Now that spring is finally committed to sticking around (please God!), it’s nice to walk around town (without a jacket) and see signs of new growth everywhere you look.
You may have noticed some things didn’t survive very well through the harsh winter we had.
The streets have potholes; roofs have been damaged; and the clothes in your closet have shrunk somehow.
This is also a great time to sit back and reflect on how your business — and you — have changed or how you’re in the process of changing and where in fact you and that business of yours are going.
As you think about this, ask yourself if the branding — the visual and verbal messaging — that got you where you are is going to get you where you want to go.
When I say “branding” I’m not just talking about your logo or color palette. I’m talking about all of your brand elements that combine to make up your entire messaging — everything that communicates who you are, what you do, and who you serve. From your vision, mission, and values to the Persona that describes your Prime Suspect to your collateral material and website.
What’s a Brand?
A brand isn’t your logo or your tagline. Those are just the visual and verbal representations of what you stand for. Your brand is your promise to the market. It’s your reputation based on what you deliver. The goal is to create a visual (and a verbal) brand so powerful that people equate that visual image with whatever outcome you deliver.
Your branding — your brand elements — are tools to help you communicate with your Prime Suspects (those most likely to be great clients). They can limit the power of your verbal message (presentations you make, conversations you have…) because they can create confusion in the mind of the Suspect or they can make it difficult for the Suspect to process the messages you’re communicating.
There are lots of reasons you may not be getting the results you want, but one reason could be you need a total rebrand.
What’s a Rebrand?
A rebrand is often thought of as a new logo, it’s much more than that.
A rebrand is an evolutionary process and it’s born out of a deep feeling of disconnection between what you’ve got, what you want, and what you do.
The rebranding process is one that starts with uncovering who you are, where you’re going, and what the business has become.
Run away from anyone who tells you that work isn’t necessary or who doesn’t take the time to understand who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re building.
It may be that — like so many consultants, coaches, and other independent service providers — you may never have had a brand that truly represents you. This happens when you focus on the fun, visual stuff without doing the deep internal work necessary to uncover what the visual stuff should represent.
Here are 14 signs you may be ready for a rebrand
- The clients you have are not the clients you want.
- You look and sound like your competition.
- You’re attracting fewer new inquiries about working with you.
- It takes longer than you want for a Suspect to go from initial conversation to signed engagement.
- You’re ready to grow and don’t feel your visual will take you where you want to go
- You’re competing on price.
- When people introduce you or say what you do you think, “that’s not it”.
- You look at your messaging and sometimes feel as though it’s not really you.
- Your business has grown beyond just you.
- You can’t state what you do in 30 seconds or less.
- You’re adding a new revenue stream or moving in a completely different direction.
- You have website shame.
- You have collateral material shame (whether you give out the physical stuff, email it as an attachment, or have it as downloads on your website.
- People have told you they don’t understand what you do.
A rebrand is a process that’s not to be rushed and it’s not for the faint of heart. There are things that can be done to shorten the time it takes but that means you have to come into the process ready to go. That means you’ve got to come into the process having done a good bit of soul searching on your own or with a facilitator.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from people who are going through a rebrand without doing the prep work is that the designer or developer is asking them questions they (the business owner ) can’t answer.
If that’s the case, it means you need to work with a consultant who is skilled at uncovering your difference. It also may mean that you’ve got a lot of uncertainty within yourself and until you’ve gotten clarity the process will be slow and painful.
There are times when it’s not a complete rebrand that’s needed. It might be that there’s a problem with the overall sales process — with how you’re bringing in Prime Suspects or how you’re helping them travel their Buying Journey.
If you’re trying to discern the problem and figure out if you need a rebrand or you need some adjustment to your sales process then you should talk to a consultant, coach, or strategist who works specifically around helping entrepreneurs like you stand out. The goal is to increase your reach so you serve more and earn more not just have a nice logo.