Awakening Your Brand: The Art of Crafting a Memorable Makeover
Your brand is more than just your logo and your colors. It’s your identity, and it needs to be conveyed consistently and constantly.
Your brand is not what you say it is, but what your customers say it is.
If you haven’t reconsidered your brand’s place in the world for a while, it may be time. If you have the same marketing and branding in front of consumers since before 2020, please consider a refresh. To your customers and potential customers, the world has changed twice in three years. 2020 was more like a dozen years ago.
Marketing agencies have a long history of being like the cobbler’s children who have no shoes. Every agency I’ve worked for in the past 20 years has said, “New website? Yeah, we should do that soon. Brand refresh? Sure, but we’re too busy with our customers’ marketing.”
Timing a Rebrand
The timing is never perfect, but the evolving landscape in the franchise space demanded that my team should tackle a brand refresh in 2023. When I joined the franchise development marketing agency Brand Journalists early in the year, I informally surveyed several franchise professionals and found different opinions of what the firm did best. Some said creating franchise development videos; some said building franchising websites. Those were both right, but a few people said things we’ve never done. Or they didn’t know about things that we actually do regularly. It was time to re-explain ourselves consistently and constantly.
It started with planning our own website refresh to focus on our four key franchise development services (videos, websites, lead generation, and fractional sales). It grew to a larger redefinition of our offerings, focusing less on the past and more on the vision of franchise development in the future. This included a new look and feel that incorporated our internal nickname, Brand J. By the way, using our nickname came by way of an unexpected LinkedIn post from one of our favorite clients who one day used the hashtag #brandj. We liked the way it felt.
If you’re weighing a rebrand for your franchise in the near future, here are six strategies that will help you make it a win.
1. Assess Your Brand Voice
Has your mission evolved? If you’ve been in business more than five years, consider updating your mission and the reason WHY you’re in business. Once you have that worked out, your brand’s story will be easier to tell.
For example, everyone knows Nike’s inspirational brand messaging and famous slogan, “Just do it.” Having a recognizable brand voice makes your brand more recognizable and attractive. A survey done by Contently, found that 61% of people are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content and style of communication.
2. Be Ready to Abandon Old Ideas
“Our brand has always looked like this” is irrelevant to your next group of customers or franchisees. This may be a good time to shed your skin and grow.
3. Get Everyone Involved
While your head of marketing may take the lead on the rebranding project, and the CEO may have the final say on the look and feel, get input from all staff, advisors, and certainly from your franchisees.
4. Stay on a Timeline
It’s easy to say, “This isn’t mission critical,” and put off your rebranding project in favor of day-to-day business. But there’s never going to be extra time for an extra project. Build out a timeline and stay on task.
5. Make Customers Part of the Rebrand
Once completed, your team, franchisees, and customers may want to celebrate. Let them! It’s great to be a part of a positive change with a brand they love.
6. Don’t Panic Over Negative Feedback
There may also be no celebration at first. Your stakeholders and fans may not be thrilled with a new look. If it takes some time for them to get comfortable with a new look, it means they’ve been invested in your brand. Change is hard.
Rebranding is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s a nuanced blend of art and science. It demands a deep understanding of the marketplace, your customers’ behavior, and your own strategic vision.