When is it time to rebrand a B2B company?

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Brands are the living embodiments of a company’s values, mission and customer experience. Yet, companies evolve. That creates a gap between what the company wants to be and how it’s perceived by its customers. Realigning these through a corporate rebrand is a great way to tackle the issue head-on, and once again provide a consistent image to customers.

We will share the four steps to a successful B2B rebrand—create a brand book; perform a brand diagnostic; conduct branding; and maintain the brand—and two key considerations for success.

A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person

Why should you take our advice? Over the last two years, the design experts at SketchDeck have helped 77 organizations through successful rebrands. Our vetted, best-in-field designers have completed thousands of design projects for leading brands like Microsoft, Nuxeo and Dropbox. In this paper, we will share best practices and lessons learned from these brand redesigns and even give you a behind-the-scenes view of our own redesign.

What is a brand?

Let’s begin by making sure we all on the same page with the definition of a brand and the role it plays. A brand is the expression of a company’s values. David Mack, our co-founder and head of product, describes it this way, “The brand is the perception. It is the experience. It is the tangible embodiment of the company’s values. And the way people interact with those values is the effect of the brand.”

Let’s unpack that. There are two ways that the brand interacts with company values. The first is as a personality that communicates a story to customers through visuals and voice. This personality can be fun, crazy, serious, or trustworthy. These visuals and voice reflect the company values and how you want them to be conveyed.

Second is the brand’s personal story. The brand interacts here with the company’s history and what it went through to reach the point it’s at today. This origin story often highlights the company’s mission and why certain things are important to it. Just as you can see part of a person’s story by looking at their face, so too should the brand reflect a company’s history and its calling.

What is an effective brand?

An effective brand encapsulates both of these value interactions. And, it does so in a way that has positive effects for the company – from influencing customer perception to company culture. For example, if a customer comes to your website, they are greeted by your brand. The brand affects their psyche, subconscious reaction and emotional connection to your company. Effective brands have a clear brand definition with visual consistency which in turn deliver a strong, consistent customer reaction. How do we know? We help on average with more than three rebrands every month.

Is it time to rebrand?

Your brand should change and evolve with your company. When this is not the case, it can create a gap between the brand and those things it’s meant to communicate. To determine if it’s time for your company to rebrand, ask yourself these helpful questions:

  • Does the brand accurately convey the values and mission of our company?
  • Is our company’s voice and personality reflected in the brand?
  • Does it create an emotional connection with customers?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it is time to rebrand. If you’ve outgrown your brand,  it won’t stretch to where your company is headed, or you’ve had a recent corporate change like a merger or acquisition, a rebrand is in order.

While a rebrand may sound exciting and daunting, know that you are not alone. Companies rebrand all the time, for a variety of reasons from M&A activity that creates a new, shared history and mission to a significant happening in the marketplace that demands change (The most extreme recent example of this is the rebranding of Isis mobile wallet to SoftCard to avoid conflating the brand with the terrorist group of the same name). Most rebrands do not include the renaming of an organization. Rather, they tend to focus on redefining visual elements. Each of the almost 40 rebrands we conduct every year includes visual elements.

Next step: how to effectively rebrand a B2B company

So, you’ve made the decision to rebrand your B2B company. Having been there ourselves—and with our work with dozens of companies on their rebrands—we know that making the decision to move forward is exciting and opens the door to a lot of questions. We are here to help. Read our 16 page ebook on how to rebrand a B2B company.

  1. Create a brand book
  2. Conduct a brand diagnostic
  3. Branding
  4. Proactive brand maintenance

Plus a behind the scenes look at our own rebranding process, examples of the work we’ve done for clients, and more.

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