Does Your SME Need a Change of Image?
When a company starts up, as business owner you decide on what you think are the perfect name and logo, encapsulating what you want to achieve. But, several years down the line, you’ve fallen out of love with your branding and feel it may be time for a change. This could be a brand refresh where you just rethink some elements, or a complete rebranding.
As a leading supplier of managed offices, at Basepoint we work closely both with startups and with expanding and growing SMEs. We support our licensees and take an interest in all the issues affecting them, including branding. Here we will look at reasons why your company may need a rebrand to position it more effectively in the marketplace.
So what does rebranding involve? To be successful, it shouldn’t just be a case of quickly changing the font in your logo or picking a different colour. Effective branding means looking in depth at factors such as how you want your company to be perceived, how you want to position it in the marketplace and what type of customer you are trying to attract. You also need to look at what is already working well, as well as what isn’t. This can ensure any transition isn’t too abrupt and that you don’t put off the customers or clients who are happy with your existing image.
Reasons for Rebranding
Changing Focus: One reason to consider rebranding is that your company has developed in a different direction from the one you envisaged at first. You have ended up concentrating on a slightly different angle or business area, or the whole marketplace has developed, particularly in fast-moving digital fields, and so the original image is no longer quite right.
You may also need to rebrand now because you are preparing to make major changes to your company soon. Perhaps you are looking to offer different services or attract different types of customer, or to create a more upmarket or budget-conscious image.
Growth Stalling: Another suggestion that it’s time to look again at your branding is if you notice growth stalling. Are customers are falling off or going to competitors? When you notice this kind of warning sign, you need to look at your whole company offer to ensure you are still competitive. Giving your brand the right feel is all part of this.
Outdated Look: Logos and fonts, brand colours and other elements which once looked new and striking can become stale and old hat – and if you are tired of them then it’s quite likely your clients are too. An outdated look may make your company seem to be falling behind competitors. Also, an older brand logo may not look so good on tablets and mobiles.
An updated branding could also sometimes involve a new name. However, this is something that needs to be considered carefully before going ahead, as it can cause confusion and make it difficult for people to find you when searching online.
Distinctive Impression: Does your branding appear too similar to that of competitors? If so, a brand refresh is a chance to express why you are different and to emphasise your USPs. Also, sometimes you may find that branding which was distinctive to start with is now being confused with completely different products and services in other sectors. Sometimes this type of link can have a negative connotation. Again, this is a reason to take a step back and think about a change of image.
If any of these pointers apply to your business, it may be time to look at refreshing or changing your brand. This is likely to include a new logo and a new look for your website, as well as refreshing your social media channels, stationery and signage.
As a small business, you will obviously want to budget carefully, so you need to prioritise the elements which are most important and look at whether there are ways of “working smart” and keeping the cost down. For instance, does your website need a whole redesign, or would a refresh of some outdated elements work well for now?
When deciding on your rebrand, you will need to look in detail at how you are performing and what your business plans are. It is also a good idea to get input from stakeholders such as staff and key contacts, and to do some market research before taking the plunge.