By Mr. Prabhakar Tiwari, Chief Growth Officer, Angel Broking
Any company will resort to rebranding only if it has compelling reasons to change the very fabric of its identity. Rebranding is an enormous exercise involving marketing, increasing web presence, reaching out to clients, employees and having a spelled-out mission. The primary objective of any rebranding exercise is to power its growth and grab a significant market share by reaching out to newer and broader audiences.
There are numerous things that you may be looking at communicating to your audience, like the change of services or introducing new services, missions while rebranding the company. Nowadays, several tech-based tools enable companies to understand their audiences better and how and what to communicate. But even with all the tools, you have to ensure that you do not alienate your existing client base while reaching out to newer audiences. You need your current clients and their loyalty just as much as the new clients.
Here’s what you can do to retain customer loyalty post rebranding:
Prepare them for change
Not everybody is comfortable with changes, especially if they are out of the blue. They like things the way they were, especially when it comes to brand associations. There have been numerous instances across the globe where audiences haven’t responded well to rebranding. Considering the amount of investment that goes into a rebranding exercise, you don’t want to fall back to your old self if your audience doesn’t agree with your new avatar. So, when you are planning the rebranding, make it a point to tell your clients about the changes they can expect. Prepare them in advance. Communicate with them about the changes and how these will affect them. Launch mini-campaigns like ‘something new is brewing’. It will prepare them for the upcoming changes.
Get ready to answer their questions and concerns
Communication is the key. Once the word is out that the company is changing, people will have questions and concerns. Most often, if not communicated properly, it is assumed that the company’s name change or expansion is because it has been taken over. You don’t want your clients to live in such fear. If they don’t understand the changes or the reasons behind it, they may lose interest and move on to some other company. To keep their trust, anticipate their questions and concerns in advance. Make a list of FAQs that can directly address their queries.
Involve them in the process
Clients are just as much a part of the company as the employees or any other partner. Therefore, when rebranding, you don’t want them to feel left out. You will notice that there are consumers who have a lot to say about brand repositioning, and it actually might be beneficial to the company. Hence, you have to make them partners in the process. You have to get your clients to believe in your rebranding and also advocate it. This way, they will be more loyal to the brand and reach out to a broader audience with word of mouth.
Make gradual changes
Rebranding means giving a new identity to the brand with new-age aspirations, but rather than doing it all at once, maintain consistency. Keeping your brand updated over time will help you stay ahead of the competition and in the eyes of your clients. You don’t want your brand to be outdated one day and spanking new the other. Not only will that be difficult for you, but it will also be equally challenging for your audiences. When you keep updating and introducing new services, your clients will be aware that there isn’t anything significant that you will do which will draw them away. They will have trust in your new identity from advanced stages.
Hence, the efforts to retain customer loyalty have to begin along with the rebranding process. It can’t be a different process, and it has to be part of the same initiative. You always need to remember to communicate, listen and understand your customers for building trust among them. You have to show them that they are valued and an equal part of the brand. However, in the end, how your audiences perceive your brand matter the most.
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