Some tips to consider when dealing with a rebrand
Exactly one year ago I was the lead (and only) designer for Beat the Q. At the time, I was dealing with a rebrand of the flagship mobile app after businesses merged Posse, Beat the Q and eCoffeeCard to become one product called Hey You.
The intention was to create the alpha product for cafés, bars, restaurants, and their customers. I needed to build a product to help people find great places, make reservations, order, pay, give feedback to store owners, get loyalty cards and more. The business believed that none of their existing brands fitted this vision... so I had to design something new.
Rebranding is risky, no one likes change...
But if you do it right, your business can sky rocket!
Two months after I launched the new brand, their business grew by 35%! Learning from my mistakes during a rebranding period can help your company jump big pitfalls and make the right moves. Here are some tips to consider when dealing with a rebrand:
1. Figure out your brands higher purpose.
Too often, brands mistake rebranding as an external change. Yes, I get it... There is a new logo, new colours to play with, a new website etc. Slapping a new look on your company will not fix all your problems. Dig a little deeper!
Airbnb and Uber both use their platform to connect people. On Uber, I can see the name and photo of the person who’s coming to pick me up and I can call them if I need to. On Airbnb, I get to read about the apartment owner – how they live and why they love their place.
We decided that we could create the same connection between servers at cafés, bars, and restaurants and their customers. Our higher purpose would be to ‘make city life human, creating intimacy in a busy world.’
2. Plan your systematic integration.
Don't just pop on your new logo and call it a day. If you're going to rebrand, you need to commit 100%. Try taking advantage of all your platforms and channels and let your users know about your intentions to rebrand – Transparency and communication is key.
For Hey You, it took us one month to successfully release our new brand to our 7000+ active users (16,000+ active users today – HOW CRAZY!). We started off small, dropping hint bombs on our social media channels that a 'mysterious change' is coming soon! Parallel, we took advantage of the primary real estate on the top of the apps home screen. We let this banner sizzle there for a whole month:
3. Be aggressive.
We rebranded Beat the Q to Hey You, but never dropped the old name [Hey You by Beat the Q] because we couldn't bare risking the loss of valuable users over the brutal slaughter of our old brand.
At the time, we were dealing with tight deadlines to rebrand as fast as possible... Because of that, we rushed the planning phase of a systematic integration – left with awkward bits and pieces of the old brand, scattered all over the new brand. We're still dealing with this issue – really annoying mistake!
Great examples of an aggressive rebrand were done by Uber and Instagram. What seemed like a sudden interface change on their app, actually took months to aggressively research, plan and execute.
Of course, you too will need the resources, time and big bucks just like these huge corporations, to actively test qual and quant, A/B test, usability test etc. If done right, an aggressive rebrand translates to users that; as a company, you have complete and utter confidence in the new brand – Conform or die.
If you've never heard of Hey You, Download it here and use my code PQDW59JO to get a free coffee and experience what I've designed for the past 2 years! I'd LOVE to hear your feedback.
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