Everyone one is re-branding their business… new logos… new slogans… new business cards… the list goes on. But why are you ‘re-branding’ in the first place? The tens of thousands of dollars being spent are meaningless unless you have:
1) a firm grasp of what it really means to ‘brand’ and,
2) if the ‘rebranding’ isn’t founded on reimagining the customer experience.
So, what is re-branding? You will find a plethora of definitions across the internet but the truth is, it’s like trying to wrap your hands around a loose glob of gelatin. It’s a slippery, yet submissive form changing concept. Yes, it may include new logos and marketing collaterals but the brand is an individualized fusion of varying elements based upon the specific needs of your organization. And ‘the specific needs of your organization’ must be the catalyzed with how your customers conceive their experience.
Here are the four golden rings you can wrap your hands around as you consider re-branding:
Gold Ring #1 – Branding
Who are you?
Knowing who you are…and more importantly, who others think you are, plays a huge role in the success of any business. It’s the essence of branding …who… are… you?
Do you know how you’re truly known in your community? What are your stakeholders saying to each other privately in their text messages? In their DM’s? How about in your sphere of influence? What do people really know about you and how your business operates?
You can bet they’re saying something… but do you know what those ‘somethings’ are?
It’s vital to the health and success of your business that you understand not only who you are, but what you’re actually selling.
You’re not selling a product or service. If that’s what you think, your success will be forever stunted.
The net result of every element of your operation is a metric and is easily identified by your percentage of market share in your PMA (Primary Market Area).
Read that again…more slowly if necessary.
….but we are in a recession …but our market has changed …but there was a global pandemic …but our industry had a fundamental shift …but interest rates increased …it doesn’t matter.
Didn’t like that answer? Sorry, it’s the truth.
Gold Ring #2 – Automate
Hey folks, it’s the 21st Century! We’ve been sending people to the moon for 50 years…. half a century. Yet most leaders aren’t utilizing the available technology that tells us how long a customer has been on hold? We have automated our phones to the point it is rare to have a human answer the phone when they are calling your business… to give you money!
Not to mention many organizations have team members scurrying about taking care of customers. Then….. someone at corporate raises concern because “the phones aren’t being answered in 3 rings” when a company consultant placed a mystery shopper call. Yet the same office pushes efficiency beyond realistic expectations.
As leaders, we must take appropriate full advantage of all the advancements in technology available. Technology that would benefit not only your customers and other stakeholders, but which also ultimately benefit staff burnout and turnover as well as your bottom line.
So where do you begin repairing and realigning your original mission? After looking at the tools you have for your team you must then consider your staff.
Gold Ring #3 – Hire the fire. Fire the mire.
Hire the fire…what does that mean exactly? It means you should seek out and hire the individuals who show you the fire in their spirit. Those who aren’t afraid to step up and take action when it’s called for.
Fire the mire? Huh? That means don’t be afraid to get rid of the ones who are miring your organization down in ‘mire’. The ones whose laziness or negativity is keeping your firm from achieving the utmost potential. Those who foist their misery on others, like your team members and even worse, your customers.
You’re a leader. Leaders take action. True leaders aren’t hesitant about using their critical thinking skills to make decisions that quickly lead to accomplishment. That means seeking out individuals who do not fit your newly envisioned culture, and rapidly walking them through your entire disciplinary process. Rapidly means, fast!
Once you’ve ‘fired the mire’, moving forward, you will only need to concern yourself with hiring the fire. Get that part right and you’ll have no ‘mire to fire’.
Gold Ring #4 – Overlap & Overtures
An important concept for you and your staff to embrace is that everyone…
…is either part of the problem and/or part of the solution. From the top leadership position to the ‘janitor’ …so yes, this even includes you, the esteemed leader. Yes, sometimes you have to be detached enough to realize you are the problem. Ouch.
So how do you begin? In the same way you eat an elephant one bite at a time. You overhaul your organization one department at a time, starting from the smallest department with the greatest impact.
Other tactics that advance improvements within your firm should include community involvement, as that creates ‘top of mind’ awareness. Reach out to schools, dance studios, community choirs and theaters, anyone who can help you enhance the environment for your team members and customers.
A critically important component of a totally successful, off the charts profitable firm is the leaders. Leaders have true compassion. They will take the blame in a heartbeat. They know how to say ‘I’m sorry’ and they do so. They truly value the input of their team, and beyond valuing the input, they implement in the input. Quit micro-managing your team. There’s no place for a pompous ass at the top of any successful firm, including yours.
So, engage your gears to really explore who you are as an employee and as a company. Then you can begin the journey of identifying how your customers perceive you and how their perception aligns with your goals and vision. Only then do you have the information you need to initiate a branding or rebranding experience.
Know what branding is, and also understand what it isn’t. Understand the customer experience as it relates to you and your company. Give serious thought to whether or not your vision is the same as the customers perception. Then and only then are you ready to take the plunge into redefining and reimagining your brand.
About the Author:
Dan Stockdale is a consultant whose passion for the customer experience and branding are unmatched. His clients include startups to multi-billion-dollar organizations. He is a PhD candidate in business, earned an MA in corporate communication and a BA with an emphasis in organizational psychology. Dan has appeared on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business Channel, New York Times, and many others. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.