Cannot be left: rebranding an IT company
How to successfully upgrade your company (from our experience) and keep the whole team in the process - we wіll discuss in our new article.
Rebranding is a fairly popular term. And an important process for any company.
It aims a complete and high-quality brand upgrade. When not only a visual design is changing, but also key values of the company, quality of the business can change. And most importantly – business philosophy.
It is worth distinguishing the terms here.
Rebranding is not a redesign (changing of layout).
Not restyling (easy changes in appearance: logo, fonts, colors).
Not repositioning (search for new audience, change of primary message).
In fact, rebranding – encompasses all of these concepts.
This is a large-scale process. And it refers to a strategy that is complete with brand renewal. At the same time, rebranding is inextricably linked to corporate culture.
Brand identity changes about every 5-7 years. Some kind of age-old crisis – and renewal. Which is quite natural. After all, as the business develops, employees constantly accumulate new knowledge and experience. Goals and perceptions change. This is all reflected in the identity.
What does usually a rebranding process consist of?
Stages of rebranding
- Brand analysis and audit.
- Strategic planning: forming a unified concept of change (What brand trends will be changed)
- Technical tasks to update brand appearance and identity.
- Stage of introducing changes and bringing new company messages to the audience.
How it was at Web-Systems Solutions?
We felt that we had “outgrown our brand”. And that needs to be changed. During 10 years of working in the IT market we have accumulated experience that allowed us to set completely different goals than at the beginning. And take up large-scale projects. The rebranding was unavoidable. After all, it helps the company to reach a new level.
In the first stage, we were brainstorming. We needed to understand the brand philosophy. Because rebranding is primarily about brand essense – the mission / values of the company and its presentation on the market.
To begin with, we suggested that each employee fill out a questionnaire (optional – anonymously). It had simple questions:
1) What do you see as the purpose of our company? (in essence, the question revealed our mission);
2) If you were interviewing for employment in our company, what would be the personal qualities of the candidate that you would pay attention to? (a projective question that answered a clear picture of the work values of the team).
It turned out that corporate culture at WSS is already formed and our colleagues in 90% give similar answers (especially about the mission – to make high-quality and useful web products for business – this is the most common option).
In the second stage we held a strategic session of the company. On which the completed questionnaires were carefully analyzed and with the help of them – they clearly formulated the text of the mission / values. Every word here was important – so the debate process was not fast 🙂
We wrote down the words on the flipchart that were most often found in questionnaires and tried to transform them into a single sentence.
In the end, everyone agreed that “Quality business solutions based on effective technologies” – fully reveals the essence of our mission. And 6 values:
- to be open;
- to work honestly;
- to be responsible;
- to act professionally;
- to improve;
- to create an atmosphere of lightness and positiveness (we have long argued here and decided that we cannot do it without humor) – that is what unites us in our work!
In addition, we have identified the directions of our brand that will change (corporate colors, site redesign, mission, values).
The next stage – we have developed specific TK for updating the appearance of the brand and identity. Made a road map. Because, the team decided to change the corporate identity, corporate colors, to redesign the site – this has become a priority for our designer. And a serious test for strength for our team: of all possible options – to choose the one that will fully reveal the essence of the company and communicate important messages to our customers.
A difficult and ambiguous stage. Our designer after 5-6 redesign projects (whose thoughts were shared at the strategic session, because all of them included “internal critics” / subtle connoisseurs of the beautiful) was almost in despair. But then, one evening, she decided to start over. And she created a project that was approved by everyone unanimously the next day. The one who still did not believe in magic – immediately thought.
Also at this stage we have compiled a list of branded materials that are undergoing change – social networks (banners), business cards, corporate notebooks, T-shirts.
We set the timeframe for redesign tasks, move the site to a new platform, test it, and most importantly, set a release date.
In the last stage – we have implemented our ideas and changes in life. They launched a new site, changed their corporate style in social networks and branded materials. And now – we actively relay new messages on the mission and values of the company to the masses!
What’s the secret?
We can provide some of our own experience to those who plan to rebrand the company. The success of this process depends on the following factors:
- a qualitative and thorough research before the start of rebranding (analysis of changes in the company in recent years, analysis of competitors, analysis of current trends);
- formulating clear goals (what do we strive to achieve? how do we achieve it? why are we changing?);
- to involve the entire team in the rebranding process (so that each employee involved feels the importance of change);
- to build trust in a new brand.
Don’t be afraid to change. Because it is an inevitable and exciting process. And let your team sponsor change. Then rebranding will be more than just successful!