Having worked in the image consulting industry for years, most of my clients already know how important their brand is to their success. So once they have a brand that’s working for them they don’t want to mess with it. They know how much work is required in rebranding and they’re busy running their business.
But that’s a dangerous way to run your business. If you keep postponing a rebrand it can lead to a dated brand that no longer resonates with your ideal clients. That can cost you business and once you fall behind it’s harder to catch up.
On the other hand, you don’t want to rebrand just because you’re tired of looking at your old one. Remember that the trust you’ve built with your clients is immeasurably valuable. If you do a major overhaul, that trust can be broken if they don’t recognize you anymore. Tropicana Orange Juice learned that the hard way. In 2009, they changed the design of their cartons and sales fell over 20%. You don’t want to rebrand for the wrong reason and end up confusing your audience.
So when is rebranding your business the right decision?
It’s time to update your brand…
When your audience has changed. Perhaps you have a new ideal client you’re targeting so your brand now needs to appeal to them.
When you need to distance yourself from competitors. If you start blending in with everyone else you may need a new brand to keep your competitive edge.
When you’ve outgrown your brand. This happens when you begin to do deeper and broader work with clients. Your brand needs to evolve to reflect the added value you’re providing.
When your graphics, logo and website look dated. If your brand feels old and tired then your clients will think your business as a whole is out of step.
Up-leveling your business brand requires shifting your thinking and being ready to let go of things that you personally love but really are inadequate from your client’s point of view.
I encourage you to take a bird’s-eye view of your brand’s strengths and weaknesses by asking yourself the following questions:
- How has the market changed in my industry recently?
2. Is my product or service still relevant?
3. What problem am I trying to solve for my clients?
4. Have I clearly communicated my positioning?
5. Do I have good price value in the eyes of my clients?
6. Am I standing out as different and better than others in my field?
7. Do I need or want to target customers outside my current niche demographic?
8. Do I have new products or services that I want to promote?
9. Have I landed a corporate sponsor and need to incorporate that association into my branding?
10. Is there a better way to give the best value possible, since my intention is to make improvements that will attract more clients?
Using this list will help you gain clarity on why your brand needs to change. You also want to share with clients the reason behind the change. You want to get them on board so your rebranding efforts work for you, not against you.
Let’s take J. Crew as an example. When J. Crew’s new CEO began in 2003, sales were plummeting. Between 2003 and 2008 revenues rose 107 percent!
What changed? J. Crew was rebranded as a store that sells quality basic clothing, like tank tops and sweaters, but with a hint of luxury. It didn’t hurt that First Lady, Michelle Obama, shared their brand story when she appeared on “The Tonight Show.” She told Jay Leno that her outfit was a “J. Crew ensemble” and the company’s stock shot up 8.2 percent.
Changing your brand can be scary, but it can also be invigorating. If you’re convinced that you’re doing the best thing for your clients and yourself, you’ll be able to stick with it. No doubt, you’ll make a few mistakes along the way. The key is not to get stuck there, but to accelerate through those mistakes and adjust what you’re doing until you get it right.
If you need help strategizing your rebranding efforts call 1-800-267-3245 to request a free 30-minute consultation.
Predictable Results™ Assignment
What is your rebranding story going to be? What’s changed in your life and business to cause you to revamp your business? Why not keep a notebook handy over the next few weeks and mull these questions over. When an idea comes to you, jot it down. By the end of the month you should have a good start on why you and your clients will benefit from rebranding your business.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Business Coaching, provides leading-edge business building strategies for small business owners & entrepreneurs who wish to take their company to the next level.
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Copyright © 2015, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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