Rebranding can be a great way for businesses to reposition and reach an audience that is ever changing and evolving; however, it can be a catastrophe for a business if done incorrectly. Rebranding shouldn’t be an overnight decision; but rather a well thought out one with your entire team. Careful deliberation and focus are needed to show your consumers that you are still credible, reliable and stable during this process. Proceeding with caution in rebranding is key so that your current following doesn’t leave you during the process. Straying too far away from your original identity can cost you loyal customers and your business.
After more than 10 years in business as a law firm focusing on debt resolution, I felt it was time to evolve. In 2013, I made the decision to rebrand my business with the goal to stand out and break out of the shell of that stereotypical traditional law firm and financial services persona. The transformation journey began changing from our original name, The Law Office of Leslie H. Tayne, P.C., to Tayne Law Group, P.C. As a financial attorney and businesswoman, I was looking for a way to advance our company’s brand as we began to expand and grow. I wanted my firm to be established as a relatable and accessible go-to law firm who cares for their clients in a way where they felt more like a member of our family. I have always loved hearing my clients say they feel warm and welcome by not only me but my entire staff and that I am not the typical attorney. This was the catalyst that prompted my decision to change my brand name. The original name I chose for my firm had an "old school" feel to it. My staff is an intricate part of my businesses’ success. Adding the word “Group” into my brand name illustrated the team effort of my business. I wanted to be able to recognize everybody and not just myself. It allowed me to pay homage to my dedicated team.
Needless to say, my rebranding journey has been a success! If considering rebranding, here are some strategies that worked for me that you may find helpful for effectively rebranding your business and overcoming some of the challenges you may face along the way:
When to Know It’s Time to Rebrand
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you determine to rebrand and get started on your rebranding campaign: Do you feel as if your brand no longer embodies its original vision? Has your company moved and is continually expanding? Overall, is there a fundamental change in your business? Does your current image seem a bit outdated and uncontemporary?
Rebranding may be the answer to give your business the necessary face-lift and reinforcement of relevance it needs. In some cases, a rebrand is necessary to keep your company in line with the ever-changing market. Remaining static in the fast-paced world of social media and digital marketing should warrant you to adapt your business to these changes. If you aren’t on top of the latest marketing trends your competitors may be able to scoop up more market share.
In the financial service sector, your name is what it’s all about. It’s how people recognize your company and alas your reputation. For me, picking a name that was easier to say and to relay to the public that we are one team was very important to me. I felt the old name was a mouthful and hard to remember. To be effective, the company’s name needed to be made sharper. Typically law and finance company names are long and include a host of partners’ names. To be effective in marketing efforts means the name has to stick and be easy to say for staff, clients as well as easy to read and remember. Consider the name long and hard and don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions from the people who know your company the best - your staff and clients. See how it rolls off the tongue, looks in print and how it makes you feel. However, just simply changing your name won’t be effective. You need to execute marketing and rebranding efforts strongly. Above all, don’t be hasty in decisions as you need to ensure your business makes a smooth transition!
How to Effectively Market Your Rebrand
If you want to effectively rebrand, careful planning and execution in branding efforts and marketing is key. In addition to updating the name of my firm, I also changed my company logo, phone message, brochures, advertising materials, stationery, website URL, social media accounts as well as SEO. Additionally, with the rebrand, we launched “Budget Jewel,” an easy online budgeting tool. To safeguard my transition and ensure it went as smoothly as possible I hired a publicist. Getting the word out that you’re rebranding is important. Hiring someone that specializes in public relations and rebranding is a good idea. Press releases played a big role in promoting my rebrand throughout my local community as well as the financial sector. Email blasts and campaigns about your rebranding efforts is another platform to promote and showcase your new and improved business.
Your marketing efforts should portray the new image you are aiming for with the same trust factor your clients and customers have come to love about you. Make your message consistent and be authentic. Whether you are adding a new service or expanding, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects of why you’re rebranding. It’s also vital that your team is aware and on board with your goals as well as what you want to accomplish with your rebranding efforts. If your employees don’t identify with your rebrand, it’s safe to say no one else will. Have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve and what a successful outcome for your business would look like. For me, writing down on paper my goals and ultimate feelings about my company was what helped us transition better.
Addressing Challenges You May Face
Deciding to go forward with your company’s rebrand can have a significant effect on your existing customer base. While you want to reinvent yourself and keep up with your industry trends, you don’t want to lose your identity completely. Newer companies may not have much to lose compared to an established company in the financial sector. Even making a small change to your brand can alarm your customer base. Keep consumers in the know! Remain consistent with your message so consumers don’t get confused. If a consumer finds out you’re rebranding they may jump to conclusions in thinking that your rates may be changing or there will be a loss in some of the services you offer. To ease their worries, it’s essential you properly communicate with business to consumer (B2C) throughout the process. During my rebranding process, the message I put out to my clients and colleagues stated clearly that we were rebranding, but the company’s rates, services, and commitment were remaining the same.
Rebranding may cause you to walk a fine line you as you fight to stay relevant Avoid straying away from your identity completely. It’s important, especially at the beginning of your rebranding, to be consistent. You may want to even reach out to referrals and colleagues to make them aware of your rebranding.
While rebranding can be tricky, with the right planning and organizational process, it can be a smooth and effective experience with a successful outcome.
Written by Leslie Tayne
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