Let's start with a simple small business owners' question: "What is branding?"
Branding is the act of defining your brand, which according to the American Marketing Association (AMA), is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”
So what does Re-branding mean?
Rebranding is the act of updating your existing brand.
When should you consider rebranding?
Consider rebranding when your business has taken on a new or more focused direction or when you feel it is time to spruce up and improve your overall business image, or - and possibly more importantly - once you've established your business and you have the time to really take a look at what you are doing and where you are going and you have a better, more clear vision of how your business image should look. If any of these situations sound right to you – it’s time to rebrand!
Rebranding is like spring cleaning: once you clean your bedroom closet you may feel like painting the walls of your bedroom and then you feel it’s time to replace your old bed and then you want to buy new linens to match the new wall color; then 'suddenly' your bedroom furniture starts to look old and you will want to replace it as well. All this expense and bother happened because you took a few hours to clean out a closet! Rebranding works the same way: if you are considering rebranding your logo, you may need and want to change your over-all color palette and then well, it’s time to update and rebrand your entire business look and feel. Read the following rebranding steps required to professionally rebrand your business.
Follow these 8 easy-to-follow steps to rebranding
Warning: this process can take longer than you think – but can help you not only understand what you and your business are all about, but help potential clients chose you over your competition. Remember the old saying: "if it is worth doing – it is worth doing well!".
1. Re-examine your business name. If you are already rebranding, be honest – does your business name really tell people who you are/what you do? If it doesn’t – this is the time to change it!
2. Re-examine your tagline. A tagline is a catchphrase or a slogan that is usually found under your logo and can also be found on most of your marketing collateral. If you are rebranding, especially if you are taking a new business path, it is essential that you rethink and perhaps re-craft or create for the first time a tagline.
3. Re-examine your logo. This is a great opportunity to update or completely change your logo. Ask the following questions:
Does your logo suit your business personality?
Is it easy to incorporate it into your website, business card and other marketing collateral? Does it cause confusion? Does it look good printed or when viewed on a smartphone? If it doesn’t – improve it or get rid of it.
Think ahead and don't let your graphic artist tempt you into using a crazy font that may be hard to integrate into your marketing collateral and website and may be expensive to buy for future use. Have your graphic artist use a free .ttf (true type font) font that is easy to download and use as you need it.
4. Consider your color palette. Your color palette is made up of the main colors you use in your logo. Your logo and color palette can be a kind of ‘chicken and egg’ situation. Sometimes your logo dictates your color palette, sometimes you color palette dictates your logo and sometimes your business type dictates both, as discussed below.
Many times your color palette conveys a certain message or tells a story all on its own: by definition a baby clothing store may have a light pastel colored palette; a wedding business can go anywhere from the usual whites, pearls and pinks to silvers and golds; a surfing store may employ deep, dark colors. It all depends on your business and the target audiences you want to attract to your business.
Before you close on a color palette don’t forget to check out the competitions’ colors. The two sides of this issue are: (1) you can understand what colors your target audiences are predisposed to seeing and (2) you can consider if you want to be ‘one of the pack’ or completely different than everyone else. Each side has its own pros and cons.
5. Domain email. Rebranding is a great time to open a domain email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you haven't already opened one. Domain email accounts are cheap and worth the investment. However, like many other changes, it’s easy to start – the hard work comes with the implementation.
If you've used your personal email as your business email you need to update your database and get everyone to use your new business email. Include an update line in the body of your personal email with your new business email – preferably in red/bold to be noticed; update all your business correspondence, billing and marketing collateral. There will be an adjustment period while you jump from one email account to the other, moving over business contacts and sharing and syncing calendars but the effort is worthwhile in the long run.
6. Update your printed marketing collateral. This is a great time to brush the cobwebs off your materials – review the content for value and relevancy, check spelling and grammar of business cards, brochures and flyers. You don't have to print out everything immediately, except your business cards, just have everything ready before you need to print them.
Update all your business correspondence, including your email signature.
Update your bill and receipt forms.
Update your ebilling software with your new logo.
Update all templates, price quotes and informational docs.
7. Update your social media.
Facebook: Update your logo and profile image (if you have changed this or if it does not reflect your color palette change). Once you do this – the thumbnail next to all your posts, future and past posts, will change accordingly.
Just a technical note: you may need to do some Facebook debugging to make sure Facebook has your newest logo, etc. Click here for more details.
LinkedIn: if you are a B2B business you know you need to be on LinkedIn. If you want to open a business page under your business name and really reap the benefits of LinkedIn, you must have a domain email – yahoo, Gmail and the like email accounts are not acceptable.
Twitter: update with your rebranded logo.
Pinterest and Instagram: first make sure you have a business account. Update your rebranded logo and perhaps this is a good time to start some new boards/posts.
8. Tell the world about your rebranding! Rebranding is a great marketing opportunity! Post the news on your social media outlets, send out a newsletter and tell the world. This is the perfect opportunity to re-remind everyone about your business.
How? If your rebranding is simply cosmetic (a logo and/or color palette change) tell everyone that "...you are committed to the same great list of services and same level of customer care with a new clean look". If you’ve rebranded and changed or refocused your service package, announce that "we now offer …" or "are focused on …." "..and our new look reflects this direction.”
Send out a special newsletter explaining your rebranding or tack the announcement on to the most current newsletter due to be published.
Rebranding is a great way to remove the cobwebs and get reenergized about your business with a fresh look and feel.
So re-brand away!
Do you want to open yourself to a more successful business? Are you lost in the social media jungle? Let me help you re-energize your business and rediscover your passion in your profession. We’ll work together to improve your marketing strategy and online exposure and find the perfect target markets for your business. Contact me today to schedule a free introductory meeting.