Thursday, February 22, 2007

Are you up to re-branding?

You're starting to hear it more and more in the business community, "We need to re-brand ourselves!" If this sounds like your current battle cry, ask yourself this question:

Am I really prepared to do what it takes to actually re-brand ourselves?

And with this question, let make sure that you actually understand what you are taking on.

If your intention is to re-brand yourself, then it is a forgone conclusion that you are not happy with your existing brand. Something has triggered you to want to re-invent yourself. Perhaps your brand has been left behind in a competitive environment where technology has passed you by and now you are left without the necessary tools to compete effectively. It could be a plethora of market conditions that leave many companies floundering, searching for anything to help keep them from imploding. Re-branding is a worthy goal but it is also a risky venture if taken lightly. To launch a new logo and catchy slogan is NOT re-branding yourselves - if it was only that easy. Putting a new face on the brand will not make the issues go away - they never go away.

From the out-set, let me say that you must be prepared to make fundamental changes to the way you currently do business.
You must tackle the issues head-on. And by issues we don't mean just poor sales, but anything that affects your brand, ie: environmental problems, labour issues, integrity - anything that potentially has the power to tarnish your reputation (whether true or not).

If in preliminary investigations you discover that your brand results in a very unattractive personality profile then you've got problems at the core of your brand. Are you now prepared to devout the necessary effort to change your current brand reality? Are you prepared to allocate the time necessary to see the changes through? Take for instance the question I have posted on several blogs concerning my city, Windsor. The results coming back show a very unflattering brand. As much as the information collected is unscientific in nature it does provide an interesting glimse of how we may be viewed from distances greater than a day-trip. If our city fathers truly want to re-brand ourselves to change these perceptions and move forward in bold new direction, they must take steps to change the negatives that persist in dragging down our brand. Not an easy or short-term task.

The simple fact that you are out here among the branding blogs shows that you are an optimist. You are looking for solutions to do more business. Re-branding your company will feel like starting over and breathing new life into your vision.
Give your brand the opportunity to be great and work it to keep it there. Build your brand strategy first and then strengthen it visually based on that strategy. It is a winning combination. If you have questions, there are a lot of us out here who are more than willing to help you through a tough spot. That is why our blogs exist.

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