3 Things To Consider When Rebranding Your Small Business
If you’ve been running your business for a while, there may come a time to consider rebranding your business. There’s lots of reasons for this, maybe you named your business based on a place and now you're branching out, the name no longer makes sense. Maybe you would like to appeal to a different target audience and your current brand is not fitting or maybe you’ve never been happy with your brand and want to refresh to align with your current values and stand out from the competition.
In this article I’ll cover some extremely important points that you need to think about before and during the process of rebranding.
A brand is not just a logo
So you think you want to rebrand but what does that mean for you? Changing your brands visual identity is what most people have in mind but a brand is a lot more than just tangible touch-points.
Some areas to consider are a completely new name, a new tagline, new image, new values, vision and mission, tone of voice, some or all of the above?
The first step is to establish exactly what it is you want to change and why. Take some time to consider the reasons for your rebrand and then define a road map on the steps you need to take.
Non tangible branding
What I mean by this is any business can have a logo but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a brand. Your brand is more than than a logo. It’s about your people, values, vision, mission, personality, culture, passion, tone of voice, drive, reputation, what you stand for and your story.
If you want to get serious about growing your brand then establishing these non tangible elements is very important because all decisions about anything business related will flow from this and decisions will become a lot easier and more definite.
You can think you know it all, it's probably all stored in your mind, after all, your brand is an extension of you but do you really want the weight and responsibility of storing it in your brain? How do others refer to your brand guidelines if it's locked up in there? It doesn't have to be set in stone, you can change it down the line but for your own sanity it's a good idea to give yourself a break and get it on paper.
If you need to establish some of the non tangible details of your brand story because you never have, then now is a good time to do this. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet, there are lots of small businesses out there in the same boat as you.
A good place to start is Simon’s Sinek’s - Start With Why http://www.startwithwhy.com/
Changing your business name
So you’ve decided to change the name of the business to something more fitting with your goals for your company long term. The first step is to establish what that name is and there’s no easy way of doing this except putting your mind to it.
Get a note book and start collecting ideas that will pop into your head. Brainstorming is another method. Get together with someone who is willing to bounce ideas. Write everything down, no matter how silly it first sounds.
Expand on your ideas. Use an online dictionary and thesaurus to add to the list of ideas. There are even online business name generators that you can use to trigger more suggestions. Once you commit to the task you’ll find that the ideas list will grow. You can even take notice of the business names around you in everyday life, look at vehicles on the road, signage and online.
Whittle down your list to potential names. They say to choose names that are easy to say and spell. Short names are better than long names (especially for web and email addresses). Mull the ideas over, you may find that you have favourites.
There’s no point in rebranding if the names you’ve come up with are already in use. There are 3 main places to check.
- Companies Office https://www.companiesoffice.govt.nz/companies/
- Domain name (web address) https://www.dnc.org.nz/
- NZ Intellectual Property https://www.iponz.govt.nz/about-ip/trade-marks/ (See other country’s Intellectual Property websites if your business operates outside of New Zealand).
You should have some potential options (if not, go back to Step 1) you can make a decision about your new name now or ask your network, target audience, friends and colleagues for feedback.
Updating your tagline
Updating your tagline can have a positive effect on your business if you align it with the values your target audience will be attracted to. The method is the same as coming up with a new name, a case of putting your mind to it and brainstorming for ideas.
You’ll need to know who your target audience is and what makes them tick which is an exercise in itself. Your target audience is not everyone. You’ll need to get specific about your ideal customer so that any decisions can be made by seeing it through their eyes. Writing customer avatars where you describe the personality, desires, habits and beliefs of your best client is a valuable exercise.
Ask for feedback from your target audience about anything you need feedback on. Colours, fonts, names, taglines, layout etc. It takes the guesswork out of the process and can lead to a positive outcome when you do make any changes.
Don’t be persuaded by what your significant other thinks of your ideas too much unless they are an example of your target audience.
Be clear about what it is you want to achieve and why before you spend any time on brainstorming and design.
Commit time and energy into the process and do your homework before you moved forward and commit to any changes.
It's worth making the effort to define your brand, a lot of small businesses are not doing this, so it could be a point of difference. Don't rush the process, be comfortable and happy at every stage.
Do you want to discuss your business brand with an expert? Get in touch today to book a consultation.