If you’ve been thinking about rebranding your website, you probably already know that it won’t be totally effortless. A successful brand overhaul takes time, resources, and skills. After all, transitioning to a new image and domain risks losing the visibility and audience that you had worked hard to build.
On the other hand, a rebrand doesn’t have to be a major headache. With some thought and planning, your site—and your business—will be fresher, look better, and be more in line with your target audience
We share the critical questions to ask yourself and the steps you should take to make your website rebrand journey as smooth and simple as possible.
1. How do you know it’s time for a rebrand?
The following are reliable indications that it’s time to re-imagine your brand identity:
- Designs look outdated. Just like a fresh coat of paint can enliven your living room, a more contemporary design can elevate your site.
- Conversions are decreasing. If you’re seeing a downward trend in sales, it might be because your brand identity has ceased to resonate with clients.
- Your business has evolved. A brand is so much more than a logo, and the values that made perfect sense in 2007 may not reflect your ethos any longer. It’s possible that your business has simply outgrown its image.
- Your target customers have changed. With time, experience, and a track record of sales, you may have learned that your target customers are slightly different than you initially thought. Or, perhaps you’re targeting a new type of client.
- You need a clean slate. Every now and then, we all need to go back to the drawing board and start over, and a rebrand is the perfect opportunity to build something new.
- It’s time to level up. As technology and business models change, a rebrand might mean a more advantageous position in the market. Maybe you’re launching a new product or service that will make you an industry leader.
2. How far do you want to go?
Whether your brand undergoes a full transformation or a few critical adjustments depends on your intentions.
Ask yourself: Do you want to start from ground zero and rethink your core brand identity? This would mean a completely different look and feel for your business and your website. Or do you want to reposition the company identity that’s already there, perhaps by tweaking your message and target audience?
To get a sense of clarity, log a few brainstorming sessions that address the following points:
Why are you rebranding?
Make sure you have a firm grasp of your goals before you dig in and start changing everything.
Whether you want to create an entirely different identity, distance yourself from a mishap, or it’s simply time for an upgrade, your overall goals should inform the rebrand process.
What’s your brand vision?
Now is the time to do some soul searching and really dig deep into your company identity.
- Address target customers. Do you want to focus on existing clients or expand your audience? If you’re hoping to attract a new demographic—maybe one that’s younger, or more affluent, or just has different consumer habits—you need to be very clear about who that audience includes.
- Address what you offer. Explore the benefits that you offer to your customers. What’s your selling point? Answer this question from the perspective of your audience: what does someone get from establishing a relationship with your brand?
- Address how you’re different. Identify your competitors and nail down what makes your brand mission, values, and voice unique. What do you do that they don’t? What do they do that you do better?
- Address emotional impact. When someone thinks about your company, what are the feelings or emotions you want your brand to evoke? Maybe you intend to stand out for your cutting-edge innovation. Maybe you’d rather exude a sense of balance and calm. Whatever it is, be clear about how you want to be seen.
3. What’s the strategy?
To guarantee that your upgraded identity is consistent with your message and audience, you’ll need to develop a strategy for launching newly branded material.
Decide ahead of time how you will communicate, launch, and promote your new vision while keeping your existing customers on board.
Make a Timeline
A timeline should include major milestones, deadlines, and stages. Be realistic and leave space for navigating roadblocks.
While every rebranding process is unique, the basic steps might include:
- Researching your new audience and competitors.
- Developing your new image across multiple channels, such as your social media accounts and business website. Remember that your site is the most important tool for communicating with your clients.
- Drawing up marketing collateral, like brochures, blog posts, catalogs, infographics, proposals, and newsletters.
- Taking care of admin details (like updating signatures or government records).
- Feedback phase.
Make a Budget
Whether your business is small or large, everything from business cards to photographs for your website is an opportunity for communicating your brand.
Figure out what can be updated and what needs to be completely retooled. Budget accordingly.
What will your rebranding involve?
Rebranding might be as simple as a logo update. Or it can be as comprehensive as remaking your entire identity, including your target audience, market positioning, brand mission, vision, and voice.
Maybe you just want something simpler or more contemporary, or perhaps it’s the right time to redesign your logo altogether. Either way, a logo update doesn’t have to involve a complete brand remake.
Here’s a tip to keep you on track: while it might seem counterintuitive at first, an unchanging, inflexible logo can backfire. After all, what looks good on the side of a truck might look off on a mobile device.
Consistency is one thing, rigidity another. Since there are more contexts than ever to showcase your brand logo, it makes sense to stay flexible and invest in a series of logos that can change shape and size depending on their application and context.
The idea is that responsive logos are unified and identifiable, all working together in tandem. If you think it’s time for a logo upgrade, Buddy Web Design and Development will be glad to help. Our team is an expert at creating iconic logos that work across multiple platforms to represent your brand.
Fonts are an effective marker of brand personality. Whether your fonts are slick and minimal, or playful and light, typography helps your audience make an immediate connection with your brand.
Revitalizing your type sends a subtle but clear message that your company is on the upswing.
Is your branding color palette monochromatic? Neutral? Loud and crazy? Whatever it is, it should help set the tone for your brand.
Whether you want to jazz up your current palette, distinguish your calls to action, or completely rework your brand colors, Buddy Web Development and Design can help you upgrade the look and feel of your site.
The images on your site are there to define, support, and reflect your refreshed identity.
They should be consistent with your brand mission, values, and voice, and resonate with your color palette and font. Take the time to explore, and be deliberate about, all of the icons, illustrations, videos, animations, and other images that you use.
Some sites sound exclusive and aloof. Others sound chatty and friendly. The way that your website reads helps establish and deliver your brand voice to your audience.
When rebranding, it’s important to revisit your text content to make sure that everything from the word choice to the tone to the punctuation is consistent with your new company identity.
Changing your brand name requires more planning than simply updating fonts or colors.
Once you settle on a unique brand name that speaks to your mission and your clients, follow these tips to make sure you’re on the right track:
- Make sure it’s unique. Google your desired name to see if anyone else is using it.
- Make sure it’s legal. Reach out to an attorney or perform a copyright search on the US Patent and Trademark Office to check that your desired name isn’t trademarked.
- Check the URL. Think about what you want your new URL to be and check whether the domain is available. Go for a .com if you can.
- Check social media. The last thing you want is to have someone’s Facebook account creating unnecessary confusion for your clients. Make sure that no accounts on social media are using your new brand name.
4. Are you creating a new brand?
If you’re rethinking your brand’s core identity entirely, get the ball rolling with these insights:
Reflect on other businesses that have a brand, identity, or reputation that’s similar to the one you want to create. Even if they’re in a different industry, let their approach inspire your own brand revitalization.
Keep what works
If your audience research reveals that certain brand elements really speak to your target customers, just go with it!
There’s no reason to fix what isn’t broken, especially since those elements make your brand resonant and responsive. Look at it like staying in touch with your roots. It’s a way of showing continuity, so your current customers don’t feel alienated or left behind.
Maintain brand equity
When you’re caught up in the excitement of a fresh new brand, be careful not to lose sight of the customer loyalty, brand visibility, and forward momentum that your business has already created.
Here’s how to keep one foot in the door as you move on:
- Don’t lose content. Replicate your old content on your new website as much as possible. Yes, this includes all headers, titles, and fonts. Since search engines have already indexed it, you’ll lose your search ranking and domain authority if you don’t keep your content.
- Don’t lose links. The links from other sites that point to your site are one of the most valuable SEO resources you have. Here’s how to keep them:
- Use 301 redirects. A 301 redirect is basically just a message to a search engine that a page’s content has been permanently moved to a new URL. You can set them up to redirect all your old domain pages to the corresponding pages on your new domain, so you don’t lose traffic.
- Mind your URL structure. If you kept the same URL structure and content on your new domain, pages will redirect with no problem. If you change the URL structure, it gets a bit trickier: you’ll want to review and update links throughout your site to ensure they’re still directing to the right places.
5. How’s Your Site?
Most of your online visitors will be using a mobile device. Sometimes, when a desktop version of a site is opened on a smartphone, the images are blurry, the text is misaligned, and the whole thing just looks odd. This makes for a frustrating user experience, which costs you leads and traffic, especially since Google uses mobile-first indexing.
Great sites should look great on all devices. If you haven’t done so already, a rebrand is the optimal time to upgrade your site with responsive design.
Instead of having a separate desktop and mobile version of your website, it’s optimized for different screen ratios. That way, you know that it looks perfect no matter what type of device your visitors are using.
Clear, consistent messaging
Channel some website rebranding energy into polishing the message on your page until it’s crystal clear to your visitors.
It should be immediately obvious what your business is, what it does, and how you stand out from the competition. This clarity and immediacy helps tremendously with positioning and communicating to your audience who you are and what you stand for.
Elevate your website design
Brands, just like anything else, have a cycle of growth and transformation. It’s natural that your business won’t be stuck in the same place forever and will continually evolve and grow.
For Buddy, rebranding is continuous with this process of evolution. Websites are “living” that are never truly done. We see rebranding as taking an existing business or brand to the next level. Here’s what leveling up means to us:
- Clean, modern, professional design
- Sharp, high-quality images
- Updated, compelling content
- Engaging user experience
- Consistent look and feel across all pages
- Technically sound code
Improve your site content
Of course, rebranding won’t single-handedly turn your visitors into paying customers. You still need to nail down strategies for driving traffic to your site and giving readers a reason to stick around.
Here’s our content advice for refining search engine optimization (SEO):
- Great content. If you’ve ever read online posts that go on and on but never seem to get to the point, then you already know what not to do. All the content on your site should be informative, relevant, and actionable. This means that readers can take what you give them and apply it to their business choices in a meaningful way. The more users trust your content as a reliable resource, the higher your site’s authority and search ranking.
- Keywords. All your content should aim to target keyword phrases and include them in a natural way on your page. This helps both users and search engines find your site.
- Freshness. Just like a brand identity gets stale over time, so does content. A site stays relevant when it’s up-to-date, so leverage your rebrand to upgrade your content.
- Blogging. Regular blog posts are a surefire way to incorporate keywords and keyword phrases while giving your visitors interesting and helpful information on topics they care about.
6. Are You Ready to Rebrand Your Business?
Whether you’re leveling up your website or experimenting with an entirely different business model, website rebranding is ultimately a rewarding process that can help your business grow.
Buddy Web Development and Design has worked with many businesses who were in search of new directions for their brands, making the rebranding process as smooth and successful as possible. That’s because we prioritize great work and delivering excellent products.