In light of our recent rebrand from myReferral Management to MioDatos, our dedicated team has learned a thing or two about successfully rebranding a company.
First, you should consider whether a rebranding would be right for your company. In our case, our software had evolved from a simple referral marketing platform into an integrated marketing platform that encompassed email, social media, landing pages, and gamification. A restrictive name like myReferral Management no longer reflected us and thus no longer applicable. So MioDatos was born.
Rebranding can be a very stressful venture, especially when you don’t know where to begin. So here are the precautions we took when we rebranded (in case there’s ever a rebrand in your future).
First off, you should make sure you have a .com domain. Everyone is comfortable with a .com website; anything else and your visitors may feel weary. You also want to make sure your domain is available, you can check for your domain availability on godaddy.com.
Before you can announce your rebrand, you want to make sure your new website is ready for public access. This includes content, metadata, titles, user-friendly URLs, graphics, and more.
If your website is ranking in Google for very important keywords, then you are probably hesitant to go through with the rebrand. Luckily for you, there’s a way for you to pass over your SEO value to your new domain – 301 redirects. This means that your new website will be ranked and indexed the same way your old website was, preserving your search engine value.
Search engines will follow your 301s to your new website and transfer over your page rank to your new domain. If you’re not sure how to set up redirects, most host providers will have a tool to help you manage your redirects. If your host provider doesn’t offer any tools or manager, there are still tons of step-by-step guides online. Just make a Google search on 301 redirects and take your pick.
If you’re getting traffic to your (old) website, you want to transfer that traffic over to your new one. The solution – 301 redirects.
301s also helps backlinks. If another website references your old domain, a redirect will make sure anyone that clicks on the link will be sent to your new website. The same goes for bookmarks, email references, and third party links.
Before you set up 301 redirects, we recommended getting a list of every page and their hyperlinks on both your old and new website. You want to make sure every page on your old website gets redirected to its corresponding one on your new website.
If you already have analytics tracking your old website (like Google Analytics, MOZ, or StatCounter), then you want to make sure they track your new website too.
Learn about how to create a new Tracking Domain in Google Analytics here.
A press release is a written record directed towards news media to bring attention to a company, product, promotion, or event. Media outlets who come across your press release may share your announcements to increase public awareness about your rebrand.
Try not to make the whole story be about your rebrand. Entice your customers, list the new features or services. Your customers might react negatively to your rebrand if they don’t see any added benefits. In fact, your customers may worry about changes in management, customer service, product availability, pricing, and pretty much anything possible. Let them know that it’s simply a rebrand and there will be no adverse effects on their experience with your company. It would also be helpful to be honest to your customers about your rebrand. If you are honest, they are more likely to understand you decision to rebrand and may take extra steps to help you adopt a new image.
Print & Collateral
To avoid confusing your customers or prospects, you should redo your marketing collateral to represent your rebranded image. If your brand has an entirely different feel, ie you’ve modernized your company, you will probably have to redo your business cards, brochures, and any other print material you may have.
A consistent branding experience will supplement your rebranding efforts and provide a seamless rebranded image.
Your social media profiles are public-facing outlets that are necessary in your rebranding experience. That’s why it’s important to understand the limitations you have before you actually rebrand your company.
Currently, Facebook won’t let you change the name of your company page after you have gained 200 likes. If your fan base is small, you’re in luck – you will be able to change your company name without any hassle.
I have heard that you can contact Facebook’s Help Center if you have more than 200 followers. I can’t guarantee that it will work, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
If those two are not an option for you, your only choice is to create a brand new company page and find a way to redirect fans on your old page to your new Facebook page.
Also: if you use your old name and logo in your cover photo and profile photo, it would be a good idea to replace them with your rebranded cover image and logo.
On Twitter, you can easily change your Twitter handle on our account settings page. It’s like less than a minute to change and no harm will be done. You may want to let your followers know of your rebrand, either by tweet, mention it in your description, or be posting a link letting them know.
Check your profile photo, header photo, and background for any traces of your old brand and make changes as necessary.
To change the name of your company page, you should contact their Help Desk to get a name change. From our experience with our rebrand, their customer service has been excellent.
Like LinkedIn, changing your company name and URL will require sending a message to the support staff at Google.
Under your new domain name, you will want to recreate email addresses for your employees. Maintaining old email addresses like email@example.com doesn’t provide a consistent branding experience. It will leave your customers more perplexed and confused than anything.
All your partners should be informed about your rebrand. They need to have the proper logos, typography, and links so that they can update things on their end. A good precaution would be to update your partners a few days in advance
You staff’s individual social accounts should all be updated to reflect the change. One idea to encourage adoption of the rebranded name is to add game elements to motivate your staff. You can award points or badges to teams that make the change.
So what do you think? Not so bad, right? A rebrand can be the most significant decision that a company makes. Your logo, brand, and culture reflect your company. A proper rebrand will provide your customers insight into the way your business operates.