The New Rules Of Branding In A Corporate World
All successful companies change and evolve over a period of time. They grow and evolve, often far beyond their own business origins that made them successful in the first place. It has been seen that corporates undergo Rebranding programs which are undertaken to communicate the change and start a new dialog about the company and re-connect with the audience. There are multiple powerful business stories of evolution. A more recent one is example of a rebranding launch which got misfired is that of Hibu in the UK. Hibu is the new name for Yell Group, publisher of the Yellow Pages directory among many other things. It is trying to innovate and make a leap into the digital age as an online marketplace for all the SME and startup. The CEO, Mike Pocock, was asked this same question over and again by the reporters what Hibu meant and his answer was always the same “It’s a word,” he said. “If you go back 15 to 20 years ago, Google and Yahoo didn’t mean anything. It’s how you support the brands.” The reporters saw and examined that their story. “Yell admits rebrand is meaningless but it holds value” was one of the typical headlines in Britain’s national news media. It was an avoidable step that detracted from the important business stories and placed a question mark over the whole brand revamp: Has the rebranding plan been thoroughly thought through and then implemented? Rebranding an established company is the same as naming a startup. Google and Yahoo! were startups when they were named. They had the luxury of relative obscurity in which they could get away with making mistakes and still be okay and prove their business model. Corporate rebranding is an entirely different game which requires you to play by different rules depending on the industry that you belong to. There is much at stake for all people of the organization and the people engaged in the re-branding process and, given the nature of news media, rebranding ‘disasters’ are more newsworthy and published than rebranding successes. Few of the rules to keep in mind when rebranding: 1. Expected controversy: Corporate rebranding affects all the other players present in the market. It’s about change and most of the people don’t like change. Be well prepared with your story and communicate proactively. 2. Business values matter: a corporate rebranding program has to involve the set communications framework through which your business story can be told in a memorable yet subtle way. Names and logos are components of the story, not the whole story. 3. Start from the inside out: A Brand Design Agency understands that it needs to prepare and experiment the ground internally before launching in the external world. 4. Give meaning to the name: If the rebranding involves a name change, be clear and straight forward about the name and give proper reasoning for why it was changed in the first place and why the new name has been chosen and given to the same brand. Explain the objectives, the complications and help people understand how to think of it and connect with it. People will get used to new names over time. 5. The CEO must lead: Corporate rebranding stands for a leadership tool and something that comes after the decision has been taken by the whole board or the CEO itself. The CEO should be visible during this whole process of re-branding and be the strong visionary behind the story. 6. Social media is important. Check the website, social media platforms regularly and answer all the queries that your customers might have regarding the newly formed brand identity. Be active on Twitter and use blogs also as a medium of communicating because this will be the time when people would reach out and search for you. And an experienced Branding Agency would understand the importance of all these above mentioned key points.