In business, shift happens. (Yes, that’s my clever play on words for both shift and, well, you know).
Change is the only constant, and for me that means rebranding needs to happen when there’s a lot of shift(s) happening.
But how far should we go when rebranding? And how often should it happen?
I suppose rebranding is on my mind for two reasons, one being personal and the other professional.
In about a month I will get married, giving up Ballard for Sellas (my soon-to-be husband’s last name).
While I’m not opposed to giving up Ballard, my business is named B Squared Media based on my double B name: Brooke Ballard.
Since I have brand equity tied to the business name, I’ve decided to change my name from Jennifer Brooke Ballard (I’ve never gone by my first name) to Brooke B. Sellas — thus allowing me to (sorta) keep the double B behind B Squared Media.
This small name change doesn’t constitute a rebrand but did have me questioning some other areas of branding that need improvement.
I created a problem/solution document and decided that we need to make some changes.
There are many reasons why businesses attempt to tackle the rebranding beast:
- Better storytelling
- Targeting new audiences
- Becoming more relevant to current customers and audiences
- A change in name, vision, mission or business philosophies
It’s not merely about changing your name, getting a shiny new logo, or slapping a brand mascot into the mix. Rebranding is much more than that, and should be well thought out before making tweaks.
Take GAP, for instance. Remember when they changed their logo and produced an EPIC FAIL?
While companies can’t afford to ruin a good reputation, they also can’t stay stagnant with their brand identity and must change with the market.
From Rebranding To Remodel
While my problem/solution document uncovered several areas that need addressing, the conclusion that I came to wasn’t necessarily a rebrand, but what I’m calling a remodel.
I’m not changing our company name, logo, and Dude (our loveable mascot) is here to stay!
However, I did come up with the following problem areas that need a rebranding remodel:
- Our domain: Which I changed a little over a year ago to B2OnlineMedia.com is causing branding issues when it comes to our name. Many people only look at the domain name and translate that to the company name. So many times I’m hearing people refer to us as “B2 Online Media” — which is not close enough to B Squared Media for my liking.
- Our “done-for-you” social media service: We’ve doubled our business in the past 6 months — mainly because I’ve gotten out from behind the desk and started selling our services locally. The biggest revenue driver is our “done-for-you” management of social media channels. What’s surprising is that even after looking at our website, many would-be customers still don’t realize we do this. Yikes!
- Our lead magnets are not visible enough: Our Awesome Sauce page is where we house our free resources. These resources have a high conversion rate, but in looking at our Google Analytics report, we aren’t making the customer journey easy enough. Making some tweaks here could lead to more conversions and a much bigger email list.
- Blog: Our blog isn’t sitting on our website. An absolute no-no.
I’m still working out all of the solutions for the above problems and hope to have our remodel completed by 2016.
- I’m toying with rebranding our domain, again, to ensure the company name and the URL our content sits on “talk” to each other and are repeatable by the consumer. This isn’t as easy as it seems since the domain for B Squared is already in use.
- We will add an entire header on our site for this area and really explain what done-for-you is, does, and looks like (from happy customers).
- A simple reconfiguration of the website should fix this.
- A (kinda) simple migration will fix this.
I’d like to point out that none of this is done in haste; I’ve been conferring with other marketers, consultants and our web developer for months. And it will take a few months to execute the entire plan.
So, how do you execute your own rebrand or remodel?
The 5-Step Plan[bctt tweet=”Use this 5-step plan to launch your rebranding efforts.”]
1. Start with WHY
Half of the problems I included on our problem/solution worksheet came from what my current customers and would-be consumers told me.
Listening for vital clues about your brand and brand identity should be an ongoing task for you or someone within your organization.
If you’re not hearing of problems, move on!
I know some business owners who change their branding every 3 to 6 months — and if you ask me that’s a waste of time (and money!).
2. Do the RESEARCH
The other half of my problem/solution worksheet came from scouring over Google Analytics reports; monitoring site traffic, entrance and exit points, goal conversions and click patterns.
Research also means utilizing phone calls, surveys, and other means to ask your best customers how they see changes (if any) helping your brand story.
- Current customers
- Past customers
- Prospects and leads
- Industry partners
These seven groups can give a ton of insight when it comes to qualitative data for your brand.
3. Align INTERNAL and EXTERNAL branding
Branding doesn’t stop at what the public sees. It also includes the internal forms and branding you use with your team.
For me, that means ensuring our entire team understands why we’re rebranding (or remodeling) and then changing any internal forms or processes to match the new brand identity.
A lot of companies miss this important part of a rebrand — make sure you’re not one of them!
4. Set aside a TIMELINE and BUDGET
For B Squared Media, we picked the end of Q3 and Q4 to tackle our branding remodel.
Q3 was spent on the problem/solution document and research on pricing out each one of our four initiatives listed above.
Q4 will be spent on creating and assets and deliverables for each solution.
As for budget, you have to do what’s right for you and your business.
For us, that meant taking the usual 5% of revenues we spend on Marketing and allocating 10-20% of that to our new 2016 plan.
You, too, can use that simple formula to figure out what you should spend on your rebrand.
To meet our timeline, we have a timeline and who/do document that tells us who is doing what by when.
By giving each person specific roles and duties with a due date, we can better ensure that our product is completed on time and within budget.
Utilizing these five steps will help you ensure rebranding is right for your business.
So, what do you do when shift happens and it’s time to consider rebranding? Go for the major overhaul or do a little remodeling? Let us know in the comments section below!
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