What it takes to rebrand a website

Alton Elliott
February 9, 2017

There are few businesses of any significant size left that do not operate a website. Most businesses operating in the modern economy find it essential to have a presence on the Internet. In fact, an increasing proportion of businesses exist solely on the Internet. There is no question that getting your business website right is essential to its long-term viability. However, the Internet is a fast changing environment and unlike business in the physical world it entails constantly adapting and renewing.

Whereas businesses could settle for a particular physical storefront for a very long period in time websites need to be constantly redeveloped and renewed. This rebranding exercise needs to occur at least every five years so that your business keeps up with the latest in web technology. While physical assets age slowly, online assets show their age quickly – and this can leave a poor impression on your customers.

What does a website rebrand entail?

Your website presents your company’s brand on several levels. This starts from the domain name you use – which could include your company name or some version thereof. The color scheme you use, through to the typefaces, present a certain image of your company. But most importantly, the accepted ways of building websites has changed over the years.

To a large extent a rebranding exercise in the context of your website would involve keeping faithful to your brand – but updating the look, feel and technology behind your site. Yet, some rebranding exercises are more radical, and could include a change in the name of the business itself. It may be appropriate to go for a different domain and business name but more often than not what you’re looking at are cosmetic and technology changes.

Also, rebranding your website could also involve adding additional functionality. Whereas in the past you might have skipped on having an e-commerce element, you may find that on examining what your competitors do, you conclude that selling products online is a necessary step.

Benefits of rebranding

Consumers are more tech savvy than you may expect, and they will harshly judge your business if they find your website is not on par. This is often where the most important and simplest advantage of a website rebrand lies: updating the look and feel of the site to match current norms and expectations. It is also an excellent opportunity to add areas to your website which offer your customers more – whether it is shopping, directly interacting with employees at your business or some other interactive element.

There are benefits to more comprehensive rebranding as well. Your existing company name may have become stale for example, and you could find that it does not translate well into today’s shopping world. One example is As Seen on TV that rebranded to New Easy to better fit with current market expectations.

Either way you can expect serious benefits from a rebrand, ranging from increased traffic to your site to a larger presence on social media. Anything new catches people’s eyes, and you will find that your new and rebranded site draws attention in a way the old and stale version did not. A rebranded website will also bring benefits with respect to your email marketing and depending on the new features you’ve added, a rebranded website could be truly transformational.

Potential problems with rebranding your website

A more wholesale rebranding that includes a name change needs to be carefully handled so that your company does not lose assets associated with its existing website, including search engine rankings. Handled correctly these assets can be transferred to the rebranded website, but a slight loss of prominence is inevitable – it can, however, be recovered over time.

Less ambitious rebranding exercises involving visual elements and functionality are less risky, however you still want to make sure that visitors can still access the bookmarks they previously used, and that the new website is not so jarring as to cause confusion – and previously loyal visitors to leave.

See your website as an ongoing responsibility

It can be frustrating for businesses not directly involved in computing or technology to have to constantly invest in an area of technology such as a website, but it is essential. The sooner you see your website as an ongoing expense that needs regular renewal and rejuvenation, the sooner you would be able to make plans that ensure it is keeping up with the times – including a regular rebranding exercise.

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