Rebranding your small business is the key to changing your business fortunes. It’s accepting that one or more features of your brand need change and taking the bold step to overhaul things.
Think of rebranding as changing your closet, adopting new habits, and starting your life anew. In your business, it’s removing any aspects that you feel are slowing down growth.
If you rebrand successfully, your business will stand out in your industry. A new brand image can ignite growth and increase sales and revenues.
Once you’ve decided to rebrand your business, you’ll want to find a credible Omaha branding agency. But before that, it would be best to understand what makes a successful small rebranding strategy.
Whether your business has grown out of its original brand or you want a new look, a rebrand can help. Here’s what you need to know about small business branding and how to make it a success.
Read our case study, with a real-life rebranding example, below.
What Is Small Business Branding?
Small business rebranding involves changing your communication tools and approach to create a better public image. It’s creating and implementing a new branding strategy to guide marketing and communication.
Rebranding occurs when you refine your visual brand elements, such as brand name, logo design, website design, color schemes, content style guides, and messaging tone. It also may involve replacing employees, products or services, values and missions, and redefining your target audience.
What’s Your Brand?
To understand rebranding, you need to understand why you should embrace branding in the first place. Branding is the foundation of a successful business and is the key to a great brand experience.
Your brand refers to how your products or service makes people feel or think. It derives from how you present your product visually, market it, and generate user experience.
An easy way to understand your brand is to put yourself in the shoes of your loyal customers. Determine what keeps them loyal and motivates them to refer others to your business. Your loyal customer has first-hand experience with your brand.
Typically, people have different motivations for choosing your product over your competitors. But if you think critically, you’ll discover your brand always influences your customer’s decision.
Here are some features likely to influence your brand identity:
- Visual identity
- Employee branding
- Values and missions
- Customer experience
- Values, mission, and vision
A perfect rebranding strategy aligns all these features to drive the brand’s story. Every feature is integral in shaping your brand’s identity and image. For example, 89% of customers stay loyal if a brand shares its values.
What’s the Goal of Rebranding Your Business?
Once you start a business, your customers, partners, and competitors develop a way of identifying it. Your visuals usually act as identity tools when people talk about your reputation.
The rest of the features, such as employee branding, are usually the key components defining your reputation. If your business service creates a bad user experience, your reputation suffers, hurting your image.
Rebranding involves change which is not always a good idea. A complete rebrand unsettles your business internally and externally. So, before you begin the process, you must determine a profound reason why you need rebranding.
Here are some major reasons to consider small business rebranding.
A Flailing Reputation
Loss of customers, negative reviews, a social media scandal, high employee turnover, names it. All these are signs your business reputation is failing you, and you need to save face.
A negative reputation affects your customers and reduces your sales. It can be costly to push on when your loyal customers leave your business. Rebranding allows you to start afresh without dealing with past negative sentiments.
The Need to Scale Up
Rebranding is often necessary when a small business successfully goes through the first growth phase and it’s preparing for exponential growth. The second phase of growth comes with extra complexities which call for transformation.
A brand reboot can help your company cope with a new identity and meet new expectations. This is when you realign your vision, update your systems, or add new workers.
A new brand image allows your business to carve its place at the top of your industry. Articulating a new brand aligns with your customers’ and partners’ expectations. It’s a way to show you’re ready for new challenges and opportunities.
Taking Your Business Online
If you’ve been predominantly operating your small business offline, taking it online may pose a branding challenge. It means shifting from traditional to digital marketing and facing a diverse group of customers, which can be tricky.
Taking your Omaha business online means building a solid digital branding and marketing strategy. Digital branding tools such as a website and social media profiles will be the primary way of growing your business.
Digital branding is also a call to learn more about your audience to understand how they behave online. With rebranding, you can research and build an effective SEO strategy to set you up for online marketing success.
Like your business, your industry is also growing as new players emerge to grab market share. As an Ohama entrepreneur, you must accept you can’t outshine new competition using existing strategies.
To thrive in an evolved industry, you must differentiate your business, services, and products. Otherwise, you risk losing your market share and getting out of business like former tech giants such as Nokia.
Small business rebranding to combat new entrants may involve strategies such as changing pricing, business models, or improving customer service. Its goal is to ensure you’re better placed to address your customers’ pain points and protect your market share.
Introducing New Services or Products
Partial rebranding is necessary when introducing a new service to your customers. Even your existing customer needs to recognize the product and understand its benefits.
To Refresh or Update Your Brand
A brand refresh is an easy way to rekindle your brand’s spirits. Rebranding replaces an outdated image with a more lively one. It restores a fading brand by boosting awareness and recognition.
A brand refresh is usually dependent on the business issues you’re facing. It may not overhaul your brand’s identity and market position. But it may specifically tackle where you’re struggling.
Brand refreshing involves thoughtful tactics to change your market position. It usually relies on data to determine what specific features are slowing you down. It can include getting rid of some offers to refresh your power in the market.
Is It Time to Rebrand Your Business?
You’re probably wondering whether it’s time to reset and revitalize your small business brand. A rebrand might be necessary if the thought keeps popping up in your head.
It can be easier to make up your mind when you’re sure something is wrong with your brand. If most of your marketing efforts result in poor ROI, you might consider rebranding.
Constant Contact recommends conducting a brand identity survey to establish whether to rebrand. The tool tracks flaws in your brand and helps you make an informed rebranding decision.
Send the survey to your offline customers, email subscribers, and social media followers. Then ask them to share an honest opinion about your brand. Consider incentivizing your survey with gifts like discounts and vouchers to encourage participation.
Based on your fan’s feedback, you can determine if your small business is due for rebranding. More answers leaning on a negative image will point to the need for a rebrand.
Elements to Consider Before Rebranding Your Small Business
First, developing a clear picture of your visual direction and rebranding goals is crucial. Be clear about your branding visuals, branding reasons, and approach.
Your visual elements are important for establishing your brand’s visual identity. Each element plays a role in making your brand recognizable.
Some of the physicals elements that you may consider redesigning include the following:
- Logo design
- Website design
- Color scheme
- Font types and styles
- Physical storefront
- Print marketing collateral
- Brand slogan
- Content creation guide
- Social media profile photos and banners
- Social media theme
- Email templates
How to Rebrand Your Business
Once you’ve considered all the key branding elements, you can start your rebranding process. Here are the steps to take to rebrand your Omaha business.
Explore Your Data to Know What to Change
Data is one of your best resources when you’re rebranding your business. Your data can give you a clear picture of where your business currently stands.
With data, you can determine what features of your brand are working and what you need to change. You can also discover new opportunities for the best repositioning of your brand.
At the start of the rebranding, gather web and social insights to establish how your audience may respond to brand changes. Also, check competitors to see their current branding strategies and approaches.
Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your USP refers to the key features giving your business a competitive advantage. It mainly refers to a unique brand aspect that gives you a leg up in addressing your client’s pain points.
Your USP usually determines where you stand in your industry. It drives customers’ perceptions of your brand. And it also influences your position in the market.
You’ll need to figure out your USP to stand out in your industry. If it’s unclear, you’re better off considering a product or services audit to determine why customers buy your product.
Know Your Niche
It’s not easy building a successful business if you haven’t figured out your niche. A niche refers to a specialized market segment or target audience you serve.
An example of a niche is a bookkeeping firm focused specifically on helping Omaha logo designers. Another example is a green restaurant focused on offering organic meals.
The point of defining your niche is to increase your competitive advantage. Defining your USP and winning customers’ trust becomes easier when you seem like a specialist.
If you’ve been in a business for some time, it’s easy to figure out your niche. You can define your buyer persona by auditing your customers or looking at your analytics. Your data can show you a shared pattern of attributes between loyal customers.
Plan Your Short and Long-Term Rebranding Strategy
To avoid confusion and conflicts along the way, you’ll want to create a clear rebranding roadmap. Rebranding is a daunting process that can take months to complete and launch.
Establishing step-by-step is often the best way to introduce and install changes in any business. Your short-term plan focuses on all urgent changes, while your long-term plan is more strategic.
At the start, you need to come up with a rebranding budget. You also must establish if your current team can oversee the process. Or you’ll need to hire a professional Omaha branding expert.
The long-term strategy incorporates potential risks, staff training, launching, and performance tracking. You want to budget and prepare against potential challenges.
Redesign Your Brand Visual Elements
Your visual branding elements are the most critical part of your rebranding strategy. Rebranding without touching your visuals is risking brand misinterpretation. Many clients will associate your old brand’s visual elements with your new brand.
You will also want to promote consistency during and after rebranding. If you change any brand aspect, you’ll want the changes to reflect in your visual design. Branding experts say visuals influence and make the most of your brand’s first impression on clients.
If you need to rebrand your visuals, you’ll want an experienced designer to take care of the process. This is usually a one-off job, so hiring a branding agency is the best option. Building an inhouse-team can be too expensive for a small business.
Launch Your Rebranded Business
After you rebrand, you’ll want your entire audience to know about your changes. Spreading your message across your chosen channels will contribute to more exposure.
A rollout of your new brand can be gradual or instant. You can break it down into phases and begin with foundational features such as website design and SEO. Or you can rebrand behind the scenes and unleash all the changes at once.
The key consideration when launching is how your customer responds to the changes. Current customers need not struggle to relate to your message or identify your logo design.
A Case Study
An athleisure company that operates nationally approached us for help with rebranding its name and look.
The Challenges With Its Current Branding:
- The name is hard to pronounce.
- The logo is too busy.
- The font is dated.
- Their current customer base doesn’t identify with the branding.
Our team was more than happy to take on the task of rebranding Ginger Chick Fit- helping it better connect with not only current customers but also ambassadors and those they hope to gain as customers.
After several months of discussion, we finally came up with some great new branding concepts for Ginger Chick Fit. We conducted several focus groups with various design concepts to gauge which would be the most successful with our target demographic.
The rebranding concept that was the most popular among focus groups featured a minimal and clean monogram.
We recommended changing the name from Ginger Chick Fit to Chick Fit. The new name is still consistent with the old one.
The new branding mark has the following attributes which made it the strongest choice for the rebrand.
- The new logo mark still gives off fitness vibes.
- The logo isn’t too literal.
- The logo mark is a little abstract.
- A logo has a modern feel.
A Name Change
We decided to eliminate the word Ginger because it was too confusing for their target audience and Chick Fit sounded strong enough to stand on its own. The company often referred to as GCF would be referred to as Chick Fit, or simply CF. Once the name had been decided, it was time to create a fresh and memorable logo mark.
A New Logo Mark
Our goal was to create a minimal and clean monogram of CF while still hinting at fitness. The logo isn’t too literal and a little abstract which has given it a more modern free-flowing feel. This is perfect for an athleisure brand.
A Color Scheme
With a newly minted name and logo, it was time to decide on primary and secondary colors. We kept the deep teal color but added some additional muted tones for the secondary colors. We delivered a brand style guide to the client that clearly lays out branding guidelines for the future.
The athleisure brand was thrilled with the new look and feel of its rebrand. The company is now positioned in the market to better connect with its target audience, roll out its new brand, and continue to grow its customer base.
Are You Ready to Rebrand in Omaha?
Small business rebranding becomes effortless when you’re sure about the steps. With this roadmap, you can build the correct strategy to set your business for success.
Of course, working with professionals improves your chances of hacking out a perfect rebrand. You can’t take any step in your rebranding journey for granted if you’re serious about your success.
Let 316 Strategy Group hold your hand and help you create a unique brand in your industry and take it to a new level! Contact us today to talk to your Omaha branding expert and begin the journey of transforming your business.
Featured Image Credit: Milad Fakurian