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Why Should You Rebrand?

By Kimberly Hansen & Lisa Trachtman – January 4, 2019

Businesses and markets are constantly negotiating growth, downturns and changes. Just as individuals reach crossroads in their lives, businesses reach certain milestones where the changes happening within the company or in your marketplace need to be addressed. Your company’s brand identity reflects who you are in the minds of your customers. If your company or marketplace changes enough that your existing identity is no longer relevant, or you want your market to think of you differently, it’s time to consider a rebrand. Here are five situations where re-considering your company’s brand is strategically wise:

1. Recent Company Growth or Modernization

As your company grows and adds new products, divisions, or services, you may need to consider how your company’s mission, vision and values (MVV) have changed, and if that change is significant enough to consider updating or refreshing your brand and identity to reflect your new positioning. Corporate shifts such as a corporate merger or acquisition, new management, an internal culture evolvement, or large branded projects, such as a new website or tradeshow presence, may be an opportunity to consider how well your current branding reflects who you are, how you sell and how you want your target market to perceive you.

2. Address Challenges from Competitors

Sometimes new product development from your competition or behavioral shifts within your marketplace can impact your business. Competitive product features or a new way of doing business may suddenly put you at a disadvantage. You may need to address new threats or challenges, possibly by making changes to how you operate or strengthening your position within your industry or market. It may be time to re-evaluate your strengths and determine how to differentiate yourself to gain an advantage over your competitors. A brand update can facilitate a stronger market position, giving your customers new insight or a fresh perspective about who you are, and how your product or service can best support them.

3. Pursue New Opportunities or Markets

Entering a new market, whether in a customer segment or perhaps launching your product or service in a new country, offers an opportunity to look at and evaluate your brand positioning and key messaging as it relates to the new competitive landscape. Often some modification can be beneficial to help with clarifying and positively differentiating your brand. Whether you update your entire corporate brand or launch a new division, evaluating and fine-tuning your brand identity to encompass your broader presence is a smart idea.

4. Overcome Negative Perceptions

If your brand integrity has become compromised, whether by failing to live up to your promises, product failures, or losing ground to your competition, it is likely time to re-evaluate your brand identity with relation to how you sell, service and support your product and services. This is a good time to reflect on your original mission and key messaging, and modify as needed. A rebrand can offer you a fresh start and an opportunity to solidify, repair and improve your reputation.

5. Existing Messaging is Insufficient or Outdated

Insufficient messaging is frequently true with start-ups or young companies who hit the ground running with a new product or service. Newer companies are still building their reputations and understanding the role they play and their competitive advantages in the marketplace. In some cases, legal guidelines place burdensome restrictions on what messaging can be used. Claims about medical devices and drugs are very tightly regulated, so finding ways to position your company and product can be very challenging. If certain aspects of your business are tightly regulated, corporate branding may offer more opportunities for building brand identity and loyalty.

Conversely, your brand identity should be revisited and evaluated every 3-5 years so you do not become perceived as outdated and irrelevant as you grow.

Your company’s brand is a supremely valuable asset that is really the visual and cultural foundation of your entire enterprise. Like any foundation, a solid, well-thought-out plan will offer strong support for the long run. And as your company grows and changes, so too will these foundational elements need to be expanded, refreshed and modified to be able to continue to support all the other elements of the business. Before you embark on any significant changes within your company, stop and consider the foundation of your brand first. Remember to build your brand right along with building your products, building your markets, and growing your company.



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Avoiding a Start-up Identity Crisis

By Kimberly Hansen & Lisa Trachtman- May 11, 2018

You’ve recently formed a new company with a team of talented R&D, engineers and designers, developing a ground-breaking prototype product for testing and know there’s a demand from a market that needs it.

Now you’re faced with the challenge of creating not only a company identity but a product identity as well. On one side of the equation, you’ve got a product to name and brand and introduce to your customers with a solid marketing strategy. On the other hand, your company also needs a name and a brand identity to add integrity and instill confidence in the quality of your endeavor. Two very important, and sometimes, competing branding priorities to tackle, on a very limited budget.

So which brand is more important?

Your corporate brand represents the bedrock of your company. It stands for who you are, your expertise, and your vision for your product or service, and will be an integral component that distinguishes your potential for future marketing success. It is your story. It is the “who and why” of your existence. Your corporate messaging needs to speak to wider audiences, such as industry groups, agencies, partners, media and potential investors. It represents your business strategy. Your corporate identity also contains your positioning – the promise behind your brand. This promise needs to be lived from the inside out.

Your product brand represents your unique innovation, your solution to a problem, and the outcome. It helps embody the characteristics, the purpose, and features and benefits your product offers and creatively connects them with your customer to meet their needs. It is the “what and how” of your story. Your product messaging speaks to all relevant opportunities – from your channel partners to your end user – your market. A strong brand will also begin to build a relationship that will inspire brand loyalty.

All of these components are necessary to tell a complete story when launching a new company and a new product. A brand, after all, is not an item; it’s future equity. It is an idea, a promise and a philosophy that needs to be memorable, true and permeate the minds of your target market.

End Goals

Whether your goal is to get to market and sell off your intellectual property, or to grow into a larger corporation, innovating additional products, launching a strong brand story starts from the beginning. Brand equity is building value behind your name and reputation, both corporately and product-level. And that value inspires trust and loyalty.

A strong product brand strategy starts with a strong foundation and includes layers that support your product’s relevance and brings it to life in the mind of your customers. The foundation starts with a unique name and descriptor for the product. Adding layers gives it life: a robust brand identity supported by logo design, and architectural components including font selection, a coherent color palette and customized graphic brand elements that support both the content of your marketing materials and keeps your branding message uniform and recognizable across all communication mediums. All of these elements combine together to set you apart and make you stand out.

Your corporate brand begins to bring your business plan to life, starting with a name that is memorable or identifiable. It defines your company’s personality and principles. Ideally you will follow the same guidelines for product branding, using uniform and consistent branding elements, fonts, logo and colors. Your corporate messaging needs to be carefully thought out and planned in advance for consistency and legal defensibility. Get your whole team on board and make sure you have a marketing manager who can oversee the consistency and accuracy of your branding and messaging, and review all content that will be released for public access.

Building Positive Equity

There is a balancing act to be managed when starting up. You lead with your strongest brand offering, whether it is your product or innovative concept, or leveraging your existing reputation or name recognition of your principles or executives. The positive equity you are able to create can help build the reputation of all the components of your organization.

So how do you avoid an identity crisis?

Always remember your brand story when communicating to your marketplace. Your company is the who and why you are there. Your product is the what you are bringing and the how describes how will it help solve the problem your customer has. Make sure the messaging you use is consistent, and the corporate and product messaging support each other’s identity and purpose.

Stories help us remember and understand new information. It holds our attention and helps us connect. Present your story through your unique brand. Your brand should be something you want to your market and investors to associate with and connect to. It’s an experience, and a belief. Investing in a cohesive brand identity will give you a better chance to own that all-important piece of your market place’s mindshare.

Strata-Media’s success is driven by their vision to increase business net worth, stock valuation and Brand ROI. From conception to execution they are an extension of their client’s marketing department. They hold themselves accountable to the goals established marketing teams worldwide. Call us today and learn how Strata can contribute immediate value to your organization.



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