It seems that as web design trends change over time, people feel the need to keep up with what’s going on in terms of their web designs. Sometimes this also applies to the entire brand as people tend to want a new, shiny name and identity to go with their spanking new website. During this article we’ll discuss the specifics of what needs changing across the board should you wish to completely rebrand your online business. Obviously each situation is different but with this article we’ll at least cover the basics. As a real world example, HostPresto recently changed their entire online brand which you can read about here – If you are serious about a rebrand, this is a great read on the potential issues and pitfalls. But for now, here are the basics.
Your Logo / Corporate Identity
For most people, the logo is the start of everything. If you’re performing a rebrand then changing your logo and corporate identity is usually step one and everything flows from it in terms of colour scheme and look/feel of your project. Obviously with a rebrand, you’d assume people are going to be used to how your logo looks and because of this some people opt to only make slight changes. But of course people go the other way too and completely change the name and style of the icon completely. What you do in this case will depend on your business. If you’ve got a large business and a large marketing budget you can probably afford to get your new brand out there – but if you’re on a smaller budget it’s important not to alienate your existing customers. In terms of design in 2016, less is most definitely more so choose something simplistic that is clear and concise and only use a handful of colours – it’s not 1999. You should also keep in mind where your logo is going to be used. Look at the top 100 companies in the world and look at the simplistic nature of their logos – this is what you want to duplicate.
Your Web Design
Your web design and colour scheme is going to stem from your logo. If you have a few colours in your logo then this is what you should use in your design. It is important to retain your core offerings even if you’re rebranding so make sure that if you rebranding that your existing customers can still find your key products. Just like with the logos/branding, web design layouts are fairly simple these days with minimalistic designs trumping heavy graphic based interfaces. In 2016, you’ll see only 2 or 3 style of layouts and it’s fine to follow suit but have more of a focus on the user interface and experience as opposed to the visual design. People no longer look at web designs in awe, they’re a means to an end. Provide the information primarily and get your branding across as a close seconnd. A rebrand is the perfect opportunity to completely overhaul the entire workflow of your site.
Your Social Profiles
Social profiles these days take a lot of consideration. If you’re choosing a new company name then be sure to check that you can get the accompanying social handles such as twitter.com/yourbrand and facebook.com/yourbrand. You don’t want to be paying a fortune for a rebrand and then finding someone is using your social handles. Given the importance of social media I think it makes sense to ONLY choose a brand where you can get the necessary handles as it just looks unprofessional if you have to prefix/suffix your brand with something like social or official etc. Choose wisely! You also don’t want other people stealing your traffic or customers trying to get in touch with other companies who share your name. A clear/concise name is of the upmost importance.
Marketing Your New Brand
Getting your new brand name out there can be one of the hardest things to do after a rebrand. If your audience is big enough, it may happen naturally as people see it and talk about it but if you’re still a relatively small business you need to make people aware of the changes before and after you do it. You could perhaps get in touch with your existing customer base to see what their opinions are on your proposed rebrand and use that as a measuring stick by gauging the response. People will be primarily negative as people don’t like change in general but you may receive some constructive criticism along the way. Once the rebrand has gone ahead, also let your customers know that your new brand is non live.
Sometimes…. Change is bad…
As touched on above, there is a lot that can go wrong with a reband. Existing customers might hate it or they may not be able to find you when searching. It’s important to maintain that old/existing customers can still find you if they need to and it’s also important to maintain your customer base. If you’re changing domain names, be sure to 301 your existing domain name to your new one and check that all page names match up on both domains. You don’t want to be leaking traffic via search engines/bookmarks/memory etc from both old and new customers alike.