By Rachel Evans Heath
Rebranding is daunting and carries with it a plethora of uncertainties. But it may also be just the thing to relaunch your company into a more successful line of business. So how do you know if it’ll be worth it or not?
Truth is, no one can really tell you for certain. But below are a few ideas from my own experience that may help you in deciding for yourself what to do next.
I personally started my business with no brand. I knew what line of work within flowers I wanted to do, and what line I didn’t want to do. I had to pick a name because the business license application needed one. I made my own logo using only the intermediate graphic-design skills I had acquired over the years. I designed my own website, business cards, brochure… you name it I had to do it DIY style.
I don’t regret this because I simply had to do it this way. I had to get started somewhere and I didn’t have the funds for any other options.
But I was left feeling all of the following things:
- I didn’t like telling people the name of my business. I was embarrassed by it.
- I was constantly afraid a graphic-designer client would see my logo and know it was homemade.
- I didn’t feel like my brand represented where I wanted to go in the floral industry.
Does this hit a little too close to home? If so, you may be due for a rebranding.
The first thing that I recommend doing, is finding a friend who can share their experience and mentor you in rebranding. (I’m hoping this blog post will serve you in that way. Consider me a friend sharing my experiences with you now.)
I didn’t know how valuable this would be until I serendipitously found mine. I spent a weekend attending various flower symposiums and I happened to meet Tristin Teal Johnson of Project Floral in Denver at one conference, and then again at the other.
First of all, let me just say, I think Tristin is one of the nicest people I’ve met. Talk about friendly! She made me feel like we were the best of friends right away. When we asked about each other’s businesses I told her the name of mine, then quickly said, “But I’m in the process of rebranding.” –Like I said, I was often embarrassed by the name of my business, feeling it didn’t properly represent me.
Tristin lit up and exclaimed that she had just finished rebranding her business. She immediately wanted to talk more about it, but we were out of chatting time. So she gave me her phone number and told me to give her a call anytime to talk about it.
I told you she was the nicest.
I ended up calling her a couple weeks later and we talked for an hour about rebranding. I took notes, because I always take notes, and hung up feeling inspired.
With Tristin’s permission, I’m going to share with you some of the ideas she offered me in that conversation.
Her first three points are excellent markers in deciding if it really is time to rebrand or not. So think these over carefully as you contemplate whether or not they relate to you.
- “Your brand defines you. And it’s ok to outgrow it.”
I love this thought. Because as individuals we are constantly trying to grow and better ourselves, so it makes sense that our business should grow too. And your brand needs to reflect that improved version of itself.
- “Renaming is acceptable in business, and it doesn’t set you back.”
This was what I maybe most needed to hear. I had stressed over the idea of rebranding setting me back, or losing any of the hard-earned regard I’d made in my community. And true to her promise, when it came time to rebrand, I found absolutely no setbacks from the name change.
- “Rebranding is taking your past platform and giving it a new face to match your reimagined goals.”
- This was one of the biggest problems I had with my brand. I didn’t feel it represented where I wanted my business TO GO. Tristin told me that you want a brand that will take you into the next 10 years of your business, and that just wasn’t what I had.
- This idea also helped me in the creation of my new brand. I was able to visualize what I wanted for my business’s future and, from there, start to work with names that fit that goal.
After you’ve found a mentor and decided you DO need to rebrand, find an advisor within the industry.
So let’s say Tristin’s first three points have also inspired you to rebrand. It’s time to start brainstorming ideas for your new brand. And if you’re anything like me it helps to talk it few a couple times with someone.
Here is where I think a lot of us make a mistake. It’s crucial to find someone within the industry with whom you can talk about your branding ideas. Someone you feel comfortable calling to bounce business ideas around with. Someone who doesn’t know you outside of the flower realm. Someone who will kindly, but directly tell you if your ideas may be leading you to a dead end.
Why not a close friend or family member? In short, they don’t know the industry. They may have great creative ideas. They may be fabulous at coming up with clever names that are funny and sweet, but what might sound wonderful among friends might sound amateur and thin once it’s taken into the business world. It may feel harsh to not validate your aunt Sally’s ideas, but let’s save the clever wit for the next family reunion t-shirt.
This leads me to Tristin’s next point:
“Be FEARLESS with Change”
Once you’ve settled on a brand, it’s important to change everything. New website, new logo, new cards, new brochures, new social media handles, possibly a new email address. Don’t forget to update your social media profiles with your new website URL and links to all your new pages. Don’t try to reuse anything. Start clean and fresh. New brand means NEW BRAND. It very well may all need to go.
I will say this, however, feel free to leave a few clarifying statements in carefully selected places for the first month or so to inform customers of the name switch. I like to leave a small statement in my email signature clarifying what my business used to be, in case they don’t recognize my new business name from which I’m emailing.
I also sent out a post on all my social medias and an email to my entire email list, announcing the name change. This is a one-time thing. You don’t need to say it more than once, and people don’t need to be bombarded by it.
Make sure you inform all event planners and vendors especially of the change, as these are your recurring collaborators that you want to be sure can find you later.
Tristin’s final piece of advice:
“Don’t settle until you find a sense of peace”
The last piece of the puzzle is to not settle for anything that doesn’t feel right. That’s how you (and I) got into this mess in the first place, and it’s best to get it right before going forward. If it doesn’t feel right, keep trying. It’ll come to you. And believe me, it is SO worth it to feel that sense of peace, knowing you have a brand you have confidence in.
I’m so excited for all of you to find that sense of peace as well. Trust me, it’s worth the hard work.
A special thank you to Tristin Teal Johnson for all her insight and support during the emotional uncertainty that is inevitable when rebranding. Project Floral does amazing floral work and installments. Take a look at what she’s up to through Project Floral’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.