Recently Q+M turned our rebrand-o-ray on ourselves and learned even more about the terrifying…ly exciting process of rebranding. Of course we’ve handled rebranding for clients in just about every industry including Midwestern Consulting & CHG, but going through the process ourselves helped reveal some of the more personal aspects of changing your identity (read more about that here).
Rebranding isn’t just changing your logo or the colors on the website. It’s a shift in the core of the organization and should be well thought through. Before you rebrand, ask yourself these nine simple but tough questions.
The simplest and most important question is “why are we doing this?” I know, you’ve already decided to do it so obviously you already know why right? Ask again. Make sure you really know why. Make sure everyone knows why. Make sure you can verbalize why in a way that even your cat can understand. This is the first question I’m going to ask you if you hire us to do your rebrand. I won’t let you hire us until you can answer it*.
2. What’s changed?
Part of your “why” answer should involve what’s changed. Be specific about how your organization, or its position in the world is different now then it was when the brand was created.
3. Have your customers changed?
Are your customers different than they were? Who are they now? Where are they now? Has their life changed? Yesterday’s mosh pit is today’s mystery book club. Think about how much your life and interests have changed in the last few years. If you sold your Rowdy Roddy Piper wig collection, chances are your customers did too.
4. Do you provide the same product or services?
Companies change over time and you may have added some service or product to your lineup. You may have eliminated some as well. Does your brand represent the current offering?
5. How has the world changed?
Perhaps your product and service has remained the same but the world in which you operate has changed drastically.
6. How has technology affected your business?
This could involve your product, or the way in which your customers interact with you. Perhaps your current brand was developed before cheap color printing. Maybe you’re a technology company with a compact disc in your logo (Phillips, I’m looking at you).
7. Has the make-up of your team changed?
Are you all old and crusty now? Do you want to have some younger folks join your ranks? Recruiting the right team is key to the success of any organization and a brand can say a lot about your internal culture.
8. What should people know instantly?
Your brand can communicate quite a bit in a microsecond. If it’s not saying something that you’ve programmed into it, it’s saying something that you haven’t – but rest assured it’s always saying something. If it’s not saying “we’re modern and up to date” then it’s telling customers that you’re out of date.
9. If our brand could solve one problem, what would it be?
If in that microsecond you could communicate something that would solve a problem, what one problem would that be? In your most fantastical fantasy world – what does your brand solve for you?
Al McWilliams makes content, strategy, and cartoons at Q+M. You can check out more of his thoughts (+bikes +dirtywords) here and (+business -dirtywords) here. You can check out photos (+bikes +dogs +beer +tight pants) here .
*you can hire us to help you figure out if you should rebrand. It’s separate from a rebrand because sometimes it ends with “don’t.”