Does your brand reflect your ideals? If not, it may be time to think about a rebrand.
Adventure. Joy. Provocation. Love. Optimal Productivity. Good Life.
These words are business’s brands.
What do I mean? Your brand is a feeling and idea, not a logo.
A brand is the total emotional experience people have with you, your organization, or your business. Your brand includes the set of ideas and value that people associate with you.
Branding, on the other hand, includes all the elements you and your team own, craft, and create to elicit a consistent experience you desire to be known for and a promise that you consistently deliver on.
Rebranding, then, is not only about “getting a new look” or a website makeover. Those are the outer results and outcomes.
Rebranding includes changing people’s experience with and perception of you, your organization, business, professional identity, or entrepreneurial endeavor. That effort takes time and strategy with integrity.
Take Airbnb, an example of how an organization assumed agency of their brand in powerful ways.
By 2014, Joe Gebbia’s and Brian Chesky’s efforts to change the way people found and sold lodging had gained a new infusion of $500 million in funding from the private equity firm TPG with a $10 billion valuation.
It was time for them to grow with integrity. To grow with integrity means you rebrand from the inside-out.
To grow with integrity means they had to take stock of their original values and motivation to start the company in the first place. They had to take stock of their heritage.
To grow with integrity means you take stock of the ideal that both drives the founders, unifies the team, and lifts up the community and customers.
For Airbnb, their original desire was to change the conversation around what a shared economy could look like. Ultimately, they wanted everyone to feel a sense of belonging wherever they traveled. The feeling behind everything they did and were driven by? Love.
They changed their logo – what they call Belo (short for “belong”) – which can evoke a heart and arms embracing at the same time. Their tagline: Belong Anywhere.
In an age that often values irony, snarkiness, and cynicism, that’s gutsy, right? To stand for ideals of belonging and love – that’s gutsy, too, because you have to keep showing up and delivering on that ideal and feeling.
Their shifts in offering cultural experiences and learning experiences furthers their ideal as does how they’ve invested in social justice advertising.
So what does this have to do with you? You’re probably not getting an infusion of $500 million.
But there might be other signs that indicate it’s time to rebrand.
1. You’re not attracting a steady flow of ideal customers or clients.
If you’ve established your business and have steady business, maybe the prospects you’re attracting are not coming to you with the ideal traits, problems, or goals. Rebranding changes the conversation of what you’re about and whom you best engage.
Lincoln Motor Company found themselves in this position a few years ago. They took stock of their heritage story rooted in creativity and revived their company through a “Hello, Again” campaign with a fleet of new cars and a suite of inventive experiences beyond selling cars.
When you rebrand consistently, you start attracting the right word-of-mouth.
2. You’ve evolved beyond mastery.
It’s possible after 10 or more years of earning a solid reputation in your field that you or your team have mastered your area of expertise. But as a dynamic person or organization, maybe you’ve evolved beyond mastery. Your strengths are no longer best served by your existing business model or brand identity. Dynamic brands evolve.
3. Your messaging does not reflect your genius.
Similar to #2, your website might be under-serving you at your best or your organization at its best. Maybe you’re ready to play a different role within your business and use your talents more efficiently.
4. Your brand does not add a distinct point of view.
Leading brands have a point of view. That point of view distinguishes them from others within the field.
If your online presence is “clear” and passes the 7-second rule of who you are and what you do – congratulations. But that’s often not enough to keep drawing people back to what you have to say. Rebranding can afford you the opportunity to define or redefine your long-term brand value and point of view. Then your content marketing strategy has a filter and focus.
5. You’re ready to expand and grow with integrity.
You don’t need a $500 million cash infusion to be ready to expand. By expand I mean you might have a business that is dependent upon local clients or brick-and-mortar customers, and you’re ready to have a national or international reach.
By expand I mean you might be ready to double or triple your business’s community size or subscriber size or following. You also might be a hard-working professional who after 20 years of working hard wants to leverage your signature ideas for a greater return.
We’re rebranding a business that stems from the new combination of two businesses into one. As for these owners, rebranding can be an opportunity to re-examine your suite of offers – or what we call your gallery of experiences. Rebranding can prompt you to refine your customer journey from one offer or experience to another.
6. You’re ready to shift from default branding to deliberate branding.
Sometimes rebranding efforts are really an organization’s or professional’s first deliberate effort to shift from default branding to deliberate branding.
An executive, for example, is ready to own his signature ideas outside of the company he leads. We rebranded a 40-year-old organization’s identity from the inside-out, which was really their first deliberate effort to own their brand story and then deliver on it. As the organization’s president recently reflected, now it’s time for them to step up to and deliver on their new promise.
In these ways, 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. (Click to Retweet if this resonates. Thank you!)
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 Quest Community.
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