers.

At the end of the day, a successful rebrand is about adapting and innovating – but also knowing and understanding who you are at any given time.

For example, those skinny jeans you wore in your 20s might not be such a good idea when you hit your 40s – and we all need a bit of help to stay looking fresh, vibrant and in touch with modern life.

It’s the same for brands.

A host of big-name companies have completed successful rebranding processes in recent years.

And while they may have refreshed differing elements of their brand, their identity and their positioning, their reasons why are clear to see.

 

The Burger King rebrand and why it works

Companies with decades of brand equity behind them take the biggest risks when rebranding – none more so than Burger King, which has been etched in the minds of fast-food fans since the mid-1950s. That’s a lot of brand equity right there!

But Burger King’s reasons for its first major rebrand in more than 20 years were fully justified – the company wanted to move to a digital-first approach, while also calling on and celebrating its heritage.

The flat logo design is based on the brand’s 1960s identity and is unashamedly bold, with a retro colour palette that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1978 Ford Cortina!

In rebranding now, Burger King has capitalised on a pining for nostalgia and vintage, and although the brand’s refresh is very much led by design, it also tells a comforting story of the brand’s history and longevity.

 

The Brewdog rebrand and how it supported a planet over profit approach 

It’s fair to say that Scottish craft beer company Brewdog doesn’t have the same kind of history to call upon as Burger King – after all, the brand was only founded in 2007.

Like Burger King, Brewdog’s reasons for its 2020 rebrand were largely to create a digital-friendly aesthetic through pared back graphics and typography.

But its primary reason for rebranding was to support its drive towards sustainability and ensure that this new approach was paired with a more ‘grown up’ brand identity.

Gone are the fussy product backgrounds, upright typography and anti-establishment, ‘punk’-style tone of voice in favour of a cleaner look and feel that won’t distract from the importance of Brewdog’s new ‘sustainability’ messaging. The brand’s ‘Brewdog tomorrow’ campaign is behind the change, with plans in place to reuse old cans and reduce waste by turning imperfect brews into vodka.

 

The Harrison approach to rebranding strategy

We believe that personality, values and story underpin any successful rebrand. We work with hospitality clients who want to reposition and redefine their brands, reconnect with lapsed customers and build excitement in new ones.

 

Our rebranding work with Pizza Hut

If the true evaluation of a rebrand is on bottom line impact, then our work with Pizza Hut hit the mark.

An overhaul of the brand’s UK restaurants resulted in a 40% increase in revenue across the initial trial units.

The aim of the work was to bring both new customers to the table and reignite excitement in those who had drifted away from the brand towards its competitors. Our focus was on ‘Americanness’, with revised seating and bar arrangements, overall design and lighting to encourage night-time dining from a refreshed food and cocktail menu. The refresh helped differentiate Pizza Hut from its Italian-themed competitors and called upon its US heritage to tell the story of a brand that had lost a little momentum.

 

Find out more

Want to know more about how we fuse storytelling, brand identity and design as part of our rebranding process?

Get in touch and we’ll show you what we do best.

Naming a business: How to choose a brand name and stand out to your customers

What’s in a name?  Well, quite a lot actually – especially if you’re attempting to come up with a name for your new business.

But coming up with potential brand names that are both memorable but also tell people what it is you actually do can be mind-achingly frustrating – even for the creatives among you.

 

 

How to Choose a Brand Name

So, where do you start?

Firstly.

You have to understand what you do and who you are

This sounds obvious, of course.

Yet so many new businesses find themselves changing tack early on, perhaps because their product or service isn’t as successful as they’d first hoped, or because they revise the target audience they’re marketing to.

Either way, a major change in your product, service offering, or target audience can sometimes render your brand name meaningless.

So, when thinking of potential brand names, you need to consider:

• What your product or service proposition will be
• Your target audience and their personas.
• What your business really stands for and your back story, where have you come from?

 

Your brand identity

Your company name is important, but it only forms a portion of your overall brand identity.

A brand identity might sound a little pointless for a local carpentry firm, and more important for an international design agency like Harrison.

But what you stand for and your values as a business count for more now than they ever have before – regardless of size, location, product or service.

 

 

The Importance of Branding

Your brand identity is your personality. It’s your public-facing persona.

And it encompasses everything from what you say and how you say, to the promises you make to your customers.

But it starts with your brand name, so think about how you want to be seen and heard before you start brainstorming.

 

 

How we do it – The Harrison Naming Facets Model

We work to a list if eight ‘naming facets’ when working with clients to create new brand names:

• Brand fit
• Character
• Accessibility
• Scalability
• Suitability
• Be Unique
• Euphony
• The Right Fit

We then use those facets to ‘score’ the brand names that we shortlist.

 

Time for that brainstorm

The best way to even start to come up with a great name for your business is to brainstorm a list of words that are both associated with what you do and who you are, but also resonate with your potential customers.

Jotting down as many words as you can think of is a great starting point when naming a business or brand.

Remember: Google is your friend here, so if you’re struggling to come up a list of keywords, try a google search for ‘terminology’ or ‘glossary’ of your chosen product or expertise.

 

How we do it

We took that brainstorming process to the next level when tasked by Greene King to help them come up with a name and brand identity for a new craft ale.

In a busy marketplace like craft ales, it was important for Greene King that their new product had a brand name that:

• Was distinctive and memorable
• Set them apart from their competitors
• Evoked positive associations that resonated with their customers
• Created a strong personality that sparked curiosity
• Inspired and motivated their employees

We created ‘Lucky Luke’, the new craft ale’s ideal customer and devised a long list of words associated with Luke’s perception of himself, including:

• Intrepid
• Maverick
• Fearless
• Confident
• Grafter
• Wanderer

We then drew up a long list of words Luke uses in his vocabulary, which included:

• Railroad
• Grizzly
• Ablaze
• Stampede
• Hachette
• Bareboot

Following that, our team created a long list of locations Luke has a connection with, including:

• Devil’s Thumb
• Wilderness
• Moose
• Altitude
• Bearclaw
• Mountain

Words associated with Luke’s humour and character, meanwhile, included:

• Badger
• Boar
• Chinook
• Wolf
• Grizzly
• Spear

And thinking about his attitude sparked words like:

• Radical
• Curious
• Challenger
• Unshackled
• Spontaneous

Using our eight naming facets, we then came up with this ranked shortlist of six possible names for Greene King’s new ale, scoring them on each facet: Mighty Moose was chosen.

1. Mighty Moose IPA
2. Stampede IPA
3. Curious 8 IPA
4. Dashfire IPA
5. Bareboot IPA
6. Spotter IPA

 

Your ‘name’ as a business name

Where do you think the name Harrison comes from?

That’s right – from our founder, Philip Harrison.

Often brand names which are short, sweet, to the point and, dare we say it, obvious – stare you in the face for hours, days or even weeks or months, before the lightbulb illuminates. However, in our case, a name still communicates something and the name works because of Philip’s reputation, passion and how he has shaped our values including; personal/friendly service – so even a name like this needs to be assessed to check it resonates/communicates.

 

How to Check a Company Name

So, you’ve got a list of some amazing potential names for your new business.

Now you need to see if any of them have been taken by some other clever so and so.

 

Do a Google search

Jump on Google and start searching up your potential business names, crossing out any that exist already in the UK.

Remember: Even if your business name is taken by a company from overseas, that could impact on your ability to be found in search results.

 

Do a Companies House check

If you’re planning to incorporate your business as a limited company, log on to Companies House and make sure a business of the same name hasn’t already been registered.

 

Get feedback from people you trust

As much as you are really feeling your proposed new brand name, getting feedback from people you trust and respect can sometimes throw in a few curveballs – which can be both good and bad.

A fresh pair of eyes on your business name can sometimes throw up negative connotations you may not have considered, or it can be positive confirmation that you’re very much on the right lines.

 

Find a domain name

All new businesses need a website, so hop on to a domain name provider like Go Daddy or 123Reg and search up options for a domain name that includes the name of your business.

 

Start planning your brand strategy

As we said earlier, the name of your business is only a small part of your brand.

To really get your business moving and into the eyes and ears of your customers, you need to have a solid brand strategy.

This strategy clearly defines who and what you are, what your business stands for and your values.

A brilliant brand strategy and clear values, as well as an amazing product and / or superb customer service, will help you build loyalty and trust with the people who buy from you – meaning they come back time and time again.

 

Now it’s time for growth…

At Harrison, we’re experts on building and showcasing brands through identity, strategy and storytelling.

Check out some of the projects we’ve worked on and get in touch to find out more.

Hilton Metropole Hotel NEC – Birmingham

We are both delighted and excited to announce that Harrison have been appointed to redevelop the iconic Hilton Metropole Hotel NEC in Birmingham.

Our remit will include strategic insight and brand positioning, storytelling, brand creation and ID development for each zone, in addition to Interior design and project management services.

The redevelopment of the entire ground floor F&B areas at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, NEC, Birmingham will be divided into three distinct zones, which are currently identified as lobby lounge & bar, a breakfast and events Restaurant area and the Terrace. Our brief is to create a unique, practical but sophisticated and contemporary environment for conference and event visitors. This project will encompass developing three distinct F&B propositions.

Whilst employing the same interior language throughout our aim is to provide a range of coherent spaces which can be flexible and cater for different offers creating a cohesive guest journey through the space.

We will keep you updated on progress over the months to come.

Front Burner’s New Slider Concept – Son of a Butcher – Makes a Stand in Dallas.

Harrison would like to thank and congratulate the Front Burner Restaurant team on the launch of the Son of a Butcher (SoB) restaurant concept in an iconic building on Greenville Ave. Dallas.

Harrison have been working in partnership with the Front Burner Restaurant team to develop this memorable architecture & interior design concept for the last year. Get yourself down to the restaurant, the sliders are incredible!!

Also a big thank you to the Harrison team who collaborated closely with Front Burner Restaurants throughout the concept, branding, architecture & interior design, construction documentation stages as Architect of Record on this project.

Click on this link for more details.