When you’ve decided to take your small business in a new direction, rebranding is an essential component of the transformation. Branding is the calling card for your company – it’s the hook, recognition driver and tone setter for customer experience.
If you’ve shifted the trajectory of your small business, it is vital to align your brand identity with this new direction. By doing so, you will provide your potential customers with a clear and consistent story and build trust in your business.
This rebranding process doesn’t need to be expensive, time-consuming or complicated. By focusing on 5 key elements of rebranding your small business, you will ensure a smooth transition and set yourself up for future success.
Let’s take a closer look at why rebranding matters and how to rebrand yourself.
The importance of rebranding your evolving business
When you take your company in a new direction, you’re likely to want to grow your potential customer base, respond to a changing market, innovate new products or services, or explore new business goals or opportunities.
How and why you are repositioning your small business will inform your rebranding plans. For example, cosmetic updates to refresh the look and feel of your cafe will involve a different type of rebranding than if you are expanding the cafe business to provide catering services.
At the heart of any rebrand is the need to accurately reflect the new company direction while keeping your existing customers engaged and potential customers energized. No small feat, but it’s absolutely possible with the right approach and strategy.
5 components of a successful rebranding effort
The following principles can be applied to any rebranding effort, regardless of scope or type of business you’re running. Use them as guidance when you’re considering how to rebrand yourself.
#1 Define your new marketing strategy
A solid marketing strategy is a key ingredient to the success of any company, large or small. When transitioning your business, you need to update your marketing plans to reflect your new goals and target audience.
A clear understanding of your target audience or expanded customer base will dictate how you will market your business. Ask yourself:
- Who are my customers?
- What are the best ways of reaching and engaging with them?
- How should I message them in order to convert leads into sales?
- Could I take more advantage of digital marketing platforms and social media resources?
Use the answers to these questions to build out your new branding strategy. Think about your messaging, visual style and overall customer experience and channel these facets into a solid rebranding initiative. Branding is a critical tool for building awareness about your products, target audience and services. When your small business gets branding just right, you are more likely to bring potential customers to your door.
Also remember to incorporate all the learning and experience you’ve gained up to this point. Rebranding doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start from scratch. Use what has worked in the past as long as it’s applicable, but be ready to shift gears and implement new tactics as needed.
This is tricky stuff, so reach out to other small business owners for advice or consider hiring a consultant to guide you through the process.
#2 Inventory and prioritize your assets for rebranding
Create (or review) the list of all your collateral which will need to be updated. Printed materials like business cards, brochures, forms, signs, and branded swag may take some time to be reprinted. Digital materials, website content, SEO updates, email signatures, etc. will probably take less time once you have your new design ready.
Work with a good designer or agency if you aren’t able to update your visual assets yourself. Put together a schedule so you can keep track of when everything will be ready. Ideally, you’ll want to launch all your rebranded assets at the same time. But if you need to roll them out in a staggered fashion, a prioritized list and schedule will keep you on track.
#3 Test and retest
For most of us, it’s very tough to predict how well your new branding will resonate without some amount of testing. Before putting all your eggs in your rebranding basket, try to gain some insights to inform your decision making.
You may be convinced your favorite logo design is the right one, only to have it fall flat after launch. Fortunately, there are resources available to test out your ideas before committing to a specific solution.
Online businesses can use A/B testing to identify designs and messaging which are most effective. Market research can provide invaluable information. Online surveys like SurveyMonkey are powerful tools for gathering input from your customers. Bottom line, don’t assume that you’ll nail your new brand identity on the first try.
For best results, test, revise, and test again.
#4 Communicate with your customers
Existing customers are your business’s greatest asset, so include them in the rebranding process. Be upfront about upcoming changes to help set their expectations accordingly. Keep things professional and positive as you communicate what changes they can expect and why you’re taking these steps.
If possible, ask for feedback or input on your new direction and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions. Your customers will probably appreciate being part of the process if you can show the value your rebranding will bring.
And remember to be careful not to inundate them with too many details or updates so they don’t get overwhelmed or lose faith in your work. By providing your customers with just the right amount of information at the right time, you can strategically emphasize how your small business’s new direction will benefit them.
#5 Plan your launch
You’ve done all the heavy lifting and now it’s time to launch your rebranded business. Plan your launch carefully to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Consider the impact the relaunch will have on your potential customers and company and how well you’re staffed to support it. For example, don’t roll out the rebrand right before Christmas if you’re running an online gift shop which sees increased traffic during the holiday season.
It’s also a great idea to generate publicity around your rebrand to create excitement. Spread the word through social media, a press release, launch party, advertising or any other means which are appropriate for your company. This is the time to get creative and make a big splash.
When undertaking a rebrand of your small business, it’s most important to focus on the key components of your business and to stay organized. Keep your eyes on the road ahead but don’t leave your existing customers behind. A well-planned and executed rebranding can help take your small business where you want it to go.
If you’re ready to rebrand yourself or your small business and want support with the big picture, an SEO consultation will help you align with the high intent keywords and market opportunities. Considering these before you rebrand yourself will save you both time and money.
Please reach out if you would like a complimentary consultation to explore all the possibilities in front of you.