Integrated Marketing

When executing a rebrand -
insight is king

In light of Facebook’s recent rebranding announcement, Renegade’s VP of Marketing Solutions Sara Noon talks about exactly what goes into a successful branding overhaul. Above all else – you need strong market awareness.

So - you've decided to rebrand. Why?

Or maybe, you’ve just been thinking about it. Again, why? Perhaps, in light of Facebook’s recent announcement to rebrand its parent company into Meta, you can’t help but wonder about the implications such a massive overhaul would have for any business, let alone one of the most recognizable brands of the last two decades.

Anytime a business is making a major change to its value proposition, rebranding should be considered as it allows an organization to truly differentiate itself. But before any tactics are laid out, before any creative is developed, or media buy planned – there’s one vital thing you need first: market insight to answer the “why” question.

Your insight should be broken down three ways: 1) insight into personified customer perceptions of your organization, 2) insight into your personified customers' perceptions of your competition, 3) insight into your employees’ perception of your organization.

Acquiring that insight can be achieved in a few different ways:

- Conduct a brand audit of your organization – including an awareness and satisfaction survey among your different target personas along with asynchronous digital one-on-ones to evaluate messaging and creative

- Equally as important is conducting a competitive audit – what is the differentiating value proposition or product offering of your competitors? What are their messaging strategy, awareness, and market perception?

- Tap into current consumer insight and sentiment with both qualitative and quantitative research. Renegade achieves this with social listening tools like Brandwatch, which monitors real-time social media comments and discussions centered on any given subject

A rebranded company may have an edge on these over a new one – after all, they can generate data and learnings from their past business plans and campaigns. The most valuable lessons learned are the failures and understanding the negatives as they are the ones that stretch an organization to move outside of their comfort zones. Business learning and rebranding is just like personal learning and growth -- knowing when to evolve yourself.

Regardless – data and insight are crucial here, especially on your target audience. What have they responded positively to? What have they reacted negatively to? What have they not responded at all toward? Knowing your audience's needs and anticipating/defining their unmet needs will catapult a shift in any value proposition.

Finding the reason to believe

A successful rebrand will have one common attribute with a traditional branding campaign, in that it also involves asking a lot of questions:

- What is my brand’s purpose?
- What is our target audience?
- What do we want that audience to associate with our brand? What do we want them to feel?
- What benefit or promise does my brand provide?
- What sort of characteristic or personality do I want my brand to have?

And most importantly – what reason does your target audience have to BELIEVE in the product or service you’re providing?

I’m talking about the tangible attributes and proof points that support the promise you’ve made. They can be functional, emotional, or both. But they need to tap into your target audience persona and solve a problem they have. A problem only you can fix.

You often can’t answer those questions without gathering mass amounts of knowledge and insights at the beginning of the process. That’s why market research is so crucial.

Perhaps the biggest challenge a re-branding company will face is battling preconceived opinions -good or bad - from the market. That’s a significant hurdle Meta will now have to face. Any brand or business looking to rebrand will likely keep a close eye on what Mark Zuckerberg’s company does in the months ahead. The knowledge gained from analyzing this rebrand will likely be crucial – because after all when it comes to rebranding, knowledge is key.

Sara Noon
Sara Noon is the Vice President of Strategy and Client Services for Renegade Communications. She has more than 30 years of experience executing impactful branding strategies for for-profit and non-profit businesses through effective marketing and strategic business relationships.