Should You Rebrand Your Business?
Making the decision to re-brand your business can a big one. Personally, I toyed with the idea for months. I asked colleagues and family, but never really got a response that made me decide one way or the other. On one hand, I had built up a successful little design studio. I was growing my client base and finding my groove. Plus I had a very personal attachment to the name (Red King means Rory in Gaelic.)
But on the other hand, it just wasn’t fitting anymore. My product and brand focus had shifted. I wanted to expand, and really hone in on my target audience. So, I bit the bullet, and hunkered down for a re-brand.
So, how do you know if a re-brand is right for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself so see if it’s right for your blog or creative business.
HAVE YOU OUTGROWN YOUR CURRENT BRAND?
If I could give one little piece of advice to myself when I was starting down the entrepreneurial path, I would say THINK BIG! When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to think in the here and now, but planning for bigger and better is never a bad idea. Be wild, be daring, imagine your business as big as you can, then go from there.
I never envisioned that my little Etsy shop would turn into an identity and web design business. But as I started doing more custom work for wedding invitations, I realized how much I enjoyed the process. When I got my first request for a logo design, I was hooked. Soon I was adding print collateral and custom website design to my services. My problem was that I didn’t think about the future, especially five years down the road to where I am now. If I had I would have thought differently about my brand.
ARE YOU ATTRACTING THE RIGHT CUSTOMERS?
A big part of your brand is finding your target audience. Who they are and what appeals to them. If you can figure out who want to sell to, it makes it a lot easier to know if your brand is working or not. But sometimes we choose our branding elements based on personal preferences. And while that is great if you are appealing to like minded people, sometimes you may not your target audience.
I’ll give you an example. Last year I did a brand refresh for a photo booth company. The owner knew her target customers were higher income females, even though she didn’t consider herself as such, and unfortunately, it showed in her brand. She admitted that when she was first starting out, she made design and colour decisions based on her personal preferences. The result was an earthy and muted palette, pretty, but not luxury.
Through the re-brand we honed in on that dream customer, and built a brand that would appeal to her, not the owner. The result? A better customer interaction that read modern, fun and lavish. It added instant value to the brand and increased sales almost immediately.
DO YOU ALREADY HAVE STRONG BRAND RECOGNITION?
You know the old saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? One thing to consider when you are thinking if you should re-brand your business is if it’s even necessary. Go back to thinking about your target customer. Will it confuse them? Have you been blogging for years and already have a large following and a loyal customer base. Maybe you already have a strong brand. Ask yourself, do people see photos or products on Pinterest and immediately know it’s from you? If so, maybe you should rethink re-branding your business.
ARE YOU JUST IN NEED OF A BRAND REFRESH?
If you’re still dead set on changing something, maybe instead of re-branding, you just need a brand refresh. A lot of times when you’re starting out as a creative entrepreneur you just don’t have the money upfront to work with a designer, and that’s OK. But then you start doing everything right, you’re growing strong, and want to take your brand to the next level.
A brand refresh is a great way to update without disrupting, and can be just as exciting. Plus it’s usually less stressful than a full on re-brand. Get in touch if this sounds like something you might like to work on together.
ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE PACK INSTEAD OF CARVING OUT YOUR OWN PATH?
I’ll admit it, I’m a self addicted Pinterest addict. I could spend hours looking over the beautiful branding boards to see what my fellow designers are putting out there. I like to stay on top of the trends. But here’s the thing, that’s all they are, trends. Today they are awesome-sauce, but tomorrow they’ll be old news.
Think of it this way. There’s a big difference between fashion and style. Thinking back on my fashion choices over the years, there are some things you couldn’t pay me to wear again today. The main reason is because they were just trends. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, we all buy into them.
But as I’ve become older wiser, I’ve started to find my true style. I tend to gravitate to the same things, clean, simple and comfortable. I’ve had the same little black dress for 15 years (yes, I’m dating myself, and yes I take care of my stuff so it lasts 15 years.) Most of my clothes are classic and will never go out of style. Best of all, it’s my style.
Don’t fall victim to trends. I challenge you to really take a look at your brand. Will it hold the test of time? Will it grow with you? Will it be your own, and no one else’s?
CAN YOU AFFORD IT?
It always comes down to money, doesn’t it? The thing to remember when you re-brand your business is that it’s going to cost you. Truly take the time to think about the expenses of re-branding. Yes, you will have to pay your designer if you choose to work with one. But it doesn’t stop there. You will want your head shots, product photos and web images to match your new brand. So you might need to hire a photographer. You’re new print collateral, including business cards, invoices, product tags and stickers will be an investment as well. You may need to consider if there will be legal fees for business registration, copyright and trademarks? Will you have product loss because they are marked, packaged or branded with your old logo?
Also consider if you can afford the time. If you have an organized designer that you trust (hi!), then you may get off easy. But if you re-brand your business by yourself, you may have to burn both ends of the candle to keep up, or make the decision to pull away from the business for a while. Can you afford to lose orders or customers during this process?
Having recently gone through a re-brand, I can tell you that it is a time investment that will require you to juggle more balls. Trying to design my own brand while working with other clients was difficult, and the client came first. At the pace I was going, I might not have had a website ready until summer, and that was too long for me.
I decided to launch the blog, even if it wasn’t perfect. My brand messaging will shine through more as I continue to blog, and once I have launched the interior pages of my site. Even though it has been a stressful process, I'm so happy I made the leap to Creative Type A!
Have you recently rebranded? I would love to hear what made you take the leap and your overall thoughts on the process.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO REFRESH OR RE-BRAND YOUR BUSINESS?
I have openings coming up next month.