Ugh, the word sometimes just makes people shutter but often times it's necessary to put yourself and your company at the forefront of the right market. I know a lot of business owners are hesitant to rebrand themselves because of the cost. But 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, “I'm 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 Macy's (when you have no kids and the time) in a few days?
Going to the mall would be chaos if the world had no branding. Having a brand helps your audience know who you are, what you offer, what makes you different, provides a promise and establishes you in the marketplace.
Why Rebrand Your Handmade Brand?
Rebranding helps your bottom line. Also with goods, rebranding can extend a product’s cycle in the market and you can reach a new audience.
Every business in almost every industry has competitors. Even the most unique and amazing businesses have competition. And every business someday will need to be improved upon or become obsolete. New competitors, technology and consumer preferences evolve. It is important as a small business to understand who you are just as much as your competitors. If you want to stay ahead of the competition and set your handmade business apart rebranding is important. You can quickly see this if you search on Etsy for something like handpainted signs. You will find a ton of makers that have created some kind of hand painted sign. Seriously go try.
What Does Rebranding Mean For Your Handmade Brand?
I like Wikipedias definition for Rebranding:
Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, concept or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders.
Rebranding isn't what you think it is. Yes, part of a rebrand can mean designing and developing a new visual identity but thats not it. Creating a new visual identity is important because most people purchase products based on the visual associations or features but they become loyal customers based on the subjective and emotional connections your brand creates. Take Land Rover for an example. Every year they design new car features like automatic windows and heated seats but people don't buy them because of those features, necessarily. Nor do they buy them because they have a great logo. They choose Range Rover because of what the name and logo represent - adventure, exclusivity, awesomeness or freedom.
You are selling your product but you are also selling what your company represents.
Obviously, a logo is important but rebranding isn’t just 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 an addition or service to your line. 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, your fans, and your target market. Think beyond a new logo.
What exactly is your current brand saying?
WHEN SOMEONE VISITS YOUR WEBSITE WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?
DO THEY THINK YOUR BRAND MAKES THEIR TUSH LOOK NICE OR DOES YOUR BRAND MAKE THEM FEEL GOOD?
WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU SAYING TO YOUR TARGET MARKET?
There are a million reasons that drive companies to rebranding. They may want to engage a new market regionally and globally, grow in size and scale, reach a new customer segment or simply just to update their image. Sometimes a business is just looking to reposition themselves in an entirely new way.
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 thorough 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 of your brand. The visual part or the “touch-points” of your brand is important but the other elements help you figure out what to look like to attract the right people.
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 brand's 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 a 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 look its 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 you evaluate your sources of brand equity and ways to push your business to the next level.
Are you feeling like you don't stand out in your current marketplace? Do you think your product is being passed over for another product? Are your sales declining? Perhaps it's time to rebrand.