Question of the day: Is it time to rebrand your business?
Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I just blew up the brand I’ve been building since 2010.
BIG Brand System is gone. For good.
In the midst of the rubble and the dust, one person stands alone, looking wary and a little afraid.
My new brand is “PamelaWilson.com”
Why would I switch to a personal brand after all of these years as a business brand?
And how does anyone know when it’s time to change their brand?
Let’s look at three red flags and where to start when rebranding your business.
1. Your brand is attracting the wrong people
Businesses change over time.
Your audience may change, your offers may change, the way you deliver them may change. It’s important that your brand reflects the online business ideas you’re working on today.
TIP: If your brand doesn’t speak to what you do now, it’s time for a change!
This is exactly why I changed my brand, by the way. I started out helping people build their brands, so I called my business BIG Brand System, and used the tagline: Your business may be small, but your brand can be big.
Now, I coach people to build profitable online businesses.
Branding is just a small piece of the work we do together.
Since I started my business, I’ve written three books, built a dozen courses, become a keynote speaker, and have taught thousands of online business owners.
The one common thread between all of these things? Me. That’s why I decided to rebrand under my own name.
If your brand doesn’t say what YOUR business does, start fresh. Who do you help and how can you describe that?
2. Your brand is outdated and irrelevant
Brands don’t have an expiration date!
But if it has been a while since you really looked at your brand, it might be time to take a second look.
Maybe you don’t need a full rebrand — maybe you just need a new tagline that reflects what your business offers today, perhaps after you’ve learned how to create digital products.
TIP: If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a look at your brand, ask friends and colleagues to look at it and explain in their own words what THEY think your brand is all about.
If it’s saying what you want it to say, excellent.
But if it’s communicating something else entirely, that’s a red flag that means it’s time to rebrand your business.
3. Your business has moved beyond your original brand
You know how you don’t like to have people over when your home is messy?
It’s the same thing when your brand is messy … You don’t feel like sharing it because it’s not a positive reflection of you and what you do.
Your brand and business blogging should make you feel like you want to stand up straighter and share it loud and proud. You should feel excited to share it!
TIP: Do a quick gut check. Does sharing your brand not feel great right now? If so, that’s another red flag you should pay attention to!
If it’s time to rebrand, here’s what you should do next.
Redefine your brand personality and ideal customer
Has your brand personality changed?
Let’s find out! Discover your brand personality in less than five minutes.
Once you have an idea of how you want to show up with your new brand, take some time to redefine your ideal customer.
Did you start out serving a specific kind of customer and then become interested in serving a different group?
Maybe your new ideal customer has more money to spend, or more interesting problems to solve.
No matter WHY they’re different, it’s worthwhile to spend some time defining them.
My Ideal Customer Profile worksheet will take you step-by-step through the process of identifying your ideal customer.
Work on your new verbal and visual brand
Since my website used to be all about branding, I have SO many links for you!
They’re all organized under the Build an Online Brand category page on my site.
My advice? Start with your verbal brand first. Work on the words before the visuals.
Once you know what you want to say, you can choose colors, fonts, and imagery that will speak your message.
How to update brand mentions on your website
My team and I became fast friends with the Google search:
site: yourcurrentdomain.com “Your Current Brand”
This search will surface all of the pages and posts that currently mention your brand name.
This is the most time-consuming part of rebranding your business!
You or someone on your team needs to go through this content and update the language. Every time a post or page is updated, you need to submit it to Google Search Console to be re-indexed.
Once this part of the project is done, it’s time to start telling your email list.
How to introduce your new brand to your email list without tanking your deliverability
I was terrified to change my sending domain in ConvertKit. My deliverability numbers are great right now, and I didn’t want to lose that status.
So I consulted with the support team and followed their plan of action to the letter.
They recommended first sending 2-3 emails letting my subscribers know they’d start getting emails from a new domain name in the future.
Next recommendation: send the first 2-3 emails from the new domain only to subscribers who opened the previous 2-3 emails.
Finally, ask those engaged subscribers to please:
- Move my message to their inbox folder if they used Gmail
- Whitelist my email address by adding it to their contacts list
- Reply to my message and say “hi”
Fortunately, my awesome subscribers rose to the occasion. I fielded hundreds of email replies in the days after I sent out the request. My deliverability — so far — looks great.
Rebranding your business is a mental leap
It can be tough to release a brand that isn’t working for you anymore. But I’m here to tell you — it’s very freeing to be on the other side of all the hard work.
My business rebrand gave me the opportunity to step back from my online presence and reevaluate what was working and what needed to go.
I hope your rebrand has the same effect on you!
Reader Comments (12)
Laura Click says
These are great tips, Pamela! The recommendations on email deliverability are especially useful. I’ll definitely bookmark this for when my clients make brand name changes.
Another reason I would suggest a brand name change is if your name gets confused with others in the market. If customers and prospects don’t know what your name means or are constantly confusing your business with another similar company, it might be time for a change. I see this regularly with companies that use acronyms that are completely meaningless.
Pamela Wilson says
That is a GREAT additional tip, Laura.
Even better is to avoid that issue in the first place by choosing a brand name that doesn’t have these issues. But we know that doesn’t always happen! Sometimes the only solution is a rebrand.
Thanks for the comment. Glad the email deliverability tips were helpful!
Life has changed, I have changed, and surely my work/brand will too. The end of the year is perfect for some reflection on all of that 🙂
Pamela Wilson says
Absolutely, Fenne. I wish you good luck and insight as you reflect.
Alexis Rusty says
If possible, you have to make sure that your rebranding will have little effect to your existing customer. It may take a time before your new brand pick-up but it will get there.
Pamela Wilson says
Very true, Alexis. One thing you can do is to let your existing customers know that the change is coming well in advance. That way you don’t catch them by surprise.
10 years is a long time to have a brand. I know a lot of work went into it, but I think after a decade, at the very least a brand refresh is usually in order. Thanks for providing these tips so the rest of us can benefit from your experience.
Pamela Wilson says
A refresh was in order, for sure. In this case, it was a pretty big pivot, too, but it had to be done. My brand wasn’t representing what I do — and that’s Job #1!
Glad this was helpful, Alison. 🙂
Demetria Zinga says
Pamela, this is exactly what happened to me in recent months! My prior brand was messy as I was attempting to reach more than one audience. I finally decided to rebrand under my name, focusing on what I love to do the MOST and clarifying my brand message.
Rebranding is most definitely a mental leap and probably the hardest of the hurdles.
Thanks for this inspiring post.
Pamela Wilson says
It’s a leap, for sure. But I’m so glad I made it — it’s like finally cleaning out that one disorganized closet and finding treasures inside!
Margaret Wilson says
Pamela, this article is so timely in many ways. With the Pandemic and its aftermath (well, continual presence) so many businesses are reevaluating their purpose and with that might mean a new brand to clearly state the new purpose and goals, and maybe clients.
I appreciate the clearly outlined steps off how to do it and anyone in this boat will surely have the map for navigating the re-brand. Thanks for sharing!
Stuart Murphy says
Absolutely love your article and talking about the multiple elephants in the room! As a business we’re comfortable helping clients rebrand, however, when it comes to our own branding, we’re always discussing the same issues over and over again.
We’ve changed a lot over the years and only ever changed our brand three times in 24-years, despite adding a film production business to our core marketing offering. Reading your article and watching your video has made me think that it’s time for a re-brand. Really appreciate the time you’ve invested to share your wisdom!
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