So, your business is growing — awesome! With growth comes change, and sometimes rebranding a company is the best way to adapt and stay relevant.
Tailoring your message to the changing needs of your customers is key.
Before taking on such a huge task, it’s important to know exactly how and why to rebrand yourself. Once you know exactly where you are going, and why, your new message will be easy to communicate.
Commotion Art went through a complete rebranding not too long ago, so we’ll use our recent experience and strategy as a guide.Learn More About Custom Logo Design Services
Rebranding a Company — Why?
The following are reasons for undergoing a rebranding venture:
- Business growing in a new direction
- Changing products and services
- Attracting a new niche market
As you can see, it’s probably not a decision you’re going to make lightly — let’s look at each of these reasons in more detail.
Rebranding a Company for New Business Direction
It’s common for a growing business to need to refresh or reinvent their image.
When Commotion Art began, we knew we were good at designing websites and advertising, as well as product photography. So, we started working with anyone who needed those services.
We’ve worked with small businesses, musicians, Etsy sellers looking to expand, small farmer’s market sellers, manufacturing companies — you get the idea.
Over time it became clear that taking every project that came our way wasn’t a great idea.
While we still don’t have a specific type of small business we work with, we have narrowed down our ideal customer to business owners that don’t have the time or expertise to manage their own marketing.
It became clear that a rebranding of our company was needed to speak to our narrowed target audience.
Originally, our logo represented the personality of our business. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and like to have fun, so our branding reflected that.
Our new message is clearer and targeted to a more specific audience. We LOOK like the audience we want to attract.
Rebranding a Company for Changing Products and Services
As your business grows, it’s normal for the range of products and services you offer to grow, or to change all together.
As a small design and marketing company, Commotion Art has evolved to offer the services our clients need.
On day one we offered design services — logos, advertising, websites, marketing collateral, etc.
It didn’t take long to see that our customers needed more for their marketing to succeed — so we adapted!
Adding services like SEO and different digital marketing strategies not only made our business more robust, it meant our image needed to change.
Our new identity is more modern and streamlined to convey that our services are relevant in a technology-driven marketplace.
Rebranding a Company to Fit in a Niche Market
As you hit your stride with your new business, you may find that marketing to a smaller, more niche market is the best approach. We recently covered how speaking to a smaller audience can increase your business.
The beauty of the internet and social media is your ability to speak to very specialized groups of people, and you can become THE source of what they need.
Maybe you opened up a bakery selling a broad range of treats but, over time, found out that your specialty banana breads were building a following.
Perhaps your rubber manufacturing company developed a new product for the batter’s box on baseball fields that suddenly took off. Every baseball field manager suddenly wants what you have, and you want to focus on that market.
If you find that one of your products becomes the bread and butter of your business, it may be a good idea to reset your message specifically for that item and go all-in.
Selling to a smaller market may seem counterintuitive, but cornering a niche market is often the way to go for small businesses.Learn More About Custom Logo Design Services
Rebranding a Company — How?
Now that you’ve made the decision to rebrand your company and have clearly defined the WHY, you’ll need to assess WHERE you stand today.
These are a few very simple questions that need to be answered, and writing everything down is a good idea:
- What is working with my current branding?
- What needs to change?
- Who do we currently speak to?
- Who do we want our marketing to target?
Let’s go through these one by one to get a good idea of what this process really looks like in practice.
What’s Working and What Needs to Change?
It may not be necessary to abandon everything you are currently doing, and it’s vitally important to define what will stay and what needs to go.
The obvious piece of the rebranding puzzle is your logo.
If your business is changing direction, or marketing to a more narrow audience, your logo will likely need to be redesigned or at least updated.
It’s safer to completely redesign the logo of a newer company. The more established you are, the closer you’ll need to stick to what you have been doing — but don’t be afraid to rework or modernize your look.
At Commotion Art, our logo clearly had to be redesigned to convey a more professional tone.
But branding doesn’t stop with your logo — what other marketing techniques are you using?
But, hold on.
How does that old saying go? Something about a baby and bathwater? Basically, there’s no need to throw everything out before an honest evaluation.
Do you regularly publish information, like a blog or email marketing? The way you present information to your audience, or your “voice”, may be working fine. We liked the tone we were using in our marketing pieces, so there was no need to worry about our messaging.
It’s important to look at all aspects of your marketing to decide what needs to be revived, just be sure to look at every element separately. Once we at Commotion Art defined what was working for our own marketing, it became obvious what needed to change.Learn More About Custom Logo Design Services
Who Are We Currently Speaking To?
As you’re assessing what is and isn’t working for your marketing, it’s important to define who you are currently targeting.
In the beginning, Commotion Art was targeting, well — anyone who needed design work.
Our message wasn’t focused in any particular direction, so the overall effect was a weakly delivered message.
If you’re not specifically targeting anyone, then you’re not really speaking to anyone — and your message gets lost.
Who Do We Want to Target?
Now that you know why you are rebranding, you should have a clear idea of exactly who you want to target. More importantly, you’ll know where their attention is.
Of course, your branding needs to work across all platforms and media, but knowing in advance where you’ll be targeting your specific audience gives you a huge advantage.
Are you targeting a younger audience who spends large amounts of time on social media? Awesome! You should tailor your rebranding for digital platforms first — think small, round profile pictures, snapchat filters, logo overlays and video integration.
Is your audience older and more print oriented? Great! Think magazine advertising, billboards, brochures and flyers. Flat logo designs with a minimal color palette work best for print, and knowing that your trademark will be printed often will help your designer optimize the design for that use.
Your brand needs to work everywhere — print, digital, social media, video, and so on. But, knowing ahead of time what the primary means of taking in the message will be gives you a huge advantage when it comes to rebranding a company.
Complete Rebranding vs. Refreshing a Brand
Now that you have a comprehensive list (you’ve been taking notes, right?) on what is working with your branding, and what needs to go, it’s time to decide which course to take.
Rebranding and refreshing are two different things — believe it or not, starting from scratch is usually easier.
But, as I mentioned earlier, more established businesses usually benefit from a brand “refreshing” over a complete rebranding.
The longer you’ve been in business, the more recognizable your current logo will be. Straying too far from what you are doing could be dangerous, but modernizing a design is often needed.
Most of the big brands we all know have gone through some type of brand refreshing over the years — think Coca Cola, Visa, Facebook, and ebay.
These brands have adapted to changing tastes over time, but the essence of their branding has remained the same.
Newer companies with early shifts in products and services, or changing target audiences, can afford complete redesigns to fit their changing needs.
Keeping certain elements like color scheme and font usage will make the process easier, but that isn’t a requirement for rebranding a company.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
Hopefully by now you have a clear understanding of why rebranding your business may be necessary, and exactly how to do it.
You have a rock solid game plan put together, and you’re ready to go!
The next step is finding a designer or agency to begin reworking your brand.
A good client will be able to provide all of the necessary information for their company rebranding.
Being able to clearly communicate your strategy and needs to the creative team working on your new look is essential — the more information you provide, the better!
If you need help evaluating your current branding, or if you’re ready to get started with reworking what you currently have, contact Commotion Art today!Contact Commotion Art!