Are you thinking about rebranding?
A strong brand is more important than ever. Consumers can search for products and services from anywhere, thanks to the latest smartphone in their pocket. If you don’t stand out, you’ll get glossed over. But let’s get one thing straight: a brand isn’t just your logo.
Your brand identity can start with a logo, but it needs to encompass everything you do. Your brand is everything from a business card to your website, and even the way you close your customer service emails or answer the phone. 90% of consumers expect that their experience with your brand will be consistent across all platforms and channels they engage with you on. And, 91% of consumers say they're more likely to buy from an authentic brand than an untrustworthy one. (Seems logical, right?)
What is a brand?
Not totally sure what a brand is? Jay Baer from Convince & Convert states, "Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa."
Some instant benefits of a strong brand are:
- Increased trust from consumers
- Professional appearance
Long term benefits of a strong brand are:
- More sales - up to 3x more via word of mouth marketing
- A loyal customer following
- Increased brand awareness in your industry
Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa.
- Jay Baer, Convince & Convert
When should you rebrand?
While you can change up your brand anytime, here are four times you definitely should want a rebrand.
1. Your products or services have changed
If you're not the same company you were a few years ago, why do you still look like it? If your products or services have changed, it's also likely that you need to get through the new customers or break into a totally new market. Don't go in looking like you don't belong there! New potential customers may think your brand is confusing if it doesn't relate well to the new market or what you're trying to sell. They'll choose someone else with clearer direction.
You may not always need to rebrand when switching directions, but if you started out as a plumbing company and changed into a general contracting company, you don't want your logo to be a wrench or pipe, right?
2. You are expanding to a new market
Breaking into a new market is tough. There's lots of competition with well-established brands and you need to attract customers away from them. When you're walking down the street and see an old friend, you'd probably be happy and say hi, right? But if you're walking down the street and see a stranger, dressed in a big hoody hiding his face and carrying a knife, you're not gonna stick around to say hi and find out if he's just a nice guy who likes knives. Slightly exaggerated example, but you get the point.
A familiar brand is comfortable, an unfamiliar brand that looks a bit sketchy isn’t comfortable. In addition to making you look professional, a good brand breaks down trust barriers with potential customers, making them feel more comfortable approaching you to learn more.
When expanding into a new market, you’re also going to need some sales and marketing materials. This could be all-digital, like a new website or landing page, or old school like a brochure, sales sheet or presentation deck. Having these collateral items properly branded shows prospects you mean serious business, and are here to stay.
3. You have outgrown your current brand
It can be hard to know when you’ve outgrown your brand, but if you’ve heard at least one of the following statements from customers or potential customers, you probably have.
“Oh, it’s more than just you?” -- If clients think you’re a one man show when you have other staff members, they probably view you as a bit amateur. Make sure your brand messaging on your website and other materials is clear that you have a great team behind you.
“I didn’t know you did _____!” -- Clients may not know every single service you offer, but if they’re missing a big one, chances are your brand isn’t sending the right message.
“I thought your company did (insert totally unrelated service).” -- If you’re a realtor but your logo has financial signs in it, people may mistake you for a mortgage broker. Your logo doesn’t need to literally depict what you do, but it definitely shouldn’t literally depict what you don’t do. #Truth
4. Your brand isn’t producing results
Sales slumped? Prospects “going in a different direction”? It could be your brand to blame. If customers are going elsewhere, find out where they’re going. Analyze the brands of the competitors you’re losing out to. What’s different about them?
- Does your logo and website look as good as theirs?
- Do you have a consistent brand presence both offline and online?
- Do you exude confidence in your business? And more importantly, do the people working for you?
If your answer is even a “hmm...”, you need to update your brand.
How to Rebrand Without Going Insane
No in-house marketing and design team? The obvious answer is to hire someone to rebrand you. Hi there. We’re Studiothink. We’re a Vancouver branding and web design agency that’s been creating amazing brands for over 20 years. And rescuing companies in dire need of rebranding.
Rebranding Case Study: Circle Farm Tour
Circle Farm Tour is a local Fraser Valley organization that promotes tourism right in our own backyards. Run jointly by the Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows and Harrison/Agassiz tourism committees, Circle Farm Tour raises awareness for local farms, wineries, eateries and markets in these communities. Their program is set up like a day tour. You can visit one farm or event, or do the whole city tour in a day.
But, visitors couldn’t easily find directions to the next stop on their phones, as their old website wasn’t mobile-friendly. A huge problem for getting people out to take a tour! So, they came to us for a full website design and rebrand.
Some other problems they had with their brand were:
- Professionalism -- it didn’t look like an official Tourism BC venture
- Cluttered design
- Outdated information that took a long time to update -- time the client didn’t have
Here’s what their website looked like before the rebrand:
And what it looks like now:
We updated their logo slightly to modernize it, though for historical reasons they didn’t want to change it too much. It’s important to remember that you can rebrand your presence without drastically changing your logo, if you’re very attached to it. In addition to a fresh new look, we added features to improve user engagement that strengthened their brand for members and consumers:
- An interactive event calendar where anyone can suggest a new event and the client can moderate which ones show up on the site -- a great way to build community with their brand.
- Added a blog for increased social media reach, improved SEO and a place for the client to share engaging information.
- Easy to navigate vendor listings with automatic Google Maps directions and contact information -- optimized for mobile, too!
Circle Farm Tour has a freshly updated brand and a new website that allows them to add new content easily. Their new mobile-friendly site also allows consumers to discover hidden gems in our communities, right from their phones when out and about. They now have a brand that people think about the way they want them to.
What do you want people to think about you?
Ready to rebrand? Check out our brand calculator to find out exactly how much a strong brand can add to your bottom line!