Whether you have started and run your business for decades or just bought or acquired an established business, you probably have some questions when it comes to what to do about it's brand identity and how you want to be seen and what you want to be known for moving forward.
There's alot of uncertainty that comes with a big change like this and you probably are asking yourself a few of these questions:
Do I keep it the way it's always been and deal with it being outdated, not practical and not representing my business the way I'd like?
Or do I take a risk of impacting my brand recognition by changing and updating it?
What will the old owners think, how do I navigate personal preferences and legacy?
I want to change things but how fast is too fast to make adjustments?
Chances are you are asking yourself all these questions when faced with new ownership of a business or in a place to brush the dust off your current brand. It can be multifaceted and tricky to navigate, so I want to help guide you in some different ways to think and approach this multidimensional dilemma. Everyone has a different situation and different aspects to consider during this process, so below are general guidelines to consider while making your own decisions.
Overarching concept: The goal of rebranding is to make sure your identity, messaging and brand image is accurately expressing what you do and how it's different from others, the standards and values you hold, and the way in which you want to be recognized. If your current branding isn't aligned to those goals moving forward, it's time to reevaluate.
Do: Be objective - Go into the process with a strategy - What are your goals, and what is your long term vision for your brand? Is the current branding helping you get there, or is it holding you back? What stepping stones do you need to do to make it a smooth transition?
Don't: Loose your own vision, voice and passion in the transition! Keep your goals alive and pursue your own dream with this new opportunity.
Do: Make the best decisions for you as the new business owner. You may be facing different challenges and standards to uphold today than previous owners had to 15 years ago. You need to be able to make decisions for today's problems and ambitions.
Don't: Be wishy washy about the rebrand - fully commit to it if that is your path forward. You can't have one foot in your old business and one in your new one.
Do: Consider what stepping stones you need to make to transition smoothly - rebranding may have to happen in stages or in some cases start ing completely over and making it a completely different brand is the best move.
Don't: Be held by back by what previous owners preferences may be or how they think it should move forward. **Disclaimer: there are some instances where the ownership is still shared and they may still have weight in decisions, in which case you may have to approach your rebrand in smaller transitional stages.
Do: Prioritize optimizing your brand and your business to make it easier for your workflow efficiency and to make your customers have a better experience with your business.
Don't: Forget to weigh what it might cost you to not rebrand going forward. Not staying top of mind for your customers, by being outdated in your brand image and your processes could jeopardize your brand reputation.
Do: Get clear about what aspects of your brand need to stay. Carry those forward but leave the rest that isn't serving you. This is a chance to set up the business the way you see fit.
Don't: Have too many people involved in your decision making process. 1-2 People max should have input and be involved in the rebranding process.
Do: Have a plan to transition your new brand and actively educate your customers on changes for an extended period of time (Prelaunch (getting people ready for change)- Launch (the changeover 1-2 months) - Continuation). Make sure things are completely switched over on the backend before announcing and transitioning things to the public. Nothing is more confusing than having two different logos or websites to figure out which one is yours. (**note that not all rebrands have to be public, some need better communication than others depending on the emotional attachment of customers and the relationship you have with them)
Do: Take ownership and pour your own flair and personality into your brand!
Don't: Overthink it! You may feel like everyone is watching you and your actions waiting for you to fail, but the reality is that most everyone is rooting for your success (especially the previous owners) and most people are so bothered by their own busy lives that the changes you make only matter to them unless it makes their life harder to work with you. (which is not the goal :) So be confident, communicate well and present change as positives that will only make people love your business even more. The skeptics will come around, I promise.
Do: Get professional help from a branding specialist to strategize and balance over thinking and personal biases. When you are so close to a problem it's hard to be objective about decisions and know what way is the right way. With getting clear on your brand foundations as a new owner through brand strategy - the path forward is much clearer on how to proceed!
Don't: let what others think hold you back from your huge potential to run a wildly successful business that is aligned with you and one others adore.
Final Reminder: Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can
expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. Your brand is how people feel when they interact with it, it’s your reputation.
If that is misaligned, branding can help bridge the gap to get to you to where you want to be.
Have more questions?
If you are a new business owner of an established business and need support and want to start the next chapter in your brand, I would love to support you any way I can in what can often be a tricky transition.
Inquire in the link in bio for a free discovery call and we can map out a plan for building your dream brand in a way that feels appropriate for your specific situation!