August 21, 2014

Recently I got a call from a business friend, a respected marketing director. She does more, with less, than almost anyone I know. She mentioned that her CEO was concerned about the firm’s image (there had been some negative media reports) and she wanted to discuss re-branding with a new slogan and perhaps a new name and logo.

As I shared some advice, I wondered how many of my blog readers think that re-branding is having a fresh slogan, name or logo.  These are simply the manifestations of your brand, not the essence of your brand. Your brand starts with your mission and values. It involves everyone in the organization, since they deliver your brand. A re-brand also takes money to communicate to your target audiences. While I don’t believe a re-branding effort takes a ton of time or money, it does take a formal process.

The process begins with understanding the nature of positioning. Authors Al Ries and Jack Trout coined the word “positioning” in the 1970’s to describe the process of “putting your company into the mind of your prospect.”   Successful branding strategies always begin with a clearly stated positioning statement: A brief written description of the customer benefits offered and the “value” position to be occupied that makes your position clear and promotable. 

A positioning statement and a mission statement may appear similar, but they are very different. A mission statement is you talking to yourself. It states why you are in business. A positioning statement is you talking to your consumer. It states why people should do business with you. A good positioning statement should form the basis for decision-making throughout an organization.

The best way to start the re-branding process is to hold a formal branding workshop. This is usually a 3-5 hour meeting with an outside facilitator. Unfortunately, when you use an in-house person to run these sessions, some attendees will perceive that the facilitator has some hidden agenda (even if they don’t).

I have devoted a large section of my book to branding. I’ve also created a short tip sheet on the process that I would be happy to send to anyone considering re-branding. No charge.

One comment

  1. Mark I agree with your observation that “…it involves everyone in the organization,” which is why it is so important to consider the character of each employee who represents a company. “Rebranding” requires restructuring and rebuilding. Skip

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