And what to know before even thinking about hiring a brand strategist
Before we talk about what a rebrand is, let’s cover what branding is in general – because most people approach their first iteration of branding with some misconceptions.
When most people think of the word “brand” or “creating a brand,” they think about things like a logo, colors, fonts, professional photos and maybe even a website. But, that’s not really what a brand is.
The belief people have about you and your business is your brand. It’s all about perception – In the eyes of your target market. It’s the immediate words, thoughts, emotions, and connections that immediately come to mind as someone encounters your business.
To make your purpose and value clear, you need the powerful Ps: Platform and Presence driven by your Purpose, Positioning, and Promotion.
You have to be able to bring your mission and profits together to share a bigger Purpose that people will care about.
You have to Position your business in the marketplace as one that is serving in a way others aren’t.
You have to actively and consistently Promote that position to your target audience segments.
Every single thing you put into the world in relation to your organization has to come back to who it really is, what it stands for, and how ideal audience members should feel about it.
That’s where branding comes in. So, if your brand wasn’t built on the right foundations to begin with and your branding isn’t doing its job, you’ll need to rebrand so you can go from vision to visible more effectively.
What Is Rebranding?
Simply put, rebranding is reimagining the way you show up in your visuals, voice, and vibe after growing out of your current brand or changing directions in your business.
Rebranding should include:
- Defining your brand’s unique character (personality)
- Articulating your voice and tone
- Providing analysis of your audience personas
- Giving you key messaging (words and phrases) to use in your business repeatedly
- A well-written brand story that helps you connect to your audience
- A premium quality visual identity – logo variations, colors, fonts, and styling
- A style guide that gives you, and your team if you have one, direction
There are so many reasons to rebrand your business. In this article, we’ll cover more about rebranding and how to know if it’s exactly what you need.
Our client Sara was finding it difficult to articulate how she served her clients in the best way possible. She had a unique approach and several incredible programs, but was having a hard time bringing them together cohesively.
We worked with her through a Brandividuation project and helped her validate and articulate the value only she offers through her combination of frameworks and practices. Afterward she shared that the process was “a total game changer” for her business and the way she shows up.
Our other client, Sheela, was evolving into a new business model completely, going from being a nonprofit consultant to developing an institute to train and consult nonprofits so they could more accurately and impactfully measure their impact, which can be very hard to do.
She needed to build her brand from the ground up as a totally new startup, so we supported her through Brandividuation. The research process, messaging strategy, and visual brand identity reflect where the organization is going to be in the next 5 years and beyond. We also used this foundational work to build the institute’s new website and continue to work with her to build its digital presence.
Here are a couple more examples of how a rebrand can take you from hidden to visible or from a business that simply exists to a brand with a powerfully positioned presence:
Why Rebranding Is Important
Consumers have the buying power, which means they hold the power to change the way business is done. With consumer buy-in, your brand becomes more capable of reaching the right buyers, increasing your bottom line, and making your vision a reality.
If nobody knows about the work you’re doing behind the scenes or you’re having a hard time consistently communicating your values and vision, it will be a constant struggle to get consumer buy-in.
Further, if there are signs of disconnect showing up in your branding, your audience will be skeptical and confused about who you are and the value you offer.
Without the right foundation, you’re weakening your brand’s power and holding it back from greater impact. You have to share your stories and purpose in a positive way so you can give people the hope and motivation they need to act on opportunities to make the world a better place.
When you share the good you do, your business will do well.
Rebranding is important because you need a vehicle for your vision that allows you to reach the right people, at the right time, with the right image and messages.
How Rebranding Works
When you’re getting ready to head into a rebrand, you want to know all your bases are covered and you’re getting what you need so you’re making an investment that is going to be lasting and effective.
There are some steps in the branding process that should be key focus areas:
- Market, client, and brand research. Without a full understanding of who you serve, your branding will be one-sided at best and your brand will likely seem self-interested. This is a big no-no if you want your audience to connect to and invest in your offers.
- Brand discovery and clarification process. Before a strategist creates branding to represent your business, they need a deep understanding of what you care about, where you’re headed with your vision, and how you want to show up to your audience.
- Brand identity, including positioning statements and frameworks. This is a critical piece. You want to be sure your branding will allow you to present an image that is true to your vision and values while filling the gaps your competitors aren’t addressing and position your brand to stand out and get noticed.
- Audience persona creation. To be able to appeal to your target audience with your branding, you need an understanding of who your audience is. It’s important to have a detailed persona for each key audience segment you serve with your offers so you know what they care about, what their goals are, what their struggles are, and what will help them connect with your brand.
- Key brand messaging. Once you have your brand’s identity clear and your target audience segments’ identities clear, you will need key messaging you can use over and over so people connect with you, remember you, and build consistent trust with your brand.
- Overarching marketing strategy. While you will need detailed marketing campaigns and plans, in the branding process, it’s important to know what your overarching strategy is so you know how to show up on the platforms you’ll be present on, whether that is online or in a room with people. This will help you build your branding elements into your presence cohesively and consistently.
- Visual brand identity development. Your visual brand identity should be connected to your core brand identity – your brand’s Unique Character. There needs to be alignment between who you are and what you care about and the visual representation of those things. A visual brand that isn’t a natural fit with your core brand identity will cause a disconnect.
- Brand style guide creation. After all above elements have been clearly articulated and developed, you’ll want a central guide so you and your team can keep your brand centered to your core identity and cohesively aligned, consistently. A brand guide will allow you to do that, no matter who is helping you bring your vision to life.
- Launch and implementation strategy. A rebrand is a big undertaking, but it can be exciting and fun for your whole team. Once you have your new branding developed, you don’t want to worry about how to transition or launch it. Make sure you are working with a team that gives you a launch plan and the resources you need to share your new branding with your audience.
Many agencies and consultants miss the mark somewhere along the way and most don’t include all these core elements. Before you invest in a rebranding project, you’ll want to ensure you understand what is included, what the process will look like, and what the deliverables will be.
How To Know If A Rebrand Is What Your Business Needs
Some of the signs of poorly defined branding or an outgrown brand are:
- Staying stuck in place, without growth in client/customer lists, revenue, or recognition
- Having an audience full of people who are not your ideal consumers and losing out on sales because of it
- Losing projects or purchases to competitors because they have a better, clearer brand
- Confusion over what your brand does or the problem it solves, even from people that have known about you for a while
- Mismanaged, unfocused, and overwhelmed team members who cannot do their jobs effectively without the proper foundational elements and focus
Investing in a well-developed brand now that gives you a foundation built for where you are headed in the future, not just where you are right now, will help you build platforms and a presence that is poised, purposeful, and lasting – saving you a lot of money on misplaced efforts and misaligned campaigns.
How Much Does A Rebrand Cost?
Much like many other business support sectors, there is no one-size-fits-all standard for pricing rebranding projects. They can vary greatly, depending on who you are working with and what they are including in the process.
Most corporate businesses spend between $75,000 and $200,000 on a rebranding project. On average, small to mid-sized businesses spend up to $50,000 on a rebranding project, depending on what is included in the process and deliverables.
Many agencies only include the logos, colors, fonts, brand boards, and mood boards when rebranding for small to mid-sized businesses, but this is a miss. When the full solution isn’t offered, business owners aren’t getting all the elements they need to be able to successfully build a lasting and impressive brand.
You also need to be able to position your brand well and to do that, you’ll want to invest in a branding process that involves the research, strategy, identity, and messaging work that will, in combination with visuals, lend to a cohesive and magnetic brand.
The important thing to remember is that you will want to ensure you are investing for the long-game – the lasting return rebranding your business can bring to you and planning for the investment.
Is Rebranding Worth It?
Because your brand identity will be used in everything you do and will be the thread that ties you and your audience together, positioning you as the only logical solution, there is an infinite return on investment.
It’s also important to think about another kind of return on investment though – the cost of not rebranding and what you can save yourself from.
In the long run, not focusing on putting foundations in place for your brand can cost you big time – 5-6 figures. Without a properly built vehicle to articulate your brand’s purpose and vision, there can be breakdowns along the journey of growth in your business. Without the right foundations, you may end up:
- Investing in copywriters who miss the mark because they don’t have the right resources to get your brand and communicate well for you
- Running through revenue and eating up profits on marketing strategies and campaigns that don’t convert because the audience is confused or can’t connect the dots between you, them, and your offer
- Having to deal with frustrations and friction amongst teammates who want to help you be successful, but don’t have the right tools to stay on-brand and aligned with your values, resulting in increased churn rates with employees and contractors
Branding isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. Every entity has to intentionally focus on branding. Branding isn’t just going to help a business – it will affect every single outcome.
How to Get Started On Your Rebrand
Large corporations shouldn’t be the only ones who have this figured out and are able to invest in the right foundational work – you can get this important work done for your growing small to mid-sized business as well and have the same professional, polished brand identity and sources of truth for your growing team.
That’s where we come in.
With our research-driven approach, we help you build a well-positioned brand, a powerful platform, and purposeful presence through branding and marketing that helps you show up on a mission that moves people to action. We do that by getting up close and personal with your ideal consumers and bringing together what they care about with what your brand stands for.
My firm and I have worked with experienced entrepreneurs and businesses who have been creating impact for up to 15 years. Even the most seasoned leaders have shared that we’ve helped them see possibilities that they didn’t even know existed.
The services that we provide are often things that have been missing for a long time. That’s because a lot of mission-focused leaders have been doing what they’re doing for many years and sometimes decades before branding and marketing started being more accessible.
So, these leaders assume that the foundational and important work needed is only offered to larger corporations from large agencies at very high rates in the upper five-to-six figures.
But, our belief is that every for-profit mission-led team deserves a powerful platform just as much, if not more, than the profit-only-led corporations and enterprises.
For that reason, we are committed to giving the impact-creating clients the same level of professional, dedicated, valuable results larger businesses get from the big agencies, but with the personal touch others fall short on.
That’s why we’ve partnered with specialists in the branding and marketing industries to give you a full suite of services for building your platform and presence, without the costs of having a full in-house brand and marketing department.
We want to support your mission and help you make your vision come to life just as much as you do.
Because contributing to the work done by a brand that makes a real difference in the world is business, but it’s personal too.
This space does exist for your forward-thinking, divergent, disruptive brand. Let’s sit at the table together to come up with creative ways to grow your mission.
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