Rebranding without a business-oriented strategy will get you nothing but a prettier version of the same crap.
One of the Copywriting Course forum members recently asked this question:
Screenshot from the Copywriting Course private forum
“What about rebranding?”
It’s a common question that every business owner has probably asked themselves.
Rebranding feels like a big thing because it involves changing parts of your business (like your logo and your website).
But if the rebrand isn’t built around business goals first, then all you’re doing is dressing up the same business with a different look - without addressing its problems.
Rebranding the right way is all about focusing on specific issues that are tied to measurable goals, like sales.
When it’s done right, rebranding can look deceptively simple because it usually involves a small number of strategic changes.
But in reality, rebranding is a really intense, specialized process.
So before you decide to jump into a rebranding project, ask yourself these questions to make sure you’re ready to do the work (and whether or not you’re better off focusing directly on more boring things like your sales process).
Q1) Why am I even thinking about rebranding?
Translation: Nobody’s buying my stuff and I’m out of ideas…..but I feel like I have to do *something*.
Let’s face it - super successful business owners probably aren’t spending time thinking about how to rebrand, right?
The urge to rebrand is usually connected to some business problem, like disappointing sales, customer complaints, or market trends.
Whatever yours is, make sure it’s something that’s specific and focused.
A rebrand will only work if it’s addressing a real problem that’s connected to performance.
If you don’t have a specific problem to focus on, you’re more likely to flail around doing random things that don’t have any impact on your business.
In other words, if you don’t focus on a specific problem, your rebrand will probably not work.
Q2) What exactly do I mean by “rebrand”?
Translation: I’ve got a lot of vague ideas but haven’t thought this through properly.
“Rebrand” can mean a lot of different things, like:
- A new logo
- A new website design
- A different mission / identity
- A different sales strategy
- Appealing to a different target market
(plus pretty much any structural change in your business)
So, how are you planning to rebrand?
In Q1 you identified a specific problem to fix.
Q2 is where you pick the best solution to your specific problem.
If you choose an action that doesn’t fix your problem, your rebrand won’t accomplish anything.
For example, if the underlying problem you’re trying to solve is about connecting with a different audience…..is a new logo really going to do the trick?
You’ve got to connect a specific problem with a real specific solution.
Q3) What outcome am I chasing?
Translation: Rebranding sounds sorta cool….but I haven’t attached the process to measurable business goals.
It’s easy to talk about rebranding in vague, dreamy language.
But like any “change” project, you’ve got to define clear outcome goals. If you don’t know how to measure the rebrand, you’ll get lost in random actions instead of real changes.
For example, if you’re trying to improve your sales with a rebrand, you’ve got to be measuring your sales figures.
If it’s an image issue you’re trying to fix, you’ve got to measure changes in customer feedback.
Q4) Is this possibly just another shiny object?
Translation: I know I’m easily distracted by busywork….let’s be careful before jumping into a big process like a rebranding.
Before you jump into a rebranding project, really consider whether you actually need to be rebranding.
Rebranding can be complicated, expensive, incredibly time-consuming, and frustrating.
Plus there’s no guarantee it’ll actually help your business.
So before you take any concrete steps, ask yourself if this is something worth doing. If you can’t answer the specific questions in Q’s 1-3, you’re probably not tackling a real problem.
Q5) How + Why could this fail?
Translation: I haven’t really thought through a worst-case scenario yet.
What happens if the rebranding project leaves you worse off than before? Are you ready to deal with that?
The best examples of desperate, last gasp rebranding happen in the restaurant industry. Gordon Ramsey has three different shows about restaurant reinventions.
Each episode features his team doing a quick rebranding based on the area’s tastes, food options, and competition. If you look past all the yelling and screaming, there’s a lot of strategy on display.
But before Gordon Ramsey gets to any of these places, they’ve all tried their own rebranding efforts - and failed miserably.
These failed rebrandings usually involve actions that feel big, like adding menu options and dropping prices.
But they always fail because they’re not really based on specific customer issues and therefore don’t have an effect on the restaurant’s sales.
When a restaurant goes through a bad DIY rebranding, it costs them time, money, energy, and almost always leaves them with even worse performance.
When is the situation right for a rebrand?
Here’s a really simple way to test the validity of your rebranding project:
A) It’s based on a specific idea that’s going to make customers happier
B) It’s connected to an easy-to-measure outcome, like sales.
If you don’t have those two bases covered, you’re probably not going to see the results you’re looking for.
But if you do….then you’ve got the beginnings of a good project. Just ask yourself the 5 questions outlined here to make sure you’re really ready to follow through with a rebranding project.
Ask these questions BEFORE embarking on a rebranding project:
- Why am I even thinking about rebranding?
- What exactly do I mean by “rebrand”?
- What outcome am I chasing?
- Is this possibly just another shiny object?
- How + Why could this fail?