Advertising & Marketing

Small Business Guide to Rebranding a Business

Whatever type of small business you run, rebranding might seem like a difficult and daunting task. Growing as a business, just like growing as a person or in a relationship, means adapting and changing course regularly. You might think that rebranding a business is something only big brands pursue, like Pepsi or Nike, but this is not the case.

Small businesses can also benefit from a rebrand. For example, you might start your small business with a certain logo or look, and later realise your audience responds better to something else. Or you might realise that your tagline no longer reflects what you are offering. This is the time for change, whether that means logo rebranding or a full business rebrand. If this is your situation, you might be wondering how to rebrand.

Below are seven tips on how to rebrand quickly, easily and affordably.

What Is Rebranding?

Rebranding happens among businesses all the time, but what does rebranding mean? Rebranding your business reflects its evolution and expansion. It can be as simple as a banner sign on your favourite shop announcing that it is ‘under new management’. It could be more comprehensive and include modernising everything about your company like the logo and other brand elements. Your rebranding can also include your physical space, merchandise, target audience and supporting marketing strategy. Or it could be as simple as a new logo and colour scheme, a new approach to the service you offer or a new voice or tone used in your marketing.

Steps to Successfully Rebranding Your Small Business

Think of your business or service as a person with a personality and a reputation. When it comes to your target audience, you want to be as accurate as possible in communicating who you are, what’s most important to you as a business and what your target market is. If there is a disconnect between your business and how your customers perceive it, it’s time for a rebrand. Here are seven steps to rebrand your business and adjust your reputation.

Think of your business or service as a person with a personality and a reputation. When it comes to your target audience, you want to be as accurate as possible in communicating who you are, what’s most important to you as a business and what your target market is. If there is a disconnect between your business and how your customers perceive it, it’s time for a rebrand. Here are seven steps to rebrand your business and adjust your reputation. 

  1. Identify What Is Wrong: Are you not getting new customers? Are your products or services out of date? Is your quality bad? Is your customer service inadequate? Have a few angry reviews compromised your online ratings, referrals and reputation?
  1. Determine If It Is True: If you have a reputation for selling kitchenware but your inventory tends to include more modern Scandinavian furniture these days, your rebrand simply needs to update your audience. On the other hand, if you have a reputation for poor customer service because your customer service is indeed lacking, your rebrand is slightly more complicated.
  1. Determine If It Is Fixable: How to rebrand your small business will depend upon your capacity to address any aspects of your reputation that are working against you. In the customer service case above, identify if the perception is fixable, and if so, the steps you will take to remedy the problem. For example, hire a new customer service person or team, change your policies around refunds and exchanges or improve your response time to calls and emails. If the perception is not fixable, choose another aspect of your business to focus on, such as prices, delivery times or quality.
  1. Research How You Compare to the Competition: Examine other companies in your space. Let them inspire you.
  • What do they do well?
  • What do they offer that you would like to offer?
  • In which areas are you winning?
  1. Define Who You Are Today: In any strong relationship both parties get reacquainted with each other every day. Your relationship with your customers is the same. Rebranding a business involves communicating with your customers and prospects about your ever-evolving offerings and values. Whether you’re in a traditional industry like accountancy, or a dynamic industry like fashion, your customers want to know what you value and where you are focused. This allows them to establish and maintain an emotional connection to you. If you’re in accountancy: Are you upgrading your technology system to offer faster or more streamlined services? If you are in fashion, are you prioritising ethically sourced fabrics or fair labour practices? Rebranding your business involves showing your customers who you are and what you care about. In order to define that and inform what you’d like to share, answer these questions:
  • What do you sell?
  • How do you do things differently?
  • What matters to you the most?
  1. Refine Your Messaging: You don’t need to know what a tagline is to write one. Here is how to rebrand your business with easy messaging that everyone can understand:
  • New Tagline: Add something below your logo and signs. Something short, memorable and related to what you do. An example is, ‘Disneyland: The happiest place on earth’.
  • New Value Proposition: How are you different from the competition?
  • New Personality: What’s the personality of your small business? And what changes have made a rebrand in order? Your brand has a personality. Is your brand fun and fresh? Traditional?
  • Logo, Colours and All the Rest: Whether your company has completely revised its style guidelines or simply sketched a logo rebranding on a scrap of paper, a new look helps customers give you a second glance. The change can be subtle, like a simple colour palette adjustment, but even small changes get attention.
  1. Share It: You have your new reputation defined and now it’s time to shout about it. The fun part of rebranding your business is sharing your messaging. Do this through your website, shop signage and decorations, direct mail and promotional giveaways that reinforce the new you.

How to Rebrand Your Small Business with Promotional Products

Customised giveaways encourage customers and prospects to stop and notice your company and your offering. If something has changed, a giveaway is a great place to announce it. Along with your logo, include your new tagline or new commitment. For example, ‘We never compromise on quality’ or ‘Stellar service every day’. Below are a few consistent crowd-pleasers to launch your rebrand among your target audience:

Rainbow Metal Alpha Soft Touch Pen with Stylus: Silver trim, bright barrel colours and a colour-matched stylus make this pen a great billboard for your new branding.

410 ml. Insulated Elwood Tumbler: This 410 ml. insulated tumbler has plenty of room for a hot drink on the inside and your new messaging on the outside.

30 ml. Hand Cleanser Gel: A welcome gift for all, this hand cleanser gel comes in a refillable, recyclable bottle with flip cap and carabiner.

Economy Tote: Water-resistant and ready for anything from groceries to beach gear, this tote promises to advertise your new messaging everywhere your customers go.

Torch Pen: Double the exposure for your new brand and messaging with this two-in-one promotional gift offering the bright light of an LED bulb and the convenience of a pen.

Sticky-Mate® A7 sticky notes 100×75: Get your new branding on every desk with this 50-sheet pad of sticky notes.

Bamboo Trolley Token: This shopping trolley token is made of fast-growing, sustainable bamboo wood for rebranding exposure on an eco-friendly gift.

How to Rebrand so Your New Reputation Works for Your Business

The key to success is authenticity. Rebranding a business requires honesty. If you can’t back up your words with actions, go back and brainstorm more options until you feel your brand is consistent with how and what you offer. When you identify who you are today and how you’re different from your competition, your rebranding will feel organic and unforced. Rebranding should feel like a breath of fresh air for you and your customers.

Rebranding your business is usually done every seven to 10 years. Think of rebranding as putting a fresh coat of paint on your house, and brand repositioning as adding a new piece of furniture to the living room in the house. Brand repositioning examples might include an ad campaign targeted to a new audience, or a new slogan focused on a new product line.

Your rebrand and any repositioning should focus on an accurate and aspirational presentation of your small business, including updates and adjustments as you and the market change. With a rebranding marketing strategy you can look forward to a rewarding, ever-changing and long-lasting relationship between you and your customers.


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