Rebranding is expensive, time-consuming, potentially confusing, easy to get wrong, and rarely executed correctly. Scary enough? Perfect.
First, let’s talk about the Why. The most common reason we hear is that your business name potentially excludes a certain client type and so you’d like to change the brand to be more accepting. The second reason is that there are other businesses around you with a similar name. The third reason is to have complete autonomous control over your messaging. Obviously there are more, but for the sake brevity, we’ll cover these three.
Whether you’re rebranding to appeal to a wider audience or to differentiate yourself from your competition you’ll want to execute these things first.
Yes, I know that picking a new logo and new colors is so much more fun than these 2 action items, however, these must be defined before you move forward, or your skull and crossbones logo will alienate the soccer mom you’re trying to appeal to.
Step 3 on the rebranding path, will be to make three lists. Every place your logo is listed, every place your business name is listed, and new places it should be listed. These lists need to be exhaustive in both print and digital. Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, PushPress, Website, Business Cards, Street Sign, Retail Store, Marketing Flyers, new shirts, shaker bottles, etc. Also add tasks such as registering a new domain, time for reviewing logo designs, and brand colors, as this will become a checklist for you and your team.
The next thing you’ll want to do is place a dollar figure and time investment to update or produce everything on this list.
4th Step will be to determine what things you need to do in your physical business to attract appeal to your ideal client avatar, and/or differentiate yourself from the competition. Remodels, branded equipment, new equipment, new class offerings, new technology, etc. Add them all to the above list and put them in order of execution. For example, you probably shouldn’t launch your new Bootcamp to appeal to your new avatar before you’ve updated the facility and brand. Shouldn’t announce the brand, before logo design is done and website updates are pending. This is without a doubt a critical thinking exercise, so take some time with it.
Now that we know WHO (Client Avatar) we’re trying to attract, HOW (Rebranding Lists) we are going to attract them, WHY (Core Values) they’ll choose us; we can assess IF it’s a good idea. Can you execute on the entire list of action items from a monetary expense, and time expense standpoint? If the answer is ’no’ and you still feel strongly about rebranding, then remove the roadblocks and re-evaluate if the rebranding will still allow you to appeal to your client avatar, attract them, and have them choose you. In this phase, it can help to have discussions with you ideal client avatar. Preferably these discussions should be with someone who isn’t a friend or related, ie someone who isn’t a member of your gym.
Continue to refine the action items through this process until you decide to move forward or move on. Once you have the final list of action items, assign them a timeline. Speaking from past mistakes, I’d give everything about a 30% longer time allotment than you think. Don’t get me started on changing the name of your Facebook Page. The rebrand should be announced and rolled out exhaustively by a certain date, so plan to make that date sometime in the slow season as to avoid brand confusion when marketing to new prospects.
Now the fun and stressful part of brainstorming names, logo ideas, new colors, hashtags, fonts, tone of voice, and more. It may behoove you to hire and brand expert at this point. Someone to help navigate the multiple styles of logos, color palettes, and can produce a brand guide similar to the team over at Brick outlines here: BRICK Brand Assessment Guide.
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