B2B rebranding – 5 steps to constructing an evolutionary story

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As any entrepreneur will tell you, good ideas start with a need.

In nearly a decade, Dropbox hadn’t felt the need to change its identity. It wasn’t until Dropbox Creative Director Aaron Robbs realized the need to adapt the brand to actual brand usage that a rebranding project finally began.

Dropbox has historically cemented its role as an “end-of-process” product useful when a project is complete and ready to be saved. In practice, however, Dropbox has long been used for collaborative processes and makes a significant contribution to development and production processes.

In 2017, Dropbox Creative Director Aaron Robbs set out to transform the way the public thought about Dropbox. He wanted to reposition it from a static, “heavy” brand, which stood for simply storing files and dragging them from one inbox to the other, to a dynamic brand “on the move” that lives in the workflow and is a development partner.

At that time, the cloud storage revolution was already in full swing and Dropbox was facing fierce opponents: Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud … To top it all off, it sported an old-school blue company logo that was literally shaped like an a box – unmistakably cementing the brand as a storage solution – a place where projects die.

Source: Zapier

It was time for Dropbox to step up its game if it wanted to stay in-game. And it took a complete brand overhaul from Robb to bring it back to market.

That brings me to the first step of B2B rebranding.

1. Explore the market

The tech room tends to get crowded. Every company that sells a product struggles with the battle for market share. Companies are devoting outrageous resources to help them stand out from the crowd. But such efforts are of no avail if the market isn’t ready for your brand.

The market is in charge. So much so that if the market isn’t ready for your rebrand, your relaunch efforts will be in vain. Not only did Dropbox know how to rebrand, they also knew when to do it right.

Before you get discouraged, it doesn’t take a terribly lagging product or a painfully outdated brand to lay the foundation for a successful rebrand.

In a somewhat less dramatic way – but with an equally successful result – the Israeli Task Manager started a rebranding on Monday 2018. The company formerly known as Dapulse launched its new Monday.com offering without changing its focus and without changing its original offering.

Renaming of Dapulse to Monday.com

Source: Brand New

Sometimes, like Dropbox, your brand needs a complete makeover, and sometimes it’s just a facelift like Monday. As long as you are competing in a market ready for the “new you”, you will likely be successful.

2. Go beyond a marketing campaign

We’re used to seeing B2B rebranding – actually all branding – as a marketing initiative supported by design. And while they are usually the immediate suspects who lead and run the company, they should by no means be the only departments involved. Sales, GTM, and product should all play a central role in a successful rebranding.

A successful B2B rebranding requires an internal, company-wide search for souls to find out what the product does, who it is being sold to and why. The new logo and color scheme you choose should say something about the company’s DNA and core values. It should also tie in with the mission statement.

The hospitality industry was hit hard by the rise of Airbnb and many hotel chains were trying to regain some of the market share that was lost to the couch surfing superstar. Marriott responded by launching Moxy Hotels in hopes of appealing to millennial travelers. Radisson did the same with Radisson Red.

In both cases, the rebranding involved much more than just marketing. Such enterprise-class companies require approval from all departments.

This brings me to the third step in the rebranding manual.

3. Attach to an identity

What many marketers see as a Herculean task of creating a new brand identity really just depends on a series of questions that need to circulate in your company.

Do you remember the five Ws of storytelling? The rebranding also follows a who, what, when, why and with whom logic. Answer these questions and create your very own brand story.

But a brand should also have a distinctive tone and style. Like people, a brand has a number of qualities that define its personality. To discover a brand’s unique personality, you need to ask a few more questions: If it were a person, what would your brand like to eat? Where would it go on vacation? Would it be a casual or a formal dresser?

The answers to these questions form the how of a marketing strategy. The market reacts to them when they encounter your promotional materials or see your social ads, paid campaigns and emails.

Best known as the “unpretentious investment banking app,” Sharesies wanted to show customers that the brand was approachable, welcoming, and non-judgmental. Knowing the usual attitudes of people towards financial institutions, she wanted to create the opposite experience.

To substantiate its identity, Sharesies opted for a bright pink color palette and rounded lettering, which is rounded off with a cute pineapple logo. Breaking the Shape of Financial Institutions? Check. Position your brand as friendly and accessible? Check over.

Sharesies logo

Source: Ocean Design

4. Make sure that your new B2B brand “breathes”

An updated brand needs to reflect where your business is going, not just where it is today. It has to be a living, breathing entity, dynamic enough to grow with the company’s aspirations and flexible enough to withstand the winds of change.

Keep your brand guidelines up to date and ask yourself, “Is that on the brand?” will often allow the brand to develop comfortably without deviating from the iconic values ​​that make it recognizable.

Ensuring the longevity of a B2B rebranding ties in with my fifth and last tip for the success of a rebranding.

5. It’s a rebranding, not a refresh

Proper rebranding is labor-intensive and costly. Given the high risk, many companies are trying to take a risk-free path. This is the refresher.

Don’t rush to do a rebranding. Either do it completely or don’t do it yet.

I haven’t delved into the art of choosing colors or arranging messages, as neither is at the heart of a rebranding. B2B rebranding is so much more than just a fresh coat of paint.

Rebranding is about asking yourself why your brand exists and that the answer guides your every action. Every other aspect of your brand can change over time, but the reason your brand exists is your north star – your purpose. If you haven’t decided on a purpose yet or are unsure whether a rebranding is needed, better try a refresher first.

More resources on B2B rebranding

Five to-dos for a rebranding that rocks

How to do a B2B rebrand while increasing sales and fighting slavery: CMO Alicia Tillman on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

The business case for rebranding: nine essential elements

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