What does rebranding mean? It simply means changing the overall image of your company or organization. Our company recently went through a rebranding and we think you might learn a thing or two from our experience if you decide if a rebrand is right for you.
What we learned from the rebrand process:
Do a thorough review of your business model
Before you invest the time and money, take some time to revisit and fully understand your business model to see if it’s sustainable. Here is an example of a very nifty tool that we used in analyzing our business model. It is called the Business Model Canvas. It is super helpful in walking you through the nine building blocks that make a company or organization create value for its customers. Best of all, it is free. (In case you were wondering, the nine building blocks are: customer segments, value proposition, channels, revenue streams, key partners, key resources, key activities, customer relationships, and cost structure.)
Going into our rebrand process, we had way high expectations of sales. We thought our return on investment would be about 300%. We were already gearing up for the deluge of people knocking down our doors. Inventory was ready, shipping boxes were ready, and everyone was eager. But our reveal day came and went like nothing happened. Not even one sale came through the door. Granted, we did get a few new Instagram followers and tons and tons of website visits; but the sales just weren’t there. Our return on emotional investment was more like -300%. As we pondered what could have happened, we realized we had to re-educate our customers about the benefits (to them) of our rebranding. Trust me, this period was crushing and confusing all at the same time. I mean, we had spent a lot of money - we expected our customers to be knocking our doors over trying to make purchases. But they weren’t. And that was crushing. We also had to up our social media and marketing game all the way up to grow awareness of our new brand.
Rebranding costs a lot
Going through a rebranding process costs a lot of money, time, and effort. You have to be sure that the rebrand will pay off in the long run (but remember, the results do take time). When you go through the Business Model Canvas and realize that you have to change some parts of your business model, remember that some of these changes may cost a lot. For example, following our rebrand, we began working with vendors - many of whom required minimum order quantities we had to adhere to. We had to purchase items upfront in anticipation of sales, which is costly.
Prepare for a changing clientele
With the rebrand, your client base may also change. You have to figure out if your clientele is mass market, segmented, or niche. For us, we still had family and friends that stuck with us, but we also had more customers who didn’t know us personally. They just loved the brand and the value proposition. People found us on Google, social media, and from seeing our products with their friends and family. We started to receiving orders from corporations as well.
Press and local events
With the rebrand you also get some press. A cohesive brand helps deliver a consistent message; one which can be easily highlighted in the press and magazines. More publicity will also lead to more visits to your website, invitations to local events to showcase your products and services, as well as putting you and your company in the face of the right people. All of which will lead to the ultimate goal - more sales (or whatever metric you use to measure your company’s success).
When you should rebrand:
1. When your current business model has been tested, is viable, and growing.
As mentioned above, we used the Business Model Canvas to revise our business model and we made modifications as needed. We are also strong believers in the Lean Startup model - test your business idea using the least amount of resources and measure your market’s response. Once you have determined that your business model is viable, then determine if a rebrand will help or hurt your business. If it will help your business, then go ahead - the benefits are endless.
2. To refine your message to customers
Rebranding can help you refine your message to your customers and also help refine your product and services offerings. A cohesive and consistent message will help drive awareness, sales, and recognition. It will also help with word-of-mouth marketing.
3. To focus on the right set of customers
We have all heard the 80-20 rule as it relates to business. You get 80% of your revenues from the top 20% of your clients or customers. As you think through the rebrand process, figure out how a rebrand will help hone in on these 20 percenters so that your business benefits in the long run. This also means you are spending less effort on customers who take too much of your time and resources but end up not buying enough (or not buying at all) to justify the amount of effort and resources that have been expended on them.
4. To attract a new set of customers
After we went through the Business Model Canvas, we realized that we might have been marginalizing some potential customers by our previous product offerings and our messaging. A rebrand could help attract a highly profitable customer segment that would not have been reached with the current messaging and product offerings.
What are your thoughts? Is a rebrand in your future soon and how will it help? Have you already been through a rebrand? Please let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear from you.