Successfully navigate your rebrand:
My top 4 tips for surviving your rebrand
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Two weeks ago, we talked about what your brand is, and when and why you might pursue a brand redesign.
I promised I’d follow up with some tips on how to successfully navigate a rebrand, if you’re headed into the process.
Any creative process requires time, money, commitment to the cause and an open, collaborative spirit. That’s not just the dancer in me talking. If you’re not willing to partner with your project team and your design team in a gracious and open-minded way, you’re not going to survive this process.
Here are my top 4 tips for surviving your rebrand, along with some resources to help you through it.
#1 - Consider your audience.
Surprise! I’m going to grill you on your best-fit audience again!
Ok, ok. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’re not surprised. I cannot emphasize enough how important and illuminating it is to dig deeper than demographics when you think about your best-fit customers and clients. How you write, the type of content you create, and the many elements of your company’s visual identity should attract the right tribe. I’ll even go so far as to say those things should also repel the wrong kind.
Don’t know how to get a better grip on who you serve? If you haven’t already, download my Find Your Forever Fans workbook. It’s my most popular free marketing resource, and a tool I go back to for my own business again and again.
#2 -Assign a project manager.
When you’re a small shop or solopreneur, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. Engaging in a redesign process is a big responsibility all its own. And in many cases, pulling in an outside project manager can be a blessing.
Without someone laser-focused on moving the project along, a redesign can get buried among other pressing projects with equally important deadlines. Thought pieces, social media posts, client projects and webinars aren’t going to make themselves! They can very easily take precedence over the coordination and execution of a project this enormous. I’ve already written about hiring a project manager for a web redesign, and the same rules apply here.
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#3 -Be clear about what you want to communicate with the new brand.
Before you look for creative partners to help you on your brand design journey, compile at least a tidy list of notes on what you’re seeking to accomplish. If you’re really ambitious, you might create a more in-depth project guide. Your guide should give a breakdown of your best-fit audience, how your company is perceived now vs. how you’d like it to be perceived after this shift, the mission and guiding values your business thrives on, why you’re committing to a redesign, and what you want in a creative team — including the timeframe in which you’d like the work completed.
#4 -Trust your design team.
Once you’ve engaged the right team, you need to let go a little. You need to trust. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Bonnie Siegler’s excellent book, Dear Client: This Book Will Teach You How To Get What You Want From Creative People. With gems like “Know What You Like,” “Decide Who Will Decide,” and “Focus Groups Suck,” Bonnie walks you through the many ways you can be the best partner to your creative team. And avoid being the client everyone rolls their eyes about.
It’s especially important to pay attention to how you provide feedback during the creative process.
Instead of proposing solutions, try to express what you see that’s a problem. This is hard work and takes a lot of practice. We’re entrepreneurs. We’ve built something from nothing already, and our instinct is to think we have the answers. I promise you’ll get more out of the process if you ask open-ended questions about what you see, or explain the feeling you have about why it might be off, instead of immediately prescribing ways to fix it.
Instead of saying “Make it rounder,” ask “Why have you chosen sharper angles?” Allow things to evolve in conversation and brainstorming rather than demanding a specific approach.
OK, friends. That’s it! Those are my top tips to surviving your redesign.
And yes, it’s true. My team provides web design and brand services. If you’re looking for your best-fit creative partner, and you think we might be it, let’s chat. If you’re looking for some pointers on a project guide, we can provide the strategic insight for that, too.
We’ve project managed and designed brands and websites for many companies — from arts institutions to individual artists to consulting firms to individual consultants. I’ve been the proud project manager of award-winning brand redesigns for Cincinnati Ballet and this here little Estate. Basically, we know what we’re talking about. 🙂
Best of luck to you and your brand new brand baby!
Doors are opening again this Fall, and I hope to see you there!!
I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.
Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.