Rebranding isn’t just about changing your logo. In this exciting and fast-changing world, what companies started out as can often become obsolete or morph into something else through the years. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of appealing to a different target audience that has evolved into a different market altogether.
Whatever your reasons for considering a revamp of your business, it’s important to start with solidifying who you are as a company and making certain your business still fits the model you’re portraying to your customers.
Oftentimes, rebranding can be like finding one problem and having to dig deeper, only to find another question you have to answer first. If you view these questions as a flow chart, one answer leading naturally to the next question, the answers will come easier and make sense in terms of really understanding the next step. Once you have the answers, the questions about your brand, logo and slogan will be more clear and easier to grasp. Think of these 7 questions as a base for starting your rebranding process with a solid foundation.
1. Who are we?
This is your story. How did you get started? What makes your businesses unique in a world crowded with other industries working to have their own voices heard?
Green & Blacks, for instance, is a stand out organic chocolate bar company that exists in a crowded sector. However, it has distinctive black packaging and a compelling story about a husband and wife team who founded the company based on great taste and fair trade. They’ve used these elements to their advantage, and as a result, their Maya Gold chocolate bar became the first bar to be awarded the Fairtrade mark by the Fairtrade Foundation UK!
Like they did, companies need to capitalize on their unique attributes. If not, someone else may come along and snatch your angle.
2. What do we do?
Sometimes this question overlaps with the first one. For example, Amazon is a company that provides products online at low prices because they don’t have to support a brick and mortar storefront. Who they are is what they do. Often, philanthropic companies or companies based on the owner’s lifestyle have a different answer.
SugarSpun Marketing was started by social media strategist, Jennifer Evans Cario, who wanted to help people with their social media marketing, but also be able to have a healthy work-life balance that allowed her to be with her kids and still do the work she loves. These goals influenced the work culture and types of people we hire as we’ve grown. This atmosphere at SugarSpun is a very important balance of creativity, hard work and play, which clients readily recognize and appreciate.
3. What kind of problem(s) are we trying to solve?
What you do flows into this question, asking what your purpose is for your customers. What solution are you offering to your customers that they can’t get elsewhere? Fleshing this question out thoroughly will often lead to inspiration for a logo or tag line, so don’t skimp on this one.
Graze.com answered this question with their story – they wanted to make snacks that were healthy for waistlines and the earth and easily accessible online. So they created a company that lets you can choose your favorite snacks online and they deliver them every two weeks by mail, like a healthy snack concierge service. Their tagline is Nature Delivered, with a leaf in their logo. Clever, huh?
4. What is the goal of this rebrand?
With this question, you’re shifting from questions about your company to a more customer-centric focus. Are you looking to change with the times? Have you evolved from your original focus when you first started and now want your logo to reflect that?
This question may take some time to reflect but is of the utmost importance. You might find that you’ve wavered too far from your original goal and need to get back on track. Or, you might find that your goals have changed. Regardless of how you reach this decision, the answer to this question should put you on the right path for the future.
5. Who are our customers?
Defining your goals flows nicely into defining who your customers are. More often than not, a rebrand is the chance to look again at who your target demographics are and break down exactly where and how you appeal to them. Now is the time to determine if you’ve been targeting the wrong crowd, or if you should really be going after a different segment altogether.
The NFL, in 2010, discovered that they were neglecting almost 40% of their audience base – women. They decided to start a women’s line of clothing, from different colored jerseys to bikinis. In the last few years, the women’s line of clothing has changed from, according to Adweek, “pink it and shrink it” to a more diverse clothing options. In fact, according to the same article in Adweek, in 2014, the most watched TV event among women was the SuperBowl! Not the Grammys. Not a soap opera. Yes, a sporting event. Speaking as a lifelong Steeler fan, the NFL move was a wise one.
6. Why should they care?
The next natural question then is: why should your customers care about what you offer? Do your offerings line up with their values and priorities? Here is where you break down your target audience further. Create a persona representing each segment of your audience. Define your customers down to where they live and what their habits are. What is important to them, and how do you, as a company, fulfill their needs?
Take a look at the glasses company Warby Parker. It began to meet college students’ needs who couldn’t afford new designer glasses when theirs broke because of the ridiculous prices held by large companies. By designing their own glasses to cater to their target market, they are able to offer glasses (in a creative and fun way) at reasonable prices, which produces a win-win for both sides. They created a free try on program, which was really what pushed them over the edge. Cheap glasses online are great, but not if you don’t like how they look, and you don’t know how they look until you try them on. People started taking pictures of themselves in the different glasses Warby Parker offered and posting them to social media to get their friend’s opinions, which was a brilliant way to get free exposure.
7. What are we trying to convey to our customers?
Here is the final question that will help develop into your tagline and logo – what are you trying to convey to your customers? What message are you trying to send? What is it you want them to know, and how can you condense it down into a way they will understand?
This effort may take some market research and other marketing tactics to really understand what the outside perception is. It’s sometimes difficult for a company to think in the same way as the customer since it is so close and so familiar to it. So, ask them. Host Q&A’s on social media. Engage a focus group. Be transparent to make sure you get your message right.
While these are loaded questions, with these answers in hand, you will be equipped to take on the next steps of your rebranding with a solid foundation of who you are and what you want to do for your customers.