There are many reasons to rebrand on Amazon. You may just need a fresh coat of paint to better engage contemporary shoppers. Or perhaps your brand has outgrown its original form, and you need a new name and/or look to represent that metamorphosis.
Whatever your reason, rebranding should be not be taken lightly – we should know, we rebranded in September 2020, and we’ve helped numerous CPG brands successfully rebrand over the years. It’s a big deal and takes a lot of work to do it well. So, in this post, we’ll share our learnings from these efforts and recommend best practices for a successful rebrand on Amazon.
The first question you should answer is, why are you rebranding? Does your brand need a makeover to come into the modern era, or are you repositioning yourself in the market with a new mission and value proposition?
Your answer to this question will guide the nature and extent of your rebrand, which brings us to our next question: are you completely or partially rebranding?
A complete rebrand involves a new name, logo, packaging, and brand voice. A partial rebrand includes updating only some of those elements, typically just product packaging and/or logo. Most brands only partially rebrand, as they have built credibility around their brand name.
The extent of your rebrand also influences how much attention you should purposely draw to it. If the adjustments are subtle, there’s little cause to bring attention to them unless you’re trying to drum up publicity. This will require work from your team, so you have to determine if any publicity gains are worth the costs of labor. If you show the new packaging or logo to a customer and they don’t immediately notice a difference, then it’s probably not worth an “all hands on deck” PR push.
If the adjustments are significant, then you should take a very calculated and proactive approach to announcing the update. This is big news, and it could create a headwind or a tailwind for your business depending on how well you execute it. Do it well, and customers and investors will be excited. Do it poorly, and customers are more likely to be caught off guard by the rebrand and suspicious about product authenticity.
The first step for rebranding is research. If changing your name, verify that the new name is available for a trademark and the web domain is available. Note that getting a trademarked approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office typically takes at least 6 months. A trademark is required for Amazon Brand Registry, which is a huge perk, but it’s best practice to have a trademark regardless.
The key to a successful rebrand is making a big splash all at once. You want the news to spread quickly and pervasively. To achieve that, you need to control when the news breaks. Leaking the rebrand before you have all your ducks in a row can leech away excitement from the big reveal.
You should of course let key stakeholders know (if they’re not already involved in the process), and you may run rebranding ideas by significant partners to get a trusted external opinion.
When we rebranded, we shared the idea and eventually our new name with a select group of partners early to source external feedback. It can be easy to create an echo chamber when working with only internal parties, so don’t neglect this step. Just be mindful about who’s in the know.
To maximize awareness and minimize confusion, you should launch your rebrand across all channels simultaneously, including your website, social media, newsletter, and Amazon. If your product packaging is changing, you also need to time your rebrand launch with the sell through of old inventory and the receipt of new inventory at all fulfillment centers. This can be very tricky to do without the aid of an accurate inventory forecasting tool.
Here are all the pieces we recommend having prepared in advance:
If you acquire a new trademark as part of your rebrand, you should update your brand name on Amazon first, as this process can take months. As we’ve described, the success of a rebrand is largely dependent on its uniformity. Rebranding elsewhere while Amazon features your old branding for months can create confusion and erode customer trust in product authenticity.
Fortunately, you can register a new brand to the same Amazon Brand Registry account. To do so, register the new approved trademark with Amazon, then update your content accordingly.
When the big day finally arrives, work with your team to update images, logos, and text on your website, social media, and Amazon channel. Post about the rebrand on your social media, email your newsletter subscribers to announce the new look, and add a banner or popup to your homepage to immediately inform visitors of the rebrand. On Amazon, make sure to update every location featuring branding, including product listings, A+ Content, and Brand Stores.
Preemptively dispel customer confusion by explicitly calling out the rebrand in the listing’s bullets and media gallery. We recommend including an image in the listing that shows old and new branding side–by–side to show shoppers that both products are authentic.
Customers are more likely to be confused and question product authenticity if the product they receive differs in appearance from the images on the product listing. If customers believe they have received inauthentic product, they are more likely to return the product and leave negative reviews that can deter other potential buyers.
Once you have sold through the inventory with the old branding, you can remove the images of the old branding.
If you’ve only done a partial rebrand, success can be assessed by reviewing sales, number and quality of customer reviews, listing bounce rates, and ad performance.
If any of them suffer a drop in performance, it could indicate that shoppers are not aware of the rebrand and thus not clicking ads, not buying product, or leaving poor reviews. If all of these metrics remain strong, you’ve done your work well. It’s worth noting that Amazon is a dynamic, live environment, so other factors outside of the rebrand could certainly influence performance as well.
If you implemented a complete rebrand, you’ll assess success through a more holistic view. Compare product rank, listing traffic, sessions, conversion rate, sales, reviews, and marketing performance from comparable time periods before and after the rebrand.
You can also use keyword tracking tools to see how organic searches on Google and Amazon for your old name compare to your new name. Naturally, searches for the old name will far exceed those for your new name for at least several months as you rebuild brand name recognition.
The timeline for a complete rebrand is far longer than that of a partial rebrand, and it’s quite possible you won’t see the full the success of your efforts for 6-12 months.
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