Is It Time to Rethink Your Brand?
In an environment where your clients’ wants, needs, standards, and strategic priorities are constantly evolving, how do you keep your corporate brand relevant and sustain its appeal? Your brand is the public face of your business. As market conditions change, your brand and market position must keep pace. Your peers are exploring how to effectively reposition their businesses, products and services in the eyes of customers and prospective buyers. Although some companies only start looking at their brand image when things are not going well, successful firms stay out in front of the market. Savvy firms are considering market dynamics and using them as key catalysts for change. So, when is it time to rebrand? Here are some questions you should be asking yourself.
Is your brand boring?
Branding is not just about getting your target market to select you over the competition. It's also about getting your prospects to see you as the best provider of a solution to their problem or need. If done properly, your branding will:
- Confirm the brand's credibility in the marketplace
- Emotionally connect target prospects with a product or service
- Motivate the buyer to work with you
- Create user loyalty
You need to ask yourself:
- Is my business differentiated in the market?
- Do prospects see our company as the solution to their communications challenges?
- Is the business properly perceived?
Are you proud to hand your business card to a customer or prospect?
If you’re not proud to hand out your business card (or need to accompany this action with an explanation defending your card’s shortcomings) it’s a pretty good indicator that it’s time to update your brand. The term “business card” has a broader meaning and in this context is a metaphor for an essential brand element that should make you proud.
Take a moment to assess your business card, or your website or marketing materials. If you look at the content and you or your employees are not filled with enthusiasm about what you are communicating, it is time to rebrand.
Has your brand become diluted?
Often times, as a brand ages it loses its strength. Employees take poetic license with the graphics and design. They take liberties in creating new documents and communications. If your brand has lost its consistency, both with employees and in customer communications, it is time to rebrand. Once you rebrand, put consistency and structure into place to make your brand effective in the long run.
Do your company name and brand reflect your corporate vision?
Just as with many other print service providers, as the market and technology mature, vision and focus can change to something different. You are no longer just a printer, but a services provider helping your customers communicate more effectively.
Company names and brands may need to evolve to continually reach the marketplace. Not only do you need to share your new vision, but the challenge is to introduce these elements without losing the brand equity you’ve established.
As competitors offer more advanced services, your initial name and brand can become liabilities and hold the company back from reaching its full potential.
If your company used to do one thing but now also does another, it might be time to rename and rebrand. This will make your stakeholders aware of your new unified and focused corporate offerings.
Are you attracting the talent your company needs?
Today’s employees want to work for firms with the latest and greatest technology and services portfolio. Well positioned providers of advanced communications services attract great people. If you’re struggling to recruit qualified talent, your branding and corporate culture might just have something to do with it.
The Bottom Line
Your brand is the public face of your business, and many catalysts can drive the need to rebrand. A rebrand can be just the change that your company needs to reflect current market dynamics, gain a competitive advantage, improve overall sales performance, or emerge as a leader in the graphic communications market. Is it time for you to rethink your brand?
A digital printing and publishing pioneer and marketing expert, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave whether it is developing a strategy to launch a new product, building a strategic marketing plan or educating your sales force on how to deliver an effective value proposition. She brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity. Barb has had a number of high-profile marketing and sales positions including Chief Marketing Officer for the Kodak Graphic Communications Group, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for IKON Office Solutions, and Vice President and General Manager for the Xerox Document Production Systems Group. She also served as the Gannett chair in integrated publishing sciences in Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) School of Printing Management and Sciences (SPMS). Most recently, Barb was the Group Director for Business Development at InfoTrends. She is currently the Manager of Pellow and Partners, LLC.
Barb can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Mobile, 585-734-2228)