When your business ventures down a different path than you originally planned, it might be time to reposition yourself in the market.
Most business owners at some point, will take a retrospective look at their company and find faults. They may not be happy with the productivity of their staff, the quality of their product, the level of customer service, their online presence or their sales – the list goes on.
Deciding whether you have a small problem that requires a few brand tweaks, or a larger issue regarding the entire brand of your business that requires a new strategy will determine your business’s future success. As a business owner who’s thinking about rebranding, it is important to realise there’s a lot more to consider than just a logo or uniform change.
How do you know if you’re ready for a rebrand?
Rebranding a company is a serious move and should not be taken lightly. Some of the reasons you may choose to undertake a rebrand are:
Your business model is no longer competitive in your industry;
You are losing customers to similar businesses with a better offering;
Your brand looks ‘tired’ compared to competitors;
You want to shed a negative brand image;
The look and feel of your business doesn’t reflect what you do;
Customers are confused about what you offer;
Your business philosophy has changed;
There’s a need for you to expand your offering into new areas; and
You want to change the core function of your business.
Who should you involve in the process?
It’s essential to include all stakeholders in your business. This includes all of your staff members (they are ultimately the face of the brand), your business partner (of course, they have an equal say) and your customers (they can help give you feedback on what they would like to see your business become). You may even use an external brand agency or graphic designers.
Rebranding means preparing for a challenge
Do you have enough money for a rebrand? It’s more than just paying for a new logo on letterheads. Think about all the collateral involved. You will have to pay to retrain staff, you may have to redecorate your office, redesign your website, or pay for new marketing material and campaigns. Planning and executing a rebrand will undoubtedly be a challenge financially.
Prepare for a few heated debates – a rebrand determines the future of your business and may create differences of opinion. Every aspect of change becomes vital and as such, there will be long discussions – negotiation is important, so remember to stay open to ideas from other stakeholders who have a different view of your business.
Timelines can become a huge factor, especially if you’re trying to launch your rebrand in time for a particular event. Give yourself enough lead-time, as rushing to meet a deadline may effect the execution of the whole project and you want your new brand coming out looking sharp!
A living case study: Karen Beattie – From Business Connect to The Growth Faculty
Business Connect started as an events company that brought out international authors to Australia. We gradually acquired a regular roster of authors and as the base grew, we decided to start leveraging it and to position ourselves as more of a business education provider.
The company had changed significantly in the previous five years and the name of the company was no longer reflective of our core offering.
This was confirmed at a brand strategy workshop that we held at the beginning of the rebrand process. As a result, we changed the name of the company from Business Connect to The Growth Faculty.
One of the benefits about rebranding was that we could take a fresh look at what our core offering actually was and reassess what should be in, and outside, of our scope of work. This allowed us to focus our energy, rather than spreading ourselves too thin.
We organised a major event and used it as our launch date. However, this became a challenge as it was an immovable deadline.
While we did have plenty of time, there were lots of variables we didn't account for. We had to make things happen and didn't have the liberty to push tasks back if needed. So, two weeks prior, the actual event took up a lot more time and effort than we had anticipated.
Rebranding does take a lot of time and energy. And if you get it right, it can have a very positive impact on your business. For us, we have found success through rebranding as we now have a business offering which reaches a larger audience. We have become a business education provider rather than an events company and The Growth Faculty rebrand represents this.
Karen’s top tips for a successful rebrand:
Do a brand strategy audit, which involves spending a day in a workshop with your team and all stakeholders;
Decide as a group whether a rebrand is absolutely necessary and make sure that everyone shares the same vision;
Create a realistic plan and stick to it;
Don't rush your rebrand or cut corners; take your time and do it properly;
Account for unforeseen variables in your planning in budget and timeline; and
Have the right people around you (we hired really great graphic designers who helped).
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Create Brand: How to Build a Global Brand
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.