Six reasons you should consider investing in a rebrand.
I had the perfect job. My dream job, actually. The one I always wanted. I was finally “living the dream” (as I told my parents). There was only one problem, I hated it.
At one point in my career, I was an animal trainer for zoos. It was filled with moments of training penguins and cuddling baby tigers, who wouldn’t love that? I loved the work, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was when given the opportunity to be a trainer for a famous animal show at a theme park in central Florida (if you catch my drift). Let me first say, the show itself was astounding and the organization was truly passionate for what they did. Having said that, I was miserable because the job wasn’t the right fit for me. My “dream job” was quickly and undeniably becoming a nightmare. Weeks turned into months and months felt like years (and not in the ‘time-flies-when-you’re-having-fun’ sort of way), I was spending very little time doing my favorite part of the job, and I began to feel unmotivated. I wasn’t happy.
So, I did what was best for me, I hit reset, I made the risky decision to quit my job that “everybody wanted” and move on. Ultimately, I was tired of trying failing to convincing myself that things would get better and, long story short, hitting reset on my life was absolutely the right decision. I completely changed career paths, now knowing what’s important to me in my career, and am now in a better fitting role.
Like most, my career has been a story, and the animal training chapter was my “coming-of-age-tale.” For businesses, their brand strategy is an opportunity to tell their story. To define what they would like to be known for. Where they started, where they are now, and where they are going. But, like me, sometimes a firm’s reputation within the marketplace is no longer telling the right story, the brand strategy needs a reset button. In which case, a rebrand is inevitable.
“Rebrand” has become such a fear-inducing word in the marketing world. It’s quite possibly the most challenging initiative for marketers. Not to mention, it’s expensive and the expected ROI isn’t necessarily clear because, really, the investment is mostly about defining the future of the practice.
Similar to resetting in life, rebranding your firm may feel like a huge and risky disruption. But, when you get it right, the pay off will far surpass the risk.
Here are 6 reasons why you might invest in a rebrand:
1. Build Awareness / Create Separation
If you are competing in a crowded market, chances are you have competitors with positioning and expertise similar to yours. Are you standing out? Or just getting buried amongst the sameness? If it’s the latter, your brand is failing you. If your story doesn’t separate your brand from the competition, it’s time for a change. This isn’t to say that you should be different just for the sake of being different (read: gimmicky ads and bright colors aren’t the solution). Zero in narrowly on your clients’ problems, align solutions against them, and establish a clear and compelling point-of-view that will separate you from their other options.
2. Reshape your Public Image
All press is good press, right? Wrong. It doesn’t take much for a brand to take on a negative image these days. With the world at our fingertips through social media, one project run awry, or one bad decision can immediately tarnish your entire reputation; turning your once respected firm into a metaphorical hot potato. A rebrand, when done correctly, can be an effective way to readdress the market. I say: “when done correctly,” because, although rebranding can positively shift a firm’s perception following a devastating business faux pas, it only works if the firm has actually worked to solve its problems. Otherwise, it comes across as a weak attempt at avoiding the larger issue.
3. Breathe New Energy into Stale Marketing
If you are embarrassed of your brand in anyway, it’s time for a rebrand. Or, at the very least, a brand refresh. Maybe your visual identity was conceptualized when Papyrus or Comic Sans were trendy (hint: they aren’t anymore). If your whole look and story is centered around outdated trends, a refresh might not be enough. The best clients want to do business with firms who are leaders. Leaders are contemporary. Leaders remain relevant in an ever-changing environment. They’re on the front-edge of digital communications. When your brand has a long history and is still hanging on to an outdated identity, it’s not standing its ground in the current marketplace.
4. Lead Generation
The market is constantly evolving, and you may have an ideal client target, but you seem to attract a different clientele than originally intended. This happens when there’s a disconnect between the strategy you put on paper and the story you’re telling to the market. If a difference exists between what your firm wants to be known for and what you are actually telling the market, you could be doing damage in terms of attracting ideal customers to your practice.
To put it simply, the best talent wants to work at the best companies. Your firm is competing for talent with companies of all shapes and sizes. Start-ups and software companies are baking professional services operating models right into their products. Talent that would’ve come to you is going elsewhere. If you aren’t able to recruit the caliber of candidate that is necessary for the progression of your firm, your brand may leave a lot to be desired. A rebrand allows you to redefine yourself for current and future employees.
6. Increase Revenue
Incoming revenue for your services seems to be at a hopeless plateau, despite in-demand offerings. Your firm’s image boils down to one thing: client perception; the value of your offerings is rooted in the minds of those you’ve worked with. Often, a rebrand can help you reshape the way your clientele perceives you and raise the asking price of your services accordingly while drawing in new clients.
Your firm WILL rebrand at some point, you must adapt or die. So, knowing the signs to choose the best, most lucrative time is paramount. It takes preparation and research to have a successful rebrand. Before you take the risk, truly consider the reasoning. If your car had a flat tire, you wouldn’t replace the whole car, you’d fix the flat tire. Unless your firm is rebranding for a specific reason that will accomplish specific goals, don’t do it; otherwise you can do a lot of damage that will be very difficult and expensive to repair.
Get it Right
In order to have a successful rebrand, your outcome shouldn’t be focused on where the firm is now, but where your firm needs to be in order to be positioned for future success. By taking the time to focus on the why, doing your research, and listening to your clients, you are giving your rebrand the attention it deserves to make a positive change. Take my story for example. I knew something was off in my life, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled and knew I needed a change. It would have been easier for me to make a small change like redecorating my house or buying a new wardrobe, which would contribute to my immediate happiness, but would fail in the long run. The issue was deeper than that, I needed to truly solve the problem, not put a band-aid on it. When you decide to rebrand, don’t just “redecorate” and assume all of your problems will go away. Identify the real issues, the deeper challenges that your firm is up against, and address them head on.
In the end, rebranding should be an exciting adventure. Remember, it won’t happen overnight, but by sticking to a well-thought-out process, your firm can be poised for the future success you’d hoped for in that last strategic planning process.