Sometimes, good businesses are kept from becoming great companies by their branding. Even if you’re doing everything right operationally, the visuals and messaging you’re using to represent your company just don’t resonate effectively with the people you’d like to have as your best customers. Realizing this is often the first step toward a business owner’s decision that it’s time to rebrand the company.
What Does Rebranding Entail?
There’s a common misconception out there that rebranding is the business equivalent of slapping a new coat of paint on your house. If you change the logo, if you change the name and tagline, if you change the colors and website, your business will have more ‘curb appeal’ and customers will be unable to keep themselves from doing business with you.
We wish it worked that way. We really, really do. It would make everybody’s life faster and easier. But that’s not how rebranding works. Rebranding is an involved, time-intensive process. There are many steps to take long before you ever sit down to consider any questions about logo design.
The process begins by understanding what the main benefits you offer your customers are, and what makes your business particularly appealing. It’s important to know where you’re similar to your competition, and where you’re different. Especially vital is understanding as much as possible about your customers, including demographics, technology usage, and what influences their decision making. This process is called discovery, and it can take at least a week of dedicated effort to complete.
After discovery comes the process of determining new messaging and look. This process flows directly from the information gathered during discovery: you want to reinforce your company’s compelling appeal in a way that’s most likely to resonate with your desired market. Depending on your needs, this can include a name change, the creation of a new logo or the alteration of your existing logo, brand color choices, iconography and image selection, tagline and messaging creation and more. If you’ll be changing your name, you’ll need to do some additional research to see if a related domain name is available for your website. Crafting the brand support materials is not an instant process: it requires significant back and forth with your creative team. Count on spending several weeks on this part of the process.
Finally, there’s the implementation phase, where your new brand identity is announced and implemented.
How long this takes is determined in large part by the size of your company. ING, the financial services giant, took over 2 years to roll out their rebranding – the new name, if you’re curious, will be Voya. It’s a good idea for any company considering a rebrand to read through their page, taking special note of what Voya chose to keep – namely, the distinctive friendly orange hue that ING was known for. For smaller companies, with fewer locations and messaging properties, the implementation phase could be much shorter.
Do you have more questions about rebranding your small business? Give us a call. We’d be glad to help!