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Photo Credit: Tony Eades

Business Owners Share Ideas for Giving Your Brand a Makeover

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After your business is off the ground, running and picking up speed there’s always a thought that creeps in. Is my business getting boring? Is there something more I can do to spice my business look and feel up so customers will keep coming back? The answer is obviously less. No entrepreneur is satisfied to rest on their laurels. Business in constantly changing so to keep up with the times…sometimes a business makeover is an absolute must. We’ve asked some entrepreneurs for their advice on how to complete a business makeover.

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Photo Credit: Sherry Mirshahi-Totten

Photo Credit: Sherry Mirshahi-Totten

Take inventory of your values today

A lot of people think a “brand” makes up the visual elements of your business: your web site, your colors, and your logo. Those are each important to branding but they don’t individually make your brand. Your brand is the message you use and the ways you show up that get to the mind and heart of your customers . It’s the unique perspective you bring that sets you apart. So a great way to makeover your brand is to take inventory of your values as they are today. See if they are showing up in every piece of communication you have for your business because consistency is very key. Your values will help you determine the stand you take in your industry. Another way to makeover your brand is to use envy in a healthy way. In other words, start looking at the other entrepreneurs you admire and ask yourself what you specifically love about how they brand themselves. Your answers will help you determine what you should be doing first to evolve your own brand and what you want to see in your own brand. I like to say that envy can help you uplevel your business if you use it in this way. And when you are done with your makeover, make sure you write a press release promoting your new branding. You’ve got to make use of every opportunity so you can become a Brand in Demand!

Thanks to Sherry Mirshahi-Totten, Make Your Brand in Demand

 

Photo Credit: Jason Aten

Photo Credit: Jason Aten

Start by measuring the disconnect

There are a lot of really bad reasons to “rebrand,” like wanting a new logo, or website. While those may be pieces of the outcome, they should never be what drives a brand makeover. On the other hand, sometimes it becomes clear that the brand experience you’ve tried to create for your clients, just doesn’t match up. Start by taking a look at two things: 1) what is the brand experience I’m trying to create for my audience and 2) what is their actual experience with my brand. When there’s a disconnect (i.e.: a company finds that the brand no longer resonates with the ideal client), it’s time to look at re-crafting the message from the ground up. Take a hard look at every aspect of the brand experience, from the overall marketing message, to the details like website, print materials, communication policies, and more – and evaluate how to craft each piece in a way that eliminates that disconnect.

Thanks to Jason Aten, WetFusion Creative

 

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

Start with your online presence

If you want to give your business a facelift, start with your online presence. Your new brand should have an idea or goal behind it, like “sleek”- this will help you stay focused when reinventing your business. With that word or phrase in mind, look at your website, blog, social media pages, everything you have online. Does each page make you think about your new brand concept? Do the colors match up? Is everything easy to understand and use? Visually changing things online will let your customers know, and remind you, that you are starting fresh.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com

 

Photo Credit: Michael Graber

Photo Credit: Michael Graber

Start with the brand positioning strategy

Start with the brand positioning strategy. Positioning is a game of definition. Define yourself proactively, then take a position in your market. Pay it off consistently for every audience with whom you come into contact. There is an evergreen, unbending law of marketing for a company that desires growth: You must define yourself. Otherwise, you allow others in the market to define you, and they do, to their advantage. Define yourself. Define yourself or suffer the market malaise of a weak position. This definition process begins by identifying your core focus and purpose, competitive advantage, and the DNA, or Position, of your company. This strategic shorthand makes marketing and operational decisions easier and more self-evident, and helps frame such important issues as pricing, placement, distribution, and product strategy. To establish a powerful market position that wins more market share, the position must meet two fundamental criteria. Your position must be both 1. Open in the market 2. True to you and your overarching promise of value. Think of positioning as a tuning fork for your company. When business seems off, or the organization suffers malaise, simply return to your rightful position – tap the tuning fork – and get your business back in key.

Thanks to Michael Graber, Southern Growth Studio

 

Photo Credit: Karen M. Pryor

Photo Credit: Karen M. Pryor

From the bottom up

It’s important that any rebranding that is done needs to be equally focused on what your business is/does as well as the target audience. Rebranding needs to include content and messaging as well as design…it’s the whole package. While you want your USP to stand out, the message and rebranding is about “them” and how to attract your ideal client. If it’s not, then why rebrand? The need to rebrand starts at the bottom, from information being pushed up. The actual rebranding starts at the top and communicated downward making sure every employee understands the rebranding and can project that, after all they are the face of your business when they interact with clients and prospects. The biggest point to take from this is, rebranding should be thought as showing the businesses personality while helping provide a solution in an attractive manner so clients and prospects can identify and purchase from the company they feel meets their needs best. Always remember, people will always buy from people they know, like and trust first….no where does it say “who has the best sales pitch” it’s about basic human interaction.

Thanks to Karen M. Pryor, P2EMarketing

 

Photo Credit: Tatyana Khamdamova

Photo Credit: Tatyana Khamdamova

Keep your visual identity consistent

Make your brand unique and memorable. Keep your visual identity consistent by carrying elements of your brand through marketing materials, website, etc. Identify your target audience and convey a clear message that is going to speak to them. By doing this right your brand makeover will help you reach new customers and get more conversions.

Thanks to Tatyana Khamdamova, Blue Fountain Media

 

Photo Credit: Eric Hannan

Photo Credit: Eric Hannan

Have a unified message

At iBank.com, we have over 600,000 small businesses in our network and often get engulfed into conversations about branding and rebranding. One of the things we’ve learned is to have a unified message. An example would be if you say “we save you 20%” and if updated marketing material has a different number that obviously hurts your brand. One of the right things to do in building a unified message is to take massive effort send the same message towards a purpose. Many companies use their mission, values and goals to remind themselves of their purpose. Something that’s been successful for us is meeting daily with all of the key department heads. This could last 10 minutes or even up to an hour. Typically we wrap things up in a quick 15 and get back to execution. That synergy and collaboration keeps us all on the same page, giving the same message.

Thanks to Eric Hannan, iBank.com

 

Photo Credit: Melanie Angelis

Photo Credit: Melanie Angelis

A gradual makeover

Changing your brand slowly results in fewer confused customers. They’ll be less likely to think, “What terrible things happened for this company to change their approach/logo/specialty so quickly?” You don’t want to resemble a creepy restaurant that never changes but constantly has “Under New Management” posted. I’ve always tried to keep my alternative health business nimble enough to meet the needs of customers and other businesses that use our client or educational services. Moving with the customers changes the conversation from “Why don’t you do this anymore” to “We really like this new service you’re offering.” It’s also more economical to change your brand slowly. You don’t see airplanes get a full paint job every time there’s another acquisition or merger. Again, this needs to be a methodical process to avoid looking as if you simply have an overzealous marketing team. I rethink and retool at practical times: when I’m expanding to a new location or running low on business cards and signs.

Thanks to Melanie Angelis, The Grecian Garden

 

Photo Credit: Tony Eades

Photo Credit: Tony Eades

A brand promise needs to be measurable

It’s far easier to protect a brand that is unique than one that isn’t and that’s where your USP or Unique Selling Proposition comes in. In a market that’s more competitive than ever before it’s vital that you identify and then promote the single reason why customers would choose your business or product over that of a competitor. Your brand promise needs to be measurable, memorable and of course mean something to the customer. As customers we often value our time even more than our money. Time is really turning out to be money because one who has time has money. If your product or service can save your customers time it can make a big difference in their lives.

Thanks to Tony Eades, The Brand Manager

 

Photo Credit: Regina E. Coley

Photo Credit: Regina E. Coley

Identify exactly what you want to change

It’s simple to give your brand a makeover! The first step is to identify why you want to improve your brand. Is it to reach your target audience? Keep up with recent industry trends? Change in Management? It’s good to have benchmarks to make sure your makeover is actually meeting the improvements you are seeking to make. I recently did a brand makeover with my small nonprofit because I realized my brand colors and styling wasn’t consistent. I want you to know the company when you see the color scheme. So I updated the website and changed all program logos to include our girls and styling. This included getting all new marketing materials as well. We want to reach the same audience but with more consistency in brand recognition. Remember no matter what changes you make in your business, consistency is key!

Thanks to Regina E. Coley, Leading Ladies of Legacy

 

 

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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