Say it aloud with me...
For me, the word makes me smile...but for most small businesses and makers the word makes people shutter. However, it's necessary to put yourself and your company at the forefront of the right market with the right message, and the right visuals.
Over the years I have met quite a few small business owners that are hesitant to rebrand themselves because of the cost, but most of them have either shut down, or they are still struggling to hang on.
I want you to try and envision this thought:
- Think about your favorite pair of jeans. Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans right? Well, what does that pair of jeans offer you? Are they comfortable? Do they fit you just right and make your butt look just right? Or do they offer durability and last a long time? Are they easy to wear?
- Imagine if they had no brand. No name on them. Would you still buy them? How would you know where to buy them? Would they still cost the same? Could you pick them out of a lineup?
- Now imagine that your favorite pair of jeans finally wore out and it was time to haul yourself to the mall. When you get there you have no idea what to look for….your brand has no brand. No promise. No color, no advertising, nothing. Now you probably are standing in the clothing department at Macy’s thinking to yourself, “Im going nuts and I can’t find those darn pants that make my butt look so good.” Do you try on a million more pairs or just pick a pair and go home with the possibility of disappointment and a return trip to Macys (when you have no kids and the time) in a few days? You will probably find something else, and be disappointed and long for your old pair of jeans.
Going to the mall would be chaos. Your brand helps your audience know who you are, what you offer, what makes you different and provides a promise that establishes you in the marketplace.
Why Should You Rebrand Your Small Business?
There are million reasons that drive companies to rebrand. Perhaps it's time to engage a new market regionally and globally, grow in size and scale, reach a new customer segment or simply just to update your image. Sometimes a business is just looking to reposition themselves in an entirely new way, or they realize that they look just like their competition.
There are several reasons why a business may want to rebrand.
Hoping to improve business. Radio Shack, for example, tried to rebrand by changing their name to The Shack, only to go out of business anyways. The problem is, nothing else about the company changed. For pete's sake their name was never the problem.
Rebranding not only changing your visuals but it helps you see where you can improve and expand as a business.
Recently I noticed that Michaels. The, "go to American craft store", rebranded.
Have you seen it? Did you notice? I'll show you:
So what do you think Michaels was trying to accomplish with their store rebrand?
Well, from my opinion they are struggling to keep the market share that they had previous to the darn Corona virus pandemic. Small hobbyist crafters are ordering more from Amazon and Walmart and other small craft stores. Those almost invisible craft stores are taking a portion of their market share. A few drops in market share and that was enough for Michaels to realize they are loosing money. What are they going to do to keep their customers? First, they have to understand what is going on. Evaluate, and then pivot.
Even as a small business if you don't pay attention to what is going on in your market and know what your competitors are doing, and what exactly your ideal customers are feeling, how do you expect to recoup that lost market share? You can't.
So in order for Michaels to stay afloat they have to appeal to the serious crafters, and reach the hobbyist crafters, create a better experience, better products, offer bulk products, and better prices they have to digest what is going wrong in order to make it right. Appealing to their ideal customers with better in store experiences and marketing strategies, offering classes, and DIY projects is just the start. They also changed up their visuals. Would you say the new logo is a bit more friendly? Prettier to look at hey?
Rebranding your business isn't just about making it pretty, it's about capturing the market share. And in order to do that, you have to understand the market, then and only then can you digest what you find. Sometimes that means a new visual identity, sometimes that just means a new website. However, without the research how are you supposed to know...now, that is why you rebrand your small business.
Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs To Rebrand:
1. Be Different From Your Competition
Did your competitor recently redesign their website to look just like yours? Well, send them a thank you card. Because, that, my friend is a huge compliment and a wake up call for you to start redesigning your own visual identity.
Or perhaps your logo disappears in the crazy and can't hold its own. Or you look like everyone else...well a rebrand would help you create a visual that your ideal customers can cling too and look for. Your visuals should represent you, your values, and appeal to your ideal customers but most importantly be different.
I wanted to share with you what a quick google search can turn up....so many cookie companies and look....they all look alike. The one lesson here is the cookie cutter approach to running your business wont work and a rebrand can help with that.
2. Refresh An Outdated Look
Have you been in business a while? Like a long while? Well perhaps you need to be up with the times. Refreshing your visual identity is one of the easiest ways to get more attention.
3. Outgrow A Bad Reputation
Reasons why you should rebrand aren't always sunshine and butterflies. Sometimes the reasons just suck...Like, outgrowing a bad reputation. But these reasons are all solid reasons to rebrand your business. Remember, however, that if you’re rebranding to change a bad reputation, the change must be genuine from the inside out. Just changing your name, and having the same internal problems will likely bankrupt your company. Customers can see right through you. It's true. You have to be authentic, real, and your brand should reflect your true business heart.
4. Capture New Business
Are you pivoting your business? Did you create a new line of products? Are you looking to capture a new market? Perhaps you have created a new line of products? That alone is reason enough for you to rebrand your small business.
It’s easy to see the importance of having a product that is nicely packaged. Actually, your products packaging may be one of the most important and most impactful brand touchpoints that you have. Creating packaging that delivers quite literally an impression that stays with the customer for life.
Have you ever purchased an apple product? One of my favorite packages to open are apple products. Everytime, I am amazed. The thought and care that goes into Apple's packaging is mind blowing.
Apple always does an exceptional job of creating a sensory experience that strengthens the brand, excites the user, and creates a lasting impression.
Because Apple is so good at creating a lasting and amazing impression on it's customers the expense and time it takes to put together your packaging is so worth it. You have the power to build a memory like that in your ideal customers too.
5. Understand The Struggles Of Your Ideal Customers!
Last but most certainly not least...A rebrand should help you understand your ideal customers and what frustrations and pain points they are struggling with. Only then can you really capture the attention and hearts of your ideal customers. A rebrand should help you discover what pain points they really have and help you speak to them in an authentic and organic way.
It's Time To Evolve And Rebrand
Your business changes, just like you change and you are always changing the way you look. Do you still have the hair you had in middle school? I hope not.
Well your business evolves and changes over time too. So to be sure you are garnering the right attention and even attracting the right customers maybe it's time to rethink and evaluate.
A lot of makers and small business's start off and then readjust their brand after a few years of business. This is totally normal. I wish it wasn't however. I wish small businesses would come to be before they spend years struggling through the growing years but that's sadly not how it works unless the brand is really well funded and very educated in marketing and business.
It's ok though. Don't be sad.
You are here now.
And changing up your visual identity, redefining your purpose and values can happen at any stage of your business, and it should. So, if you are the maker or creative entrepreneur that started off on Etsy, or selling at small art shows and never really thought about your brand I wan't you to know it's perfectly normal. I often forget that a lot of people don't think much about the core of their business until after they have been around a few years, let alone how it looks, and how it sounds.
So with that said, maybe it's time to re-adjust and re-evaluate what is important to your business and determine what steps to take next...well, a rebrand would help with that.
If your Brand Heart has evolved or wasn’t properly articulated when your brand identity was crafted maybe it's time your brand evolves too.
What Does Rebranding Your Business Even Mean?
Most often you will see the result of a rebrand in a creative or visual way. Like they have new tags, brochures, signage, logo or website…however, a good rebrand is a strategic and thought out process. Thinking about your vision, mission (why do you do what you do), voice (how you say what you say), values and other important and overlooked elements that make up your brand. The visual part or the “touch-points” of your brand are important too, but the other elements help you figure out what to look like, to attract the right people.
Obviously a logo is important but rebranding isn’t just about changing a logo. A change in your logo should also signify to your market a new thought process, a new way of doing things, or a new product. As a business owner you should be thinking passionately and broadly about how to bring the change you want to see in your business to make a positive impact on your customers, fans and market. Think beyond a new logo.
As a brand strategist I try and understand what your business is trying to say to your customers. I try and understand what your business goals are and help you with your brands evolution. Sometimes that is a simple refresh or a complete investigation into your current brand identity. Most often I want to maintain a sense of your history, your story, who you are as a business and give you a fresh update while still appealing to your past and new audience.
If you are thinking you want to reach new markets, position your company in a new light, build an audience or update your visuals it is worth investing in a brand audit to assess the health of your current brand. Doing a brand audit or review is a customer focused exercise and it helps me evaluate your sources of brand equity and ways to push your business to the next level. If your thinking of rebranding your business I would love to do a free brand review for you. Its a simple surface level brand review where I look at how we can push your business and your ROI.