By Nathan Sykes
You may be thinking about a re-brand for your business for many reasons, but the most common one is because you’ve hit a rut. No matter why your company isn’t growing, updating your image, changing your audience or selling new products could all be excellent solutions.
However, changing your business around won’t happen overnight. Some ways to go about rebranding are quicker than others, but keep in mind that this isn’t an instant process. Nonetheless, be sure your new brand is right for your business before investing time and money.
Here are seven of the quickest, most efficient ways to make sure the public knows you’re going in a new direction with your business.
1. Get a New Look
The first step in making your business different is to redo your look. Even if you don’t plan on renaming the company, make sure you invest in a professional artist to create a new logo. Try to get your logo to look as modern as possible — unless you’re marketing to a more traditional audience.
With a new logo comes new promotional material. You’ll need to remake all your pamphlets, billboards, uniform shirts and storefront signs, to name a few. The most important change is going to be your business cards. Update cards with your new logo as soon as possible. Often, a business card is your first contact with new customers and clients. You’ll also need to update your website to match your new brand.
If your brand is changing because of shifting audiences, be sure to look into new avenues for advertising. Try taking out ads on popular websites like Facebook or Reddit that can reach your audience.
2. Remodel Everything
If you want or need an entirely new look, remodeling your brick and mortar stores is an excellent place to start. While not exactly instant, remodeling your stores will be the quickest way to tell the public you’re taking a new approach. One of the easier ways to remodel is to redo the wall panels and siding of your business. Changing the siding isn’t as drastic as tearing down walls, and the new look will speak volumes.
During the age of technology, you may have a lot of customers who never walk into your store. That’s why remodeling your website is just as important as the building. Make sure to streamline and update your site as much as possible. Don’t add programs that will make your site complicated or slower. Hire a professional to do the job for you, or remember to use minimalism to your advantage.
3. Launch New Products or Services
Even if you’re not rebranding because of a new service or product line, introducing at least one new product or service as you’re rebranding will help. Having a new offering shows the public you’re changing along with your look. Bringing in a new product or service may also prevent you from having to rebrand completely.
The new product or service you launch will depend on your business, but keep in mind that this is partially an advertising campaign — new offerings will bring in new customers.
4. Join Social Media
Changing your tone and image on social media is one of the first changes you should make, as customers worldwide will have access to the new you. More importantly, social media allows you to interact with your audience and promote advertising. You can get involved with current topics and trends, address customer concerns immediately and show off your new brand message.
If you already use social media for your business, customizing your profiles to fit your new image is easy on most sites. Vowing to get more involved on Facebook and Twitter is one of the best choices you could make when rebranding.
5. Network All Over Again
If you thought your business graduated from the world of networking, think again. When you rebrand, you’re redoing everything about your business. You’ll have to reinvent your image from the ground up, which includes the basics of networking.
Touch up your LinkedIn profile and attend more networking conferences. Keep in mind this is for your business, not a personal rebrand — you’re trying to build connections all over again. This directive is a lot less important for companies in retail than for a client-centric or contract-based business, but networking may be something to look into if you want your business to move up no matter your industry.
6. Invest in Photography
Finding a good photographer might sound like a strange part of rebranding, but it’s crucial. If you haven’t shown off your employees and staff before now, this is the best opportunity to do so. Customers love seeing small businesses honoring their employees. Bringing everyone to a professional studio and spending a little money can go a long way with making the human connection with consumers.
If you already have photographs of everyone, updating them during rebranding is a must. Don’t bother taking the pictures yourself with a smartphone or even a decent camera — you want your business to look professional. If all goes well, your new photos won’t be outdated for several years to come.
7. Donate Locally
This might sound like another odd piece of advice, but donating to local charities is a fantastic way to get your name out there and shed a favorable light on your company. Ethics matter to customers who research businesses — if you haven’t participated in local charities or fundraisers before, consider doing so as you rebrand.
On the off-chance that there’s nothing local to participate in, consider starting an annual fundraiser. Hosting food or toy drives during the holidays can go a long way with making a good name for your business — not to mention, you’ll be helping your community.
The Finishing Touches
Rebranding a business is not cheap or easy. You can complete some steps more immediately than others, such as joining Twitter or getting a new web domain. Other measures, like remodeling your office and networking, will take patience. If you want an effective rebranding of your business, these are some of the best places to start.
No matter your rebranding goals, the most critical step is to remember why you’re changing in the first place. Keep your mission in mind, and the rest will fall into place.
About the Author: Nathan Sykes writes about the latest in business and technology from Pittsburgh, PA. To read his latest articles, check out his blog, Finding an Outlet.