If you’re a small business owner, you know how daunting it can be to even consider rebranding your organization. There are so many things to think about, like: How much will it cost? When will I see an ROI? Do I really need to rebrand? Will I lose any business in the process? What if my clients don’t like the changes? What do I need to—
STOP! Remember to breathe. You’re okay.
Before we begin, just know that you’re not alone! Every single business owner or manager has to ask themselves these questions at some point or another in the lifespan of their business. No matter WHAT industry your business is in, taking some time to ask yourself these questions is a great first step. And for your convenience, we’ve broken them down into three, chronological sections: Do Research, Take Action, and Keep Going. Let’s get started!
Section 1: Do Research
Evaluate Your Current Brand. Take an honest look at your current brand and what it stands for. Identify what’s working and what needs to be changed. Still unsure? Ask your audience! Send a friendly email asking for their feedback or overall thoughts. You might be surprised by what you learn.
Clarify Your Core Values. Rebranding requires clarity about what your business stands for. Revisit your mission and values, and identify any areas for improvement. Does the look and feel still resonate with the message you’re trying to convey? Or is there a visual mismatch?
Identify Your Target Audience. A huge portion of a company’s success comes down to connecting with the right people. If those connections are starting to feel tired, or like your efforts are missing their mark, it might be time to consider a calibration. Take time to understand your target audience, their values, and their needs.
Review Your Logo. Your logo is the face of your brand, so it’s essential that it’s aligned with your brand and overall company goals. It can be a wonderful way to provide a clear, visual cue to your customers that something is new, and they would do well to pay attention. Now, change can have mixed results. Some relish change and newness—others prefer predictability. If you DO decide that a logo update is in order, know this: you will not be able to please everyone.
That’s why all of those previous points about reviewing your brand, and double-checking your alignment with your goals are paramount. Being confident in the REASONS for change, as well as prepared for any critics that show up, will help get everyone on board.
Section 2: Take Action
Create a Brand Story. Your brand story is an essential element of your rebrand. It should be unique, compelling, and consistent with your company’s core values. And guess what? Everyone loves a good story! It’s a humanistic way to connect with your audience. Instead of trying to “sell” your audience with a bunch of pitches, hide your pitch within a compelling, relatable story.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy. Content marketing is an absolute must, whether you end up rebranding or not. Did you know not having a strategy for content marketing is one of the MOST COMMON THINGS we see as a creative agency? Develop a content marketing strategy that reflects your brand and resonates with your target audience.
When your customers can see clear consistency between your brand, your company, and the message you’re putting out into the world, it empowers them to feel confident about your organization. It helps them predict what to expect next. And that helps fuel their interest in your journey (and hopefully come along for the ride!).
Update Your Website. Your website is the digital face of your brand, so it should be up-to-date and reflect your new identity. Make sure it’s user-friendly and optimized for mobile, and is touting all the same guiding principles and messages as the rest of your public-facing mediums.
Utilize Social Media. Social media is a powerful tool for rebranding. Use it to connect with your target audience, share content, and engage with them. This is where that content marketing strategy is so helpful! (Pro tip: Work smarter, not harder. Align your social media posts with your email campaigns, website pages, etc. It won’t look like a simple copy/paste job; delivering the same message across platforms and channels will reinforce your message.)
Section 3: Keep Going!
Leverage PR Opportunities. Okay! So let’s fast-forward for a sec. You’ve reviewed your brand. You have calibrated your goals. You have refreshed some (or all) of your brand elements. Everything is lining up nicely. What’s next?!
You gotta take advantage of PR opportunities to get your brand out there! You’ve come this far, and the hard part of rebranding is done. Now take everything you created (or that super cool, local creative agency created on your behalf, ahem) and put. It. to. WORK!
Target trade publications and influencers to spread the word. Put together a press release that raves about your company’s new changes and send it en masse to news outlets around your area. Develop a Google Adwords campaign. Make a contest! Do something CRAZY and UNEXPECTED!
(Make some &$%*ing noise is what we’re getting at, okay?)
Evaluate Your Progress. FINALLY, once your rebranding efforts are underway, evaluate your progress. Make sure you’re using a tool like Google Analytics to monitor your key metrics, and adjust your strategy as needed. Now that you have their attention, keep it up! Don’t get lazy! Keep reminding yourself, your customers, and your employees about the guiding principles that make your company THE BEST company to work with.
Obviously, this post skims the surface, at best. But our hope is that you now have a little better understanding of how to think about a rebrand for your company. Yes, it’s a lot of work (our recent rebrand was two years in the making!), but when done right, it will help you, your clients, and your staff feel great about the company.
If you’re still feeling lost or stuck, reach out to us! From basic principles to specific, follow-up questions, all feedback is welcome. We’d love to hear from you, and we’ll do our best to provide as much information as we can.
And, if you discover that you DO need a rebrand, and you very much DO NOT want to do some/all of it on your own, you know where to find us. We would love nothing more than to help you reach your goals. (And we’re pretty damn good at it, too.)