Branding has always been a vital part of any business. But, it might be even more important now than ever before.
Why? Because of social media. Nowadays, more than ever before, consumers get to check out a lot of brands online.
However, this situation is a double-edged sword. This means that it’s both a good thing and a bad thing.
How so? Well, social media is an empire of the online world. It doesn’t matter what type it is. It can be Instragram, Facebook, Twitter or even TikTok. Social media can affect your brand a lot.
Seeing that people spend a lot of their time on social media, it’s fair to say that consumers get exposed to brands every single day.
Now, on one hand, that’s a good thing. If a lot of people get to see your brand, then that means that you can gain many customers.
However, on the other hand, that’s also a bad thing. Your brand is not going to be the only one that’s exposed out there. Customers have a lot of options to choose from. Which is not beneficial for your business.
All those other brands are your competitors. You don’t want your customers moving over to the other side.
And, this is already a disadvantage when you have a good brand. Imagine how hard it would be to compete with other businesses if you didn’t have a brand at all. It would be next to impossible to be successful.
This is why branding is important. As we said above, branding can benefit your business, your service, and yourself.
But, are these all the benefits that branding has to offer? What other benefits are there?
The Benefits of Branding
Yes, there’s a lot of competition out there today. That’s why businesses try their hardest to be the standouts among the rest.
However, you can be a standout one way or the other. You want people to see your business as the best one out there, not as the least credible one.
This also plays into why branding is so important. Do you want to know how exactly branding can help out your business? Here’s how:
The Benefits of Branding
Recognition is not something that any business takes lightly. After all, if your business is solely recognized by a niche audience, then how will it ever be as successful as its competitors?
Well, here’s the thing, people pay more attention to branded businesses than unbranded ones.
Your business must always have strong branding. Without it, you’re not going to climb too high on the ladder of success, because people won’t really remember your business. That’s the result of poor branding.
Your business must have a lot of distinct qualities, like the logo, the colors, what it offers, everything. That way, it will stick with people. They will see it in a positive light and your branded business can gain a lot of recognition.
Trust is also incredibly important. If your audience trusts you, then your business can truly prosper.
Don’t get too ahead of yourself, though. Trust is really helpful. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to gain.
So, how can you build trust with your audience?
Well, first ask the questions: Would you choose a business that seems trustworthy, offers simple solutions, and seems friendly? Or, would you choose one that seems to make things unnecessarily complicated and hard?
Every single one of us would choose the first option because that one has stronger branding.
These are the types of questions that you need to ask. And, if you answer them right, you can build trust with your audience and a stronger business as well.
Here’s another reason why branding is so useful: Advertising.
In a way, you can say that branding and advertising are two chapters of the same book. And, just like a book, each chapter has to set up the one that comes after it.
The same applies to branding and advertising. If you want your advertising to be strong, you will need to build a strong brand first.
Why is that? Well, when you’re advertising your business, you want everything to be simple and understandable, not difficult and messy.
Remember, you want your business to stick with people. Well, that can only happen if your business has a strong brand that can pave the way for great advertising.
This is why branding is so important. You can help your business grow, or you can see it crumble down.
However, that’s not all that branding can do for your business. There are a lot of benefits that you can gain from internal and external branding.
If you want to get a grasp on how a brand functions, you need to know how branding works internally and externally.
Internal branding has to worry about who perceives it and how it is perceived.
So, what exactly are internal perceptions about? Well, internal perception focuses more on how your employees perceive your brand.
This includes your image, identity, and how everything that you offer looks and works. You want your employees to see your business in a positive light. Otherwise, they won’t be able to influence your brand the way that you want them to.
Employees Influencing the Brand
You want your employees to feel like they’re contributing to something. People who hate their job never work as well as the ones who love their job.
Well, if your company has strong branding, then there’s a high chance that you will get the latter, not the former.
Your employees can feel like they’re involved in creating something great. And not only that. Good branding also makes it easier for you to gain a lot more employees.
The more employees you have, the stronger your business can grow.
Improve Morale, Productivity, and Revenue
As we mentioned above, you want your employees to feel like they’re part of something great. That will help out with the morale of your employees and your business in general.
But, morale isn’t the only thing that’s going to be affected. Their productivity will be too.
If employees work on something that they love, they will achieve a lot more than they would on something that they hated.
Now, your business can produce a lot of products in a short period of time. Seeing that your business is playing in a market full of competitors, that’s a good thing. The more your employees like the brand, the more productive they will be.
And, where does all of that lead? It leads to your business’ revenue gain getting bigger and bigger.
But, what about external branding?
Alright, we covered how people inside your business can help you succeed. But what about the ones who are on the outside?
Other people’s opinions weigh whether or not your brand will be successful.
Similar to internal branding, external branding also worries about who perceives your brand and how it’s perceived. The “who” is what makes the difference, though.
External branding is concerned with how customers and partners feel about your brand. Whatever perception they have of all the elements that make your brand will factor into its success.
What Your Partners and Customers Think of Your Business
Your customers play a vital role in your brand’s success. But, as we mentioned earlier, you will need to build trust with them.
And, trust is not easy to come by. You have to earn it.
You need the branding to do that. Customers want something that they feel like it’s trustworthy. You can never achieve that if your business is poorly branded or not branded at all.
And, this doesn’t just include your customers either. This also includes your partners. A poorly branded business is the right turn towards the wrong path.
Focus on Communication and Advertisement
So, how do you exactly build a brand that your customers and partners will like?
To do that, you need to focus on how you communicate with your customers and partners. And, you will also have to focus on how you advertise your brand.
Much like advertisement and branding, communication and advertisement also go hand in hand. You might even say that advertisement is a form of communication.
How? Well, whenever you’re advertising a brand, you’ll need to make sure that you’re using the right words and elements.
Remember, people like simplicity. If what you’re advertising is complicated to understand, then it’s not going to stick with your general audience. Sure, you might get one or two people’s attention. But, you want more than just that.
You don’t want to stretch your audience out too thin. What you want is to advertise a brand in a way that will stick with the majority of your audience.
That way, your brand can start to rise in success.
Why is Value Proposition Modelling Important?
The value proposition canvas was created so you can make sure that there is a right fit between the product and the market.
And, for that to happen, you first need to know what your customers want and how your product can help the brand.
What the Customer Wants and How Your Product can Help the Brand
No matter what your business is, you will always have to fight with other businesses for your place in the market. After all, you’re not the only one who wants to build something great from the ground up.
But, in order to do that you have to pay close attention to what your customers want. And, for that, you need to really know your target audience.
But, even if you manage to achieve that, you still need to be ready in case whatever you propose doesn’t meet your customer’s expectations.
However, the good news is that you can avoid that. That’s exactly why a value proposition canvas was created.
The value proposition canvas is made out of the customer profile and the value map. Here’s everything you need to know about them:
The customer profile worries about how other people feel about buying products from your business.
The customer profile consists of three categories:
You have to focus on the jobs that your customers have done.
But remember, you shouldn’t just focus on the functional jobs. Emotional and social jobs are also incredibly important.
Pains For the pains, you need to focus on identifying the problems that many of your customers might face when they’re trying to get the job done.
These can be challenges that make their lives or their work a lot harder.
This leads us to the third and final point:
Gains are the opposite of pains. However, they also focus on the positive outcomes that your customers expect when the job is done.
This is all you need to know to have a well-rounded picture of what the customer profile is all about.
Now, it’s time to move over to the value map.
The value map takes up the second half of the value proposition canvas. The value map focuses on how your products and services relieve pains and create gains.
With it, you can list:
Products and Services
Products and Services
Products and services are really important. They’re what your value proposition offers to get the job done.
As the name suggests, pain relievers focus on how products and services can minimize or reduce the pains. After that, you can focus on how to create the gains.
That way, the customer experience can be significantly better.
As mentioned above, after you’ve focused on how to minimize or reduce pain with pain relievers, you can move on to gain creators.
Gain creators outline how your products and services create the gains and why they are so beneficial to your customers.
Through the value proposition canvas, you can gain “fit” by making it clear what customers want. And, by also focusing on how your products and services can ease pains and create gains.
Now, you know how to use the value proposition canvas to create products and services that customers are after. Alright, now we have covered what a brand is. You now know what internal and external branding benefits there are and what a value proposition canvas looks like.
So, what’s next? Well, now you need to create a brand exploration report.
Create a Brand Exploration Report
A brand exploration report is essentially a brand audit. You need to perform a complete analysis of the current state of your brand.
But, that’s not the only thing you need to focus on. You also have to analyze how your target audience and your competition are doing. That way, you can stay on top of everything, instead of being behind your competitors.
After you’re done analyzing everything, you should have a fairly clear picture of how your brand is doing. How it appears in the market, how the target audience sees it and how it fares against competitors.
First, you will need to focus on what your brand represents. What is your brand about?
What is the Brand About?
We spoke about how important other people’s perceptions of your brand are. But, what about your perception of the brand?
Your brand’s name is what is going to set the tone for many things going forward. It needs to be simple, catchy, and fun to look at.
This is why you have to have an objective so that you can decide what to do and how to do it.
Have an Objective
There are a lot of things that you have to consider before settling on a name. Primarily, you need to focus on the dos and don’ts.
What are the dos? The dos include the things that you have to remember:
Be open-minded. Don’t pass on a name just because it sounds too simple or too weird. Brand names like Nike or Amazon might seem very recognizable now. But, back when they were first pitched, some people probably thought that their names were too out of place.
Be short and simple. You want something that doesn’t take a while to understand. If your customers have to ask many questions about what your brand name is trying to say, then you already have a problem on your hands.
Tell a story without needing to say much. You want your customers to be drawn to your brand. Well, people are drawn to things that they find personal. You want to make them feel like they’re a part of something, not just people on the outside.
This leads us to the don’ts.
Don’t play it safe. Don’t settle for a name that’s too obvious. You have to be unique and stand out. Not common and blend in.
Don’t overthink every single little thing. If you do, you’re going to end up with something that no one likes.
You always have to think about what makes your brand stand out in the best way possible. For that, you have to define your own identity.
Define Your Identity
Through your identity, you’re going to convey the message of your brand, how your brand looks and what experience it offers.
Your brand strategy is what’s going to really influence how your identity is being presented.
There are a lot of elements that define your brand identity. These include:
All these elements are what define your brand identity. They each hold as much significance as anything else that makes your brand stand out.
Create the right web/social handles
So, what exactly are web/social handles? These handles are names that are associated with accounts. They can make it easier for other people to find your business and connect with you.
Essentially, social handles are a great communication tool that makes it easier for people to find your business online.
Something like this can prove to be really useful to your brand. You can interact with your audience a lot easier.
Although it depends on the type of platform you are using, handles usually appear under your name as “@something”
Yes, your brand account can also appear via username. But, handles make it easier for others to find your brand, communicate with you, and allow you to assist them.
We know, something like handles on social media wasn’t that big of a deal 10 years ago. However, nowadays they are a big deal. Every single business benefits from them greatly.
Speaking of handling branding and defining its identity, do you know what is used to define the foundation of a brand? The Messaging Framework.
Every single form of visual and verbal communication is derived from the Messaging Framework, as do all the brand decisions.
The Messaging Framework has to start with one simple thing. This can be either one simple word or idea that defines your brand.
After you’re done with that, you have to move over to positioning.
Positioning: How You Want to be Perceived
As the title suggests, positioning worries about how you want to be perceived.
You can see it as a journey. One that starts with how you perceive your brand and ends with how you can create the right image about your brand in other people’s minds.
You have to consider what your customers will think when they first see your brand. Will they perceive it negatively or positively? And, how can you turn the negatives into positives?
Tagline: A clarifying Thought that Associates You with Your Target Market
Have you ever felt that your customer is just not connecting with your brand? They might need something that can instantly pull them in. a tagline can help you with that.
A tagline can be a thought or a phrase that highlights what your business does.
Taglines always have to be short, clear, and simple sentences. At the same time, taglines have to clarify your brand’s value and what your brand’s mission is.
Target Audience and Buyer Personas
Your brand’s target audience and buyer personas are both really important. However, some might think they are one and the same thing. But, that’s not true.
A target audience is a list of traits which is shared by your business’ customers. This can include their gender, age, where they live, how much they make in a year, what their interests are, and so on.
However, the target audience isn’t as focused on the specifics as the buyer personas are. While the target audience focuses on an entire crowd of customers, buyer personas focus on each specific person in that crowd.
Thanks to the target audience and buyer personas, you can really get to know your customers and create a better marketing strategy.
Functional Benefits: The Reasons Why Your Customers Benefit From You
Functional benefits are related to what your brand offers. And, more specifically, how your customers can benefit from what you offer.
Functional benefits are meant to leave a strong impression on your customers. That, in turn, can help you rise above your competitors.
So, what can functional benefits be? They can be any sort of product that is more unique and beneficial than what your competitors offer. Such as the quality of a T-shirt, a bottle of water, or even a phone case.
Functional benefits can help your brand become more and more successful.
Emotional Benefits: Why do customers believe they benefit from you? Why do they tell themselves to do business with you?
‘ Emotional benefits make sure that your customers have a great experience when they use your brand.
Think of emotional benefits as the little details in a long-running TV show. People who are really casual watchers might not notice those details.
But, you will. That can leave you appreciating the program more because it’s rewarding you for paying attention to those details.
The same thing applies to any type of business. You have to focus on why customers believe that they benefit from you.
And, why do they tell themselves to do business with you? Your customers should always have a positive feeling when they think of your brand.
Other examples of emotional benefits vary between customers. This can be the feeling that they have when purchasing something ordinary from their usual shopping place. It can also be when they experience great service or when they donate to a charity of their choice.
Personality: What personality do you want to permeate through your communications
Personality can play a big factor in how you communicate with your customers. You always have to be careful and know that you are giving off the right vibes.
There are a lot of different personality types. All of which lead to different communication styles.
If two different communication styles crash into one another, you will result in two sides not knowing what the other is talking about. This is never a good sign.
What you want to do is set the right tone and make sure that others know what your personality is.
Stories: A simple way to explain how customers benefit from your business
When you’re explaining how customers can benefit from your business, try not to make the explanation boring.
An easy way to avoid that is by turning your explanation into stories. Stories can truly showcase what your business’ purpose is. Businesses with purpose fare better at getting customers.
Stories can make everything more relatable. That is something that can really benefit your business. Because people trust others who know how they feel. It makes them feel warmer and more comfortable.
Stories are a great way to achieve that.
Proofs: Proofs that support your claims
Proofs are also incredibly important. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to support your claims.
A marketing strategy without proof is just a series of claims without any base.
Yes, claims, promises, and statements are a part of any business strategy. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t base those claims, promises, and statements on some concrete evidence.
Proofs can make claims turn into facts. That way you won’t have to worry about your customers not trusting you and your brand anymore.
What is a brand story? A brand story is supposed to gather up every single thing that is created by your brand.
This can be the facts you have presented, the type of reaction you have gotten from customers, positive or negative.
There are a lot of things that can influence your brand, such as your product’s history. How it was marketed, its history, and so on.
Your business has to present itself by differentiating itself from other businesses. That way, you can get a positive reaction from customers.
Design a Logo
Designing a logo is arguably the most exciting part of building a brand. Your brand’s logo will appear in everything related to your business in one way or another.
Your logo will, in a way, represent your identity. So, how can you make sure that your logo can successfully show what your brand is all about? Here’s how:
Focus on the Message
Think about the message that your logo is supposed to convey. It should be something that is catchy and simple.
The message that you are trying to convey shouldn’t only focus on how the audience feels when it’s reading it.
Simplicity is the key here. The message shouldn’t be difficult to digest.
Make it Clear, Short, and Functional
Your message should be clear, short, and functional. Again, simplicity is the key.
You don’t want to write something that is way too complicated. You want to attract customers and make them feel comfortable.
You need to be clear in what your brand is offering. Keep it short and sweet. And, try to have the message appeal to your audience.
Be Consistent with Your Business Name
Your logo should represent that which your business seeks to accomplish. After all, you can’t just put together something that has nothing to do with your business and hope for the best.
That’s not how that works. Logos should represent your business. What do you stand for? What do you offer? What do you seek to achieve?
All the answers to those questions should be reflected in your logo.
Focus on Size
You don’t want your logo to be too big. But, you won’t want it to be too small either.
Your logo should be just big enough to fit in. Now, this also depends on the type of logo you’re using.
Nevertheless, your logo should always fit the right proportions. That way it can be pleasant for the eye instead of it being over-exposed.
Brand visuals don’t apply to just your messaging and writing style. They also apply to images, colors, and many other things that fit into the area.
So, what exactly does the visual foundation include? First things first, it includes the color palette.
Many believe that color is a huge reason why people choose the products that they choose. And, that is true. The way that colors are integrated into your brand matters.
Earlier, we said that first impressions are not the only thing that matters. Well, when it comes to coloring, first impressions are really important.
Why? Because colors are the first thing that your customers see. Colors elicit certain emotions. And, in a way, they also hand out information about what your brand is about.
Your brand’s colors should represent your message while making people feel welcome.
Typography can affect your brand greatly.
Simply put, typography arranges your business’ written material so that it can mirror your brand’s personality more.
This process can be a lot of fun. You don’t always have to go for intricate designs. Again, simplicity is the key.
Simplicity can not only grab the attention of your audience, but it can also help you come up with something that will resonate with them.
Even though designing all of this can be a lot of fun, you shouldn’t do it on your own. Hire a professional instead.
Hire a Designer
You want to establish a strong and useful brand. And, as you can see, designing can be a large part of that process. So, what you need to do is hire a designer.
Hiring a designer will prove to be incredibly beneficial to your brand. A professional designer knows how to use the right colors and images.
Style is also an important factor. Luckily, a designer can make sure that your brand has a style that is simple and unique.
That way, your customers will feel like they’re experiencing something fresh.
Thinking outside of the box is a big bonus too. There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe. But, some risks might also prove to be a good idea.
Stationery branding refers to adding graphic art to items and products as a part of a marketing strategy.
This can make your brand stand out. And, your brand will also be more recognizable since the design is going to be the same for all items. The stationery branding can include:
Standard Business Card
Here’s everything you need to know about stationery branding:
Be Simple but Unique
Don’t waste your time trying to be as intricate and complicated as possible. What have we said so far? Simplicity is the key.
People like something that is unique and easy to understand. Try to make the design fit that criteria and you’ll be good to go.
Include Name and Slogan
Don’t forget to include both your name and slogan in your design. If you don’t, then the design will be wasted.
Imagine if a customer picks up an envelope that has a really fun design, but no name or slogan. They wouldn’t know which company that design belongs to. So, they would probably just move on to something else.
You don’t want that to happen. That’s why you should always include both the name and slogan.
You want the design to pop. Try to be a little risky with the colors. But, be just enough so that your design will be unique.
Don’t go with the most obvious colors and design. That would just be boring. And, no one likes boring,
As we said, try to be risky while remaining loyal to what your brand is trying to do.
Create a Brand Book
Do you know what a brand book is?
A brand book is supposed to outline your business’s mission. What your identity is, what the exterior and interior of your brand are supposed to represent.
So, a brand book outlines everything that makes your brand work.
A brand book includes:
Who you are
Colour palette and typography
Applications and stationary system
Who You Are
In this section, you have to include what your brand’s story is. Who are you and how did you get here?
Here’s every point that you need to cover:
There, you can include everything that we talked about earlier.
Positioning and Tagline
Target Audience and Buyer Personas
Stories and Proofs
Focus on how everything is handled and remember to keep everything tightly organized.
As you can imagine, this section includes everything you need to know about logos. You have to cover all the elements that make a logo and how they were brought into your brand.
These are the points that you have to cover:
Logo Protection and Minimum Size
Incorrect Logo Usage
Design Element Application
Here, you can focus on how all the logos and designs are handled. Talk about what was incorporated and what was left out.
Colour Palette and Typography
Here, you can talk about the color palette and typography.
Talk about everything that was incorporated into the color palette. Focus on what colors you decided to go with and why. You can touch on how your customers can and will feel about the look of it all too.
The same thing goes for typography. Say how you arranged the wording. Typography should match your brand’s messages. You can touch on that aspect and focus on how everything was handled.
Applications and Stationary System
In this section, try to focus on every single element that fits into the applications and your brand’s stationary system.
Touch on these points:
Logo Colour Applications
Element Colours Applications
Standard Business Card
The stationary system is a really important part of branding. That’s why you have to be careful and touch on all of these important elements.
Brand packaging allows you to build on your branding strategy through package design. Packaging can make everything feel more comfortable and organized.
It can also elevate the commodity of your customers, which can make them feel better about your brand.
Through brand packaging you can:
Identify your brand
Promote your product
Keep the product safe
Identifying Your Brand
It’s always important to identify your brand. Why? Because if you don’t identify your brand, then how will people differentiate you from your competitors.
So far, we’ve talked about how your brand identity has to be unique. It has to gather a lot of elements and give your audience a clear picture of what your brand is about.
You should always identify your brand even through the packaging. Only then will your customers tell who is who.
Promoting Your Product
This is where packaging can really come in handy. You can promote your product.
Your brand identity can help you out tremendously in this section. You can focus on the logo, the colors, typography, and everything else that makes your brand.
Try not to make the promotion very crowded though. Be simple. Say a lot by saying a little.
Keeping the Product Safe
Through packaging, you can also keep it safe from any harm.
That’s what packaging is all about. Now, your customers can and will receive the products that they purchase in their original condition.
This can help a lot with your reputation. Which, in turn, will gain you even more customers.
Successful Branding Examples
Before you go and create your own brand, take a look at some examples of some people who were once in your shoes.
Apple is one of the most successful brands in our generation. What once was just the name of a fruit, is now one of the most gigantic, profitable, and well-known brand names on the planet.
No matter where you go, you will hear and see people talking about Apple or using Apple products. If a new Apple product comes out, you will hear almost everyone talk about it for weeks on end.
Their customer service is also well known, considering that the protocol of each Apple store is tied together depending on the place.
Coca-Cola is yet another brand whose name is known in the entire world. Coca-Cola is also not a new brand. This brand has been going strong for decades.
It’s been with us for so long, that it’s almost impossible to think of a world where this name wasn’t recognized by everyone.
How big of an impact has Coca-Cola left? Well, as we’re sure that you’re aware, Santa Claus is a big staple of the brand.
But, did you know that Coca-Cola was the first to depict Santa as a man who wore red and white? That’s right, before Coca-Cola, Santa Claus wore a more traditional Christmas outfit. That just goes to show how big of an impact this brand has left.
Starbucks is also a gigantic brand that everyone recognizes.
Its design has become somewhat iconic. It’s simple, cozy, and inviting. It’s exactly what you would expect from a brand about coffee and more.
Starbucks offers great service around the globe and it’s one of the most recognizable, if not the most recognizable coffee brands ever made.
Ikea is also one of the most recognizable brands in the world. However, Ikea is not recognized for its coffee. It is known for selling a variety of furniture.
This brand knows its audience. They know what people want and need. And, they provide the people with just that.
It’s no wonder why Ikea is a brand unlike any other.
Uber has quickly become one of the fastest-growing brands in the world. Uber makes sure that people can be transported from one place to another in great comfort.
They also have a great marketing strategy. Uber doesn’t just work in the US, but around the globe too. That way, when you travel to another continent, you can have a familiar mode of transportation ready for you.
Common Branding Myths
Take a look at some myths that way too many people believe to be real. All of which have been proved to be false
Perfect Products Guarantee Success
Some people believe that it doesn’t matter if you have a brand or not. As long as your product is amazing, you can be as successful as they come.
Well, that’s not true. It doesn’t matter what kind of product you have. Without a brand, there’s no way anyone will even know that your product exists.
Brands are the flavor that is wrapped around your product. They are the reason why your product can and will stand out against competitors.
There is Only One Way to Build a Brand
If you think that there’s only one way to build a brand, then you’re wrong. Not everyone follows the same strategy. If they did, either no brand would succeed or all of them would.
There isn’t just one way to go about building a brand. You should focus on what you offer, how you offer it, and go from there.
Your brand also needs to stand out. That wouldn’t be possible if there was only one way to build a brand.
Branding and Advertising are the Same Things
This myth of branding and advertising being the same thing is understandable, albeit untrue.
Branding and advertising are not by any mean the same thing. But, they do work together.
Branding is all about the identity that you create. Advertising helps you showcase that identity to the world. So, as you can see, they might work with each other. But, branding and advertising are not the same things.
Branding is Very Expensive
Branding can be expensive. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to be.
You can learn more about who your audience is. Learn how you can help them and value them. Use social platforms to connect with them.
These methods can build excitement and spread the word about your brand.
Branding is by no means easy. It’s very hard to build something from the ground up. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible either.
Questions You Might Have
1. How can you simplify your brand identity?
What you need to do is make sure you identify what you have, what you want, and what you need. Find all the elements that best represent your brand. Keep those and get rid of the rest. Then work with the one you kept. Now, you can build something in a simpler way.
2. What colors should you choose?
Colors and emotions go hand in hand. This is about your brand and what you’re trying to say. Now, associate that message with colors.
Hopefully, your colors will already be eye-catchy. But, if they’re not, there’s nothing wrong with trying different things. Settle on what you think it’s best and what you think your audience will like.
3. How can you speak your audience’s language?
You should always try to be helpful and understanding. Try to put yourself in their shoes. See how you can help them. Don’t be too aggressive. Focus on what they need and what kind of person they are and adapt to it.
4. How can you be different?
To be different from others, you first need to know what your competitors are offering and how they are offering it.
Check out your competition. Learn everything you can about their brand. Then, try to differentiate yourself from their ideas by coming up with your own.
Get to Work!
Branding your business can be really scary. But it’s also really necessary.
If you don’t brand your business you won’t be able to advertise any of your products. Your business won’t be able to prosper and neither will you.
But, there’s no need to worry. You now know every single thing that there is to know about branding your business. You know how to build both the exterior and the interior of your brand.
You know how to find the right audience for your brand and how to keep them too.
After taking all the steps necessary to create your brand, you can now take another step towards success.
Maybe the time has come for you to rebrand your business. But how do you get started? Do you change your logo and then worry about the rest?
Rebranding can turn a brand into a magnet for new audiences, revitalize it, and give it a fresh and exciting new identity. But there is a catch. Rebranding is one of the most challenging marketing strategies to pull off.
When you rebrand, you need a plan of action. And you need to know your audience. Without a fresh, consistent, and inspired approach, rebranding can backfire against you.
This guide to rebranding a business will help you navigate the challenges and pitfalls of creating a new brand strategy. In addition, this guide will help you define your brand’s mission and position in the market. You will intimately know what makes your brand strong.
What Does Rebranding Mean?
Rebranding is the process of creating a new company identity. It’s more complex than a simple logo refresh. A complete rebranding strategy can cover all aspects of your company’s personality, from your logo, slogan, and website to your packaging and marketing materials.
On the web, rebranding is often used as a synonym to changing your logo and updating your website. But at its core, rebranding means much more than this. A company can refresh its logo or website without rebranding itself. When it rebrands, however, it changes its identity, and with it, it may also alter its mission statement and objectives.
For many companies, rebranding is a natural phase of their growth – a process through which they may have to go through more than once. It arises naturally as a need to align its objectives with market trends and customer expectations. On average, organizations change their visual identity once every decade. Rebranding is also common after mergers and acquisitions.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
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solutions for challenger brands.
Rebranding is usually done with customers in mind. No company wants to alienate customers with its rebranding. On the contrary, companies may rebrand to engage customers more and reach a wider audience. But rebranding can help a brand create a different identity in the minds of investors and competitors as well. It can help the company’s management and employees rethink their work and strengthen their commitment to it.
Your corporate identity and branding are closely connected. The first influences the latter. But your branding is driven by your company identity as well. The logo you choose, your slogan, your website, and your marketing – your corporate identity influences all of these. At the same time, a successful rebrand can make you feel proud about being who you are and doing what you do.
Developing a brand identity is a process that relies on internal as well as external factors. As the owner or manager of a company, you can control some of these factors. You can change the look and feel of your website, create a new logo, or opt for a different branding strategy that is more empathetic.
However, whether your rebrand succeeds or not depends on how your audience perceives these changes. Audience perception, in turn, is shaped by their interaction with other brands, market trends, and expectations.
Key Reasons for Rebranding Your Business
Companies that need rebranding experience many tell-tale signs that the time has come for change. Some of these signs are obvious. If you too are considering a rebrand, it’s important to pay attention to both the positive and the negative signs.
Lack of Engagement
People engage more with the brands they like and buy more from the brands they engage with. Engagement between consumers and brands takes many forms, from the actual time visitors spend on your website to likes, shares, and follows on social media.
Today, when they are swamped with choices, consumers have only a limited time every day to engage with brands.
Every day consumers face up to 5,000 ads. Add to that the fact that the average person makes around 35,000 choices daily, and now you have to give your audience a very good reason to engage with your brand. Otherwise, it will be easier for them to choose not to, especially since making too many choices tires the brain and reduces willpower.
Do consumers leave you positive reviews? Do they comment on your blog posts and do fans and followers interact with your social media pages? Engagement is crucial for surviving online today, and rebranding helps with that.
94% of participants in a Gensler Brand study said they would recommend a brand they were emotionally engaged with.
How would Microsoft look today if it still used its 1992 logo? Or what would Amazon be if the website looked and felt like it did ten years ago?
Not half as colorful. Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%, according to a University of Loyola study. What’s more, a signature color can further increase brand recognition by 80%. Just think of the green in the Starbucks logo.
Trends, technological developments, and customer expectations all shape brand perception. With so many brands today committed to relentless innovation, the pace at which websites, logos, apps, or products become outdated has increased exponentially.
Two years ago, your website may have been all the rage. But today, it may need rebranding. That’s how fast things move.
Loss of Relevancy
Remember the old Apple rainbow logo? Back in 1998, Steve Jobs changed it to a monochrome logo that reflected Apple’s elegance, minimalism, and competitive edge. While not unappealing, Apple’s colorful logo lost touch with the trends at a time when computers were making a huge leap forward.
The rainbow logo may have been a nod to the Apple II, the world’s first computer with a colored display. But in 1998, when the first iMac came out, the rainbow logo would have looked childish on the sky-blue computer.
Apple turned to a monochrome logo briefly, before settling on a more elegant, metallic logo that went through a few transformations over the years.
Need for Differentiation
Customers constantly compare your brand to competitors. They do this every time they have to make a choice. Every time they shop for a product. Every time they look for a solution to a problem. When your brand identity is too similar to that of your competitors, customers are less likely to choose you.
One of the best reasons to rebrand is to celebrate the growth of your company. As your brand grows, so do expectations. Confining a growing brand to its old startup identity is like dressing a young adult in adolescent clothes. It can be uncomfortable. Besides, it makes the wrong impression.
Many brands start small and need a few years to understand their position on the market and determine their unique selling point. Their vision changes during this process, often broadening and incorporating new elements. But a company may change its vision more suddenly as well. A string of bad financial reports coupled with customer dissatisfaction (or a period of roaring success, with high revenues), may also drive a company’s executive team to update their vision.
When your business goes global, your existing brand identity may get lost in translation. Brand names and slogans can mean unfortunate things in other languages, making them very difficult to market abroad.
One example is Pepsi’s infamous “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” tagline in China, a translation for its catchy Western slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life.” But things don’t have to be this dramatic. Twix was once named Raider before its global expansion called for a more descriptive name that captured the spirit of the twin biscuit sticks.
An even more inspired name change, and one that would have a lasting impact on the web as we know it, took place back in 1995 when Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web – ahem! – became Yahoo! Yahoo! was a simple word that almost anyone in any language could remember.
The same can be said about Nike. The sportswear giant and lifestyle company was founded as Blue Ribbon Sports back in 1964 and initially only sold shoes for a Japanese brand. But seven years later, when it started selling its own products, it adopted a shorter and more appealing name. A name that many people today associate with the brand more than with the Greek goddess after which it was named.
Going global is great, but when it happens, you need to make sure that your new audience understands your brand name and marketing materials. For many brands today, creating a website has become the equivalent of going global and it often calls for rebranding.
If your website traffic includes visitors from different regions, you can use rebranding to provide a universal message and ensure nothing is lost in translation.
Mergers or Acquisitions
Rebranding is not always a choice. When two or more companies merge or when one company acquires another, rebranding may become a necessity.
Whether it’s a case of refreshing a logo, blending two logos, or creating a new logo from scratch that reflects the identity of a new business entity, branding is often indispensable after mergers or acquisitions. It’s one of the best reasons for rebranding while incorporating a dual vision.
The Pillars of a Successful Rebranding Strategy
Rebranding a company step by step is the best way to ensure a positive, inspiring, and ultimately successful corporate identity change. In the first stage, you have to ensure that you are moving in the right direction. You need to make rebranding a unified goal for your whole team.
It all starts with the purpose of your rebrand and the other key pillars that support your campaign. These help to define your rebrand at the concept stage. All successful rebranding strategies rely on the following pillars.
Your rebranding campaign is purposeful when it is driven by clear objectives. Whether your brand is adopting a new vision, has been through a merger, or needs to increase engagement, the rebrand should be undertaken as a natural step in the life of your company. When rebranding arises only as a justification for the marketing department staying busy, the results can be disastrous.
A successful rebrand involves different online and offline channels, including social media, email, and local marketing. It may also require multiple teams in different locations working on the same campaign. For a rebranding campaign to bring the desired results, it has to be consistent from the start. Logo designs, visual guidelines, content marketing, and everything else – all need to convey the same message.
The most successful rebrands focus on the people who make them possible – the customers. They emphasize the human element and celebrate it – they arouse emotions. A logo can convey emotion, and so can a website. But much of the emotional appeal of a rebranding campaign depends on the tone and voice of the marketing materials and whether these connect with the target audience.
Brands that use emotional branding inspire and engage customers. They have the power to transform the identity of a company in a way that encourages people to interact with it more, online and offline. Engagement is not something you can plan, but you can create the right conditions for it to happen. When your rebrand addresses customer concerns and pain points, customers pay attention.
When a brand is committed to changing its identity, this shows in its entire approach to rebranding. It doesn’t look for quick solutions and easy fixes. Instead, it uses creativity and empathetic marketing to solve some of its key identity problems – its bland social media image or outdated website, for example. At the same time, it believes in the purpose and value of the new identity it forges and can defend it from critics.
Steps to Rebranding Your Company
Rebranding a company can be a valuable experience for the entire team. And, of course, it can pave the way for better things to come. But to prove effective, rebranding calls for a thoughtful and discerning approach. It requires a well laid out blueprint that can give structure and a clear direction to the entire process.
1. Create a Brand Identity Questionnaire
What is your brand identity? Is it rich and luxurious? Or is it simple, minimalistic, and down to earth? A brand identity questionnaire can help you determine your brand identity and set the stage for all your rebranding efforts.
When your brand identity is not clear to you, your rebrand may end up confusing everyone – including your team. That’s why you need to make sure these questions make it into your brand identity questionnaire.
What does our company do?
What problem do we solve?
Who are our top three competitors?
How are we different from our competitors?
Why should prospects engage with our brand?
Why should prospects buy from us?
Who is our ideal customer?
What is our primary message?
What are our subsequent messages?
What are the three adjectives that best describe our brand?
2. Understand Your Ideal Customer
The brand identity questionnaire focused on your brand – now it’s time to focus more on your customers. It’s time to understand them better.
Use social media, email, and any other tools to learn more about your customers – their expectations, pain points, and the solutions they require. Break this information down according to each stage in the buyer’s journey.
Awareness Stage – What are the best channels to reach customers at this stage?
Consideration Stage – What information does a prospect require at this stage?
Decision Stage – What can make prospects choose your brand over competitors?
3. Analyze Competitors
Competitors have an indirect effect on how customers perceive your brand. They hold the key to your strategic positioning in the market. More importantly, they can help you understand what makes your brand special. Analyzing competitors is an essential step in your rebranding process and one you shouldn’t skip.
Find your competitors using Google, Amazon, and other search tools.
Categorize primary and secondary competitors. Primary competitors target the same audience as you. Secondary competitors offer higher or lower end variants of your products or cater to a related audience.
Rate their website for appeal, user experience, and value.
Compare their logo to your own, considering its ability to attract attention and memorability.
Follow competitors as a prospect on their blog, on email, and on social media to better understand their message and determine how effective it is.
Review their social media accounts.
Check their customer reviews.
4. Define Your Brand’s Story and Voice
Does your brand tell a new story or does it tell an old story in a new voice? Going back to the origins of your company can ground your rebrand and place it in context. Perhaps your brand’s voice has changed with time.
Maybe it has become clearer and more confident, and now you need a rebrand to distill it. Finding your brand’s voice doesn’t have to be challenging.
Describe your brand voice in three words
Explain each of these words using adjectives
Match your brand voice to these words to become more persuasive
Write a Rebranding Manifesto
A rebranding manifesto captures the spirit of your new brand identity. It’s something you can go back to at any time to help you maintain a clear direction during all stages of the rebrand.
It covers your mission, purpose, the extent of the rebranding, the strategies you will use, and the timeframe for the whole process. Your rebranding manifesto shouldn’t be longer than a few sentences.
6. Create Rebranding Guidelines
Rebranding guidelines keep your new brand identity consistent across various channels. You want to create different types of guidelines that cover all aspects of the rebranding process. You can create as many guidelines as you think are necessary. What should your guidelines include?
Logo size, placement, and variations
Social media assets
7. Rebrand Across Channels
Rebranding a company step by step requires rebranding across channels. Online, it starts with your website and blog and moves to social media. Not all social channels are equally important for your brand, so focus on the ones that have the most substantial impact.
8. Focus on Emotional Branding
Brands that use emotional branding are more likely to inspire customers to act. Emotional branding attracts attention. It appeals to people’s hearts, not their pockets. It has power even over distracted, busy, inattentive customers.
When you listen to your audience and try to solve their problems, they pay attention to what you have to say. That’s why emotional branding is so powerful. It identifies the key emotions your brand can arouse in your audience and uses them to make your message stronger, clearer, and more memorable.
Emotional branding connects you to people like few other marketing strategies can.
So, what do you need to get started with your rebranding strategy? Make sure you don’t forget anything with this checklist.
Successful Rebranding Examples to Inspire You
Before you embark on your rebranding campaign, discover some of the best rebranding campaigns in recent years and the reasons behind them.
For many years, REI has been America’s largest consumer co-op, but until a few years ago, this was not apparent to new customers unless they checked the company’s About page. Back in 2015, REI updated its logo, adding “co-op” under its brand name to highlight that it’s a store for the people. The update was followed by improvements to the website that created a richer visual experience for visitors and simplified navigation.
REI’s rebranding campaign was quiet but effective. It’s a good example of why you don’t have to make a show out of rebranding. While some scoffed at the logo change, it helped REI strengthen its brand identity. Later that year, REI’s decision to close shops on Black Friday and give employees a day off further consolidated its identity as seller of outdoor gear and clothing for the people.
Back in 2014, Airbnb was growing fast, but its logo began to feel a bit outdated. The accommodation-sharing website decided to embark on an innovative rebranding strategy that tried to distill the spirit of the company into a new design.
As part of the process, four designers visited 13 cities on four continents and interviewed more than 120 Airbnb employees. This led to the “Belong Anywhere” tagline and the Bélo, a marque that captures the value of belonging and that anyone can draw.
Despite some criticism, the Bélo design went on to win a heap of awards and refreshed Airbnb’s future marketing campaigns. Today, the Bélo is so much more than a logo for a global community of hosts and travelers – it encompasses a way of life.
While the MasterCard logo has always been easy to recognize, this year the company has aspired to create an even simpler design that can be easily used across the web and beyond. In the age of mobile apps and online banking services, logos that are easy to scale while remaining recognizable have an advantage. Logo with text don’t always scale down perfectly – the text becomes hard to read. MasterCard recognized this and did away with the text to create an effortlessly simple logo.
Mastercard’s new brand identity emphasizes connectivity. According to the company’s CMO Raja Rajamannar, more than 80% of people recognize the Mastercard symbol without the company name. Mastercard’s wordless logo is an excellent example of globalization and digitization. It’s one logo that can be used universally across mediums and scaled as needed. It’s a perfect digital logo.
Ravensbourne University (2016)
Before its rebrand, Ravensbourne University was a well-liked university, but to many students it did not look all that exciting, at least not judging by its logo and website.
In one of the best rebranding campaigns in recent years, Ravensbourne University opted for a daringly creative rebrand. A winner at the 2016 Brand Impact Awards, the campaign raised this London-based university’s profile and turned it into a magnet for creative minds.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Rebranding a Business
Rebranding doesn’t always work as smoothly as in the examples above. Sometimes things get messy, and brands find themselves on the verge of a fallout with their customers.
1. Changing Your Old Look for No Good Reason
In 2010, the iconic clothing brand Gap thought it could do with a logo refresh. Gap changed its logo without warning, causing a public outcry among customers. Angry fans on social media threatened never to buy a Gap product again – that was how much they loved the brand’s identity.
In less than one week, Gap went back to its classic logo. Gap made one of the biggest rebranding blunders possible – rebranding without considering its customers and their taste and disregarding the emotional appeal of the brand. New isn’t always better.
2. Thinking a Fresh Look Will Improve Your Reputation
Comcast is one of the largest cable and internet providers in the US, but it has a far from stellar reputation. In 2010, the company rebranded its consumer services under the name of Xfinity, promising a new era of entertainment, and better services.
The company did not explain the rebranding nor the name, and customers themselves were mostly clueless. The name stuck, but the rebrand didn’t help Comcast improve its reputation. It was a simple logo change and image refresh – nothing more. Comcast is still being dubbed “America’s most hated company.”
3. Giving Up on a Classic Look
Back in 2010, Seattle’s Best Coffee thought a new logo would connect with modern customers better. But its rebrand has gone down as one of the most insipid rebrands of the decade.
The new logo had nothing premium about it, and the branding message didn’t help either. The company used “premium” and “simple” in the same statements, with confusing results.
The old logo captured the brand’s identity better and gave it an authentic feel which the shallow new design could not.
4. Rebranding Too Much Too Often
Pepsi went through many rebrands since its founding in the 19th century, but the 2000s rebrands, which cost Pepsi millions, have been perhaps the most uninspired.
Pepsi reportedly paid $1 million for its 2008 logo redesign, in an effort to add a new twist to its classic image, and look cooler as a result. But the company still went on losing market share, and many fans of the classic logo were not pleased.
Like other marketing strategies, rebranding can be done for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes it’s really quite unnecessary – people love a brand with a classic image as it is, even if they may not buy it as much as in the past.
5. Complicating Your Logo Unnecessarily
In 2010, Kraft wanted to make its logo more interesting, so it replaced its simple logo with a starburst. The new logo was immediately hailed as one of the worst logos in recent history.
Fortunately for its image, Kraft kept the old logo too. Two years later, it adjusted it slightly and endowed it to its foods group division. You will still find it in stores today.
The moral: it’s okay to be partly wrong about rebranding, as long as you don’t ditch the old look entirely. Reverting back to it should be an option if things go wrong.
Rebranding a Business Best Practices
Add these best practices to your rebranding strategy to ensure customer satisfaction.
1. Validate the reason behind the rebrand
As the company rebranding flops from the section above prove, changing your company identity without having a clear understanding of the reasons behind the rebrand can end in failure. That’s why it’s crucial to validate your rebranding strategy before you rebrand.
The validation process should include not only the team in charge of the rebrand, but your whole team. At the same time, it must involve your target audience. Ask your team as well as your customers what they think of the rebrand.
Use surveys, questionnaires, and any other tools you find helpful. Ideally, you should offer a sample audience a few different versions of your new logo or tagline and measure their response to it.
2. Determine how much rebranding you need
A complete rebrand can transform the face of your company. But it’s often not necessary. Going over the top with your rebrand costs time and money and, in the absence of a strong reason to validate it, can work against you. Refreshing your brand with a new logo and a better website can bring the needed change without the uncertainties of a complete makeover.
Take one thing at a time. If your website needs rebranding, that doesn’t have to mean you need to redesign your mobile app or create a company-wide brand training program for your workforce.
3. Calculate costs and duration
Projecting costs and keeping track of expenses gives you a better overview of your rebranding campaign. More than helping you stay within your budget, it can help you reduce costs.
There’s another advantage to being conscientious about your rebranding expenses. It makes it easier for you to identify tasks that burn too much money and look for more affordable solutions. For example, if you cannot create all the marketing materials yourself, you can outsource them. In many cases, this proves cheaper than having the wrong people work on tasks for which they don’t have the time nor the qualifications.
Note everything down, from the cost of graphic design and website optimization to that of printed promotional materials. To keep track of rebranding costs more efficiently, devote a section to this in your rebranding strategy. Update costs as you go. The costs of your rebranding campaign are closely related to the duration of the campaign.
How long does it take to rebrand a company? Rebranding doesn’t have to take more than a few weeks. But if you factor in marketing materials, online promotions, and customer satisfaction assessments, the process can take months.
4. Adjust your mission statement
Visual rebranding campaigns are the easiest to pull off. These don’t alter your mission statement. But when you’re rebranding more than your website and Facebook page – when you’re changing your company identity – you need to update your mission statement as well.
When your company identity and your mission statement are out of sync, your audience may become confused. It’s important to adjust your mission statement in the early phases of your rebrand. It goes without saying that your mission statement should reinforce your corporate branding guidelines.
5. Test your rebrand
Start with a small sample. Gauge user reaction on social media. Check out what people are saying about your brand identity change online. Go a step further and order a survey that focuses on a representative sample of your audience. Keep a close eye on key engagement metrics like comments, shares, and likes, and monitor the conversion rates across channels.
After the excitement of the initial rebrand, this testing phase may seem tedious. But it’s crucial to achieving a successful rebrand. It gives you the opportunity to adjust and change things before any serious customer dissatisfaction has time to settle.
6. Market and launch your rebrand
There are no hard and fast rules on how to launch a rebrand. It usually starts with your logo and website, and a statement that explains the reason behind the rebrand. But beyond that, you have to choose what you think would work best for your audience. You need marketing content across channels.
You can also create ads, pay for sponsored posts, or create a big event with champagne and fireworks and stream it on Facebook Live. It all depends on your audience and the objectives behind your rebrand. But one thing’s clear – your rebrand announcement is just as important as the website or logo redesign.
Working With a Company That Does Rebranding
Should you work with a rebranding agency or not? This is one of the key rebranding questions and one you should ask yourself before starting a rebrand even if you believe your team can do all the work.
That’s because teaming up with a rebranding agency can streamline the entire process. It can help you overcome obstacles and, in some instances, may even reduce your costs.
Explore now the key benefits of working with a rebranding agency.
1. Get expert advice
Companies who rebrand for the first time have the most to gain from working with a brand management consulting firm. This partnership brings them a deeper understanding of all aspects of the rebranding process, from the choice of a new logo to planning an empathetic marketing campaign that consolidates their brand message.
Rebranding is fraught with subtleties, and even a slight variation in the shade of a color or the typography of a logo can make a big difference.
2. Make your branding more emphatic
For many companies, the big challenge they face with branding is not so much creating a new logo or updating their website experience, but creating the marketing materials they need to support their rebranding efforts. You may be in a similar position.
Communicating the right message is crucial here to make people pause and pay attention to what you are saying. Conveying your message clearly and emphatically requires talent, skill, and time.
A rebranding agency fueled by a creative team can move people better than the average marketing department.
3. Finish the rebranding faster
Finding graphic designers, content writers, or web developers takes time. Also, coordinating all the different resources and elements you need to complete your rebranding campaign is in itself a challenge.
That’s why many small and medium-sized businesses turn to rebranding agencies. By providing a solution in one package, a rebranding agency takes the hassle out of planning, managing, and adjusting your brand identity on the go.
Working with an agency speeds up everything, from logo creation to marketing materials. It concentrates resources and allows you to use them more effectively where they are needed.
4. Crunch the numbers
Tracking the right metrics and analyzing data makes rebranding easier. It’s the only way to optimize costs and fine-tune your marketing. However, many small and medium-sized businesses don’t have a team of analysts for this task. So they monitor only views, conversions, or email open rates.
Rebranding agencies often provide data tracking and analysis which enable you to make better decisions at key stages during your rebranding.
5. Fill the gaps
Maybe you have a great design team but no content writers. Or perhaps you want to add video marketing to your rebranding campaign but don’t have a video team on board. Teaming up with a rebranding agency is a good solution to filling gaps in your team. Choosing the right agency means you don’t have to commit to full service. You can customize your service according to your needs.
What to Pay Attention to
It’s important to make the difference between brand management consulting providers and a rebranding agency. While a branding consultant may provide only guidance, a rebranding agency can offer a complete solution to your rebranding needs in one package. This includes consulting as well as logo design, content marketing, managed ad campaigns, and more.
Within rebranding agencies, there are notable differences as well. Some agencies provide only a few rebranding services, while they may outsource the rest. Others offer the whole package. Another important distinction is between rebranding agencies that specialize within a certain niche, or that work only with small or medium-sized businesses, and those that have a more varied portfolio of clients.
And remember that bigger is not always better. When you rebrand in a very competitive niche, it’s often best to choose a specialized agency that is up to date with the latest developments and trends in the industry. You may have to pay more, but you can balance the cost against the long-term benefits of working with an experienced team whose methods are more closely aligned with customer expectations.
Regardless of the rebranding services you choose, you should sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. This is important because you may have to share sensitive data with the agency you work with. An NDA will safeguard your data.
Questions You Should Ask
1. Can you help me define my branding and audience?
It’s good to get brand management consulting as part of the package. Clarifying your objectives and knowing your audience’s pain points gives you an insight which you can turn into a more accurate marketing strategy.
2. What marketing services do you offer?
Empathetic content marketing means more than blog posts and website articles. It means videos, infographics, and social media marketing. A creative touch makes branding easier.
3. Have you worked with clients in my industry before?
Yes is usually better. When the agency you work with knows your industry, they have more insights for you. Also, you save time explaining to them what you do and how you do it.
4. Do you offer custom-fit services?
The ability to choose the rebranding services you need and scale them is important. Being stuck with a standard package for small business branding services limits your options.
5. How are you going to track performance?
A metric-driven approach works best, but you want to know a bit more than that. How often will you get reports? What channels will these include? Is it possible to set up automated responses based on those reports?
Get Started Now
Successful rebranding starts with a real need for change. It’s not so much a marketing ploy as a natural event in the life of a brand, a metamorphosis from one developmental stage to another.
Rebranding a company step by step takes time and gives rise to many challenges. But it can have a transformative effect on your company. In the long run, not rebranding can cost you more than going for it.
Should you rebrand or should you wait a little longer? Look for clues in your own audience’s responses to your brand. Ask your team about it too.
If your brand has outgrown its identity, or needs a fresh one, chances are you need a rebrand. And fast.
Successfully rebranding a small business is no mean feat – there are many aspects to consider and pitfalls to avoid. Still, creating a brand identity which resonates better with your audience is a monumental boon to business operation, which makes all the effort worth it.
While rebranding a small business certainly is a challenging task, there are ways to make it easier. One of the best ways is to learn from the mistakes of others. Certain rebranding errors tend to crop up much more frequently than others, and avoiding them will go a long way toward ensuring your rebranding efforts are successful from start to finish.
Whether you believe it’s time for your small business to go through a brand refresh or a comprehensive rebranding, steer clear of the following mistakes.
1. Changing the Name for No Good Reason
Probably the most dramatic rebranding measure you can take is to change the name. But, such a drastic change can hurt you if you don’t have a proper reason for it. If you’re just bored of the old name, you’ll get bored of the new one as well – the novelty will wear off, and you won’t have achieved anything.
Even more importantly, a name change is useless if you don’t fix the underlying problems which caused you to consider the change in the first place. If you simply try to mask them, your clients will see through it.
Still, a name change can work. For instance, Google’s search engine initially went by the name “BackRub”, and it is highly debatable whether the company would have grown into what it is today had the name not been changed.
So, if your name creates confusion or doesn’t differentiate you from your competitors, it’s good to change it. The same is true if it’s too closely connected to a single product but you’ve since expanded. Otherwise, you should probably look elsewhere.
In essence, the best names are those which are tied to an interesting story related to your company. To go back to Google’s example, that term is a play on words which symbolizes the incredible amount of information its users can access. If your brand name can already achieve something similar, then there’s probably no need to change it and your rebranding efforts should focus on other areas.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, and technology
solutions for challenger brands.
Your logo and website are the most important visual representations of your brand. However, a brand is a lot more than just that – it is the overall experience a customer gets from interacting with you. For that reason, changing the aesthetics without going deeper will not provide the desired results.
Similar to the previous point – a change needs to be comprehensive and meaningful to succeed. So, if a brand is struggling with customer service, a fresh logo and a shiny new website won’t do much good if people still can’t get the support they need.
3. Sacrificing Simplicity to Appear More Interesting
A good logo doesn’t need to be minimalistic, although quite a few are (Nike, for example). However, a logo can rely on simplicity without being too basic, and that is often a winning combination.
For that reason, it is often a bad idea to do away with simplicity for the sake of appearing more interesting. Kraft is a good example of this. Of course, Kraft is hardly a small business, but it is an excellent example as it shows that companies of all sizes can fall victim to this mistake. When Kraft introduced a starburst logo, the reception was so poor that the company decided to continue using its simpler logo with slight modifications.
4. Following the Herd
When it comes to branding, it is not difficult to understand why companies would follow the most popular trends. It’s a matter of going with what works. However, that also makes it very difficult to stand out and attract new customers.
Instead, the ideal solution is to find a unique voice for your brand. Something that sets you apart. Whole Foods is a good example, even though it’s not a small business. It is a huge national chain which doesn’t treat itself that way. It focuses on thought leadership, sharing ideas, being healthy, and eco-friendly (they moved away from plastic bags more than a decade ago).
This is the blueprint to follow when rebranding your business – it needs to be different from the rest.
5. Not Having a Well-organized Timeline for the Rebranding Process
This is an organizational matter, but it’s important. The truth is, a rebrand will have a major impact on your day-to-day operations. And if you don’t establish a reasonable timeline to follow, things can get very complicated; costs can spiral out of control and your regular business can suffer.
An organized schedule can keep your efforts on track and ensure the rebranding goes in the direction it’s supposed to.
For example, choosing a new logo can feel like going down the rabbit hole – there is always something you could add or subtract to make it a tiny bit better. And if you don’t have a project plan, this can be never-ending.
But, if your logo isn’t done on time, you can’t print your promo material. You can’t finalize any other content which includes the logo (which will be just about anything). Then, you do things at the last minute, you work overtime, etc. All of this costs extra and prevents you from focusing on other affairs.
The solution is a good timeline – you have a final date for the logo, after which you move onto other tasks and don’t touch it anymore. The same applies to all other aspects of the rebranding process.
6. Not Having a Brand Style Guide
Finally, a brand style guide will help your new company identity take root. In essence, this is a set of guidelines explaining the ins and outs of your brand and how your brand needs to look like in various offline and online media. This guide will establish your company’s tone of voice, cover the use of the logo, typography, imagery, and more.
During a rebrand, a reference point like this is invaluable. Without one, your new image can be inconsistent, which will significantly diminish the effects of rebranding.
Branding Basics for Small Businesses
The above mistakes are one side of the equation. Below are the steps you should take to enjoy the benefits of successful branding and rebranding.
Step 1. Be Clear on the Reason
The first step is to determine the issues the rebrand is supposed to address. Reach out to your customers and see what you need to change.
Step 2. Determine the Scope
You may need a total rebranding, but it is also possible a smaller brand refresh will do. This is closely connected to the previous point, and you need to know this in advance.
Step 3. Create a Plan
As mentioned, a timeline is crucial for a successful rebranding. In addition, make sure to also calculate the costs so you’ll be prepared.
Step 4. Test and Market the Rebrand
Once the rebranding is done, see what people think about it before launching it in full. Once you’re happy with the reception, make sure to market your rebrand and show everyone what has changed.These are a few basic steps to take, and The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business can offer further insight.
Be Wary of Common Rebranding Mistakes
Every endeavor has its risks, and rebranding is no different. Fortunately, some mistakes are more common than others, meaning you can anticipate them. And once you’re armed with this knowledge, rebranding a small business becomes a less daunting task.
Perhaps engagement levels have dropped across channels. Or maybe it’s just the look of your brand that has become a bit faded. Whatever the reasons, you may have been quietly harboring the idea of rebranding your business for quite some time now.
So, should you rebrand?
Paying attention to a few critical signs can help you decide when to rebrand. What’s more, these signs will remind you why rebranding is important and what makes a strong brand.
1. Your Brand Doesn’t Appeal to Your Audience’s Emotions
Does your brand inspire, motivate, or cheer up your audience? If it does, you’ll usually see a lot of engagement on social media, plenty of shares and comments, positive reviews, and, of course, good sales. If not, well, you may have a problem.
You may be selling great products and providing excellent customer service, but if you’re not appealing to your audience’s emotions, you could be quietly losing ground to your competitors. That’s because people are more likely to buy from, follow, and engage with a brand that connects with them on an emotional level.
Establishing an emotional connection with customers is more important than customer satisfaction, according to a Harvard Business Review study. It’s one of the major reasons why companies create a new identity.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, and technology
solutions for challenger brands.
On the one hand, there’s Apple. On the other, there’s the local garage doors company, which may not even have a name or a logo. People just call it “the local garage doors service,” or just the “garage door guys.”
The difference between Apple and the garage door guys isn’t just one of size and prestige.
The garage door guys could well be the best providers of garage repair services in the country. But because they don’t have a distinct brand identity, satisfied customers forget them as soon as the job is done.
The garage door guys don’t get many online reviews. People don’t talk about them on social media. And when they recommend them, they just use their first names.
When customers don’t remember your company name, it’s a clear sign that you need to rebrand. And fast. A 2014 study found that out of 100 students familiar with the Apple brand, only one could draw the Apple logo from memory. Less than half were able to select the right logo from a selection of altered logos. If people have a hard time remembering the Apple logo, imagine how much harder it is for them to remember a brand name that’s not memorable.
3. Your Brand Isn’t Credible
Credible brands sell more. They reduce consumer information costs, are cheaper to market, and have a higher market value. But according to the Association for Consumer Research, for a company, brand credibility means more than its reputation.
When a brand proves its expertise and reliability, it delivers on its promises and becomes credible. But the brand’s identity has an impact on its credibility too — everything from its website design to the quality of its social media marketing matters.
Your brand doesn’t need to go through a failed product launch or a public scandal to improve its credibility through rebranding. Creating a brand image that’s more in tune with what customers expect can help at any stage.
4. Your Logo and Website Look Outdated
In the face of new design trends, many websites become gradually outdated, which reduces their value and renders them slowly obsolete. Just think of the flat HTML websites of the early 1990s or the many complex, Flash-based websites of the early 2000s, which ushered in minimalistic design trends.
Logos can be more resilient – Amazon, for example, has been using its logo for 18 years now – but even logos can do with a refresh after a few years. This is especially true for logos that represent brands in competitive industries which continuously innovate and evolve.
Successful logos are meant to differentiate the brands they represent and not just over-define the company. This is, in fact, one of the crucial factors that makes the difference between a great logo and an obscure one.
Does your logo or parts of your website feel outdated? It’s time to rebrand! Choose a fresh logo that makes your brand stand out.
5. Your Business Has Matured
The main reas ons for rebranding don’t always have to be negative. The process through which a brand reaches maturity is a good example of this. Over the years, as your brand grows, it’s not only your products or your customer experience that gains depth. Your brand identity and look mature too as consumers become used to your brand and the new products and services you offer.
Back in the late 1990s, Apple changed its rainbow logo to an elegant and less complicated monochrome logo and then at the beginning of the new millennium to a silver logo as a sign of its maturity. You can read more about the Apple logo transformation over the years in the Ultimate Guide to Rebranding.
6. You Are Targeting a New Audience
Maybe you’ve changed direction. Or your business has outgrown its original audience and now has been expanding to a new market. Either way, attracting a new audience becomes easier with a fresh look.
Identifying the above key signs early can inspire you to refresh, improve, and grow your brand. You can’t ignore the essential benefits of successful branding: a stronger brand identity, a deeper connection with your audience, more engagement, more shares, and more conversions. At a time when corporate identity and branding are closely tied, rebranding your business online and beyond can help you connect with customers and keep evolving. It’s one of the best ways to strengthen your corporate identity and branding and send a stronger message.
There are many reasons to rebrand your company. Perhaps your brand is outdated or doesn’t stand out from the competition. Or maybe the business has grown to the extent that you need a new corporate identity to realize its full potential. Either way, you shouldn’t think about rebranding as an expense, but rather as an investment in your brand.
How Much Does It Cost to Rebrand a Company?
There’s no simple answer to this question as rebranding can mean many things. Redesigning your logo can be a part of a rebranding, but so can a complete overhaul of your business practices – it’s obvious that these things do not require the same amount of resources.
There are two main factors which influence the costs of a rebrand — the size of your business and the scope of your needs and objectives.
A Fortune 500 company may need to invest millions in this regard, while a small business which only targets a portion of the local market will have much more modest rebranding expenses.
If you’re thinking about rebranding your business, keep the following tips in mind and you will keep the costs down.
1. Define the Scope of the Project
The first step in reducing the costs of rebranding is determining exactly what it is that you’re trying to achieve. After all, the best way to save money is to not spend it on something that won’t produce results.
While the distinction between them isn’t always clear, rebranding projects can generally take one of three forms:
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
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A refresh is the simplest form of rebranding. Essentially, you’re changing how your brand looks and feels without making fundamental changes to the way you operate. You may also make some changes to your services, but a refresh is mostly cosmetic. A brand refresh is for businesses which don’t have fundamental problems but simply want a boost to their image.
A reboot is more comprehensive and involves changing the way you approach your business. You may need a reboot if you’ve outgrown your brand or not updated it for a very long time. A brand reboot requires strategic changes, meaning a lot of research needs to go into it.
An overhaul is the most comprehensive form of rebranding, and it involves cutting ties with your old brand. It requires fundamental changes on all levels. Companies may opt for an overhaul if they have deeply rooted branding problems or if they’ve been involved in a major scandal.
Finding the right scope for your rebranding project is thus crucial for keeping the costs down. Sometimes, a refresh truly is enough.
For example, Mastercard removed the name from its logo and instantly made it better for international use. Starbucks did something similar in 2011.
2. Set Up a Budget
A good budget is an essential tool for cost management. When you can see how much money you’re spending and where, you’ll be able to do something about it.
The main way a budget can help you save money is by allowing you to identify what to handle in-house and what to outsource. Once you calculate how much it will cost for your employee to finish a certain rebranding task and compare that to the costs of having it done by a third party (naturally, get quotes from different sources), you’ll see which option is more cost-effective.
Additionally, make sure to involve your customers. Ask them what changes they want to see and build your budget around that. If you think a change needs to be made but your customers disagree, you can scrap that change and instantly save money.
3. Factor in Any Legal Procedures
A rebranding can involve legal and licensing fees. You may need to trademark your new logo or pay to use a specific font. You may also choose to use other copyrighted material (images, songs, etc.).
By being aware of these costs, you can determine which of them are necessary and which can be avoided.
4. Set a Timeline for Implementation
Just like a budget, a good timeline is also crucial for preventing costs from getting out of hand. A rebranding will have an impact on your business operation, and it is important to make sure everything is on schedule to minimize it – a timeline allows for this. Without one, confusion can creep in and derail your efforts. And when you need to lose time fixing this, you’re also losing money.
5. Work with a Rebranding Agency
Rebranding agencies aren’t free, so it may seem counterintuitive that involving one can save you money. The sole purpose of a good rebranding agency, however, is to help you improve your business and, with it, your bottom line.
Perhaps you want to focus on emotional branding. Brands that use emotional branding are inspirational and engaging. But, you may not have the know-how to apply this approach to your brand. This is where experience comes into play.
Rebranding agencies do the legwork for you while allowing you to keep all aspects of rebranding under the same roof – research, strategy, and creative.
How to Successfully Rebrand Your Business without Breaking the Bank
The trick to keeping rebranding costs down is proper planning. Determine exactly what you need to achieve and create a budget for that – no more, no less. Look at any legal expenses, have a strict but realistic timeline, and get some expert help. A lot more info on these topics is available in The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business.
In the end, a successful rebrand will more than pay for itself, and these tips will help you with the funds needed to carry it out.
All successful rebranding campaigns, whether they are a complete retooling of your corporate identity or a smaller brand refresh, will improve the way your audience perceives your business. But how do you determine whether you’ve succeeded in developing a brand identity which rates higher in the eyes of your potential customers?
Looking at your website traffic and your campaign click-through rate are two good starting points, but these stats are far from enough to provide a conclusive image. This is because just about any rebranding effort, even a bad one, is likely to generate a temporary boost in traffic – people will simply visit to see what’s changed. But if they leave your shiny new website with the same overall impression that they had before, then you will not have succeeded in rebranding your business.
Instead, the best measure of true rebranding success lies in brand perception and what people think and say about the change. This means you have to look at the results across several different channels.
Benefits of Rebranding Your Company
If your business has undergone a truly successful rebranding, you should expect to see the following four benefits.
1. More Engagement
Engagement is one of the key metrics for rebranding success. When done right, rebranding will boost your website and social media engagement. It will lead to more comments on your website, your social media content having more shares and likes, your branded hashtags being used more, and so on.
If people engage with your brand regularly, they’re likely to do business with it as well.
An excellent example of rebranding which generated massive amounts of engagement is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. What makes it even more interesting is that this is a “temporary” rebranding of sorts.
Whenever Coca-Cola decides to use this campaign, it releases Cola bottles and cans which do not have the recognizable logo. Instead, you will find names or similar personalized messages (it was lyrics in 2016.)
On the one hand, it is a very bold move to remove such an iconic logo. On the other, it is also safe as this is merely a temporary change. But the results are beyond dispute. Not only are people likely to buy a Coke with their name or the name of a friend on it, but they are also more likely to share this on social media.
“Share a Coke” campaign is a good example that shows how specific changes to your brand can instantly improve your engagement rates. Naturally, these benefits are also relevant in the long term. The increased engagement you’ll generate will lead to more conversions down the line and help you build a bond with your customers that can last for a very long time – perhaps even a lifetime.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, and technology
solutions for challenger brands.
Engagement isn’t exclusively tied to social media. Customers can visit your website, leave comments on your blog, and interact with you offline. Still, social media platforms are so important for engagement that this benefit ties in directly with the previous one.
Not only should your rebranding efforts lead your existing followers to be more active, but they should also bring in more fans. All those likes, shares, retweets, and hashtags that come with your new corporate identity make your brand more visible. This allows you to gain influence and grow your following. And once someone becomes your follower, they are much closer to becoming a regular customer or a brand evangelist.
3. Higher Customer Satisfaction
Your logo and website may be the face of your rebranding campaign, but customer satisfaction is its heart. In other words, if the rebrand doesn’t leave your clients more satisfied, then it has failed no matter how nice your new logo may be.
That is why it is paramount for a rebranding to go beyond the aesthetics. It needs to focus on your audience and put you in a better position to answer their needs – you can read more on this in The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business. But if you succeed, the customer satisfaction levels will show it.
For an example of how not to do a rebrand, look at Comcast. The company had the same issue that plagues many internet and cable providers – a bad reputation. It rebranded its services using the name Xfinity in 2010 but failed to make any profound changes. As a result, its customer satisfaction didn’t improve, and the rebrand did little to help its unflattering reputation.
4. Better Reviews
A key component in a successful rebrand is empathy. If you show that you understand your customers’ needs and try to help, they will respond in kind. And one of the ways your customers can do this is by leaving better reviews.
Online reviews are the lifeblood of many businesses these days. Surveys show that 9 out of 10 consumers look at reviews before they visit a business. Furthermore, over 80% of people think that online reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations, and these reviews impact two-thirds of purchasing decisions.
With successful rebranding, you will create an atmosphere which encourages your customers to review you in a positive light. Once you consider these stats, the tremendous upside of this is plain to see.
What Makes a Strong Brand
Satisfied customers who leave glowing online reviews. Higher engagement across all channels, coupled with a growing social media following. These are all the hallmarks of a strong brand and the potential effects of rebranding if done right.
If you succeed with a rebrand, you can change and strengthen your brand identity. This creates the foundation for success and growth that your business can enjoy for many years to come.
A rebranding can be a pivotal moment for a company. If done right, it can help a struggling company turn its fortune around, or it can propel a growing business to even greater heights. It is a complex and delicate task, and you can approach it in several different ways.
You can choose to rely on your employees and do the work in-house. Alternatively, you can opt to use different outside companies and freelancers. However, there is another way which promises more benefits and greater security than the two already mentioned – that is to work with a rebranding agency.
Why Hire a Rebranding Agency?
There are numerous benefits rebranding companies can bring to the table. These benefits extend to all industries and companies of all sizes but are particularly relevant for small and medium-sized businesses which require comprehensive rebranding services at a reasonable price.
If you are thinking about hiring a rebranding agency, these are the four best reasons to do so.
1. You Avoid Common Mistakes
Sometimes a brand only needs a minor refresh and making too many drastic changes ends up hurting it. On the other hand, some companies choose to only make aesthetic changes while ignoring deeply rooted problems, and the result is a failed rebranding effort.
A rebrand can also backfire if it doesn’t do enough to differentiate a business from its competitors.
These are just some of the most common mistakes that can happen during a rebrand, and the reason they are so common is that companies often choose to attempt this without a branding expert on board.
There is a huge benefit of working with a rebranding agency – they have experienced personnel who have seen common errors countless times and can provide the guidance needed to avoid them. By warning you about these mistakes, these agencies will essentially be giving you a course on how to rebrand your company.
Additionally, business owners often make mistakes because they are not objective. This is not unexpected as their brand is, after all, their pride and joy. But regardless of whether you choose to work with a brand management consulting firm (which only offers guidance) or a rebranding agency which provides more comprehensive services, you will receive expert and objective advice which will help you steer clear of the common mistakes and succeed in your rebranding effort.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, and technology
solutions for challenger brands.
A successful rebrand isn’t only about a redesigned logo and a modernized website. It isn’t even about altering your mission statement and making other profound changes. For a rebrand to truly succeed on all levels, your audience needs to recognize and appreciate that you’ve made these changes. And this calls for marketing.
Again, rebranding agencies have the edge here because not only can they handle your marketing campaign, but they can promote your new corporate identity better than anyone else for one simple reason – they are the ones who helped you create it.
With the help of a brand strategy agency, your marketing is guaranteed to be on point. By unifying branding and marketing in this way, you are ensuring every aspect of the entire process will move toward a common and clear goal.
3. You Streamline the Process
There are a lot of different aspects to rebranding – probably significantly more than you’d initially think. Attempting to manage all of that while also keeping up with your regular tasks can quickly turn into an organizational nightmare. But by partnering with a rebranding agency, you can take a lot of the stress out of the equation.
You will no longer need to worry about who’ll do the content writing, who’ll print the promo materials, and so on. You will be free to make the crucial decisions, the ones that determine your future corporate identity, while someone else handles the groundwork. And that someone will be an expert in the field, ensuring maximum efficiency.
4. You Optimize Rebranding Costs
Finally, a reliable rebranding agency will allow you to make the most of your rebranding budget. This can manifest in several ways.
You won’t need to use different providers for different rebranding tasks. This can prevent the costs from escalating and will give you better control over your finances.
All efforts will be fully coordinated and consistent. When you rely on external collaborators and freelancers, there is no way to ensure consistency.
It is the quickest way to get the rebranding done. Your employees may be able to complete rebranding tasks eventually, but their lack of experience or specialized skills will cost you time and money.
Far-Reaching Benefits of Working with a Rebranding Agency
From avoiding mistakes and streamlining the process, to unifying your efforts and keeping the costs down, the benefits of working with a rebranding agency are plentiful and extensive.
Rebranding is an investment, not an expense. Working with a rebranding agency is the best way of taking care of your investment and allowing it to produce the highest returns possible.
If your sales figures start to fall behind the curve, you’ll likely wonder how to rebrand your business and create a brand marketing strategy that will produce better results. When brands focus too heavily on themselves and fail to take into account what their audience wants, the result is obvious – they no longer fit into the lives of consumers.
This kind of mindset applies to rebranding as well. A company may create a rebranding strategy that centers exclusively on the changes the company heads think need to be made. Once again, the result is that a brand disregards the wishes and problems of their customers, resulting in a rebranding effort which will fail to truly connect with the target audience.
To avoid this, it is important to embrace a different perspective and put your audience first. The following tips can help you create a new corporate branding strategy that truly reflects this.
1. Focus on Your Audience
Everything starts by putting your audience in the limelight. When you first created your brand, you made it to suit your taste. But since you’ve recognized the need to make some changes, don’t make the mistake of turning your brand into a slightly different version of what you think it should be. Instead, let your customers show you what they want and how to rebrand.
Start by thinking about the best ways to reach your potential customers. Not all businesses benefit from the same communication channels. To increase the effectiveness of your marketing outreach, carefully observe current trends and develop a marketing plan that recognizes the target audience’s preferred communication channels.
Then, consider the information your potential customers need to make a decision. Once again, you know what you believe are the strongest points of your product or service, but the audience may have other priorities. Identify those priorities and center your brand marketing on them.
2. Use Customer Data and Feedback to Pinpoint Their Needs and Expectations
Focusing on your audience may sound easy in theory, but it requires a lot of data to pull off in practice. The good news is that you already have access to such data, you just need to use it.
Observe social media platforms and your followers. Also, look at your competitors and their followers. Notice what kind of content they like and what they share. Take notes of their feedback.
You can also use email to reach out to your audience or create short surveys to collect customer feedback. Offer discount codes or similar perks to incentivize people to take the time to answer your questions.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, and technology
solutions for challenger brands.
The dream of every marketer is to create a brand that customers trust and care about. The best way to do this is through empathy. If you show your audience that you understand how they feel, they will relate to your brand.
The first two points of this list naturally lead to empathy. Therefore, you need audience insight to create an effective brand marketing strategy. This means you need to understand the emotional motivation that drives your customers and the problems that are preventing them from fulfilling their needs. Don’t just offer products – offer solutions.
You can also combine empathic marketing with the previous tip to acquire even more customer data. For instance, if someone visits your website but doesn’t make a purchase, have a prompt that asks which problems you failed to address and if there is any way you could do better in the future.
Empathy allows your brand to connect with your audience on a more personal level. Listen to and understand their pain points, put them first, and try to help.
4. Make Video Marketing a Priority
Quality video isn’t easy to make. It also isn’t cheap. For that reason, you may prefer to steer clear of it. But that is a mistake.
Simply put, consumers love videos. More than 80% of them are willing to share video content that interests them. People also spend significantly more time on websites that feature videos.
There are many ways to apply video to your brand marketing strategy. Explainer videos, product demos, Vlogs, tutorial videos, presentations, interviews, customer reviews, promotional videos, live streams, and webinars are just some of the options you can consider.
By utilizing videos you can achieve top-of-funnel marketing awareness in just a few seconds. Another perk is that you can reach people on the go and across all devices.
5. Tell Stories on Social Media
Social media platforms are continually adding more ways for you to sell products or services through them. For instance, you can now add product tags to Instagram posts, and the platform is also introducing a “checkout” feature. But, that doesn’t mean selling is the only thing you should be doing on social media.
You should also engage with your followers. And telling stories is one of the best ways to do this. Find a way to inspire them, motivate them, or even tug at their heartstrings. A general rule of thumb is to follow the 80/20 ratio – 80% story and 20% hard sale.
Your followers know you’re running a business so you don’t need to remind them about this in your every post. These figures aren’t set in stone, of course, and you can focus a bit more on sales from time to time – just remember to not let your engagement suffer.
A few years ago, Budweiser ran a video ad about drinking responsibly. The story focused on a dog whose owner may not return after a night of partying (he does). It was such an effective story that it exploded on social media. This is the blueprint to follow.
Even though Budweiser’s video was a TV ad, you can use different social media platforms to produce similar results at a fraction of the cost. You just need a good story, and the audience will latch on to your brand.
6. Work with a Rebranding Expert
Finally, it always helps to get expert advice, particularly when it comes to topics which are as multifaceted as rebranding and marketing. You need to research your audience, plan an ad campaign, think whether you want to make changes to your logo, and so much more.
This can overwhelm anyone but is particularly troublesome for businesses which are going through their first rebrand. A rebranding expert can set the right tone, ensure you put your audience first, and help everything run smoothly.
Strong Brands Understand Their Target Audience
Rebranding your business and coming up with a better marketing strategy is a complex but worthwhile endeavor, and The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding Your Business holds even more answers. But to put it as briefly as possible, your audience holds the key. It’s about understanding their needs and catering to them. Once you do that, everything else will start to fall into place.
Corporate identity and branding go hand-in-hand. Corporate identity focuses more on the look and feel of your company while branding helps your company establish an emotional relationship with customers. They are the pillars of successful business operation and help your company get noticed and recognized.
Inconsistency in branding can diminish brand recognition and hurt customer loyalty. Every time your company communicates with the public, it needs to build a consistent image and strengthen it. Well-developed corporate branding guidelines can help you accomplish this.
Take the Essence of Your Brand and Translate It into an Appealing Concept
Your corporate branding guidelines (also known as “brand book” or “style guide”) need to be comprehensive enough to cover everything your company stands for – its history, vision, fundamental values and personality. Your brand style guide should always contain the following sections:
1. Brand Message/Mission Statement
Your brand message/mission statement serves as a guiding light for your branding efforts and should be at the very start of your style guide.
What is your company here to do? What problems are you here to solve and how? Answers to these questions are at the core of your brand idea. These are the reasons that drive your company to deliver value to customers.
This section should also demonstrate your brand’s tone of voice. You may be courteous and professional – nothing else will do for a legal firm, for example. But a company which sells custom T-shirts may want to address their customers in a playful tone.
Your tone of voice can instantly draw in or alienate a potential customer. That is why you need to explain it and leave nothing to chance.
Additionally, including a little bit about the history of your brand will allow everyone to get a better understanding of where you are coming from and your brand’s core values.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, and technology
solutions for challenger brands.
Your logo is the most recognizable aspect of your brand along with the name. As such, it deserves special attention.
Your corporate branding guidelines should offer logo variations, color variations, and established recommended reproduction sizes for print and on screen. It’s best to include examples of dos and don’ts.
3. Color Palette
A predefined color palette guides every piece of visual content your company creates and publishes. It can be basic and consist of two colors, mainly ones that dominate your logo. It can also be more elaborate and include colors your brand uses for different printed materials (brochures, flyers, catalogs) or online (website, blog, social media.)
Also, keep in mind that colors affect people on a subconscious level – this is known as the “psychology of color”. Red is power, green is freshness, and so on. Take this into account when determining what message your brand wants to send.
4. Typography Guidelines
Typography is another essential element of your brand’s visual identity. Your typography guidelines need to include primary and secondary typefaces as well as their application. Make sure to think of all the different applications possible for both print and digital media.
There is also the matter of typographic hierarchy – your headings won’t be the same as the body of your text. Consistency is vital in this regard as it will allow your customers to become familiar with your style and recognize it, so make sure that your typography guidelines include relevant examples.
5. Image/Photography Style Guidelines
This section should explain and give examples of the style of images and photographs that are in line with your brand. You can also include pre-approved graphical resources that any external collaborators can use without worrying they’ll clash with your vision.
In essence, you want your visuals to be standardized — the style, the positioning of any product and, very importantly, the dimensions. Consistency translates into trustworthiness, and your customers will notice this. You can also create templates – these can save a lot of time for any team members involved while maintaining the desired look and feel.
6. Social Media Usage Guidelines
Your brand’s tone and voice need to be clearly defined and stay consistent across different channels, including social media.
Your social media usage guidelines need to cover your posting rules (how will you introduce the content, will you share videos, include emojis, etc.) and image guidelines (logo positioning and sizing, colors, etc.)
Additionally, your guidelines need to cover how you’ll interact with others on social media and how you will respond in certain situations (questions, public complaints, trolls.) Think about the use of hashtags as well, and set the rules for the creation of branded hashtags.
7. Additional Guides
Depending on your line of work, you may want to include additional guidelines that are relevant such as editorial guidelines, specific instructions concerning advertising, etc.
However, you should try to keep these additional guidelines as brief as possible. If something has a particular application, you may not need to include it in the general branding guidelines – your graphics department doesn’t need to know about your editing principles. Instead, you can create specific guides for these.
Corporate Branding Guidelines and Rebranding
While corporate branding guidelines are always important, their relevance is even higher if your business is going through a rebranding. There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, fresh style guidelines will be used to target rebranding efforts toward the desired goal. Many people are involved in a company rebranding process, and they all need to be on the same page regarding the new brand identity. Your guidelines will get them there.
Secondly, a successful rebranding effort will bring fundamental changes to your company, meaning even veterans may need a reminder or two – particularly if you’ve changed certain technical aspects (logo size or color, for instance).
There comes a time in the life of every business when making a change is not only a need but also a must. Whether you want to breathe new life into your brand with a few visual touch-ups, or need more comprehensive changes, one thing is certain – you need it done right.
Are you planning your first rebrand? Or perhaps you aren’t satisfied with the rebranding services you used previously? This quick guide can help you pick the rebranding agency suitable for your particular situation.
Rebranding Companies vs. Brand Consulting Firms
Rebranding agencies come in different shapes and sizes. And while each brand strategy agency is unique in some regard, you can generally divide them into two major categories.
A brand management consulting firm, as the name implies, offers advisory services. These agencies can help guide your rebranding efforts in the right direction. However, their services end after the advisory stage, meaning the brunt of the actual rebranding work will be on you.
If your goal is to handle as much of the work as possible in-house, then a brand management consulting firm can be the right choice. But since doing rebranding on your own comes with risks, you may require an all-inclusive service.If this is the case, then you need a rebranding agency. Not only can these agencies advise you on the best course of action, but they can also put it in motion. They can redesign your logo, provide written content solutions, handle the marketing campaign which needs to follow and promote your rebrand, evolve and modernize your online presence, and more.
How to Evaluate an Agency’s Portfolio
Once you’ve seen which services a rebranding agency offers, the next step is to take a look at their client portfolio – you’ll want to see what their work looks like in practice. Here, there is an important distinction to keep in mind.
Some agencies will have a varied portfolio with clients from different fields. If you’re not in a highly specialized niche and your rebranding could benefit from a diversified approach, this is good.
On the other hand, there are agencies which don’t have as many clients but are more experienced in one or a handful of areas. If you’re in a small or a highly competitive market (maybe your product has a limited application, or you have a lot of local competition), this type of experience can be invaluable.
Don’t evaluate an agency’s portfolio solely on the number of clients. Instead, make sure to look which industries they’ve worked in as well.
Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, and technology
solutions for challenger brands.
You may be tempted to go for the most prominent agency around. And if the rebranding project is massive in scope, that can be the correct approach. If a company has thousands of employees, numerous subsidiaries, and a global presence, then a big rebranding agency may be the only choice. But if you’re looking for small business branding services or something similar, then the size of the rebranding agency is far less important. What matters is their performance.
With a small agency, you get more priority. You’ll also have an easier time accessing their top-tier talent. And as mentioned previously, a small agency can specialize in the exact services you need. This isn’t to say that bigger agencies cannot provide this, but smaller agencies do have the edge in certain regards, personal touch being one of them.
Once again, it’s about finding the perfect fit for your needs.
Think Beyond the Price
It’s perfectly natural for the price to be an important factor when making your choice. However, rebranding has long-term effects. Do it right, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. Get it wrong, and the mistakes will haunt you for a long time.
That is why you also need to think about the price in the long-term. A big agency may offer a lower starting cost, but a small one may have more specialized services and better insight into what your particular audience expects. That is why you need to look past the figures and consider the big picture.
Simply put, rebranding is an investment – its costs are one-time, but the value is anything but. With the help of the right agency, a small business can take that all-important next step and move into a higher tier. You don’t have to grow in size, but you can grow past your competition. This can mean years, or even decades, of doing business on a higher level. Compared to that, the initial cost of choosing the right rebranding agency pales in significance.
Look for a Partner, Not Just a Service Provider
As mentioned in the previous point, rebranding is about the long-term. That is why you need an agency that will be your partner on that journey, instead of merely providing a one-time service before moving on.
After you’ve finalized your rebrand, you’ll need to market it. A rebranding agency which also offers marketing services can help you get the word out.
But what is more, such agencies will be able to tell you when you need to make some subsequent changes. Perhaps a certain aspect of your rebranding hasn’t resonated with the audience so you need to refocus your marketing efforts. A true partner will keep track of this and advise you on what to do.
Making the Right Choice
In the end, the right rebranding agency will offer the exact services you need and have the relevant experience to see everything through. It’ll be a partner you can count on and ensure that your rebrand gives the best results possible.