By Leonard Grape
Rebranding can lead to enormous success if done strategically and at the right time. But the question is, how do you know if rebranding will benefit your better-for-you F&B CPG product? What are the steps that you should take to execute it methodically?
Let’s start by taking a look at a couple of better-for-you F&B CPG brands that rebranded their businesses to achieve incredible growth.
In 2012, Oatly’s new CEO, Tony Peterson decided they needed to transform the brand completely if they want to expand to new market territories and reinforce the competitiveness of their alternative non-dairy milk.
They updated their brand positioning, niched down their primary audience, changed their identity, messaging, and completely rehauled their product packaging.
Source: Better Marketing
A few months after their relaunch, they managed to increase their sales by up to 50% and growth just continued from there. They launched their IPO in 2021 and now Oatly is a multi-billion-dollar company.
Another example is RxBar, a better-for-you protein snack bar brand. When they started in 2013, it was an uphill battle to stand out in a crowded sector especially with the presence of other bigger protein snack brands.
Three years from launching, they decided it was time to rebrand their better-for-you product.
From the relaunch of their brand, their annual sales soared in just three years from $2M in 2014 to $160M dollar in 2017 and was later on acquired by Kellogg’s for $600M in 2018.
These examples show you the power of strategic rebranding and how it can massively influence your growth trajectory as a better-for-you F&B CPG product.
If you’re contemplating on when and why should you rebrand, these are some considerations that can help you decide:
Some start a product without a formal brand. The founders of RxBar did their first packaging design through PowerPoint. Others fail to grow it overtime. With Oatly, they existed for two decades but didn’t see the growth they wanted for their business. The brand wasn’t thriving.
This is a case that I call - Brand Stagnation, or being in a position where you do not have a compelling brand yet or the brand that you are building just doesn’t cut it out. In this situation, rebranding can really save the day and literally the business.
To know if this is the case for you, assess the following:
Has your product been known for something that is unique to your brand?
Has it developed an intentional market perception towards it?
Does your brand strategy and identity positively affect business growth?
If it has remained substantially the same, if it still carries your first DIY packaging, if the market has evolved but your product hasn’t, then rebranding would make sense for you.
A rebranding guided by market conditions is a wise move.
This consideration is driven by the behavior of your target customers and the relationship that your brand has built with them.
Does your current product name do not resonate with your market?
Does your messaging need to be refined to connect to your audience?
Are you now shifting to target a new market demographics?
It can also be influenced by your key business transitions. For example, if you are looking to enter a new market territory, expanding to offer more product lines or new flavors, rebranding can be your anchor point that can help your brand sail toward the right directions relative to your market.
If the competition in your product category is so intense, then the only way you can thrive is if you manage to build a brand that is differentiated and would have a unique personality.
It can also be that your brand has been existing in your category for a long while now and new players have arrived. You would need to maintain and reinforce your relevance from the increasing competition.
Rebranding or branding in general is foundational to the success of a better-for-you F&B CPG company. It will allow you to clearly understand who you are as a brand and how you can better compete with and win against the competition.
At the end of it all, the ultimate goal for rebranding must be to push your brand forward, higher, and stronger. It’s about the need to further elevate your brand to achieve your business goals.
When you do rebrand, these are the core elements that you need to focus on:
Brand Vision – where do you want to take your brand in five years’ time?
Brand Proposition – what makes your product unique and the value that you bring?
Brand Story and Messaging – what is your narrative and messaging?
Brand Identity – what is your personality and how should it look?
Brand Marketing – how would you market your new brand?
All of these crucial questions are needed before you move on to the next step of creating the minimum viable product (MVP). Delve down into the smallest bits of the feasibility aspects of your product and determine whether it does the job of providing a solution to your market’s problem.
HOW TO NAIL YOUR REBRANDING PROCESS
Now, it’s established that rebranding can be just what you need to move the needle for your better-for-you F&B CPG business.
If you’ve decided that rebranding is a strategic and logical business decision for you, then you need to make sure that you execute it properly.
Here are steps that you must take to nail your rebranding process.
#1: Goal Setting
This might be obvious, but others skip this part thinking that rebranding is mainly an aesthetic exercise. It is not.
As I said, it is a business decision so be clear about your objectives.
Is it to refresh your brand identity? Is it mainly to understand your positioning and change your messaging to connect more with your customers? Is it a total pivot where you want little or no semblance from your previous brand?
Your rebranding goals can also be supported with hard metrics like an increase in sales, web visits, repeat purchases, among others.
#2: Brand Diagnostic
Given that rebranding is a business decision, you should find out what ‘s really causing your challenges and the pain points that you want to address.
This is where a Brand Diagnostic would be necessary.
You should have a documented deeper understanding of your brand by diagnosing your business. In doing so, you must uncover your challenges, figure gap analysis, understand consumer insights, review competitive landscape, and examine brand experience.
The diagnostic findings shall serve as guide in creating strategic directions and plans on what is the best path forward for your brand.
#3: Brand Clarity Workshop
A brand workshop can do wonders in refining your findings and finalizing your direction as a company. This is also a good platform for multi-stakeholder discussions.
A well-facilitated workshop would allow you to go deeper into where you want to bring your brand in the future and the critical decision points that must be made.
This can also allow you to both discover and strengthen insights for the rebranding. Some quick workshop guide for you:
Limit the participants to a maximum of 10 for efficiency
Set an agenda for brand items to be covered
Establish guidelines to encourage discussion while limiting time wastage
Assign specific roles on who will facilitate, document, and observe
#4: Rebranding Strategy
From your synthesized insights and findings, you can proceed in developing your rebranding strategy. You do this by having a restructured brand house that presents your new vision, positioning, promise, brand values and pillars.
In our firm, this is how we would usually do it in working with our clients and feel free to use this framework for your own better-for-you F&B CPG brand:
Figure 1. The Vineyard Brand House
#5: Design Development
One strategic branding rule for you - never ever do a design development process without a brand strategy guiding it through. That’s just like building a house without any architectural or engineering plans.
The design is a creative process with an output based on the rebranding plans.
This is where you work on your new brand identity such as your logo and color pantones, your new packaging design, website, and all other visual elements that comprise your brand.
Some helpful steps in this process would be:
Creative Springboard – jumping off your creative exercise
Inspiration Scavenging – time to find metaphors or imageries or design inspiration
Mood Board Development – put the raw elements together and see if it encapsulates the rebranding strategy
Logo Approach and Sketching Process – do you pursue a plain word mark or with icon? Decide on the final logo approach and begin rough sketches
Logo Creation and Revisions – design your new logo and refine it to its final form then extrapolate it to its various visual materials
Rebranding is both an art and science. Figure out why it makes sense for your business to pursue it. Just be sure that you know exactly when it is the right time for you to rebrand and how to do it strategically and with the right processes.
Because if done well, it could do wonders for your better-for-you F&B CPG product.