Your brand is an investment that makes you money while you sleep and adds perceived (read: real) value to everything you make or do. And while most brands shouldn’t rebrand that often, here’s how to know when the timing is right for you to get value from a rebrand.
I asked a student what his approach was for getting a job out of college. He said, “It’s a numbers game.” Then he explained why he was just gonna ship a bunch of resumes and hope for the best. Others take a different approach: they focus on their own authenticity, build a good name and reputation and get a premium salary.
This post is about positioning yourself for that premium salary. It’s about making yourself likable and trustworthy, and doing all the things that likable, trustworthy companies do.
Why Worry about a Rebrand?
People have to like you and trust you, or they’ll buy from someone else when they can. They don’t believe you just because you make claims. And we sometimes pretend that’s a new thing: it’s the new generation, or that “people are more skeptical now.” And that may or may not be the case. But if you have great values, you will eventually earn trust. You’ll earn it faster when your logo, business cards and website embody that commitment.
People want to see consistent, congruent, believable communication in everything you say and do. And if you don’t have that—If people don’t believe you or understand you—business becomes like walking in quicksand. It’s hard to build momentum.
But how do you know you need a rebrand? We’ll give you a few symptoms to look for. But first, a quick word about money…
Your Brand Makes You Money. Or Not.
Your brand makes you money. Think of your brand as a capital investment. It injects meaning into everything you do. And products and services that have meaning are simply worth more. In a previous article, we mentioned a study done by Havas Group that showed that your brand is worth money, citing KPI improvements such as 12% increase in margins and a 10% increase in purchase.
But it’s not just money; it’s pride. Most people want to tell people they work at a company they’re proud of. Owners especially. It’s like having a nicer car and nicer clothes. It ups your status.
So, assuming you’re still with me, how do you know you need a rebrand?
1. Your Staff Isn’t Clear on Your “Why.”
If your staff can’t convincingly tell you about your brand’s values and personality, it’s embarrassing. It’s also a sign that you don’t really believe them. You can fix this with a rebrand if your culture and business strategy are solid. If you don’t have a focused strategy, a good rebranding process can help you make the kinds of promises you CAN keep. But you’re wasting your money if your culture doesn’t/can’t live out the values.
In fact, sometimes you need to take care of a few things before your rebrand:
- If your culture isn’t solid, talk to our friends at MAC6. And let us know if you need an intro.
- If your operations and strategy aren’t solid, find a good operations consultant. We can refer you to one of those too.
Once those things are in order, a rebrand will really pay off.
2. Your Customers Don’t Know You.
Your customers aren’t convinced. You need to make them special deals to get them to show up. Word of mouth referrals just aren’t working for you. And so you pay more for each sale, and you keep having to fill your funnel with new prospects who don’t know you. Because if they did know you, they wouldn’t come back.
You’re working too hard for each sale.
3. The Market Just Isn’t That Into You.
You know you need a rebrand when people don’t like you and trust you.
Maybe they don’t like you. In fact, you know those people who should really be excited about who you are and why? If they don’t get you, then there’s something wrong. They should be your biggest fans. They should really, really like you. And you should be getting lots of free word-of-mouth from them.
Or they don’t trust you. Now, a lack of trust in this sense doesn’t necessarily mean they think you’ll be dishonest. In fact, there are two other ways they might not trust you:
- You just aren’t thoughtful about what you say. Maybe they don’t believe everything you say because you play fast and loose with claims about quality or service. It’s not that you mean to be dishonest, but it’s just that you’re fine with making unsubstantiated claims. For instance, you talk about service, quality and price…nobody really believe you do all those things best. People who are known for quality, you know they’re gonna charge more.
- You want to do what you say, but just don’t have the experience. In other words, you’re like a little kid who wants a puppy so bad that he’ll make promises to mom and dad that will evaporate immediately upon actual dog ownership. You mean your promises at the time, but don’t actually have the ability to keep them.
So although they might not think you’re trying to be honest, they won’t actually believe your claims because they’re simply too sloppy and sound “advertisey.”
4. Each Sale is a Grind.
Pick your best salespeople: not the ones making the most money, but the ones who are living out your values and building clientele with an approach you can be proud of. Those people shouldn’t be having a hard time making sales. Now there are always those salespeople who can sell despite your organization’s values. And if you keep rewarding that, you get the culture/brand you deserve. But focus on those people who get excited about the brand…who want to be there, even if they didn’t make as much money.
A rebrand will help those salespeople, because their actions will be congruent with the brand message. Keep at it, and you might find that more doors open as people see that commitment and start believing what you say because of your consistency over time.
5. Marketing and “Creative” Lack Focus
It takes a team and a common focus to perform at the highest level. We all know those sports teams that have tried to buy a title. They get the best players before the trade deadline and stack their team. But without teamwork and a common strategy, those players act selfishly and, despite having more talent, lose more often than they win.
For example, creativity is inspired by great values, and focused by a clear strategy. Creativity is inspired by great brands. If a writer is absolutely inspired by the brand, the message will be convincing. And convincing messages come across as fresh. And fresh messages don’t sound like an ad, but they sound like they’re coming from another person.
A rebrand builds agreement that serves as a foundation for all work done. Now, people know how to make brand-fitting decisions at every level of the organization. And what would happen if your employees were utterly and completely convinced that you’ll back every single one of their actions that are consistent with the brand?
“Yeah, but I’m not sure.” Maybe you’re one of those companies that has some work to do, and you just need to tighten things up a bit and get through the year. You’re working on a plan to bring things into order operationally, but you need to make money in the mean time. The group brand workshopM/a> might be what you’re looking for. We can help you get on-track in the mean time and get you to a place where your words and actions align with some good values.
“I know exactly what I need to do.” If this is you, then do it. Now…what are you waiting for? Start how you need to start, whether that’s a phone call, email or walking over and talking to someone. Get this show on the road. And if you get stuck, check out our post about how to do it. It’s about how to fail at managing a rebrand (hint: it’s not really; I just named it that so people would read it. It’s actually how to succeed.)
Whatever you do, make sure you act. And then reach out to me and tell me about what happened or where you got stuck, because I want to know!