Anyone in the business world knows that there will come a time when you need to sit back, look at the brand you have built, and realize it’s time for a change. While for some, that may mean a few small changes, sometimes a total rebranding strategy will need to be implemented. For established brands, in particular, this can seem like an overwhelming challenge—how will customers react, will they have a positive response to a refreshed menu or store design, and will the transition be a success?
At Edible, for example, everyone knows us for our fresh, dipped fruit arrangements. When someone says, “Edible Arrangements,” it conjures up an image of one of our products. It’s great that we have established this kind of brand recognition, but we are becoming more than just arrangements. As we look to offer guests a way to celebrate their everyday victories, we’re evolving from only having arrangements to offering dipped fruit cones, donuts, smoothies, and other treats. We’re increasingly looking to offer treats that can celebrate the happiness found in everyday life. In honor of this evolution, we’re refreshing our brand to help expand our mission to fill the world with goodness.
Evolving can be a challenge, especially when everyone knows you and your brand. How do you convey what a refreshed approach for your company will look like? How do you balance attracting new customers while satisfying loyal fans? And most importantly, how do you successfully share the strategy with your invested owners and operators. Here are a few things to consider before a rebranding:
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Think about the why
What is it about your company that makes this the perfect time? Some brands wait until they see declining sales or look at other negative factors when making a rebranding move, but you want to be ahead of that curve. Are you ready to offer new products or services? Are you revamping your restaurant’s menu? It’s important to be proactive in evaluating your brand and keeping up with what your evolving customers are looking for from you. Take some time to work out what this refresh will mean for not only you and your brand but also your operators and your guests, who are the heart of any brand. Look at sales trends, assess your most popular items, and identify what will launch your brand into the next chapter.
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Give customers what they want
The main challenge here is letting your guests know what to expect—yes, we still make arrangements, but treats are the next chapter for Edible, as we move to offer more every day options. This was the crucial point in our evolution, as we now offer our line of treats in addition to fruit arrangements.
If you plan on redesigning stores, make the transition easy for customers—create an inviting space that allows them to explore your new concept. Did you change your menu? Showcase new products and items in a way that allows customers to experience the change. This can be a critical time for new and old customers as they see what your revitalized brand will offer.
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When rebranding, you must engage your system for feedback, keep the communication pipeline open, and reaffirm everyone’s commitment to the brand.
For franchisees that may be ready to renew their contract, this is a perfect time to remind them why they got involved with the brand in the first place, and an opportunity to excite them about being part of the next chapter. Communicate with franchisees frequently, and when it’s time to gather your system for a convention, make it count! Conventions are the ideal time to introduce everyone to new ideas, prototypes, and products before anyone says ‘go.’
Rebranding can be a daunting task, whether you operate a small restaurant or a massive global chain. However, if you follow these steps and ask yourself the necessary questions, you can successfully evolve, and make your brand continue to grow. Remember why you started your business in the first place and keep in mind the hardworking operators who stand behind you. Use that as your inspiration to ace the evolution process.
Tariq Farid is founder of Edible Brands, which has more than 1,200 stores open or under development worldwide, selling creatively designed fruit arrangements as well as the brand’s signature dipped fresh fruit, donuts, smoothies, and treats.