Rebranding an organization can be daunting in the best of times.
Doing it mid-pandemic may seem impossible, illogical, and downright irresponsible.
But the truth is that this moment may be the best time to reset your identity or positioning.
As the pandemic continues, more purpose-driven companies and non-profits are making big decisions to reposition themselves or launch new branding. (We fall into this bucket: In March, just two weeks into the pandemic, we launched a new ThinkArgus website. And no, we didn’t sleep much the night before it went live.)
Here are three reasons why you may want to rebrand now:
You’re at a pivot point.
The pandemic or economic uncertainty or focus on issues of equity have probably forced your organization to pivot strategically over the past few months – and now your brand needs to match your new direction. And your “new normal” should be accurately reflected in your brand positioning and identity in a way that resonates and reflects your audience
You can Capitalize on the moment.
Maybe donations and funding are drying up, or customers are slow to return, impacting your bottom line. Research repeatedly shows that brands that double down on their customers and audience during times of political, economic, or social uncertainty jump ahead of their competitors, and reap the rewards as the situation stabilizes.
How to do it effectively
Focus on authenticity and values, NOT on sales or value.
Values and purpose are very trendy right now. And so, this is the perfect moment to tie your brand back to what you stand for as a company or non-profit – as long as it is true to you. The environment, social justice, economic equity, criminal justice reform, and health care are all great causes that may tie into your mission or values. Just don’t fake it; authenticity is key to building lasting connections.
involve your community in the process.
One of the best ways to ensure your brand and messaging reflects your audience – and is received well by your stakeholders – is to involve them in your process. At the stakeholder level, don’t let your rebrand surprise anyone critical to your organization; bring them into check-ins along the way, solicit their feedback at every stage, and explain why you’re undergoing this effort. Use focus groups of your audience at key moments. And when it’s time to announce your new direction, make sure you do it in a way that makes sense for this moment.
Rethink the launch
Now is not the moment to be throwing a gala (even virtually) to celebrate your new brand. Think about how you can message your new logo or brand back to the values you stand for – and build any rollout around that.
Branding efforts – whether it’s a new name, website, or logo; or refreshed messaging or positioning – take thoughtful energy and a strategic process. But for companies and non-profits willing to invest the effort now to focus on purpose, you will reap the benefits down the road.