Rebrand your business without alienating your customers…
There may come a time when you wish to rebrand your business for any given reason. This is often due to drastic changes in the industry or the fact that your business has expanded its offerings over the years.
Whatever the case may be, it’s crucial to make this transition as smoothly as possible. Here are some practical tips to rebrand your business without losing your customers in the process.
Think it Through… Twice
Even if you’re positive about your new focus, ensure that this passion won’t change again as soon as a new idea comes to mind. Simply put, rebranding should only happen if absolutely necessary for the greater good.
And although this may feel like a small step, remember that current customers are attached to your present image. Some people’s views may change along with your new strategy, and not necessarily in a good way.
Lay Out the Main Reasons
The decision to rebrand your business should not be taken lightly. Again, this is generally ideal if your business has experienced significant changes or you must attack the market in a drastically different way.
Ask yourself all the important questions before going through with such a long-term change, such as:
Has the landscape changed so much that this is the best way to adapt?
Are your business standards lagging behind and you need to redefine your overall strategy?
Have you expanded upon your products and services to the point where the old brand no longer represents them clearly?
Keep Everyone in the Loop
Rebranding shouldn’t be a quick, overnight change. You don’t want customers to visit your property and suddenly feel like they’ve been transported to another universe.
The sudden move could make some followers feel wary and suspicious of you, as it gives a very “bait-and-switch” vibe.
Provide plenty of advance notice while letting them know exactly what’s changing, and when. Keep everyone updated through newsletter notifications, your website’s homepage, social media accounts, and any other applicable medium.
Speaking of keeping people informed…
Get Customers Involved
In the end, it’s all about the customers and their needs. Even if you have already decided on every idea and improvements, it’s still good to ask for advice to gauge your customers’ perceptions.
For example, send out a short survey before and/or after rebranding and ask for specific feedback (especially if you have changed pricing models and/or products).
Customers will often be able to see certain things that you, the business owner, aren’t immediately able to spot.
Be Very Clear
Some customers may be surprised simply because they’re not used to change.
Ensure you set a very positive mood by highlighting the overall benefits everyone will receive along with these changes. Explain why rebranding is necessary and what everyone stands to gain here.
Retain Your Core Values
Even if your business changes drastically, it should still maintain some similarities to whatever it used to be. Try not to eliminate those aspects that worked relatively well, such as a certain pricing strategy if you run a membership site or marketplace.
Again, many customers are not used to change – even when said changes are for the better. Keeping a sense of familiarity helps customers feel more at home.
Remind them Who You Are
I have seen several companies rebrand over the years, but they have all ensured that customers don’t forget who they truly are.
This goes hand-in-hand with my previous suggestion about retaining core values. If your business changes its name, for instance, a simple reminder such as “Formerly known as….” could work well.
The point here is to help existing customers transition smoothly as you essentially hold them by the hand.
Bloggers, writers and general online business owners: Have you ever had to rebrand your business or reconsider what it stands for? What did you do to make the change without alienating your customers?