Rebranding Strategies for Your Business
Is Your Business in Need of a Makeover?
The average business updates its brand every 7-10 years.
A brand isn’t just a slogan or logo, it’s the foundation of what a business is built on. It involves a mission statement, a set of values, and the overall culture of a company.
Why is Branding Important?
A company’s brand is how people perceive a business. Their perception influences their own purchase decisions and often the purchase decisions of their family and friends.
A strong brand will attract loyal customers who will act as brand ambassadors for a company. Think of brands like Patagonia, who went beyond an outdoor apparel company and established themselves as a lead thinker in environmental activism. Or Pacifica, who pushed themselves above yet another cosmetic line by branding themselves as 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free.
Maybe it’s an annoyingly catchy jingle that gets stuck in your head (I’m looking at you, State Farm).
Or it could be eye-catching and easy to spot like the colorful, one-of-a-kind world of the Lisa Frank brand.
Whatever the case, a good brand will make a memorable impression on customers (and hopefully a favorable one). Once established as a brand bigger than the product they offer, UGC increases and growth happens organically over time.
How Do I Know If I Should Rebrand My Business?
We all know the old saying, “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.” And this applies to the process of rebranding…to an extent. Just look at Gap. In 2010, they abruptly changed the 20-year-old iconic logo with something a bit more modern and people were less than impressed. So much so that the company reverted back to the old logo within six days of launching the new one. Needless to say, there haven’t been any logo changes for Gap since.
But even if a brand is getting the job done, reviewing the pros and cons and updating as needed can be financially lucrative for many business owners.
So, how do you know if you’re ready for a change?
Signs You Should Consider Rebranding
A need to differentiate from the competition.
Does your logo look strikingly similar to another brand? Like Pandora and Paypal. Does anyone else get their logos mixed up or is that just me? Obviously it isn’t just me, considering they battled it out in court over who gets to keep their original and who had to do a bit of rebranding themselves.
Do your research and know your competition. This can prevent costly mistakes down the road.
The company’s mission statement evolves.
When you see substantial growth, it’s important to review your mission statement and see if it still aligns with the direction you’re headed. This can be geographic growth, such as statewide to national or national to international. Or it could be an expansion in your product line. If a car detailing service begins detailing boats as well, making the necessary tweaks to include an assortment of detailing services will make your mission clearer and open to wider opportunities.
While a niche market can be successful, limiting your brand to a specific product doesn’t allow much room for growth.
We’re not saying to get a new logo every time you hire a new employee. But if a company undergoes serious upper management transitions, it might be a good time to evaluate if a rebranding is in order. It isn’t automatically necessary, but it’s a good time to reflect on what’s working for your brand and what areas can be improved.
A desire to attract new audiences.
If you’re seeing a steady decline in sales with little new customer traffic, it might be time for a good rebranding to spice things up. Old Spice did this after realizing 50 percent of women buy men cologne products. Catering to women, “The man your man can smell like“, opened the floodgates for a whole new demographic they originally had been missing out on.
Current branding is old and outdated.
If you’re feeling stale, stuck, and generally blah about your business, rebranding might just be the match to reignite the flame that got you inspired to start your business in the first place. Much like fashion, marketing trends evolve. Just look at Airbnb, I can’t keep track of how many times they’ve updated their logo. It doesn’t have to be a huge production, but little tweaks here and there can keep your business feeling fresh.
A need to outgrow a bad reputation.
We all make mistakes, but don’t let it completely sink your company ship. Revamping business values and look can be an initial expense worth it in the end. After a major oil spill debacle in 2010, BP spent over $500 million to restore its brand. They revamped their company logo and focused on environmental initiatives hoping to convince the world they really weren’t trying to destroy it. Some BP boycotters still exist, but for the most part, it saved the company from completely going under.
Successful Branding Strategies
Ok, so based on the above indicators you decided your business is in need of a brand makeover. How exciting! Now let’s be sure to avoid some serious rebranding faux pas with these strategies.
Research the market and competition.
Do. Your. Research. First, look at your current brand. What values can evolve? Which ones should stay? What are some of the positives in your current logo?
Second, look at your competition. What’s working for them? What can you do differently to set you apart?
And third, look at your target audience. Who are the thought leaders in your niche? What do they value? As a collective, can you pinpoint their wants, needs, and opinions?
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Formulate a budget and keep track of rebranding costs.
Creating a cost analysis of rebranding goals is necessary to formulate a budget. A budget is necessary to make your rebranding cost-effective without getting too out of control. Keep track of all costs and track inventory as needed. Evernote is a useful tool when it comes to keeping notes organized digitally.
Clear mission statement and company values.
A mission statement is NOT an immovable entity. It’s an ever-changing living organism that evolves with your business. Making it a habit to revisit your company mission and values each quarter, whether your interested in rebranding or not, keeps you focused and aligned with your goals as a growing business.
Give your brand a story.
People love a good story. It’s as simple as that. That’s exactly why UGC continues to be the #1 marketing strategy for businesses. Why do you think Match.com is so successful? Because they give you a 100 percent money-back guarantee that you will find your soulmate on their site? Nope, mainly because that would be insane to guarantee something as finicky as love. Their brand marketing involves couples who found each other through their website sharing their story with people who are in the love market themselves. Giving your brand a story gives hope to the people looking for what your company has to offer.
Just be sure to pick your brand ambassadors wisely so you don’t have a Jared Fogle and Subway-type fiasco. Prior to his brush with the law, Subway thrived sharing his weight loss story with others.
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Keep it connected with the existing brand.
Even if Airbnb’s gone through a dozen different logos, they all still are recognizable to the brand. Rebranding is a way of widening your audience, not starting from scratch and finding a completely new one. Your current customers might shy away from a strange, new company they don’t recognize. You can even play up the evolution of your brand, like Cocacola does, releasing limited edition old-school bottles that become a nostalgic, antique collector’s item to the die-hard fans.
Make it a collaborative effort with the whole team.
Get your whole business family involved, from beginning to end. Let them be involved in the process and get them excited about the rebranding launch. Employees are the first line of brand ambassadors for a company. Find it in the budget to make hats, shirts, reusable water bottles, stickers, or whatever you think your employees will rep with pride. Give a brand care package to new hires. A successful company begins with positive work culture.
Encourage your current loyal customers to be apart of the rebranding action, too. Open up the floor for their input, through outlets like Twitter, IG stories, or web-hosted surveys. Once you have a new logo, use raffles and contests to give away free merchandise. The most effective type of advertising is when others do it for you.
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Use effective marketing strategies to announce the rebranding.
Once you get through the rebranding mountains, you have to publicize it effectively to make it worth your while. Several ways to do this include,
- Publish a press release;
- Run a social media campaign with contests;
- Send emails to current subscribers;
- Use traditional media outlets like radio and newspapers to announce rebranding;
- Promote internally with newsletters, company meetings, videos, and emails;
- Throw a big launch party and invite clients, employees, and press.
Want others to do the marketing for you?
Creating a strong brand that’s a lifestyle, not just the products you sell, can start a movement where others do the marketing for you. Learn more about how to grow your business and turn customers into your best brand ambassadors.