Rebranding is exciting and a little nerve wracking. Big corporations do it and so can you. Here’s why you should consider rebranding your business. We all grow and change both personally and professionally. At least, I hope we do! Certain aspects of your business should stay the same including incredible customer service or that one thing you are known for, like Ford and the Mustang. However, logos start to look outdated, and you may be wasting your energy on products or services that aren’t giving you a return. Maybe you need to attract a bigger clientele, or you want to focus in on a particular niche. If your business relocated or merged with another company, it’s also a good time to rebrand. Perhaps you have some fresh ideas, but your website looks stale and uninviting. Technology changes so fast and it’s easy to get left behind unless you are paying attention to current algorithms. While trends come and go having a user-friendly experience for your customers should remain a staple.
When we started ETXlife over 2 years ago my mission was to bring more awareness to small businesses, cool places to visit and interesting members of the community. I picked colors that reflect East Texas to me, mainly blues and greens to mimic all the lakes, big sky and towering trees. I want ETXlife to appeal to a wide audience, so I was careful not to pick a font or logo too feminine or too masculine. I envisioned an approachable, friendly website that focused on sharing information with photos that accurately represent each topic. I knew I didn’t want readers to be bombarded by annoying ads or not be able to access the site on their mobile device. I think we stayed true to all those things, but we have grown and expanded to include more services and options. Lately I have felt like ETXlife.com was not reflecting our growth properly. The colors started to look a bit dull and the logo not as appealing as it once was. I was ready to do some proactive rebranding.
As a small business, I don’t have millions of dollars to invest in major brand overhauls like Taco Bell, Baskin Robbins or Dunkin Donuts. I also know it’s a fine line when it comes to changing things. People generally don’t like change (we are looking at you Facebook). I didn’t want to rebrand to cover up something bad like Subway or Uber did, which is called reactive rebranding. I also knew it was important to ask people what they liked and what they didn’t. Take the temperature of your clientele before jumping into a major rebrand. Put a poll up on Instagram, email your customers, offer a giveaway or reward if people help you narrow down what improvements they would like to see. Maybe it’s as simple as a little redesign without major functionality changes. If you know you need to make big changes but are afraid of scaring off your customers implement them slowly, in phases. Let people get used to a new logo before you do anything more drastic.
Since we started ETXlife we have also created ETXstore, ETXpodcast and ETXmarketing. While all of these are standalone websites they do work together as it’s not uncommon for me to write a blog about a small business, then that small business sells their items on ETXstore and they are a guest on ETXpodcast. I felt like things were a bit fragmented and I really wanted to pool all these resources together for the visitor’s experience on the website as well as the small business hoping to get more engagement. I took a step back and looked at other blogs I read and why I keep coming back. I recommend this to our marketing clients as well. Search out not only the competition but also other businesses you frequent even if they have nothing in common with yours. Is it their design aesthetic that has you hooked? Ease of navigating their website? Do they share personal information like pictures and stories, or do they stick to a more formal appearance? I guarantee you will start to see a trend as to what you like and don’t like. Now, what is it you want to emulate and what do you want to change about your own business presence? Maybe you love your logo, but you notice it doesn’t print that well. Is your font easy to read, even when it’s small? How about changing up your colors?
Generally, we are not talking big ticket items here. A new logo can start around $100. Not much when you consider it’s the visual backbone of your business. For me, I knew I wanted to keep my color scheme but brighten it up. The logo itself felt a little clunky. I wanted something clean, simple and more modern. I love our pinecone but it wasn’t reflecting the new look I was going for so that got reworked too. This didn’t happen overnight. It took a couple weeks of frustration and feeling like I might never find the perfect combination. Don’t get discouraged, it takes time and patience plus a few trusted sources for feedback. Change can be a little unnerving, but it also shows your customer or client base that you are current and adaptable. Fundamentals of a successful business