As you assess how you can improve your marketing in 2014, it’s likely that you’ve stepped back and realized that it’s time to reinvent yourself or your business. Rebranding is never a walk in the park. In fact, rebranding a business can be a difficult road, but it is often a necessary and rewarding course. Jake Athey describes it well, “Rebranding is an inward process of recreating your organization’s outward expression of identity. Whether the current brand feels stale and out-of-date, or just fails to reflect the growth and advancement of the organization, a rebranding requires remarkable commitment, creativity, and sometimes resources.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
Whether your organization is business to business or business to customer, here a five steps guide to rebranding in 2014 to be sure it succeeds and empowers your organization for the future:
Motivate and Keep Momentum
Get everyone in the company excited and keep them that way. Rebranding can be a long and somewhat tedious process. Make it your goal to keep everyone’s eye on the prize and excited about the project; this will make it a smoother process with much greater opportunity for success. While your brand is under construction, having a plan and giving updates for big milestones along the way will keep the whole team motivated and chugging along.
It’s so, so important to make a couple variations of logos, slogan, brand materials, and new website designs. You may have a specific vision for these projects, but be open to the suggestions of others. Be sure to keep your buyer persona(s) in mind throughout the process. Consider creating an option for each persona and then combine the best features to create a versatile solution.
Do some market research and adjust. You may your new brand and voice and think its perfect, but its not just about you, marketing is all about the customer. You want to portray your brand so that it effectively relates to your customers and potential customers. After revisions, if your new branding doesn’t seem perfectly complete and you aren’t ready to commit, wash, rinse and repeat. Never settle during a rebranding.
Cover All Your Bases
Once it’s perfect, be sure it translates all across the board. You didn’t design your new logo and completely rebrand just for your website or just for the business card. It has to be consistently represented and versatile to live on anything: your website, your Facebook page, your letterhead, your office front, your golf tees, the company polos, and even the wine glass etching on your client gifts. Cover all the bases of where your logo will go and develop enough variations to consistently represent your brand across every customer-reaching platform.
You have a shiny new logo and brand, so now it needs to go find its new home on every single branded communication. Updating your website, email templates and social media is the easy part. Overhauling all printed communications, brand identity materials, swag and signage that can seem daunting. This process is what costs the most money, and my suggestion is to just get it done. You’ll be happy when it’s over and done properly.
Originally ‘branding’ was used by craftsmen to place a mark on their work. Their mark distinguished their work from the work of other craftsmen. The final logos, images and messaging must distinguish what makes your company, people and products different from all others. A rebrand is not simply an opportunity to change public perception, but also an occasion to internally reunite the forces and decide what will make your organization different from all others. If the need presents itself be sure to re-invent your business this year through rebranding.