Sure, the rebranding process probably sounds a little outrageous to any entrepreneur. I mean, who has time to try to isolate the perfect shade of “firetruck red” or choose between an octagon and a hexagon, right?
But branding isn’t just about logos, taglines and colors. It’s about the consumer purchase process, and it can be the difference between a lifetime of customer loyalty.
Allow me to give you an example.
I’m running miserably late, yet again. At 6:00 p.m. our guests will arrive hungry. It’s 4:45 now and of course, I have run out of sugar right before I was going to start on the chess pie. The empty bag lies on the counter crumpled. In my self-fury, I drive to nearest super market.
I park, take a light jog in from the parking lot through the garden section and make my way diagonally across the store in a speed-walk.
Standing in front of shelves of sugar, I slow down and weigh my options.
I know I don’t want the most expensive one. My mother’s top choice glares at me from the corner of my eye, but I don’t budge.
This is the one. I pick up a bag that is in a median price range, with a bright yellow logo and a thick, curly font that looks just as sweet as what’s contained in the package.
And then, just like that, I’m racing back down the aisle as if I had never slowed down in the first place.
We all go through a buying process in our heads, whether consciously or unconsciously. Reviews, word-of-mouth, design, color, availability, price – so many things go into why, when and how customers choose between you and your competition.
And you as an entrepreneur – you have to be on it. Your brand has to have a clear message that is a direct fix to the problem or desire of your customer.
Somewhere between 60% and 75% of buying decisions are based on emotion.
So, how are you going to convey something that touches a customers emotions? You’re going to offer them a great design, strong words and an experience that provokes that very emotion.
If you are (or were) properly branded it may be time to refresh your existing brand or totally rebrand if any of the following circumstances are true:
- You have something new to say.
- You don’t know who your target audience is.
- You have a new competitive advantage,
- Your old brand is dated, or
- You have new products or services.
You do the math. Does your company need a rebranding? If so, let’s walk through some key principles.
1. Don’t rebrand just to rebrand.
You really should have a business reason for changing your brand. Consistency is one of the keys to building brand awareness. Changing your brand frequently leaves customers feeling confused or uncertain about your stability as a company.
2. Take full inventory of your brand.
Rebranding is an opportunity to review everything about your companies persona and messaging. Don’t just rush into to changing your colors and logo. Do it right or your efforts will be wasted.
3. Analyze your industry.
Start by looking at your industry and the trends that you expect to shape how business will be conducted in the future.
Many companies will start with a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and try to find ways to leverage their strengths against industry opportunities. These strengths form the basis of your unique selling proposition (USP).
4. Work with professional designers.
You wouldn’t cut your own hair; so why would you design your own branding material?
The best graphic designers just have a knack of taking that research and base information and turning it into beautiful and appropriate branding. This isn’t a D.I.Y. project. You’ll need real professional with this step.
5. Consolidate and evaluate your message.
Help ensure that your brand is good by checking the voice. Is this new brand realistic? Does it speak to who your company is or who your company wishes to be?
If it’s not real, you’re customers will know it. They will find a disconnect between the company they love and the brand you’re trying to sell them on. If your company is trying to look like top professionals, but your company culture is laid back and hospitable, there’s no use in lying. Embrace the marketable aspects of your company within your brand.
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good for the great.” — John D. Rockefeller
I’m going to leave you with this quote, because I know that it might be difficult to go back to the drawing boards at this stage in your company, but communicating the right emotion to your target audience is one of the best way to grow your business – even if it means leaving something good behind.
We also want to say a huge “Thank you,” to Derrick Jackson and the good people of U.G. White Mercantile for allowing us to photograph their store. They have brilliantly branded their store as modern and competitive while keeping the classic feel of an old-timey general store. Bravo!
Originally published on: Apr 7, 2015