As a businessperson running your own consultancy, it’s inevitable that as your business evolves that you’ll reach a juncture where you’ll need to take a step back and review your brand. This could involve a subtle refresh of your logo or doing a complete overhaul including a new visual identity, name change or revamp of your service offerings. Even if you’ve been in business for many years, a time may come when it’s wise to reinvigorate your brand to ensure that your company continues to thrive.
Working as consultants in the PR and marketing realm, we are used to focusing on the management of our clients’ brands. But we sometimes fail to consciously make an effort to manage our own. Although we focus heavily on the concept of our brand at the beginning of our business, we always should pay attention to managing it properly over the life of our business. Our brand defines us, communicates what we’re about and encapsulates the value proposition of what we offer to our clients. As you evolve, make sure that your brand has not grown stagnant or no longer effectively communicates your core values to your target audiences.
Before taking the leap – and associated risks – of recalibrating your brand, it’s important to seriously contemplate whether you need to (at this particular point in time) and if so, to what extent you should give your brand a makeover. Revitalizing your brand is a serious endeavor and one that requires plenty of thought, advanced planning and deliberate action steps that are strategically grounded.
Questions to ask yourself before proceeding
Before you embark on changing any aspect of your business’s brand, take stock of what constitutes your brand overall and what that’s presently conveying to your current and future clients. Take an inventory of what aspects you feel need a change and what elements are worth salvaging. Most importantly, identify what you hope to accomplish from this process.
- Why are you considering a brand refresh or rebrand?
- What’s driving you to do this at this particular time in your business’s lifecycle (e.g., gaining better competitive advantage, changing client sector, staying relevant, broadening your target market, growth, etc.)?
- How would you describe your business personality or style, as it stands now?
- What is your personal business philosophy?
- What is your current brand story and what do you want to change about that?
- What is the core message of your current brand, and what new message do you wish to convey?
- What are your current image standards and brand guidelines (e.g., font, tagline, colors, images, etc.)? What don’t you like about these?
- What do you aim to achieve from the rebranding process?
- How will doing a business rebrand impact the brand equity that you’ve built to date?
Guiding your rebranding process
If you’ve decided to move forward on a rebranding exercise for your business, here are some key questions for helping you define and gain clarity around how you’ll articulate your company’s rejuvenated brand.
- What are your company’s values, as well as its vision and mission? And what features and qualities do you want people to associate with your brand?
- What are the benefits of your current brand and the range of service offerings you presently provide?
- Who comprises your current client base (i.e., industry, size, geographical location, etc.)?
- Of the problems or challenges your clients face, which can your company help to resolve?
- What value do you offer and what benefits do your clients derive from working with your firm?
- Besides your current clients, are there other clients or industries that could benefit from your products or services?
- Who do you view as your top competitors now, and why? In the future?
- What differentiates you from your competitors?
- Do you have a competitive weakness? And how are your current and prospective customers influenced by or affected by that weakness?
- Do you have a competitive advantage? How do you currently capitalize on that strength? And how do your current (and prospective) clients profit from that strength?
- If somebody asked your current clients to talk about you, what would they say?
- What would you want them to say, think, or feel about your organization, products, or services?
- If you were explaining your role and company to someone unfamiliar with PR, what would you say?
- What visual imagery and tagline would best convey your new brand personality, style and messaging?
Tips for enhancing your brand
- Create a new story and messaging around your business’s revised brand.
- Develop online content to showcase yourself as a thought leader within the context of repositioning your new brand (e.g., blogging, webinars, podcasts, etc.).
- Pursue speaking opportunities not just at PR related events but also industry events within your target markets.
- Generate media coverage for yourself and your business within the context of your new brand positioning.
- Participate in social networks where your current (and/or new) target client base regularly engages as a means to showcase your revised brand.
Have you undergone a company rebrand? What were your experiences or key takeaways from going through that exercise personally? Please share any tips or further input you may have in the comments section below.
Image credit: Freedigitalphotos.net | Stuart Miles