How Small Business Owners Can Avoid a Bungled Re-Branding Campaign

by / Wednesday, 11 June 2014 / Published in Small Business Marketing

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Re-branding is often a risky proposition for a small business, and before business owners decide to go ahead with it they need to seriously consider both the pros and cons of the move. Before deciding to give up on their branding and try something new, they should consider whether or not they have done all they could to make their original branding perform.

As with all forms of small business marketing, doing research and gathering customer opinions should be the foundation of a choice to re-brand. The later in the game that business decides to shift their brand image, the more risky the proposal becomes as they will be changing the image that their current customers already recognize to one that they may not be able to identify.

  • If your customers respond negatively to the branding you have in place, consider changing your logo or name to better suit their preferences.
  • Try to determine if your logo, your name or both are the aspects of your branding that are not resonating with your target market.
  • Take your brand’s target market and analyze whether the market size and your anticipated share will be enough to sustain continued business growth. Don’t move into a market segment that will impose a low profit ceiling on your operations.

There is a difference between re-branding and a brand update. If you have determined that your brand is performing reasonably well on a base level, but could use an update to make it look more professional, in that case you may want to forgo an entire re-branding process and simply choose to update your brand’s appearance and message. Major corporations will use extensive A/B testing and market research to determine when they should update their logos and their image. What the small business equivalent of this can be is using big data and market trends in conjunction with direct appeals for input through social media in order to shape the direction of their client facing image. Take this with a large dose of common sense as well, avoiding acting on input that is obviously in jest or meant to get a rise out of another person.

Should you make the choice to go ahead with a full re-branding, make sure that your customers are aware that it is going to take place. Unless the reason you are changing your branding is because of negative PR associated with your old brand, you should take steps to make sure that your current customers will not be blindsided by a sudden change. Your brand is what they use to identify your products and services, so if they are not informed of the changes that you have planned, you cannot safely assume that they will get the memo. You may want to put up signs in your physical location announcing the date of the changes, as well as reach out through social media, e-mail and direct mailing to your customers in advance. I you really want to draw in business, you might also want to time an exclusive offer to coincide with the release of your new image, compounding on the excitement in order to make more sales.

Photo Credit to hobvias sudoneighm on Flickr

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