I have decided to rebrand my business in the New Year. There are several reasons for this decision and I thought it would be a fun blog to share my thoughts and experiences on what is often perceived as a dangerous and rocky journey!
So, what are good reasons for rebranding?
It is very unlikely that the first logo, colour palette and tag line will be the right one for the life of your business for a few reasons. Honesty compels me to say that I am currently working under a homemade logo design as money was non-existent. However, I had a burning need to get out there as that situation was not going to change until I did. Although it is recognisable as I have been digitally ‘visible’ for approximately 18 months, it looks like it needs sprucing up. So if your visual designs look a little cheap and unloved, this would be a good time to rebrand.
Another reason I have for deciding to get a new visual and contextual lease of life is an interesting one I just did not think about for some obscure reason. My business simply has a very different intention even though the purpose has remained. I still want to work in proofreading and editing. However, a lot of my original intention was to just accept as much work as possible and be honest about being a newcomer to the field. A lot of my initial blogging and discussions within groups were fact finding missions. Put simply, I am no longer that person, therefore my business personality has evolved into something else and this must be reflected in the branding if I am to retain an authentic drive behind my business. In other words, people evolve and businesses evolve with them!
A very good reason for rebranding might be due to the repositioning of your business. Starting out usually means general trading and feeling your way, but there does come a time when you ‘niche it down’ and find your true audience. This is often called your ‘Tribe’, which I love! It sounds like a passionate and dedicated select club with a common cause, which is exactly what you are looking for. Once you have found your true calling, it is often necessary to rethink what your branding is saying and whether it is communicating with your tribe effectively. The chances are it isn’t.
Surely rebranding is a risky business?
There are a few perceived risks involved in rebranding a known or established business or company. One example would be getting it badly wrong, which does happen. I believe a lot of people would worry about the rebranding not living up to expectations and having to rebrand a third, perhaps even a fourth time, thus alienating and disenfranchising their existing audience.
Another perceived risk is showing your hand. Rebranding is more than just a face life, it is repositioning your story, retelling it. Surely that is admitting you either got it wrong or you were not being authentic to begin with. This might reduce your credibility to your followers and clients, right?
How do you safely rebrand a business?
I can only share with you the method I will be using to rebrand myself next year. This is by no means the ‘correct’ way to do it, as every one’s journey will be a little, or a great deal, different to the next person’s. I will be open about rebranding, explaining to my tribe and peers the reasons I am rebranding and perhaps eliciting their help in the process. Involving those you care about is both transparent and empowering, something I will need for my rebranding to work. I can’t see disenfranchising people who are contributing to the business. After all, is it really yours? If I am doing this correctly for my experience, the business is a resource for others to use, so why not allow them a hand in the process? So, acknowledge the changes and improvements without fear!
I will not be doing this myself this time! I will throw ideas, colours, patterns, taglines and few other things I think reflect where my business personality is into a folder to help the designer create an authentic feeling for my business. The design will be created by an impartial and talented person who specialises in their craft to achieve a professional polish to my brand. I won’t pretend money is still not an issue, but there are always trade swaps in business groups and perhaps design students willing to work with you. The risk here would be, as Adrian Burton explains in his article http://www.smallbusinessheroes.co.uk/small-business-advice/small-business-rebranding-time-change/ , is ‘pulling a Miley’. You don’t want a dramatic shift all in one go, just a professional uplift that won’t alienate your community but invite them along on your evolutionary process.
Google your business and yourself! See what comes up when you conduct a search and make sure it is positive and quality stuff that pops up. If not, you may need to tinker with your search results to make sure the name attached to your business is all lovely things. Perhaps a digital makeover is required. If so companies such as https://brandyourself.com/ could prove useful in streamlining what is attached to your business before you go the whole hog and rebrand. So make sure you are credible and above reproach first!
Once you have all of that in place, you need to tell your new story, the story of your business as it stands now. The journey you have come through should help you focus on a new tagline and impetus for the direction your business venture is taking. This is the point of the big reveal, so spread it consistently across all social media platforms to reintroduce yourself to the world. You may at this point have a more professional email address, a new digital and physical business card and a new paint job to cement it all into place. The ideal result would be a clear purpose, a strong business personality and access to a whole new world of clients and subscribers to your tribe!
Rebranding is not undoing mistakes, it is owning the journey you have made so far and realising you have to prepare for the next part of it. Involve those in your community and make it a positive move forward and rebranding will be a controlled and positive force for you and your business community with little risk involved. So, is it time for you to step into your true business self?