By Abigail Neville
Some might argue that there’s no better time to rebrand a business than when it’s small. Before it gets too much brand-name recognition, a struggling small business could find that a rebranding is just what it needs to redefine its public image.
If you’ve decided that your business needs a rebranding, here’s what you need to know to keep it from being an exercise in futility.
Know What Rebranding Actually Is
Rebranding isn’t a completely new business model. Nor is it just a new logo or a new business name.
If you’ve decided your small business needs a rebranding, you should know that your brand is the entirety of the public’s experience with your company.
Rebranding, therefore, seeks to change some element of that experience. Usually, it’s done as a way to help a company evolve as it meets new challenges or seeks to change some fundamental aspect of itself.
It may also be necessary when your business started off on the wrong foot and needs to overcome a bad reputation.
Figure Out Your Business
If you’ve decided that your business needs a rebranding, you should take some time to determine what exactly your business is. You should know your market, your customers, and your competition.
Maybe you’re trying to introduce a new product or service and you realize your current brand doesn’t fully encapsulate this expansion, or maybe it’s as simple as disliking your logo.
Whatever the reason, you should be intimately aware of your business before you start rebranding.
Otherwise, you may waste a lot of time and resources chasing dead ends, and at this stage of your business’ evolution, you can’t afford the costs of an unsuccessful rebranding attempt. It could very well spell the end of your company.
Know What You Want to Change
Once you’ve taken some time to know who you are and where you want to head, figure out exactly what you need to change in order to get there.
A rebranding doesn’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul of your small business. If you need a new logo for your new direction, there are some great, free logo creators available on the web to help keep your expenses down. You may change any of the following things as a part of your rebranding strategy:
- Company name
- Company logo
- Product/service offerings
- Targeted customers
You may determine that only a couple of these items need work, or your small business rebranding may be drastic enough that all of these areas need to be assessed. No matter what, having a clear idea of what you want to change and why is critical to a successful rebrand.
Manage Your Rebranding
A rebranding requires a careful and deliberate launch strategy. No matter how small your business, you should check with the rest of your team before you finalize any designs or decisions.
Getting others’ input is critical to making sure your rebrand doesn’t miss the mark. You also need a plan on how to roll out your changes and tell the world about your exciting new brand.
Once you’ve made the changes, you should completely wipe out any evidence of your old brand.
Check all your social media pages, your website, your business cards; any sign of your old logo or company name will only serve to confuse potential customers and limit your rebranding’s effectiveness.
If you determine that your small business needs a rebrand, don’t worry. Major companies like MasterCard, Uber, and FedEx have all gone through successful rebrands and come out stronger than ever. The steps above will get you heading in the right direction too.
Abigail Neville is a writer, marketer and entrepreneur. Her background working for an advertising agency and a small local newspaper give her a strong writing background in entrepreneurship and branding. In her time away from her laptop she likes to practice yoga and taking cooking classes.