Sometimes, content creators will need to rebrand, too, especially if the creator’s interests have changed or the creator needs to keep up with the latest consumer trends or adhere to new platform guidelines.
If you want to rebrand, you may wonder how to rebrand as a creator and remain relevant. To get some insight, I spoke with creator, blogger, and YouTuber Lisa De La Cruz, who recently went through a rebrand herself.
Here’s her story and tips for creators looking to switch up their content.
Why a rebrand?
As I mentioned earlier, there are many reasons a content creator may choose to rebrand. In De La Cruz’s case, the COVID-19 pandemic plays a role in her decision to change her content.
“I rebranded because, at the height of the pandemic, the content I was creating was very local,” she says, recalling her content that was geared toward her hometown of Reading, PA. “And due to regulations, I couldn’t continue interviewing people in person. It also wasn’t making me happy anymore.”
De La Cruz began shifting her focus toward the anime and manga industry to find her spark and keep creating amid pandemic restrictions.
She would interview voice actors, cosplayers, and anime enthusiasts for her podcast, The Wonder of Anime, and review anime and manga for her YouTube channel and blog of the same name.
“I had slowly started shifting my content in this new direction, and it was really making me happy,” she says. “I realized this is a topic where I can interview people from all over because I don’t have to see them in person. I can use Zoom.”
The Challenge of Rebranding as a Creator
Of course, pivoting to a different niche as a creator isn’t easy, especially if your followers aren’t interested in your new direction.
“There definitely was a change in my audience because, at the time, most of my audience was local, and they were not fans of anime,” De La Cruz says. “So I definitely had a drop in audience in the beginning.”
Fortunately, De La Cruz’s platform grew as she continued in her new niche.
“If I know myself and know the heart of what I’m doing, then I know this is true to me and I just have to push forward that way,” she says.
How to Stay Relevant Through a Rebrand
So, how did De La Cruz grow her platform post-rebrand, and what can you do to make your rebrand a success? Here are some expert tips she says can make for a smooth transition.
1. Consider appealing to an untapped market.
“The new type of content that I was making was unique in the sense that I was covering things that didn’t have much of a spotlight,” she explains, “such as an old series or nostalgic things that people may have forgotten about.”
Over time, De La Cruz says her content began to attract anime and manga enthusiasts who were happy to see her shine a light on cult classics.
“I tapped into a new audience and a specific niche that hadn’t been touched on,” she recalls. “I think that really helped because people were excited to see someone give representation to a series they enjoy but isn’t often talked about.”
2. Know why you want to rebrand.
While creators must keep up with the latest consumer trends, De La Cruz warns shifting trends and numbers shouldn’t be your sole motivator.
“Really think about why you want to rebrand,” she says. “For me, it wasn’t about growing a different audience — I just wanted to stay true to what I like and am passionate about. I would warn against switching because of numbers.”
Viewers are very perceptive, and De La Cruz says they’ll know if you’re rebranding just to stay in the spotlight. Doing so can foster distrust and make your brand seem inauthentic — and authenticity is invaluable in branding.
In fact, 88% of consumers say authenticity is key when deciding what brands they like and support.
3. Go all in.
“Go 100% in. If you are in-between and you’re teasing your audience by doing some old stuff and new things at the same time, you can lose people and confuse people,” she says. “That could be a turn-off to your audience.”
De La Cruz says if you do a pivot, make it a hard one.
“I find it helps establish your new audience because you’re not giving people false hope that you’re still going to create your previous style of content.”
4. Communicate your rebrand to your audience.
Depending on how long you’ve been a creator, your audience may have followed you for years before you rebranded your platform.
De La Cruz says it’s important to respect the relationship you’ve built with your viewers and to keep them in the loop of your new era.
“There is a relationship between you as a content creator and the audience consuming your content,” she says. “Sometimes doing a hard pivot without making it clear can feel distrustful to your audience, especially if they didn’t see it coming.”
De La Cruz suggests making a clear statement to show appreciation and to allow your audience to decide if they want to follow you on your new journey.
This statement can come in a YouTube video, a social media post, an email, or a newsletter.
Above all, De La Cruz says to be confident in your decision.
“Your rebrand is likely something you’ve been thinking about and weighing on you for some time, so be confident that your rebrand will do as well as your previous content,” she explains.
“You need to believe it so your old audience and newcomers will believe in it and follow your new journey.”