Rebranding: is it right for your small business?
Rebranding is a process that many small businesses undergo as they evolve, scale, or change course. It involves updating a business’s image by changing things like logo, colors, and typography. Many clients come to me when they are ready to rebrand, but rebranding isn’t right in every situation. It’s important to consider a rebrand carefully before committing.
2020 was the year of the “pivot” for many small businesses and entrepreneurs. To survive, many had to adapt their services, products, or the way they conduct business. But as the dust (hopefully!) begins to settle, you may be wondering if your current brand still speaks to the right audience. Let’s look at some ways to determine if it is time for a rebrand.
Your business is targeting a new market.
This consideration is a big one right now. I work with a lot of small businesses that traditionally serve a local audience. Suddenly, with the pandemic restricting in-person business interactions, some have gone virtual and, reaching customers and clients across the country. In other instances, they have begun to cater to new audiences born of COVID life, like people working from home or home-schooling their kids. An updated brand identity can help you attract and connect with new markets.
Your services and products have changed.
If your original branding is no longer capturing the full scope of your current services, a rebranding process might be for you. Imagine you own a paint-your-own pottery studio. In the past, your primary revenue stream had been hosting individuals or groups in the studio. These customers would traditionally choose items to paint and paint them live in your studio space with your help. Maybe you also offered in-person birthday parties or classes. Then, March 2020 came, and you had to close your doors. Instead of just waiting to reopen, you got creative by offering take-home painting kits and Zoom painting parties. Now, you realize you prefer this way of serving your customers. Updated branding could help you communicate to current and future clients this "paint pottery anywhere" aspect of your business.
You have outgrown generic or DIY branding.
Many small businesses begin with generic branding, no consistent branding at all, or DIY branding to conserve budget. As a small business owner myself, I remember the startup phase's pain, but I also know that there's a cost to these shortcuts. Without a consistent, professional brand identity, you will have a hard time growing and maintaining a healthy business. You'll begin to blend in with the crowd. You may start to feel embarrassed to send people to your website. You might even hesitate to hand out your business card because it doesn’t match the level of your offerings. When this begins to happen, it’s usually a sign that a rebranding process is in order. A professional can help you transition your brand’s look and feel so that you can proudly differentiate yourself from the competition.
You are attracting the wrong clients.
Are you wasting time fielding calls from potential clients who aren’t a great fit? Do people get confused about what you do? It could be because your branding is not communicating clearly on your behalf. Luckily, a good graphic designer will use the points of confusion as clues to how to reshape your brand to attract the right clients moving forward.
Your brand design is outdated.
Have you ever passed a van on the road and thought, "Wow, that logo looks like it's out of the 1980s!" Design, as with any visual mode of expression, is influenced by the times. Something that seemed slick and oh-so-cool when your family business was founded a generation ago might no longer fit your current and future vision. By rebranding, you can either iterate and update your existing logo or begin anew with a fresh, contemporary look. It's crucial not to alienate loyal clientele with the change, so you'll want to be thoughtful about the transition and how it's rolled out. It's also smart to future-proof your branding with a design that feels timeless and lasting.
You’re changing your business name.
This one is probably the most obvious, but if you change your name, you likely need to update your branding. Nothing confuses customers more than a logo that doesn't match your current business name. It also will probably make people a little wary of doing business with you. Sometimes it makes sense to keep your brand's visuals pretty similar and swap out the name. More often, though, you'll want to use your name change as an opportunity to update the colors, icon, and fonts to match the feel of your new name.
Are you ready for a rebrand? Schedule a call to learn more about my small business branding design process.