Businesses can get off-track. They can make a bad marketing move, have a product backfire, lose customers, form clunky partnerships. If you’re a small business or personal brand, getting off-track might be similar yet on a smaller scale. You’ll feel it if your business is losing customers, clients, community members. If that’s the case, it might be time for a rebrand.
Rebranding is tricky, and the process can look different for everyone. Yet over the years, I’ve developed a few strategies that hold true no matter the approach. I’ve gathered tips to guide you, but first I recommend you assess whether it is the right time for you to rebrand. If it is, then I suggest you sit in a quiet place, find a pen and a notebook, and outline your rebranding roadmap with these practices and questions:
1. Reassess your core values.
A brand’s vision inevitably shifts and evolves. Startups will realize they aren’t the product or service they thought they were and pivot, or businesses discover they have to expand their vision to match their growth. But what holds a business or brand in integrity are its core values and beliefs.
Building and branding your business with your brand beliefs at the forefront is not a soft luxury. Your core values describe a way of life and give rise to a community of creative thinkers that can weather the tough times with their beliefs to guide them. In today’s marketplace and in our changing economy, basing your business decisions on your brand beliefs is a strategy, not just to survive, but to ultimately thrive.
Whether you are facing a critical business decision or launching your own brand or developing a new brand line or offer, pause to reflect on your values and let them guide you. Ask yourself:
Why does your business matter? What does your brand or business care about?
2. Know your audience (and find new ones).
In 2006, Old Spice was a forgotten Procter & Gamble brand that was quickly being supplanted by younger, hipper rivals like Axe. The marketing team charged with reviving the brand did some research and they found that P&G had been overlooking a huge market segment for the line of male grooming products: women.
Their findings showed that 50% of men’s body washes were actually purchased by women. So, in 2010 the team put together the now-famous campaign “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” By the end of the year, Old Spice had become the leading body wash brand for US men with sales up 125%.
When considering a rebrand, do you research to see if there are new audiences you could tap into. Times change, markets evolve, and entirely new audiences are born. Consider these questions:
- Who might your brand or business be able to serve?
- How can your product or service enrich the lives of people you may be overlooking?
3. Retune (or rediscover) your brand story.
A brand story is a consistent narrative that is both timely and timeless. It cannot be “tacked on” from the outside by an agency. The story must spring genuinely from the organization’s origins, its team’s values, and its current potential for impact and income.
When a team has a strong story in place, then messaging flows seamlessly, brand representatives can work with a concerted purpose, and customers naturally want to be part of that story. Before you know it, your business hasn’t just built a customer base. It’s also built up an engaged community.
Reassess your brand story, re-read your about page or bio or even write that story down, then ask yourself:
- Is this story still true?
- Is it relevant?
- Is it the story that I want to be telling?
4. Live the story.
A true rebrand must be more than a new name or logo. Some companies may rebrand with a new product, but your campaign should be more than skin deep. You should change the substance of your brand, not just the superficial. This is truer than ever in an era where businesses are held to high standards of social responsibility.
Consumers today expect brands to take a stand. Millenials want to vote with their wallets, and a company that speaks to the popular conversation will resonate in a way that the Marlboro man can’t anymore.
To rebrand with integrity, you have to adjust, refresh your philosophy, practices or guiding principles.
Reflect and try to answer these questions:
- What conversation do you want your brand or business to start, or contribute to?
- What message about being human is your brand perpetuating (or challenging)?
5. Consider the customer experience.
As a creator, innovator, entrepreneur, or business owner, you want to create an emotional customer experience. After all, your brand by definition is – as we define it at Tracking Wonder – the total emotional experience people have with you and every touchpoint in your business. It’s also the set of associations people have with your brand and thus talk about your brand when you’re not around.
Consumer purchasing behavior is largely driven by beliefs and emotions, so stop to consider your target audience. Try to step out of your role for a few minutes – forget your brand, product or service – and look at it with fresh eyes. It’s no easy task, but imagine different customer personas and how they might experience your brand.
- What do they feel before they experience your brand’s product, service, or event?
- What do they expect to feel when they try whatever it is you’re offering?
- How can you defy those expectations by surprising them with a dose of wonder and delight?
- How could your brand help them feel surprised in a delightful way, happier, stronger?
- How can your brand empower them to be more confident, organized, connected?
Rebranding can be an extraordinary opportunity to step up and own your genius and find even better ways to lift up your community, customers, clients, or program participants. I’ll say it again: Brands that last evolve instead of stagnate.
If you’re looking for a collaborative pack to share ideas with, a community to lift you up, offer feedback and help you step into doing your best work, I invite you to join our Tracking Wonder Quest2020 Experience.
Quest2020 is a free, month-long online experience designed to help you plan for a year of delight, wonder, curiosity, and creativity.
As a Quester, you’ll gain access to exclusive conversations between Jeffrey and top influential Quest Visionaries on how to design your life, work, creative projects, and contributions to our culture at large for a year of purpose, wonder, and radical openness. Plus, you’ll be part of a smart-hearted community where you will receive the perspective, encouragement, and accountability to help you create more positive habits and reach your goals.
Ready to join the Quest? Take the pledge and we’ll follow up with more information shortly.