So, you’re ready for a rebrand? Let me guess. You're already getting anxious and confused. Your biggest fear is likely getting to the end of the process over-budget and behind schedule. Over the past seven years, we've met a lot of people like you. Let's lay the foundation for your rebranding process, and give you something to build on that will give everyone involved a good experience (and less headaches).
1. Start With Why
Branding is a powerful tool that distinguishes your business from your competition. Your brand is the sum of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that someone has when they interact with your company. It also serves as a representation, symbol, or mnemonic device–an introduction into a deeper meaning. Branding is important because it determines the first impression of who you are and what you stand for.
With that in mind, you can see why your brand should be a spot on representation of your company. Does this sound like you? If not, it’s time for a rebrand.
Rebranding has the danger of turning into a long and expensive process. Nobody wants that. Before you jump the gun, nail down exactly what you’re imagining. Changing your mind mid-way through the process, or even worse, after the process is completed, can potentially confuse your audience and damage your credibility. Again, nobody wants that.
Do your team and your customers a HUGE favor by starting with why and setting clear expectations.
2. Understand Your Customer
Spend some time getting inside the mind of your ideal customer. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what they’re looking for and what they’re drawn to, you’ll struggle to retain focus and vision in your rebranding process. You're the trusted guide, but your customer is the hero. Remember, this is about them.
You're the trusted guide, but your customer is the hero. Remember, this is about them.
Use data and surveys instead of going with what just feels right or looks good. If you need a good starting point, reach out to your past customers, or even leads that didn’t convert into customers. If you have to, bribe survey responses with Starbucks giftcards. Trust us, it works. People will do anything for coffee. Here are a few questions you can ask them:
- What problems are they experiencing?
- What websites are they already hanging out on?
- What kind of style are they drawn to?
- What feeling/emotion do you want them to have?
Your goal for this stage is to have a clear understanding of your customer’s needs and desires. No need to think about solutions yet, just get inside the mind of your customer. You started this business for them, remember?
3. Understand Your Business
Now that you understand exactly what your customers are looking for, you need to have a clear understanding of what you’re offering them. Many people will be tempted to skip this step thinking they already know everything there is to know. The challenge here is to view your business from an outsider’s perspective. Get outside your own brain here. If someone was describing your business to a friend, what would they say? Can they clearly communicate what you do and what value you add? If you confuse, you lose. Here's some pointers:
- What is the culture of your business/team?
- What problem are you solving?
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- What’s your mission statement?
- What is your tone of voice?
After this section, you should have a vivid understanding of the heart of your business. Think of this as the “elevator pitch” section. How would you describe your business if you just had a few seconds to communicate it to a stranger?
4. Create Clear Expectations
Give yourself a hand. At this point, you know what you’re looking to accomplish, and you know the person you’re catering the content to. The hardest part is done.
Now you need to make a plan to make this process a “win” for every person involved. Determine a realistic set of needs and expectations, and find a way to clearly communicate this with your team.
- What is your budget for this process?
- When do you want the rebranding process to be completed?
- How are you going to make the transition process as seamless as possible?
- Who is going to manage the whole process from start to finish?
- What is the entire scope of work? (Logo, website, copywriting, style guides, etc.)
When you are starting your rebranding process, whether you’ll be working with a marketing agency like JCI, or an internal team, you’ll have already set up a great foundation for your rebranding strategy. This will make the process as seamless and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved and your finished product will be a clear and powerful representation of your business. Now doesn’t that sound amazing?