Can You Change?

We often have well-established companies tell us they hate their logo or their branding.  (That’s right… I’m using the word hate here.)  They tell us when they started the company they didn’t put enough effort toward their branding, identity or their online marketing.  Now with hindsight in their favor they see the mistakes they made and want to fix it!  But how easy is it to change your company’s image once the marketplace gets to know you?

Freshening your branding is one thing.  That is a healthy part of managing any company’s identity.  Times change, you change, standards change. Think of all the world’s biggest brands.  Over the years they religiously refresh their branding to keep from looking stodgy or outdated.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan on making some major changes:

1)  Develop a regimented plan
Often companies delay things that are perceived as painful until the time comes where someone in the organization gets fed up and yells, “Just Get It Done!!”  When it comes to your company’s identity nothing could be worse.  There is some background work that needs to be done first.

2) How do people view you?
Before you know where to take your branding, you first need to understand how people perceive you.  Talk to long-time clients and ask them why they’ve continued to do business with you.  Talk to new clients and ask them why they decided to work with you.  Through your research you may find you don’t like the way people perceive your company. If that’s the case you may need to make a more substantial overhaul to your company’s brand.  Also remember you have to remove your personal tastes and likes from the equation.  I know this is hard to swallow, but your tastes may be bad for your brand.

3) Research the competition
What are your competitors doing well?  What aren’t they doing well?  See if there is a niche you can fill where your competitors are lacking.  You may find there is a whole new customer base out there you want to target.

4) Buy-in
As with any plan, if you don’t have 110% buy-in from everyone in your company you’re starting down a bumpy road.  Be sure everyone from the top down understands why you’re making the change, your vision for the future of the company, and how this is an integral part of accomplishing that vision.

5) The Relaunch
Prepare people for the “new you”.  Help them understand why you’re going through this transformation.  Tell them why it’s in their best interest.  If you change completely and suddenly without notice, your customers and the general public may get confused.  And sometimes consumers get downright angry!  As some brands have found out.

If you’re going to make a major change to your branding, do your research and make a smart transition.  If you don’t, you risk making these changes at your peril. (SyFy anyone?)



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