Evolution is necessary for survival, both in life and in business. In life, these changes might also be marked by milestones, such as a marriage, a new job, a baby, or a physical move. But how do you mark these changes in business?
That answer might vary depending on who you ask, however, the best advice would simply be to have a written brand identity and strategy and check in either annually or bi-annually to review it and refine it if necessary. If you've never put together a written brand identity here's what you need to include:
Mission Statement: This is your why. Why are you doing what you do and what do you hope to achieve by doing it? In many cases, your brand's mission statement will go beyond the product or service you offer; it can also be something that you are passionate about, like championing women's issues or climate change. If you do any sort of charitable work as an organization, the mission statement can help you hone in on the right types of nonprofits to get involved while also staying true to your brand.
Value Proposition: This is your what (and why you do that what better than your competition). Think about what type of value you bring to the marketplace and to your customers.
Elevator Pitch: An elevator pitch is a concise way to summarize what you do, both on paper and IRL. This should be limited to 2-3 sentences, max.
Brand Voice: This is the tone that you'll take on in all your communications. Just like people, brands have personalities and you'll have to figure out if yours is sarcastic and funny, dry and academic, warm and helpful, or any other sort of personality descriptor that you want to assign to your brand.
Target Demographic: Building a brand without understanding your target audience is the same as trying to shout to someone across a noisy, crowded room. Knowing who your audience is allows you to become more strategic in your efforts to connect with them and is a core component of brand building.
Now that you know what the foundations of your brand should include, here are some scenarios that can help you decide whether or not it's time to rebrand depending on your own personal business evolution:
You Never Worked On The Brand To Begin With
I can't tell you how many people I meet who tell me that they started a business without even really thinking about the brand. The internet has made it so easy to build your own website, that you can bypass the steps that were necessary for brand building in the past. If you sell a great product, you can still have great success in launching a business this way, however, you'll eventually hit a plateau. When that happens, you know it's time for a rebrand.
Your Brand Mission/Values/Products Have Changed
The business you are building today probably won't be the same business you are building five years from now, and that's okay. In fact, that's probably what you should aim for. But as you evolve and change, your mission, values, or even products might also change, and your brand messaging needs to reflect that. Sometimes this doesn't warrant a rebrand at all, it simply requires some tweaking and adjusting. Although more often than not, the brand can seem a bit dusty after so many years of neglect and needs a total overhaul with a rebrand.
You've Scaled And The Brand Needs To Reflect That Growth
As you grow, not just in revenue but in employees, you're not only going to have to refine your brand, but also the culture that you want to define your workplace. Your values originally laid out in the foundational branding documents tend to be outward facing, meaning that they are geared towards your customers instead of your employees. In order to build a solid brand, externally and internally, it could be time to consider a rebrand.
If you're in need of a rebrand, you've come to the right place. Contact me to schedule a free discovery call to get started!