Branding is an important part of building a successful business. It’s not just about the name and logo, branding is also about cultivating a clear personality and voice for your business. It affects the way people perceive your business and how they remember it.
At one point or another in your business journey, you may have considered rebranding as the best course of action — and that’s completely normal. According to crowdspring, 74% of the S&P 100 companies have rebranded their business in the first seven years, and companies spend an average of five to 10% of their annual marketing budget on rebranding.
As a small business owner, you might be thinking, “What annual marketing budget?” But if you haven’t been doing so already, there are economical ways of marketing.
You must carefully consider the impacts of rebranding your business before you make a decision so that it doesn’t negatively impact your current standing with long-term customers, partners and suppliers.
Why a Business Might Need to Rebrand
Rebranding isn’t just about renaming your business or redesigning a logo. Rebranding is a complete marketing strategy involved in changing any or all of the following:
- Your business image
- Your visual assets and marketing materials
- Your slogan
- Your target audience
A rebrand doesn’t necessarily change the core competencies of your business, rather it aims to transform your brand identity to achieve specific goals such as reaching new audiences, adapting to the changing market or staying up-to-date with trends.
It’s often thought that rebranding is done to replace an existing negative brand image, but there are several other valid reasons why it’s the best course of action to take. Rebranding can help your business to:
- Signal significant business changes
- Embrace ownership change or organisational restructuring
- Correct misaligned marketing
- Refresh and modernise the brand
- Reposition the business for growth
It’s important to do your research so that you know which rebranding strategies to implement to ensure a successful transition. Simplilearn illustrates five examples of companies that have successfully rebranded. The revival of LEGO is an example of one of the most significant turnarounds in corporate history.
LEGO has been running for nearly 90 years and it’s hard to believe that this toy giant had become outdated at one point. By 2003, the company faced crippling debt and it was no longer favoured by children. The company revitalised the product and made it relevant again by adding digital elements to engage both children and parents. It added movies and LEGO-themed entertainment venues to broaden its appeal, which is how the company regained its popularity.
5 Tips for Rebranding Your Small Business
Before jumping into a rebrand make sure you’re clear on your reasons why it’s necessary and what goals you want it to achieve. The following 5 tips can help you on your business transition.
1. Reestablish your vision, mission and values
Review your business’ vision, mission and values in the course of rebranding. Your business’ mission is its purpose and primary objectives. They explain why your business exists both to people within the business and to people outside it. They should be short, clear, and powerful.
Your vision focuses on goals and future aspirations and should be uplifting and inspiring. They’re often timeless, so if your business changes its strategy the vision usually stays the same.
Your values underpin the vision and mission. Values can define how to treat customers and employees. They can define what your employees strive for and how you want them to feel at work. Your values inform customers what the business stands for and what they can expect.
A company’s values are often interchangeably used with company culture. Culture is not always easy to define because it’s often based on feeling. According to Forbes, over 50% of executives agree that culture can influence productivity, creativity, profitability, company value and growth rates.
During a rebranding, it’s important to get a diverse group of individuals from across your business to help define what the culture is. The group can’t just comprise managers but needs to involve employees at all levels because work culture is inclusive.
The initial stages may consist of brainstorming key traits and posing questions such as “If culture were a person how would you describe its personality?” The final stage should result in an agreed and established set of core values.
Creating a mnemonic device or an acronym will make the core values easier to remember. For example at HubSpot, they say their employees are full of HEART, which stands for Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, and Transparent.
2. Communicate a Clear Message
Once you’ve revised your core values and rolled out your rebrand changes internally, it’s time to debut the changes publicly. Developing a clear message during your rebranding process is crucial, so that your target audience will quickly understand that your business has undergone a transformation.
Your message should explain why you’ve rebranded and what your customers can expect moving forward. It’s important to leverage your existing communication channels to publicise your messaging.
Marketing and communicating a rebrand can be a big expense, particularly if you’re thinking of communicating through paid advertising campaigns and other outbound marketing strategies. But there are ways to address this without breaking the bank.
The answer is content marketing.
If you’re already doing this to promote your business you’ll know that it’s a cost-effective marketing strategy that uses online communication channels to increase brand awareness and generate customer leads.
Content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing but delivers as many as three times more leads per dollar spent than those expensive campaigns.
Most people are turning to their online channels such as Instagram, YouTube or Facebook for a lot of their information, entertainment and networking needs. So using your existing online channels to showcase your rebrand, will have far-reaching capabilities.
There is a wide range of communication channels to choose from including blogs, videos, email newsletters, podcasts and social media posts that you can mix and match as you please. Having an experienced content agency handle your content marketing will keep your ideas flowing and published consistently for your customers.
If you haven’t already been using content marketing to engage your audience, then there’s no better time to start. This can be yet another bold move as a part of your rebrand.
3. Conduct a Market Analysis
You may have already conducted a market analysis particularly when your business was in its early stages. Completing a market analysis periodically is beneficial to keep your progress in check and to make sure you’re keeping up with your competitors and current trends.
A thorough marketing analysis should answer the following questions:
- Who are my potential customers?
- What are my customers’ buying habits?
- How large is my target market?
- How much are customers willing to pay for my product?
- Who are my main competitors?
- What are my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
Your market analysis can help develop rebranding strategies that are most effective for your target audience. It will inform you whether your products and services are still targeted to the right customer. If your customer preferences have changed, you can use that information to tailor your offerings to suit their needs.
A market analysis will give you a good understanding of what’s currently going on in your industry, particularly the trajectory of your competitors. Staying ahead in business is often about being the first to spot a new opportunity or trend. This will help you identify what already exists in the market, and if there are any gaps that you can fill with your business.
To help further protect your business, you can also conduct a SWOT analysis, which identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your business. This will help in reducing potential risks and will inform your decision-making process.
4. Identify Your USP
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what sets you apart from your competitors, and it’s a crucial part of your rebranding strategy. A USP is what makes your products and services stand out from other similar products. The USP needs to be well-incorporated into your rebranding strategy so that you can increase the likelihood of brand recognition and recall.
The most fundamental method in identifying your USP is based on industry competitors, but it’s also possible to identify and develop your USP using the feedback of prospective and existing customers.
Finding out about your competitors takes an in-depth analysis of each one. You’ll need to look at their websites, their marketing material and reviews to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their products and services.
If a business is selling something that’s tangible, it would be worth purchasing the product to again compare it to what you’re offering. Also, you would find out about the processes involved from point of purchase to the time you receive the product. You would learn about delivery costs, tech support experiences, billing and find out about any issues in the processes.
Using feedback, testimonials and surveys of your existing customers is a great way to make improvements to what you’re offering. It’s important to address any glaring issues and also learn what your customers are most satisfied with.
It’s these strengths and what you excel at that can become a part of your USP, which should feature prominently in your rebrand.
5. Invest in Your Marketing Efforts
Implementing a content marketing strategy will allow you to use different types of content to get the word out about the transformations in your business, and it can increase your visibility.
More than 89% of brands use content marketing to grow and increase their brand awareness, so a solid and consistent content marketing strategy can build the identity of your brand.
Online content in the form of a website, blogs or articles, videos, podcasts and social posts on platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram all work together as a consistent driver of growth for your business. It can take time and skill to build a bank of quality content, however seeking the right content creation agency can help you do this and take the guesswork out.
By consistently publishing engaging and targeted content, the trustworthiness of your brand will build. Your potential customers may gain information from your website and follow your social posts before deciding to make a purchase from your business.
You may be thinking that you’d like faster results, but it is these customers that are more likely to become loyal to your brand and give positive reviews. They’re the ones that have been informed by your brand and have gained enough confidence in your products and services to make a purchase.
Consistent marketing increases your recognisability and aesthetic. This will build the reputation of your business which can leave lasting impressions on your target audience. When you think of products such as sports shoes and phones no doubt there were some reputable brands that you instantly thought of. This is the power of content marketing and with the right strategy for your rebrand, your business can make a lasting impression too.
If you’ve decided that rebranding your business is the best course of action then use these 5 tips to help you get started. But, you don’t have to start the rebranding process on your own. Contact us and we will help you develop a marketing strategy to achieve your goals.