How do you know it’s time for a rebrand? If you’re asking yourself this question then chances are you’re brand is in need of some attention. The kind of attention that will allow you to have some more flexibility over your pricing structures and that will give your marketing campaign a new direction.
But rebranding can be a big and expensive step, so how do you really know when it’s time and if it’s worth it? In this article we take a look at how you can make it work for you and why you should consider rebranding. We also take a closer look at how to choose a rebranding consultant that is going to grasp the vision of your business and help you through the rebranding experience and out the other side.
Why Your Brand is No Longer Working
There are no doubt lots of reasons why you feel the need to mix it up but there are often three or four themes that come up again and again when it comes to rebranding. If you recognise your business in these suggestions, then you can be assured that you’re ready for a new look.
First, your business offer has changed. That bakery you set up selling fresh bread and pastries has turned into an artisanal cafe, offering evening meals and a great organic wine selection. That homely brand that you started off with is no longer relevant and no longer reflects who you are. You’ve moved on and it’s time your brand showcased all the great things you have to offer.
Your Brand Doesn’t Allow You to Diversify
Much like the above, your brand just doesn’t allow you to experiment or add to your offer. Instead it keeps your brand, no matter how popular or well-recognised it is, stuck firmly with the original product or service you’ve got on offer.
You need to take your brand forward, to allow for growth and to start reflecting the fact that you are more than a one-trick-pony with a lot more to offer.
Your Brand Doesn’t Allow You to Raise Prices
In the life of every business you need to raise your prices in relation to the economic environment, your costs and your competition. There are times when it just has to happen and for the most part your loyal customers will understand.
But if your brand is stuck in the past, then chances are your customers will expect your prices to remain there too. You need to give your business a fresh start and use that moment as a springboard to change up your pricing.
Another sound reason to change up your branding is what your competition is doing. Perhaps their branding is too similar to yours and has been a point of contention for some time, perhaps they have a brand that you feel better reflects your products and you would like your own business to gain that advantage too.
In order to take the competition on you need to have the branding that challenges your competition and helps create a buoyant and healthy marketplace where rivalries encourage trade and give customers genuine value for money and choice.
How Does Rebranding Work?
Rebranding is not just a case of changing a few logos and giving yourself a new name. It’s a delicate and sometimes unsettling process and one that means you have to consider re-writing your whole mission statement. It requires transformation across the board, internal as well as external and requires the dedication from all your staff.
It can be a long process and force you, as the owner of a small business, to ask yourself some hard questions. But, though the process can feel long and drawn out, ultimately it is well worth it and can lead to a significant upturn in your business and renewed sense of mission in your staff.
The first thing you’ll need to think about is how you plan to start the process and unless you have the expertise yourself, a rebranding expert is going to be your first port of call. Make sure to do your research and find someone who specialises in your industry. Whether you’re a charity or work in the creative industries, such as Master Cast, your needs will be very different and you need to know that your consultant has experience specific to the area in which you work.
Your consultant will start by preparing a strategy for your business. It will take into account your internal and external changes such as your intranet and website, your email branding and marketing materials, as well as a plan to change over all your HR documents.
The behind-the-scenes preparation is a process that will not be rushed, but instead will follow a logical and well thought out system. One key ingredient to getting the exercise right is to have all your staff on board. There are likely to be many questions and possibly some reservations, particularly if you have staff that have been loyal to your brand for quite some time. As a leader, you’ll be well used to dealing with staff concerns but during this time of change you may need to exercise even greater sensitivity.
Your chosen consultant is likely to represent a larger team. That team will have specialities in brand positioning, marketing, brand development and so on. At each stage, you will be given support to move your brand forward and to keep you staff updated on what’s going on.
Your consultant should be someone you find easy to communicate with, someone who has a clear grasp of your business and your vision and who has a logical approach to the work that needs doing.
You should feel confident that you can ask your consultant to clarify any queries you have as you go. Your research will most probably have been done online but if you have contacts in your industry who can recommend a consultant then, very often, word of mouth recommendations count for a great deal.
When you’re ready to launch publicly, make sure you have all your internal changes completed and are fully prepared. Launch your new brand with a series of marketing offers, exclusive to your already loyal customers and begin your campaign to attract new customers. This will be the busiest part of your process and you will very quickly be able to tell if your strategy has paid off. Be prepared for some disgruntled voices but overall your rebranding exercise should help you to propel your business forward.
Whether you’re hoping to raise price, refocus what you’re offering and move on from your old offer or give the competition a run for your money, your rebranding exercise needs to work and work well.
It’s certainly a big step and before you start the process make sure that it’s a move you really want to start. Once you start the ball rolling, it can be hard to stop the momentum if you change your mind.
The key to your success will be hiring a consultancy that speaks your language and who knows your industry inside and out. Get the right expert on board and listen carefully to their advice when it comes to helping you reposition yourself in the market.
Then it’s time to press the button and get that rebranding well underway. Take a deep breath and start by getting your staff on board. It’s a big step forward for your business but one you won’t regret.
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Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex
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