Rebranding Yourself and Your Business

It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

This week I asked our panel of experts a question that I have been contemplating the last few weeks…

“I’m in the process of rebranding a branch of my company.

When you are trying to stand out, what things do you take
into consideration?”

I love that some of the responses are about rebranding a company and others are about rebranding yourself (which I may get further into in an upcoming post as I find it fascinating and know a lot of people struggle with this). :)

Here are the awesome responses from my smart friends.


Kevin Riley of  Maximum E-Mail Marketing Profits In 2013 says:

I’ve actually been working on the branding for my new Japan-only publishing/education business, so this is great timing.

One thing that’s vital when considering how you can stand out is asking yourself, “What can I offer my customers that is better than what the existing competition is offering? How can I be better than them? What benefit can I provide?” Because, that’s what makes you stand out – offering something that is of benefit to the customer. And, the branding must convey that benefit – make sure your potential customers can see right away how you will benefit them.

Since my new business will be providing educational materials to a Japanese market that has very little spare time, I had to consider how I could provide them the education they needed without taking up their precious time. After much research and planning, I designed a course outline that would allow them to study in small increments during downtime – such as while commuting on the train. My branding reflects this in its name and in our tagline/USP. Within seconds, my branding conveys that this will be quick, that it can be done during these small packets of free time, and that they will see improvement.

So, I highly recommend that you first consider well how you can deliver maximum benefit to your customers – help them improve, help them attain something, do it easily, do it quickly, etc.

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You can learn about email marketing from
Kevin here ->  Maximum E-Mail Marketing Profits In 2013


louLou Bortone of Video in a Day says:

It’s tough to come up with one, particular strategy to stand out when re-branding or developing your brand, because branding is really the sum total of all your marketing efforts.

To build a strong brand, you have to be consistent – maybe even relentless – with your messaging. Your branding is made up of every communication and every “touch” with your target market – whether it’s your website, e-mail marketing, videos, articles, blog posts, social media… the whole enchilada! Think of every video you create, every Facebook post, and every ezine you put out as the building blocks of your brand.

Your brand is the big picture made up of all the tiny snapshots.

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Want to learn about adding video in your business?
Lou’s your man. -> Video in a Day


Karon-black-225-framedKaron Thackston of Step-by-Step Copywriting Course says:

I love to refer to Sally Hogshead’s book “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” which goes into some very cool ways to brand a company.

The things I take into consideration are:

1) What the new brand is about. What am I now offering/doing differently that will impact my target customers in a positive way?

2) How can I effectively and clearly communicate this brand so that my target customers immediately see the value for them?

3) How can I promote the new brand? I use the new brand as my ruler to measure all promotional decisions against. When writing articles, website copy, doing social posts, creating logos, deciding on colors… everything must fall in line with the new brand messaging so I am consistent and don’t confuse my customers.

4) Comfort. I take a note from major brands who use phrasing like “Same you love. Great new packaging” (or whatnot). That way previous customers/followers don’t think you’ve ditched them. (Unless you have completely jumped ship and are doing something radically new – lol.)

I think the transition from old brand to new brand is a vital as what the new brand offers. If people get confused or frustrated over the transition, they’ll leave. Not a good thing :)

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When you think Copywriting, you think of Karon.
Check out her Step-by-Step Copywriting Course if you want to ramp up your skills.


Tiffany Dow of Ghostwriting Cash says:

The best advice I have for this is to be 100% yourself. There is nobody else like you, and the biggest problem we have as marketers is that we don’t just learn techniques and strategies – we try emulating the most successful people.

But consumers don’t want that. They don’t want two Nicole Deans because they already have a Nicole Dean. They want a Rachel Rofe and a Vera Raposo and a Kelly McCausey – and yes, even a blunt, sometimes annoying Tiffany Dow.

When you remove the fear most people have to be totally at ease with who they are and what they believe in and want to project, then you automatically begin to stand apart from the crowd.

I never actively seek out to see what someone else is doing when it comes to branding. But here are two things I do consider:

1. How can I create a branding campaign that accurately and clearly defines what this business or product is about?

Too many people launch something online with a vague message – or worse, no message at all. You might land on a blog that talks equally about making money, raising their dog, and what food they ate last night – in addition to a political rant.

When you don’t tie everything in, or have a primary focus for the content, it leaves your reader confused.

2. What do my readers want to know about my brand or product?

There are some things that are important – and some things that aren’t. If it’s a health product, then the person’s education and experience in health might be important. If it’s making money, then that person’s own success would play a big role. If it’s a relationship product, then I may want to know if you’ve been married and divorced a dozen times.

I try to create a branding message that fits the audience it needs to find, as well as weeds out my non-audience.

For example, with my Ghostwriting Cash product, I have a whole section on who is NOT right for that product. Why? Well first, I hate to see people waste money on things that won’t work for them. Second, I don’t like seeing refunds, so I want to repel my non audience and embrace those who are right for my brand and products.

Branding is a very intimidating thing when you have the poorly guided intention of trying to cater to everyone and make sure everyone’s pleased with you. As soon as you realize that you can segregate the audience into those who will benefit from you and those who won’t, it helps you create a VERY strong message that improves loyalty and conversions.

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Tiffany has been a ghostwriter for years, writing for the Who’s Who of Internet Marketing.

Learn her mad skills here -> Ghostwriting Cash


ronnieRonnie Nijmeh of PLR.me (< -click for a special free offer from Ronnie) says:

The only thing I can add is about the logo.

Create a logo that can be used anywhere – print, on white backgrounds, on dark backgrounds, big, and small. So if you’re planning on printing the logo on a black t-shirt, it’ll look just as good (and consistent!) as a logo on the website, or the little favicon that people see beside the URL!)

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Ronnie makes beautiful PLR that can brand you as a professional, fast.

Check out his free gift here -> Free PLR from Ronnie


vera-raposo-2013Vera Raposo of The Creative Entrepreneurs Biz Planner says:

When you’re thinking about rebranding anything inside your company it’s important to realize that it’s more than just about changing a logo graphic.

The first question you should ask is, “What do people already know this part of my company for?”

Did you know that your brand is more about what people think about you and your company more than what you think it is?

If I were to be re-branding my company I would look at these items very closely.

1) Is the name well known? If so, then maybe you want to keep this or put a spin on it. If you completely change the name then you risk people not remembering it.

2) Do what feels RIGHT to you. Most brand experts will tell you to never completely change the name, but I’m a bit of a wild card — I have the true heart of an entrepreneur that doesn’t always listen to the advice of “branding experts.” I think if it feels right, then jump and do it. The reason why is because you will put more effort into it AND your vision will grow.

3) If you choose to do #2 then make sure you put HUGE effort into letting your customers know. This is very important, you don’t want to confuse people, remember your brand is what they THINK about YOU and your company, not what you think.

4) If your brand has been in the marketplace for many years I would caution a complete turn around and think more about putting a twist on it instead.

I’d like to share with you some tips on a course that I co-wrote a few years back on branding your business.

Your Logo – this must have an emotional impact on your customers, they need to “feel” what it’s like to work with you. Creating a logo right off a word processor is not the way to go. Create something lovely, memorable and something that will impact them.

Brand Image – Overall, your brand image is the visual aspect of your brand. Your brand image should be consistent with what tone you are representing. It should reflect the style and attitude of the company.

Brand Values – Sit down and really flesh out what your values are. What is the attitude of the people that work within your company? How are they serving your customers and do they TRULY reflect the core values that you have set in place?

Here’s the thing, when rebranding do what YOU feel is right but at the same time, get feedback from your customers. They are the ones who know the value of your brand and will either sing your praises or kick you to the curb. Keep a pulse on what they love about you, your products and your company, this is the most important person in your branding decisions.

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Vera created a beautiful planner for entrepreneurs to journal and plan for success.

Check it out here -> The Creative Entrepreneurs Biz Planner


kellyKelly McCausey of Solo Smarts Podcast says:

I had been hosting Work at Home Moms Talk Radio since November of 2003. Up to around six months ago, I thought I’d be hosting it forever. I’m a bit naive that way, I like to think that good things will stay the same. I realized though, that good things need to change sometimes – especially when I’ve changed myself.

My son grew up and moved out in 2009 and at first I didn’t feel any different about the Work at Home Mom brand – but soon I was.

It is important to me to be genuine. For more than seven years I had voiced the joys and tribulations of being a work at home mom.

Not having had to plan my day around my son in so long, was I starting to come off like a fraud to my listeners? Nobody said so, but the thought was in my head and I decided to make a change.

I needed to establish a new brand, one that suited me.

Thinking about who I am and who I best relate to, I decided to go with a ‘solopreneur’ target market. Solopreneurs are building awesome businesses by the sweat of their brow and the skills they’ve developed.

Interestingly enough, when I announced my change, many work at home moms pointed out that they are solopreneurs too. True!

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Susanne Myers of  Daily Affiliate Tasks says:

I did a good bit of rebranding when I first took over HillbillyHousewife.com.

While I kept the name of the site, the look and feel of it changed quite a bit. I turned it from a static black and white site that was hardly ever changed to an interactive online community with fresh content added daily, monetized by advertizing and eventually added my own paid products to the mix as well.

It was a pretty big change but went over really well. Yes, there were a few complaints here and there (there always are), but overall the feedback was very positive. I think the rebranding went over well because:

1) I was very open and upfront about what I was doing and why.

2) I kept pointing out the benefits to my readers. The focus was on what was in it for them, instead of me.

3) I changed things gradually. I didn’t implement every single new thing at once, instead I slowly added them over the course of a year.

4) I asked for reader feedback and incorporated as much of it as possible. For example, my readers were asking for a weekly newsletter. I’ve been running that successfully for years. It helps me grow my list and readers enjoy each edition.

Those are my biggest take-aways from my own re-branding experience.

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Are you an Affiliate Marketer?

Check out Susanne’s Daily Affiliate Tasks program for a plan of what to do every day.


Nicole

Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

As I mentioned in the question, I have been in the process of rebranding one part of my business.

EasyCoachingTools.com is our old site.

While I felt that it had a very clear brand, it wasn’t really a “7-figure” type of site. The name doesn’t scream Amazon.com or Coke or Burger King or even Monster.com. You know what I mean?

Yes, it’s clear. But not something totally memorable and exciting.

easycoachingtools-screenshot

So my business partner, Melissa Ingold, and I went back to the drawing board.

The new site is still being tweaked but here’s what we have as of today…

((drumroll please))

Introducing CoachGlue.com.

coachglue-screenshot

It’s cute. And, we think it’s pretty memorable, especially with the tagline “We make your clients stick to you” – although now that I look at it, I think we should make that “Tools, Templates, and Training to Make your Clients Stick to You”. It’s clearer. :)

So, what do you think?

Also, please let me know what your biggest questions are about branding in the comments below. I can ask the group and other friends for their input.

Best of luck.
Nicole

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Comments

  1. Great and timely post. I am in process of changing my brand from personal development to entrepreneurship. I just wanted to work with people that were actually doing things instead just talking about it….

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Cute concept! I like it Nicole.

  3. I love ‘Coach Glue’!

    I wanna be gooey good at keeping my clients happy ;)
    Kelly McCausey recently posted..Solo Smarts #61: Michelle Mangen is a Six Figure Success as a Virtual AssistantMy Profile

  4. When I first began marketing on the web, I decided to use the most unflattering moniker I could think up, just to see if I could establish myself based solely upon the substance of what I had to say as opposed to superficial criteria such as appearance.

    I chose the name “Fat Lester”, and used a picture of a gamecock (a rooster bred to fight other roosters – a bloodsport illegal in all 50 U.S. states) as my avatar.

    Before anyone knew my real name or had seen an actual photo of me (I’ve been told I’m actually strikingly handsome), I had established myself as the single-most influential user at the social news site Mixx, at which power users in its heyday essentially were given a license to print money (in the form of PR 5,6,7 and even 8 links – followed). I had more than 2.5 times the following of the next closest user, and everything I posted hit the front page.

    When I finally revealed my identity, I started to receive solicitations from women, but my oh-so-unflattering alter ego to this day has better name recognition than my real identity. I have a fan page for Fat Lester on Facebook to compliment my actual profile. While my real profile has many more friends/followers, my Fat Lester fan page gets just as many likes and shares per status update.

    It took 5 years to achieve my status on Mixx before it was bought out (and shut down) by UberMedia. Mixx had more than 40 million registered users at its peak. Being forced to learn to market without such a massive built-in audience and a ticket to the top-two spots in organic search for whatever terms I chose to target has been quite a struggle, and I doubt I’ll ever achieve such an influential status within any social medial or online community in general ever again.

    I wound up launching an entirely separate company completely unrelated to the one through which I made my living during Mixx’s heyday. So far so good on that front…
    Peter Egan recently posted..Vulvar Varicosities: What is it? & How to Remedy ItMy Profile