Should I rebrand my business?
Rebranding can be a time-consuming and costly exercise so how should I know if its going to be worth it?
You may already know in your hearts of heart if you need to rebrand, but if you’re looking for some reassurance or guidance you’ve come to the right place!
What is rebranding?
In simple terms it is an exercise of changing the way that a business or product appears to the public.
The biggest misconception is that branding is just your logo. As you can read in detail in one of my previous blogs here, a brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. It’s made up of a combination of emotional and physical experiences that are created every time a person comes into contact with your business.
These touch-points could include your website, social media, business premises, company vehicles, staff, emails and public speaking to name a few. Therefore if your staff look like they are more interested in their phones than the customer, you miss deadlines, or your product installation falls short of expectations; even the sparkliest of new logo’s isn’t going to make a difference to what people think about your company. Essentially your brand is your reputation, so you need to look after it otherwise you will lose sales and your company growth will be severely stunted.
What could rebranding do for your business?
Rebranding can breathe new life into your business or product. It has the opportunity to turn around the perception of a neglected brand, clarify your messaging and create new opportunities for growth.
To peers and potential customers it can show commitment to the evolution of your business and your intention to invest for future growth. By taking a strategic approach to rebranding you can communicate far clearer in the market place and ensure you attract your ideal client.
Rebranding isn’t some magic wand treatment though that will grow you a money tree over night, it needs to be looked after and cared for on a consistent basis.
Why might you need to rebrand?
You are trying to shake off an old image
While I worked at Perth Racecourse, we went through a re-branding exercise. The venue was perceived as old fashioned and predominantly attracted a male customer with a passion for racing. We wanted to evolve this perception to make it a welcoming place for all, not only on racedays but throughout the year for events such as weddings and conferences.
The rebrand enabled the business development team to attract new clients which led to further investment in the facilities which can be seen today. www.perth-races.co.uk
You want to approach a new target market
Tunnocks teacakes have recently rebranded their identity to include the union jack to market itself as a traditional British product in order to break into the Japanese market. “The Great British Tea Cake”. By understanding your ideal customer, you can ensure that your brand echos their desires and therefore creates a more instant connection.
Your brand no longer represents your business
I’m currently working with a local trade company, regarding the branding of their 30 year old business. When they were first established they were purely focused on providing roofing expertise, however over the years they evolved into renovation work and restoration of older buildings bringing in skills of plastering and stonemasonry. The rebranding exercise is allowing them to provide clearer messaging to their customers on the services they can provide.
You’ve made some exciting business acquisitions
Nailing a rebrand after an acquisition is a great way of communicating to your audience how you’ve enhanced your business. What added benefits do you now offer them, what makes you different in the market place? It can also help bring your employees together, who may have felt confused during the transition.
Your brand is confusing to customers
Confusion can sometimes be caused as little or no thought was put into the brand in the first place. Many of the people I work with started their business through the passion that they had for the service or product that they deliver. As minimal funds are usually available in the start up phase, investment both in time and money of brand creation are often overlooked. This usually means a couple of years later the brand that has been created isn’t always relevant to their target market
You are attracting the wrong customers.
Burberry went through an amazing turnaround story, from being tagged as stereotype clothing for inappropriate and criminal behaviour in the 90’s to now being an upmarket designer brand worn by the likes of Emma Watson. This evolution has opened up a completely different market for them and preserved their historic name once again.
Does your rebrand need to be evolutionary or revolutionary?
Every rebrand needs to solve a problem, how substantial a change you need to make will indicate whether it is evolutionary or revolutionary.
An evolution is making small changes to your existing brand, perhaps the key messaging or just tweaks to the identity that allow it to better reflect your business. This is useful if you’ve added new services or you’re looking to attract a new part of the market where the old strapline no longer encompasses the bigger picture. This can be a more cost effective alternative and also allows you to maintain brand equity with the identity.
Coca-cola are a great example of this whether it is their distinguished logo that is still recognisable 200 years later after many visual evolutions, or their reinventions through straplines including ‘Open Happiness’, ‘Enjoy The Feeling’, ’Always, Coca-Cola, It’s the real thing’. The Evolutionary brand has allowed them to keep fresh in a fast paced market place while still staying true to their values and history.
A revolutionary rebrand is far more ambitious, it signals a break from what was and makes a more dramatic statement. With this in mind communication is key in order to bring your customers and prospects along the journey with you. If you fail to do this properly you could create a disconnect, the important piece is to understand the ‘why’ and communicate that to your audience so that they understand.
Revolutionary rebranding is a great opportunity though if done well and can really help reposition you within a market place. Visit Aberdeenshire was set up in March 2016 after an amalgamation of regional tourist bodies including: Banffshire Coast Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership, VisitAberdeen and Visit Royal Deeside. The resulting Destination Management Organisation was tasked with attracting leisure and business tourists to the area. In order to make a statement and stand out to the industry the body went through a dramatic rebrand in order to redefine public perception on what the area was like to visit and how hard it was to reach. Straplines such as ‘Beyond words, but not beyond reach’ are still paving this journey today along with strategic developments in the city such as the new AECC out the airport.
11 Questions to ask yourself before you rebrand
- Why am I doing a rebrand?
- What is wrong with the existing one?
- Do people currently pigeon hole us for something we’re not?
- What do your customers say?
- Have our clients needs changed?
- What are our customers problems, do we relate to them?
- What do you want to achieve from the rebrand?
- How will you know if its been successful?
- Does the rebrand need to be evolutionary or revolutionary?
- Who is going to manage the process and take accountability for its consistent implementation?
- Do you have enough capital available to implement the rebrand properly?