Thinking about rebranding your clothing label? Then let’s take a quick step back and really think this through. Making the decision to rebrand a clothing line isn’t an easy one, and rushing into it can really mess up your business.
But hang on!
We didn’t mean to scare you off the idea entirely! There are lots of very good reasons to rebrand your clothing brand, and (when planned correctly) it can be a really smart move to make for your business. Still, like we were saying, you don’t want to rush into it. There are lots of steps involved in a successful rebrand, so we’re going to walk you through exactly what you need to do to make sure that your clothing brand rebrand, like for example personalised T-shirts, is a successful one.
Let’s get started.
First – think carefully about the reasons to rebrand your clothing brand.
Rebranding for the wrong reasons can really mess with your business – which we assume you don’t want! So first of all, have a good think about what your reasons are for rebranding.
Here are some common reasons you might consider a rebrand:
- You’re not getting to the market you’re after. Are your potential clients not seeing what you have to offer? Or…have they seen it and they’re just not interested?
- What you used to stand for isn’t what you stand for today
- Things just need an update
- Your competition is growing – successful brands need to evolve and innovate to beat out the competition
- Your audience is changing, or maybe isn’t who you expected it to be*
- You want to focus on new products, new services, or new audiences
- You’ve made some major changes – is your emerging company now a properly established business? You may want to rebrand
* A great example of this is Old Spice. The company realised that 60% of their men’s body wash products were actually bought by women, not men. So, they launched a campaign titled “The Man Your Man Can Smell Like” to talk to women – and got 200% more sales and subscribers in a year!
Remember, rebranding might not be right for you!
If you don’t have a great reason for rebranding, then it may not be a very good move for your brand. Even big companies have made this mistake!
The classic example is Coca-Cola, who tried to rebrand their product as “New Coke” in the 1980s. But it didn’t catch on and good ol’ regular Coke was back within just a few months.
Tropicana orange juice tried out a similar change with their carton designs, which it was also a huge flop with their customers, so they changed it back. And do you remember Gap’s new logo in 2010? It lasted for six days (almost a week!) before they went back to the old one.
There was also that time Netflix planned to split into two separate companies to split up their services – and charge their customers 60% more in the process! 800,000 people let them know how they felt about the change by leaving. Whoops.
There’s an old saying that comes into play here – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
What do you need to change for a successful rebrand?
Branding all comes down to your product’s identity. Or, to put it a simpler way, what do people think of when it comes to your brand?
Fresh messaging, a new logo, updated visuals, and new slogans can all help to get customers understand the new message and philosophy behind your brand. Make your new message and new idea clear to your customers. The most important thing here is to make a real change, which should go beyond just the name.
American electronics store Radio Shack tried to rebrand in 2009 by changing their name to The Shack. But they didn’t offer any new products. They didn’t change their brand philosophy. Nothing changed except the name. It’s no surprise that they attempted another rebrand just a few years later in 2014.
How to create the right message and target for your new brand:
To come up with this new message, ask yourself these questions.:
- What do you want people to associate with or feel about your brand?
- What should customers expect from your brand?
- What sets your brand apart?
- What problem are you trying to solve for your customers?
- How has the market for your industry changed since you started? What’s your competition doing?
- How could you make your product more available? Could you try new ways of doing business, show your customers a new way to use your products, or appeal to an additional customer base?
And the big one – what story do you want to tell? You want your customers to be behind your brand and to believe it in.
Remember Jared the Subway guy? He genuinely lost a ton of weight by eating Subway sandwiches, and on top of that seemed like a nice, normal guy (er…at the time). It made him the perfect guy for Subway to relate to customers and tell them the story of the brand. Subway leapt from making $3 billion pre-Jared to $11 billion since. Of course, now we all remember Jared for some very different reasons – but he really helped Subway tell their brand story (again, at the time).
You should also ask your customers for feedback. Is your brand standing out, and is it for the reasons you want? What isn’t working right now?
How to design a new logo for a rebrand:
Changing your logo can be a really important step in rebranding, as it lets your customers know at a glance what you’re all about.
You could update or expand your colour palette or change the visual layout – or go completely the opposite route and introduce a simpler, streamlined version of your current logo. You’ll probably want to retain some elements of your old logo so that your customers will still recognise your brand. For instance, Seattle’s Best Coffee rebranded and introduced a new logo as part of the process. They kept some elements of their old one – like the company name and the colour red – but added some new symbols.
What should I do with old garments after a rebrand?
You don’t have to toss out everything, maybe some of your old garments still fit with your new brand. For the ones that don’t, you could try doing things like a special giveaway or sales to encourage your customers to snap them up.
You could also decide to donate them to a good cause, recycle them, or even upcycle them and create new products out of the old ones. If you hang on to your old stock for a while, you might even decide to sell it later on down the line as a special vintage collection.
Putting it all into action:
First, make a plan. Figure out what’s wrong with your current brand, the steps you’ll take to change it, and what your time frame is. Be specific about the results you want. This will make it easier to evaluate whether the change is helping or not.
Let your team know about the change and get them involved. Make sure they get the new image or message you’re trying to get across. You’ll want to communicate the change to both your team and your customers, and it’s good to repeat things to help them understand the change. Just remember to convey useful, quality information, not just noise.
Then, start putting your new branding on everything – your website, social media channels, promotional materials, etc. Be consistent. It’s OK to tweak your brand, but don’t keep doing things in the style of your old brand. Commit to the new brand and don’t second-guess your decision.
And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Rebranding can take some time, so don’t be in a hurry to get things done. As long as you’ve gone through these steps thoughtfully, you’ll be good to go. Good luck!
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