I was in a Facebook group the other day and one of the group members, thinking about rebranding, asked the question, “Should I rebrand?” I looked at all of the questions and comments that followed her post. The responses ranged from “Yes,” to “What new colors are you going to use?” What I found interesting is that in the 15-20 comments, not one person asked questions to find out what was behind the rebrand.
So, you know me….I left her with a few questions and some things to think about before she made any moves. Today, for my fellow girl bosses out there, I want to share with you my insight on rebrands, questions you should ask yourself, and a few things to think about.
What’s a brand?
Before we start talking about rebranding, I want to make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to what a brand is and isn’t. A brand is the thoughts, ideas, feelings, that come to mind when someone thinks or talks about you or your business. Your logo is a graphical representation of your brand. Those two words are used interchangeably when they really should t be and so I wanted to clear that up.
What’s a brand message?
Your brand message lets your audience know what you’re about. It tells them the story of your business and helps them relate to you and what you’re selling. Your brand message helps to differentiate you from others who do what you do. It helps people to connect and resonate with your business.
So what the heck is a logo if it’s not a brand?
A logo is a graphical representation of your business. It helps with recognition. When you see a swoosh, who do you think of? Nike. When you see an apple with a bite on the side, who do you think of? Apple.
I go further into branding, messaging, and graphical representation of your brand in my ebook and workbook, Expand Your Brand, but I thought it was important to make sure you were clear on those 3 items before we move on.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Rebrand
So, you think you need a rebrand? Now what? Well, my friend, before you start making changes, final decisions, and go on a hiring spree for brand and website experts, let’s make sure you’ve got the answers to these super important questions.
Before you start reading, download your Rebranding Worksheet to take notes!
Why Do I Need a Rebrand?
Well, first of all, let’s get clear on what’s happening. Are you rebranding or do you need a website do over, or as I affectionately call it, a website refresh or website redesign, ’cause girl, there’s a difference! Maybe what you need involves both!
Remember that definition I gave earlier? Since you’re rebranding, that involves changing how people feel and think about you when it comes to your business. Are you changing your name? Changing what you’re known for? Changing the services or products you offer? This is when a rebrand comes into the mix.
Several years ago, my company had a different name; it was called Tech Gone Glam. I built my brand as the go-to girl when it came to understanding tech for female entrepreneurs. I hosted monthly webinars and made it my mission in life to help fellow entrepreneurs understand the tech side of her business.
One day I was on the phone with one of my buddies and we were talking about her website. While talking, she asks me, “Lynn, do you have anyone you’d recommend to maintain my website and make some updates to it?” I stopped dead in my tracks and I know I probably had this crazy look on my face. I was completely silent. “Lynn, are you there?”
I cleared my throat. “Yes, I’m here. Emily, are you serious?” I chuckled a bit thinking she had to be joking. “Ha, ha…very funny,” I said.
“What?” She asked in disbelief.
“You just asked me if I would recommend anyone to maintain and update your website.”
“Yyyeeessss. Do you know anyone?”
“Emily! That’s what I do! I design and develop websites. I completely understand if you don’t want to work with me, although, I would like to know why.”
“Lynn!” Emily is laughing hysterically and of course, I’m not finding the humor in this conversation. “I had no idea. You always talk about the tech side of things. I didn’t really realize you did websites too.”
That day was a huge eye-opener for me. Here I thought I’d done a great job of branding myself as the tech gal and in all actuality, I had. A bit too well! I was making people work to decide what I did. When I sat and thought about it, she was right. The only thing I ever talked about was the tech side of things. I talked about websites, but I didn’t focus on websites. They were just a part of everything else I educated my audience about.
That day was the day Lynn White Designs was born. I completely rebranded and became known as first, a Web Designer and Developer. Educating and empowering my clients to become familiar with their websites and all things tech became a result of what happens when working with me. Design first. Tech second.
With the rebrand came a new website because my brand changed, the business changed, my name changed, and my audience changed.
So when you’re trying to decide what needs to happen, think about what’s really changing. Do you need a rebrand? Or, a website redesign or refresh?
What’s not happening now that I want to happen?
So you’ve decided that a brand redesign is what you need. What’s not happening now that you want to see happen? Are you known for something that you don’t want to be known for, such as what happened to me?
Are you completely changing your services/products and what you offer?
Do you no longer want to work with the audience that you work with now?
So if you change all of these things, are you going to get to what it is that you’re seeking?
For me, I was known for something that I didn’t want to be in known for. I wanted to be the web gal, but I had branded myself as the tech gal. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but it’s web design and development that lights my soul on fire! What wasn’t happening that I wanted to happen is that I wasn’t getting to do the work that lit my soul on fire.
So it’s actually a website redesign that you need and not a brand design.
Let me ask you a question. What data do you have to back up this website redesign? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to freshen up your website. But, what you don’t want to do is bring the crap over from the old website to the new website. Do that and it’s just wasted time, effort, and money. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any 3 of those to spare!
Now that I’m off my data soapbox, let’s get back to what’s not happening. What is it that you want your website to do that it’s not doing? Do you want more conversions? Are you getting inquiries from people who can’t even afford your baseline service or products that you offer? Is it not visually appealing? Is it hard to read?
What issues are arising from this current version of your website? Let’s say conversions are the thorn in your side. Calculate your current conversion rate. Let’s say it’s 2% for your opt-in sign-up. You may say, “Oh my gosh! I’m horrible. What am I doing wrong?” Guess what? Nothing. The average conversion rate is 2% -3%. So while you’re at the lower end, guess what? You’re doing well! Can it be better? Of course, but think about the fact that you were about to go mess with something that probably isn’t broken; it just needs a few tweaks!
You can also think about it from this perspective. What’s broken that you’re trying to fix? And more importantly, is it really broken?
When’s the last time someone read my web copy?
You’re probably saying, “That’s a crazy question! Every time someone is on my website they read my web copy!”
Yes, you’re right. Or do they?
I learned a long time ago the power of hiring a Copywriter and Editors. They’re worth their weight in gold. But what I also learned there’s a difference between copy that conversation and copy that doesn’t. Now you can have someone write for you all day long, but if you aren’t clear on what you do and who you do it for, you won’t even be able to give anything away for free!
Whether you’ve decided on a rebrand or website redesign, you need to get clear on 2 things. Who you serve and what you sell. When I say sell, I don’t just mean the obvious thing such as a website for me. If someone wanted to sign up for one of my website maintenance plans, they’re not just buying a maintenance plan. They’re also buying back their own time.
How? Because they can focus on their zone of genius and not spend countless hours learning about websites and a whole new language. They’ve buying peace of mind because they know their website will be up-to-date and all prevention has been put into place from being hacked. And guess what? If it does happen? They know they don’t have anything to worry about because their website will be restored and all vulnerabilities are taken care of.
My friend, when you know what you do and what you sell, you can be sure that you’re connecting with your audience. Before you say yes to the rebrand or yes to the redesign, have you said yes to knowing your ideal client? Have you said yes to knowing what you sell?
Do I have a plan?
The last thing I want you to think about is your plan of action.
So if you’re 100% that a rebrand or website redesign is for you, do not start down this path without a plan. I repeat. Have. A. Plan.
Look, a rebrand is a lot of work. Please don’t think l, “I’m going to get a new logo and all will be right with the world.” It just doesn’t work that way. A rebrand is not a magic pill for underlying issues. I don’t care how you repackage a stick, no matter what, it’s still a stick.
So what does that plan look like?
- Work with someone who is familiar with branding.
- Start doing some pre-work.
- Make a list of clients you’ve enjoyed working with. Are there any common personalities, characteristics, or types of businesses?
- What 3-5 words do you want to come to mind when someone thinks about your brand?
- What are your mission and vision statements?
- Is there a meaning behind your business name?
- How will you announce the change to your current audience?
Just as with a rebrand, a website redesign isn’t a magic pill either.
If you walk away with nothing else from this post, remember to get the most out of a redesign, have your analytics. If you have no analytics on your website, get it on there now. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t want to bring things that clearly aren’t working to the new website.
What does a website redesign plan look like?
- Hiring a web designer
- Nail down whom you will work with
- Decide on products and services you’ll offer
- Make a list of the problems your clients have. No match a service or products you offer with that problem.
- How will you announce the change to your current audience?
I know that’s a lot to think about, but it’s so important! Download your rebrand worksheet so you can refer back to it later and don’t forget to pin this post!
Having a plan whether you need a rebrand or a website redesign is a big decision. Knowing what you truly need, if you know your audience, and having a plan are key.
Are you thinking about a rebrand or website redesign? What questions can I help you with?