Thinking About Rebranding? Think Again…Please!
Madonna did it. So did Justin Timberlake- or how about Arnold Schwarzenegger, the King of Reinvention? Each one of these celebrities took their personal celebrity “brand” and completely turned it around. In each case, the result was a wonderful, whole new persona, even more successful than the last. From body building champ to actor, to Governor of California, Arnold is perhaps the most successful “rebrander” of them all.
Sadly, Your Company is Not Arnold Schwarzenegger…
But Arnold, Madonna, and Mr. Timberlake had something your business probably doesn’t have:
- millions of fans who loved them
- a celebrity quotient
- endless amounts of money to spend on a total rebranding campaign
They also never had to worry about Google, Business Directories, or Local SEO.
You see, rebranding your business affects your online marketing campaign…and not in a good way. Simply by changing your business name and/or moving to a new domain, you will unravel the threads of any SEO work that’s ever been done for your site, and that’s not good.
Even the Heavy Hitters Sometimes Fail at Rebranding
Even if your business has millions to spend on a rebranding campaign- it could still result in an epic fail. Just take a look at what happened in 2010 to Gap.
The brand that’s been known for decades as a very popular retailer of hip casual clothing, decided to change their logo. We’re not sure why they took an internationally-recognized logo and replaced it with a generic font and generic blue square floating randomly behind the ‘p’. Suffice it to say they lost their connection with millions of “fans” around the world*.
They became unrecognizable.
You Too Will Become Unrecognizable If You Change Your Name or Switch Domains
Your existing business has already made its imprint on the internet. By changing your name or URL, you’ll be confusing the heck out of search engines. They rely on business directories, government databases, anything with business contact data, to identify your business. This has tremendous relevance when it comes to your local SEO rankings.
When you “rebrand”, you’ll have both your old name and your new name (or URL, whichever rebranding damage you’ve chosen to inflict on your business) all over the internet, leaving search engines no choice but to drop you in local rankings.
Let’s say that again: “…drop you in local rankings”. You heard that, right?
Obviously, there are businesses who feel it’s necessary to rebrand themselves. However, some reasons are better than others and hardly any of them at all are worth the SEO risk you take. Need to move away from a tarnished image? Try inundating the web with positive news about your company instead. You’ll keep your old search engine traffic, for one thing. You’ll also keep your links, PR, and any social sharing connections you’ve managed to accumulate in the past few years.
Finally, don’t forget about the most important piece of the puzzle: your customers. It’s pretty safe to say that rebranding will alienate at least some of your old customers, if not all of them to a certain degree.
Is all this what you had in mind when you decided to “rebrand”? Please, we beg of you: think hard before you go down this road!