When you start thinking about rebranding, one of the biggest questions you may find yourself asking is, “Am I actually going to be able to pull this off?” After 14 years in business as “The Vibe Agency,” I found myself thinking the same thing last year, and yet still I knew the time had come for a rebrand. Five months later, we debuted as VIBE.
How did I know it was the right time? Since starting this company, the world of events has changed, as have we as people.
The first thing to ask yourself is simply: Is your branding--colors, logos, website, tone of voice, etc.)--still representing your company, its services and its values accurately? If you answered no, then a rebrand is in your future. Here are my top four tips for doing it effectively:
1. Create a client persona.
One of my favorite quotes by Socrates says, "The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Prior to rebranding your business, you need to reevaluate who your current and target clientele is. Write out a list of their high-level demographics as well as specific traits so that you can develop a client persona. Does your current brand cater to their needs? Have the clients you attract, or want to attract, changed since the company started? Your clients keep your business alive, so you must understand them in order to create a brand that will resonate.
2. Clarify your core values.
When I decided it was time to rebrand, I wanted my clientele to understand that we are international, responsible and fun, and that our ultimate goal is our client’s satisfaction.
Don’t be afraid to discuss with your clients what they like and dislike about your current branding. Ask them for feedback on the colors, the logo, the website, and the feelings these items evoke when they see them. This is golden feedback you can then apply when deciding what exactly needs to change and what still works.
A rebrand doesn’t have to be a complete makeover. For instance, our current logo still has pink, as did our previous one (above), but it’s a softer pink (below).
We didn’t run away from “The Vibe Agency” as a whole, but rather used the brand equity we had acquired throughout the past 14 years to simply shorten it to VIBE, the way we heard our clients referring to us when talking with others.
3. Plan your big reveal as a cohesive PR campaign across social media and email marketing.
If you’re going to spend the time to rework your brand, get the most good PR out of that you can. This means keeping all details of it under wraps until you’re ready to reveal. Don’t let a logo slip out into the public if your social media isn’t updated and your website is still under construction.
These campaigns are designed to share what your business values are to your targeted audience while also driving traffic to the new website, which in turn will get them to relook at your services.
When we rebranded VIBE, we wanted to stress that a change in brand would be new and exciting to new clients but that the foundational values that made us who we are weren’t going to change along with our logo. This was important to not alienate our current clients while still getting them excited for the new look, and new services, ahead.
Convey this messaging in a streamlined campaign across your Instagram and Facebook profiles (see our Facebook header above) as well as targeted emails to current clients and prospective clients. And as much as you may not get super-excited about seeing yourself on a video (I know I had to come around to the idea), take advantage of Facebook Live to speak directly to your audience about the changes. This will help you build more credibility and assuage those who may be scared by change. You want to engage with your audience and let them know that ultimately you are becoming even more efficient than ever before.
4. Evaluate the impact on your business.
The PR campaign is going to generate discussions as well as traffic to your social media channels and website. Make sure you’re prepared to measure it. Have analytics tracking added to your website, and take advantage of the insights inherent in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Look at the changes in your impressions, engagement rate on social media, and the pages people visit once they come to the new website. Over time you can continue to utilize these metrics to compare the health of your brand pre- and post-rebrand as well as evaluate the effectiveness of your future marketing campaigns.
Valerie Bihet has more than 20 years of experience in the management, design and production of special events that communicate and achieve her client’s objectives. Originally from Paris, Bihet founded VIBE, an event design and destination management company, in Miami in 2004. Since then, she has grown the company to eight employees and produced more than 1,100 events throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, East Asia and South America. Her clientele includes global brands such as Dior, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, LVMH, Coty, L'Oréal, Barclays, Banco Santander, McCain, Merck, Thea Pharmaceuticals, and more. She received her master's degree in marketing and business administration from the renowned Sorbonne University in Paris.