Last month, the world was taken unawares when Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media giant was changing its corporate branding to Meta.
Zuckerberg explained the rebrand was a way to focus on Facebook/Meta’s metaverse plans – connecting people through 3D augmented reality. The company’s trademark “Like” logo was replaced by a blue infinity symbol.
Commentators, however, speculated the rebranding might have more to do with Facebook’s negative publicity and the company’s legal woes, with some calling the Facebook brand a “hindrance”.
Over the years, both Facebook and Instagram have faced monopolisation lawsuits as well as accusations the firm refused to take action about the spread of misinformation on its platforms – which were also allowing hate groups to encourage political violence.
With many sceptical of the efficacy and timing of this rebranding, what steps should companies take in order to lead a successful rebrand?
How to successfully rebrand a business in five steps:
- Know your identity
- Understand the market
- Finding your unique
- Visual identity
- Go public
Let’s take a look at each of those steps in more detail you so can own your rebrand.
1. Know your identity
Before any rebrand, companies need to do some introspection and understand who they are. Useful questions include: Who are you? What is your story, ethos and vision? What does your audience know you for? Why is a rebrand needed at this specific moment? How will you evaluate outcomes?
Companies should survey their workforce by asking them to explain how they envision the business and culture of the firm.
2. Understand the market
Before spending time and money on an image change, firms should ask themselves: What is the demographic you are targeting? What are your audience’s needs? Who are your competitors?
Once they have, companies are encouraged to gain a thorough understanding of their market, consumers and intended market if they are hoping to move into a new space as part of their rebrand. They can do this through surveys, polls and focus groups.
3. Finding your unique
At this stage, companies are encouraged to decide whether they have the resources and skills to design a rebrand, or whether an external marketing specialist or brand consultancy might be needed.
Finding what makes the company special – its unique selling point/proposition (or UPS) – is essential. What makes you better than your competitors? How is your product/service different? What do you stand for?
4. Visual identity
Carefully create a fresh visual identity that encompasses who you are; as well as broader brand guidelines.
Do the design and colours fit your wider brand identity? What is your tone of voice? How will you address your audience?
5. Go public
Before you take your new brand public, launch it internally to ensure employees and board members are fully behind the new changes and trust the branding fits the business’ strategy. Emphasize the positive reasons for the rebranding.
Companies should not try to phase in new branding. Doing so might confuse their audience. Creating a strong a communications plan – for each audience – will help with launching the new brand quickly and openly.