Rebranding can be tricky, right?
There are so many benefits to refreshing your look, updating your website, or even changing your company name. But rebranding also comes with a lot of risks, such as confusing your customer base or losing existing brand equity. It’s all about balance.
To get the best insights on how to best approach rebranding in your marketing strategy, we went directly to someone who just launched a successful rebrand for their company!
Kate Hutchinson, VP of Marketing for Feedback Loop, joined us for this episode of our Marketing Expert Chat series to discuss:
Only 5 minutes: short and sweet but packed with value! Tune in now to review how you should approach a rebrand, partial or total.
CAROLINE: Hi. Today, I’m here with Kate Hutchinson. She’s the Vice President of Marketing at Feedback Loop. She started her career in product marketing which is one of my very favorite types of marketing. Kate, thank you so much for being with us today.
KATE: Great. Thank you for inviting me Caroline. Happy to be here.
CAROLINE: So today we’re gonna talk about rebranding and, you know sometimes as a marketer, we have to make these decisions… Should we rebrand? And you know, it comes with really good upsides but also risks. Kate you recently went through a total rebrand for Feedback Loop and it was really successful. So today I want to ask you about how can you tell that you need to rebrand? What are the pitfalls to avoid and what are the positive impacts that it can have on your business?
KATE: Sure. Well rebranding is not something to be undertaken lightly. We certainly didn’t at Feedback Loop. We actually went from an idea to the new brand launch complete with website in under 90 days. We didn’t even have a designer chosen at the time where we landed on the name. But it was burningly important for us because the biggest signs that you need to rebrand are that people don’t understand how to find your company. And they’re not really clear on what your company does. And if you’re finding yourself, spending communication spins, just communicating who you are and what you do, it’s probably time to take a hard look at the brand itself.
And there’s different scopes to rebranding. We went through a full rebrand, which is to say we changed our name. We retooled our entire visual identity as well as our core messaging, but not every rebrand has to be that wide in scope. And I don’t think it has to be. I think what a lot of people don’t necessarily do when they’re going into a rebrand is ask themselves the reasons they might not want a rebrand just yet and be really, really honest about them.
One of the things that’s super important to understand is do you have brand equity, right? If people know your name, they know what you do. If you have kind of a visual presence that stands out and is different than other things in the market, even if it’s not to your personal taste, you should probably pause and think why you need to change that.
And also, it takes a lot of work. Do you really have a good idea of the scope and how long it’s gonna take to accomplish? Do you have an idea of the person hours and the person support you’re gonna need as well as the budget and resources to do it well? It doesn’t have to be super, super expensive. You know, you don’t have to spend, you know, half a million and up on a rebrand that’s gonna be successful, but you should be realistic about what it’s gonna take to get you everything that you need to accomplish your goals. And also ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish with the rebrand? Reasons to rebrand in addition to like do people know who you are and what you do, they can range. And it can be something like just wanting an update to the look and feel of your market-facing materials. I come from the SaaS world. And if you do not look up to date it can be a risk for your software company to kind of look like you’re out of sync with the market. And even though it’s visual and aesthetic, it’s a risk. You might want a more functional visual identity. And what I mean by that is, as a marketer, kind of taking a look at your website and your collateral and your sales decks and all those support materials and noticing that they’re like all over the map that probably means your brand is not functional. And people are kind of having to reinvent the wheel every time.
Another thing for us, we’ve rebranded to Feedback Loop from a company named Alpha and people couldn’t find us. It was very difficult to find us. We did not have a URL that was very direct. One of the things I love now is I can say visit us at feedbackloop.com or I can say Feedback Loop and people can type in feedbackloop.com and find us. The degree to which that makes me rest easily at night is serious. Also, quicker time to recognition of what you do. I love that we were able to land on a brand, you know in talking with my head of product and my CEO, it was we kind of did like a search of all the communiques that we had done. And “feedback loops” came up so many times that we’re like this does what it says on the 10, you know, we’re a customer survey tool and agile research tool. And like we’re creating a feedback loop with the people you want to reach. Let’s go. It just makes sense. And just clarity. I’m a big fan of clarity. Like I don’t want people to have to read the tea leaves to understand why they wanna buy my product.
CAROLINE: Right. So, I have to say this is a pretty amazing name you landed on.
KATE: Thank you. We’re delighted.
CAROLINE: Yeah. And so can you talk about just quickly the impact well, I think you talked about the impact it had on your business, actually. People can find you, they understand what you’re doing. And I think it’s really interesting. It’s really interesting to think about what are the outcomes that you’re looking for before you go into the rebranding exercise versus only having the like, I know what I don’t like about my brand. But it seems like you really thought through, okay, what do I want my brand to do before you went into it?
KATE: Yeah I think there need to be strategic KPIs attached to a rebrand the way they should be to any marketing campaign. We think very clearly in terms of ROI. So, it’s like, okay, if I’m gonna sponsor an event I know I can kind of do the calculus to get to my cost per lead. It’s a little harder with the rebrand but ultimately you should be thinking in terms of like what is your SEO look like downstream? What are your click-throughs on ads look like in the more upstream? Are you shortening sales cycles because your team is spending less spins on just communicating what on earth your software does? And another thing that we’re seeing is we’re actually getting increased press placements because we’re communicating more clearly and more appealingly not just to the people who want to buy our software, but to the market at large.
CAROLINE: Right. Right. Well, that’s an awesome story. Thank you for sharing this with us. And I think it will help everybody that is thinking about rebranding to structure their approach to rebranding. So, thank you so much, Kate.
KATE: Thank you, Caroline. It’s been a pleasure.