There are some cases in which corporate rebranding is the primary initiative needed to successfully reposition a company or brand. Rebranding strategies and rebranding initiatives are appropriate and needed when the company or brand already has strong, relevant underlying differentiation, is currently doing everything right, and the sole purpose of rebranding is to reflect what the company is already doing in a much more compelling, persuasive manner. In short, corporate rebranding is about strategically polishing the apple with sharper, more differentiating positioning.
Most companies in need of rebranding suffer from generalized positioning. Usually a company doesn't want to narrow its message too much for fear of missing opportunities. Therefore, the company doesn’t strongly position itself as an expert in its sweet spot. As a result, people searching for what the company does best don’t recognize the company as an expert, and the company needs to fight harder to win the business it is really good at, business it should win easily every time.
On the other hand, conventional wisdom is that more generalized positioning gives a company more opportunities. The reality is this generalized corporate positioning positions a company as, you guessed it, a generalist. To win business, generalists have to not only win over other generalists, they have to also beat out specialists.
If your company really is an expert in a focused area, does your positioning reflect it? If not, you should consider corporate rebranding.
We often work with B2B companies to hone their positioning through corporate rebranding, sharpening the message to make it more compelling. During rebranding, we look for those factors that can most tangibly and credibly differentiate the company in its optimal market.
There is no cookie-cutter approach to B2B corporate rebranding. Each situation is different. Corporate rebranding, however, almost certainly includes changes to your marketing messages, i.e., the words used to persuasively position your company. In addition, rebranding may include changes in the design and delivery of key communications vehicles.
Words of Caution
Unfortunately, many marketers and ad agencies view corporate rebranding as a change in corporate identity. This alone rarely yields significant results. Sure, occasionally a corporate logo may need an update, but that typically isn’t going to solve much unless other change occurs. Our experience in the B2B marketplace has been that design-driven rebranding initiatives almost never achieve the desired business results. Beware of internal and external voices that promote the need for a new corporate identity as a panacea for the company’s problems.
Also, be sure to assess whether it’s rebranding or repositioning that you need. While corporate rebranding can make a significant difference in attracting and securing new business, its benefits will be short lived if you don't deliver on your brand promises or if more significant change was really needed. If you’re not sure whether it is corporate rebranding or repositioning that you need, talk to us. We’ll give you an honest, candid assessment.