It takes just one-tenth of a second for a person to analyze someone or something and make a first impression.
Furthermore, we as humans base our whole lives around appearances. From the cars we choose to buy, the outfits we opt to wear, who we choose to date, where we choose to live, why we go to the gym, to the haircuts we feel suit us. It’s all about making sure we are likeable, presentable, desirable, and sought after. Each of us are our own brands, and for most of us, we do everything we can to make sure we don’t tarnish our own image.
Your company’s brand should be no different.
With over 30.2 million businesses in America alone, standing out amongst your competition has never been more crucial. In fact, to thrive in today’s world your brand must have a united front across all online and offline platforms. It shouldn’t matter if your customers or prospects come across your company on their smartphone, through your direct mail piece, an email, or their desktop computer, they should be receiving the same messages in a consistent desirable style.
Over the years, we have worked with many business owners and high-level c-suite individuals. One reoccurring theme we see when it comes to rebranding a company is that branding in general is an afterthought. “Toss in a touch of blue that matches our logo and we should be good to go,” is an expression you may have heard. But just to be clear, that’s not branding. Or they feel that they already have an established brand because it’s been around for many years and look how far we have come. There’s also the old mind mentality of, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it kind of thing, or simply that they cannot allocate sufficient funds at the moment to a rebrand.
So, what can you do to convince the upper echelon of your company that a rebranding or an initial brand strategy must be established? Here are a few places to start:
Branding Allows You To Set Yourself Apart From Competition
Competition is fiercer than ever thanks to globalization. Technology allows consumers to easily compare all of their options. Companies must compete with more than other businesses; they have to compete with an exponentially increasing amount of noise just to get the consumer’s attention.
Maximize Your Brand’s Relevance In The Heart And Mind Of Your Customer
Gaining the attention of today’s consumer is no easy feat. You can’t just “buy” consumer attention anymore. You have to earn it. To earn it, you brand has to be lovable. People don’t fall in love with names; they fall in love with the entire brand experience.
Rebrands Tend To Be Easier On The Eyes
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, we as humans are predisposed to do just that, especially when it comes to websites. You don’t think having a beautifully responsive website makes a difference to your bottom line? We recently rebranded InTouch Health, an ehealth platform that allows healthcare providers to quickly connect their patients with the right specialists. Here is a before and after of their website, which one would you choose to buy from?
Build Loyalty & Trust
When you create an emotional connection with consumers, they’re more likely to stick with you. Just think about how much easier it is to say no with a quick phone call or email than it is to say no to a person face-to-face. Brands help facilitate this humanistic presence. It’s a lot easier (and less expensive) to keep a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. When branding creates an emotional connection with customers who become attached, you get more bang for your buck.
Expand Market Share
An example of how powerful branding can be: Star Trac, a fitness brand, gained international market share and grew annual sales to over $200 million with a brand strategy that we implemented for them.
Rebrand To Ensure Consistency
As a brand ages, it tends to become more internally dispersed. Fonts change, brand colors fade, and logo variations expand. Consistency is key when it comes to marketing across multiple digital touch points these days. Your social accounts, email signatures, brand voice, webinars, anything and everything, must display your brands style and messaging in the same fashion.
Command Higher Prices
People pay more for Tylenol than generic store brands. Even though the product is nearly identical, and generics are often considerably cheaper. Consumers have become loyal to the brand.
Increase Shareholder Value
A study by Interbrand in association with JP Morgan concluded that on average, brands account for more than one-third of shareholder value. For example, the study showed that the McDonald’s brand accounts for more than 70 percent of shareholder value (BusinessWeek, Interbrand/JP Morgan).
Generate Stronger Financial Results
Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, asserts that buying decisions occur in split seconds instead of long, drawn out processes, and are based on memories, images, and feelings. This is your brand.
Fewer Expenses Down The Road
Rebranding can be costly depending on how far you have let your brand deteriorate. But the fact remains that the longer you wait for your product and brand development, the more your brand will have to pay out in the future. With new product lines rolling out, or as your company expands internally and begins to open more locations, keeping all of your messaging consistent is going to become more of a priority. Rebranding before a growth phase will make it easier to stay consistent without having to do a major overhaul in the future.
A brand is an identity that has a personality, values, and traits, in addition to being recognizable and memorable
Though convincing your c-suite individuals might seem intimidating, all you can do is lay out the facts and rationally explain why you believe it will be beneficial to rebrand. Many times, showcasing what your competitors are doing can be an excellent motivational tool to the higher ups, as no one likes to be second best.
Just remember, branding is done so that a company can kindle relationships between a brand and its consumers. Building relationships over time allows a brand to become known, recognizable, and trustworthy. Once you have identified and defined who your brand is and built a brand platform, you can go on to create unique and memorable brand experiences for consumers. Need help with rebranding your company? Contact our San Diego brand strategy agency today.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.