By: Gordon Conner
Change is inevitable. For a small business to survive, that truism must be acknowledged. You will need to change technology, add new products and get rid of old ones, hire new people, find new advertising channels and occasionally refresh your brand.
Rebranding is a big deal. It’s expensive, it takes time and it can alienate good customers, if not done right. So, is this the time to do it? There are clues that will tell you when the time is right.
1. Your look is outdated.
You may have a great brand that has worked well for many years. But you wake up one day and your brand is now retro. Your logo and fonts are dated and your marketing materials need some life. Keep in mind that any changes need to communicate the correct brand message. If your brand refresh needs an overhaul, a new logo isn’t going to do the trick by itself.
2. Your brand has some negative associations.
Bad stuff can happen to all businesses, regardless of how well you do your job. You may be attracting new markets now and your tagline doesn’t cut it with those markets. Or maybe a terrible event takes place in your community and your business becomes associated with that event through no fault of yours. Sometimes it takes a major refresh of your brand in order to shake off the negativity.
3. Your brand isn’t keeping up.
When your business grows, your brand must also grow. As you grow from local, to regional, to national, to global, your brand should grow along with you. It means new services and products, partnerships and mergers. If your brand isn’t keeping up with all of that, it’s time to take a fresh look.
4. Your brand has become generic.
What if your brand has become blah? Maybe you’re offering some really sophisticated products and services, but the market sees you as a bargain basement business. You’ve become a generic brand that doesn’t accurately convey the message of your products. If this is the case, you need to get to work NOW!
5. Does your brand really exist anymore?
Competition is everywhere, so it’s hard to have your message stand out from the rest. There are more options in advertising channels today than ever. As you tweak your message for each one, you dilute your message so much that it isn’t recognizable anymore. When this happens, you need to revamp your brand to get a more clear and focused message.
Rebranding is a big deal and you don’t take this on without a great deal of thought. But if you are a small business facing any of these issues, the time to refresh your brand is now. If you don’t, you could wake up one day and realize it’s too late.
Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach and Copywriter who helps small businesses become exceptional companies. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com.