Rebranding is an often used tactic by marketers and business owners to create a new buzz. But what is it in actuality and when does a business need to consider it?
Before I talk rebranding, I need to start with what a brand is and is not.
A brand is a mix of ingredients:
- What you promise to deliver to customers,
- How you make customers feel,
- Why customers purchase from you (connect with you), and
- Your values
A brand is not a logo, name or design. Do these play a part in a brand? Absolutely. These are the ingredients that allow customers to identify your business, but they are not why they will purchase from you. Now I know there will be marketers and designers and branding “experts” that will be ready to disagree. So let me ask this: Would you care if Red Cross’ logo was a blue hexagon? Or do you care and give money to the charity because they deliver on their promise to help people in need around the world? I am often told my business, JoElla Marketing, has a strong brand. What have I focused on? Me! I communicate my values and what I deliver as best I can in all marketing forms – on the website, social media, articles and in person. I am open about my life, the good and bad. People know I am about down-to-earth marketing advice with personalised focus. People tell me they can tell I work with good, ethical business owners.
That’s my brand.
Will I ever change the logo (I got for minimal cost) and name (a mix of my half sister and brother’s names)? Maybe; maybe not. Will my products change? Most likely – often business’ products grow and change over time. But, will my values and why I’m in business change? No. Will how I make my clients feel change? I hope not!
So, then, what is rebranding?
Rebranding is changing your purpose and service/products. It is changing what the market place – prospects and clients – believe you will do for them; how you will help them. Rebranding is not changing your name or your logo or website design; that’s simply changing your logo, name or design. I am not against rebranding if it’s necessary. Some business need a complete new start with a new mission statement, values and products. I am against the misnomer within the marketing industry that changing your look is required every few years and that it’s called rebranding. I also question the marketing strategy of a rebrand launch without any tangible rationale for the change. As for the question: What do I do if my business is struggling? Instead of focusing on external design changes, look inwards and evaluate what and how you deliver your product/service. Then work on defining your brand and how you market and communicate it to your customers. You may very well need a re-design, but do it knowing the reason/s why and how you will communicate these reasons to your clientbase. I know if Red Cross changed to “Blue Hexagon”, I would want a clear explanation of why they deemed it necessary and the cost involved. I would also want to know if they were changing their purpose before I donated to them (again).