Rebranding Successfully: A Strategy For Small Businesses

Sometimes your business hinges on rebranding successfully.

It’s a key element of assuring your brand evolves to meet your target audience and accurately represent your company and its philosophies.

At the same time, rebranding is a scary process.

Unsuccessful rebranding can create a major loss for your business.

Not surprisingly, you’ll need a great strategy to complete your rebranding successfully.

You’ll need to understand when a rebrand is appropriate and when it’s not.

And, of course, you must know what steps to take if you want your rebranding to be successful.

Let’s talk about all you need to know if you intend on rebranding successfully.

Rebranding Successfully Requires Certain Conditions

Rebranding is a major undertaking for any small business.

Completing a rebrand should allow you to expand and grow your business better than before.

However, you need to make sure you’re rebranding your company for the right reasons.

Rebranding isn’t a process to take lightly if you want to do it successfully. Click To Tweet

Some situations are appropriate to rebrand your company for, and some aren’t.

Make sure your company is in the right conditions that will allow you a successful rebrand.

Here are some of the reasons it would be appropriate and why these will allow your company to complete rebranding successfully.

Along with them are reasons you shouldn’t rebrand and why they’re a bad idea.

Do: A Change In Location

Sometimes your brand is tied to the location you began.

It’s normal for small businesses to associate their brand with the location they were founded.

Branding also tends to center around certain representations that are tied to a location’s culture.

Those branding elements, from logo to messaging, don’t necessarily translate well internationally.

In circumstances like this not only can rebranding be done successfully; it’s also completely appropriate.

Don’t: You’re Bored With Your Brand

Look, sometimes you’ve been doing the same thing for so long it gets boring.

You get tired of looking at the same logo and slogan every day.

Typically, though, that restless feeling comes from the phase where you’re overly dissatisfied with what you’re doing.

Don’t take that out on the connection you’ve built with your audience.

Remember, they don’t see your brand as often as you do.

Rebranding, in this case, is almost impossible to do successfully as it will kill your brand recognition for nothing.

Do: Repositioning Your Business

The whole idea behind branding is building a connection with your target market.

Done correctly, you build strong connections and a massive following.

So, what happens when you decide to target an entirely new type of audience?

Perhaps due to an evolution of your target audience or a decision that a different audience would be better.

You’ll need to rebrand.

When your audience is different now than it was when you developed the brand, rebranding can and should be done successfully.

Don’t: Trying To Hide From Your Reputation

If your brand has had struggles in the past, you might be tempted to change your branding.

Attempting to come off like a different company seems appealing because you can break through their impression of your brand’s past.

However, they’re going to see through it if a rebrand is all you’ve done.

You can’t hide from your company’s past mistakes and reputation.

Rebranding won’t be done successfully.

Unless you acknowledge and correct the problems, they’re going to see your rebrand as a fresh coat of paint on the same old company.

And rightfully so.

Do: A Brand-New Mission

All branding starts with your mission statement in mind.

Your company’s core values have to be at the center of your brand if you expect your audience to connect.

Any time your core philosophy changes, it’s time to rebrand.

Done successfully, your rebranding process should demonstrate to your audience that your company has made a major shift.

It should make them feel good about the change in your brand’s direction.

Don’t: Someone Has An Ego

A mission to leave your mark isn’t the same as a change of brand mission.

However, when entrepreneurs buy an existing business or a new manager is installed, a rebrand is often attempted.

What stops rebranding from happening successfully here is the lack of real change to the company.

If there’s nothing broken with the way the company is running and the branding it’s represented by, there’s no reason to rebrand.

Don’t let an ego destroy the brand’s relationship with the customers.

Do: Major Organizational Changes

Sometimes mergers happen.

Perhaps you’ve recently bought another brand.

Maybe you’ve entered your brand into a higher-level partnership.

Now is a time rebranding can be done successfully.

You can’t have the two brands now merged duking it out for superiority among your audience.

Unifying them completely under one brand is important.

That, of course, doesn’t mean giving up one of the identities in every case.

It simply means absorbing elements that tie it clearly to the other brand.

Successfully rebranding, in this case, means showing that the two brands are now one.

Don’t: Trying To Boost Sales

Rebranding to boost sales is a terrible idea.

It can’t happen successfully, and it won’t give your sales long-term success either.

Boosting sales requires a new marketing and sales strategy to support any buzz a rebrand happens to create.

However, you’re more likely to kill your brand recognition and hurt sales with an unjustified rebrand.

Stick with your brand and find the ways your sales and marketing strategies are failing.

Focus your creative energies there.

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Rebranding Successfully Needs A Strategy

After considering the successful rebranding conditions, you probably know if it’s time for your company to rebrand.

If it is, you’ll need a strategy to make sure you do it successfully.

Rebranding has certain key steps to make sure you can successfully do it without alienating your existing audience and still connect to your target audience.

Learning what to do and how to do it can assure you get the results you want from the process.

It’s a time-consuming process, so don’t take it lightly.

Doing it wrong will hurt your brand, and you don’t want to go back on the changes because you weren’t sufficiently prepared.

Focus on rebranding successfully by creating a plan and sticking to the strategy.

Always Start With Your Mission

Your mission is at the core of your brand.

I’ve said it so many times to so many small business owners that it’s almost become cliché to me.

But I say it often because it’s an important piece of branding.

And, if you intend to succeed at rebranding, you’re going to need to start with your mission statement.

Do you have one?

Surprisingly, many small businesses don’t have one.

That means they’re missing the most important piece of rebranding successfully.

If you haven’t developed your mission statement yet, now is the time to do it.

Once you have that together you know where your core beliefs lie.

You can use them to guide you successfully through the rest of the rebranding process.

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Remember Everything Your Brand Encompasses

Your brand is about more than just your logo.

It’s an overall embodiment of your core beliefs in a package that your target audience can relate to.

And it expands throughout all elements of communication between you and your audience.

That includes your content tone, your print materials, and your customer experience.

If your rebranding is to happen successfully, you’ll need to remember all these factors as you begin.

Developing your brand into a new persona that your audience can build a relationship with is core to your rebranding’s success.

Assure your rebranding strategy has a cohesive plan for all the elements of your brand (logos, packaging-print materials, etc) and channels (digital, social, local presence, etc) so you can keep them together.

This holds extra weight for companies who are only doing a partial rebrand.

Adding a serious tone to your marketing materials might not match the light personality on your social media.

Rebranding successfully requires keeping the whole brand together.

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Think About What People Recognize

Some rebranding is most successfully done when everything is overhauled.

However, that may not be the best answer for your company.

In some cases, there are elements to your brand that are working so extremely well that you shouldn’t get rid of them.

Like, at the minimum, your company name.

Often there will be other elements of your brand that make sense to preserve.

Perhaps your logo icon or brand colors should find there way into your newly developed brand.

Or your customer experience might need to stay the same despite the new look.

Whatever it might be, make sure you don’t get rid of what’s creating a major benefit for your brand unless it’s no longer related to where you’re headed.

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Respond To Your Industry

There are reasons certain industries tend to adopt certain looks.

The brands within them tend to take on similar elements to what they use to represent themselves.

Some things just work.

Like the look and feel of craft brews that caused a major change for Budweiser’s branding.

Trends like these may need to influence your rebranding process if you want the outcome received successfully.

However, you also can’t leave your core values behind to chase these trends.

If you become too “cutting-edge”, you might bleed your brand to death over the new concepts.

Stick with the changes that will help your rebranding offer longevity to your company successfully.

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Involve Your Team And Clients

There are two sets of people your brand must speak to – your team and your target audience.

What better way to make sure it does than to involve them in the process?

Rebranding successfully hinges on receiving the best data possible about the people you want your brand to connect with.

Besides, by involving your team, you get the chance to strengthen your company culture and inject your mission into the way your team operates.

Something that’s core to developing a great brand.

And, by involving your clients, you build an even stronger relationship and connection with them.

You’ll grow their loyalty and give them a sense of ownership in your company.

A connection like that makes your rebrand far more successful.

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Stick To The Plan And Schedule

Like I started out saying, rebranding is a time-consuming process.

You can’t afford to waste time if you want to be successful.

Project management is key to keeping you on track.

A good project management system doesn’t have to be complicated.

It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lays out the whole plan.

The important part is communicating to everyone responsible for a rebranding task what they need to do and when it needs to be done so you can finish successfully.

Staying to the schedule can help mitigate the biggest risk of a rebrand.

Unnecessary costs.

After all, rebranding successfully requires having enough cash when you’re done to stay in business.

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Make It Known

The final component of rebranding successfully is the announcement.

This is as much a celebration as it is a piece of the rebrand.

You’ve worked hard to accomplish your rebrand, so take pride in the successful outcome.

Let people know in as clear of terms as possible why every change what made.

Communicate what everything represents.

Tell them how you went about the decision process.

Not only does this become a great marketing angle for your brand, but it also helps assure successful acceptance of your rebranding efforts by minimizing the confusion.

Involving your audience in your brand’s story helps strengthen their loyalty to your company.

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Rebranding Successfully Can Plant Your Business

Roots.

A solid brand grows roots for your company.

More importantly, a solid rebrand helps you assure those roots grow strong.

Rebranding successfully may take time, effort, and a great strategy, but the fruits of your labor will be well worth it.

When your target audience grows more loyal than ever to your brand, you’ll find the roots to grow.

As your relationships with them grow, so will the number of people who recognize your brand as a staple in the industry.

Your successful rebrand can create your legacy.

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Rebranding Successfully: A Strategy For Small Businesses

by Michael McNew Read in 9 min