by Lisa Stein
As an entrepreneur, you likely have an endless stream of questions. How do I improve my call-to-action? What would it cost to hire an assistant? Should I launch a business-focused Pinterest account?
Sometimes, the answer is of minimal consequence. Sometimes, it can mean all the difference.
If you’ve ever considered re-branding yourself, then you know this is one of those make-it-or-break-it scenarios. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to re-brand, consider this information.
When Should You Re-brand?
Re-branding is all about changing your image. You might change your business name, logo, colors, or values. Because this new image is different from what people have traditionally recognized your brand as, it can feel like you’re starting all over in marketing. But in many cases, tweaking your image makes sense.
• When your image doesn’t align with your values.
• When your brand or logo is too closely related and easily confused with a trademark company’s or a competitor.
• When your business has expanded beyond its original scope.
• When you’re attracting the wrong customers.
• When current events demand a change. For example, businesses have changed logos in recent years to accommodate small mobile screens.
• When your brand is suffering from a boring image.
There is no set timeline for when you can re-brand. While it can be easier and carry less risk to re-brand while your business is still a baby, companies like Olive Garden have seen huge successes by re-branding recently.
In 2014, they welcomed a new logo and brand new menu items, and 99designs voted them the best restaurant re-brand of the year!
Remember that re-branding isn’t necessarily about a name or logo change. It can also be about developing products that appeal to a different audience or launching a new business strategy that changes how the public perceives you.
How Do You Re-brand Successfully?
Re-branding doesn’t happen overnight. Consider these steps for a successful re-brand:
- Determine what’s not working. Perhaps your brand logo fails to align with your product.
- Develop a strategy to address this problem. If your logo is the issue, pinpoint what about it sends the wrong message. If it’s the shape rather than the color, you can preserve your brand color in a new logo. During this process, research other brands in your industry and what works for your audience.
- Obtain customer feedback. You don’t want to launch a new logo that only distances you further from your target audience. Publish a blog post to get opinions, or test your new logo with a segment of your audience before launching it full-scale.
- Communicate with employees. Be sure your employees understand the new brand. They’re a main point of communication with the public, so their communication tactics should integrate with the new image you’re trying to portray.
- Launch across all communication channels. This includes your website, sales tools, social media channels, marketing materials, etc.
- Commit and persist. Now that you’ve decided to re-brand, stay true to the new brand. Don’t refer back to the old brand. As Chris Wechner, director of marketing for The Ultimate Analyst, says, “Don’t second-guess yourself. Become that new brand, and eventually people will follow.”
Re-branding can take a bit of work and a lot of risk, but for many entrepreneurs, it can pay off.
Start by carefully considering your options. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! In 2010, Gap changed their logo, but just six days later, they switched back to the old logo because the new one didn’t work for them.
If it’s clear your business needs re-branding, start with the above mentioned tips to make your re-brand go smoothly and successfully.
Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to two growing daughters. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle.