When Is the Right Time to Rebrand? [updated]

When Is the Right Time to Rebrand? [updated]

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A couple of years ago we looked at a few things you may want to consider if you are looking for the right time to rebrand. We thought it may be useful to update the article, to expand a little on the information provided as it is a topic that comes up quite a lot in conversations with clients.

Whether you are looking for reasons to rebrand or reasons not to rebrand, we hope that this will provide an informative look at the topic of rebranding to establish when might be the best time for you.

There are 5 main situations where a rebrand may be considered and we have included some questions/statements that you may be able to relate to.

Change of Name
“Our name no longer fits who we are and the business we are in”
“Our name has negative connotations in the new markets we are entering”
“Our name misleads customers”

Brand Revitalization
“No one knows who we are”
“We need to communicate more clearly about who we are”
“Our website doesn’t work on a smartphone”

Brand Identity Revitalization
“We are a great company with cutting-edge products but we look behind the times”
“I am embarrassed when I give out my business card”
“Our identity does not position us where we should be against our competitors”

Creating a Unified System
“We do not present a consistent image to our customers”
“All of our marketing looks like it comes from different companies”
“We lack visual consistency and need a new brand structure to deal with acquisitions”

Merge of Companies
“We want to build on the brand equity of the merging companies”
“We need a new name”
“We need to send a strong message that we are the new industry leader”

If any of these statements sound familiar, then now might be a good time to talk to a branding agency.

Aside from the above statements, below are some other considerations when looking at a possible rebrand or refresh. It is worth noting that it isn’t always necessary to make big changes, but below are some of the times when a refresh or rebrand might be considered.

  1. Time
    There is no rule for how long a brand remains current. Branding styles go in and out of fashion, just like clothing but there aren’t many brands that are timeless, like a pair of jeans or a little black dress. Sometimes a complete rebrand isn’t essential, but a refresh of colours, fonts, or a style tweak can work wonders to bring your brand back up-to-date. We have recently completed rebrands for a couple of clients whose branding had remained stagnant for 10 years, so if your branding hasn’t changed in the last decade, it may be something to think about.
  1. Changing Tastes of Your Customers
    Although you maintain your brand, it is your customers that control it, as what they say to each other creates a reputation, which is what your brand becomes known for. Over time, as your customers change, so should your brand. They will expect you to stay relevant and modern to keep their attention and a proactive brand will also attract new customers.
  1. Change of Focus/Expansion
    If you used to do X but now you do X, Y and Z, now might be a good time to look at rebranding. Simply telling your customers you do more might be not enough. You need to show them your new focus by developing your whole brand to show your new vision and values.
  1. Mergers & Acquisitions
    This is an obvious one really, as bringing together two brands results in a big branding overhaul. At the simplest level, it will require an analysis of the two brands’ strategies to see any overlaps or differences and deciding the route forwards. But for the most successful outcome, a new brand will be required to offer one united brand that shows what it can offer to customers.
  1. Your Name is Ambiguous
    If people cannot pronounce your name, or have no idea what you do, then your brand is not working for you.
  1. Your Geographical Name is Holding You Back
    If you started your business with a town or city in the name so that you sounded local and so it would help your SEO, then it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. But if you are ready to expand and the name is holding you back, then it’s time for a rebrand.
  1. Your Brand is Dull
    This is one that many business owners would not admit, but sometimes a rebrand is needed simply because your branding is looking a bit dull, tired and out-dated. Rebranding can give your business a fresh new look that will be appreciated by both old and new customers.

One of the biggest hurdles with branding is that businesses think that it’s an expensive and unnecessary task. But with the right brand styling, you should get back what you spend in increased sales.

There is no right or wrong answer for the question ‘when is the right time to rebrand?’ but if you are looking for individual advice, we are more than happy to have a chat.

As Leicestershire’s leading brand stylists, Hyphen are available for a free one-hour consultation to discuss what’s right for you and your business. Just contact us to arrange a suitable time and date.

Until next time,
Gemma

Why You Should Spend on Marketing in an Uncertain Economy

Why You Should Spend on Marketing in an Uncertain Economy

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The UK economy is uncertain at the moment, in light of Brexit and the recent general election result, and understandably many businesses are likely to be cautious with their budgets, particularly branding and marketing which are seen to be non-essential.

After the Brexit vote in June 2016, it was impossible to predict whether companies would hold back, apprehensive of committing marketing spend until they felt more sure about the economy or whether they would invest more to retain the loyalty of worried customers.

We have spoken to many of our clients, and whilst some are still tentative and want to ‘play it safe’, others see the economic situation as an opportunity to build their business in a new climate and perhaps take a slice of market share from their cautious competitors.

In economical uncertainty, some of the areas that businesses refrain from spending on is marketing, branding and design. But in order to grow the business despite the uncertain economy, marketing is one of the most important factors in keeping the business pushing forwards and getting noticed.

Perhaps you have noticed that your competitors have stepped down their marketing efforts? This is the prime time for you to get out there and increase your marketing to make your position in the market much stronger.

TalkTalk, for example, announced that revenues had dipped by 3% in the last year and that they would be increasing investment in marketing over the next 12 months.

So if your industry is experiencing a dip, and you are thinking about being cautious with your marketing budget, think about the benefits that investing in some creative work could have.

By getting your name out there with a new look and new messaging, you can remind your customers that you are still there and ready to do business with them and show potential new customers that you are THE people to work with, despite the market situation.

Just remember, you will rarely win new business by sitting cautiously waiting for people to come to you.

Push your business growth by investing in your brand, and making sure that it gives the right message, to the right people, at the right time.

Our branding experts at Hyphen are here to chat if you need any advice in this area, so please just contact us.

Until next time,
Gemma

Invest in Keeping your Website Secure

Invest in Keeping your Website Secure

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So you’ve recently had your website developed; it looks great, the launch went smoothly and you’ve had great feedback from all of your clients and customers. You won’t need to look at it again for another few years now…right?

…Wrong. Your website is now an extension of your business and much like your staff, your services or any other element of your practice, it is an ongoing investment. You could think of your website like a garden; if left unattended, weeds will grow and your plants, which were once thriving, will wither and die. To get the most out of your garden you must maintain it regularly to keep it fresh and functional and more importantly, to prevent any pests from growing.

But where do the ‘weeds’ and ‘pests’ come from? WordPress currently powers 23% of all websites in the world and as a result of its popularity, it is a popular target for hackers and data thieves worldwide. You may not think your personal or business website has anything worth being hacked for but websites are compromised all the time, with the majority of breaches coming from out-of-date themes, plugins and WordPress core, so it’s important to keep on top of your updates.

So how do you keep your website secure?

Ensuring your plugins and themes are running on the latest versions not only fixes any bugs or security features, which developers constantly search for and fix, but it also protects your website from being exploited. As it is common practice for hackers to search for websites using out-dated plugins with known security holes, it’s vital not to underestimate the importance of updating your website to prevent anyone other than yourself gaining access to your website.

Finally, are there any other steps you can take to protect your website? Absolutely!

Another great way to protect yourself, should you be on the unfortunate end of a cyber attack is to have a recent backup of your website. Taking regular backups of your website will allow you turn back the clock and revert to an older version of your site, to get back online after any mishap and to keep your business running smoothly. Timescales on how far back you can revert however will vary depending on how regularly you or your hosting company takes backups of your website.

So to summarise, the easiest and most efficient ways of protecting your website:

  • Ensure all of your plugins are regularly updated (it’s good to check at least once a week).
  • Ensure your WordPress core is running on the latest version (updates generally happen once every few weeks)
  • Take regular backups of your website so that you can quickly get your business back online

If you need any help with updating and maintaining your website, just give us a call and we’ll let you know how we can help.

Thanks for reading!

Emily.

Listening to Your Customers To Benefit Your Brand

Listening to Your Customers To Benefit Your Brand

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We have quoted this before, but it is relevant to today’s topic:

Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon

No matter how hard you try to manage your brand, opinions will always be influenced by what your customers see and hear. In the digital world we live in, information exchanges are instant and on a global scale so it is increasingly important to respond to your customer’s voice.

To try to maintain a positive brand image, show that you are aware of your customers’ opinions and work with them to make your brand what they want it to be.

You will only be successful if your customers are happy, so listen to what they have to say.

But remember one important thing…you will never please everyone, so don’t try!

There will always be a multitude of differing opinions, so go with the majority if you’re trying to make a big decision, like rebranding.

A well-known brand that has recently hit the headlines in the design world for its rebrand is The Huffington Post. It is now known simply as HuffPost, as this is the name that readers were shortening it to on a regular basis.

The Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen, has been quoted* as saying, “Sometimes it’s a good idea just to embrace the name that your audience has chosen…HuffPost is already the name of the mobile app and the name on most of the social accounts, and as the world moves further and further away from desktop toward social and mobile, it makes perfect sense to unify the branding.”

Another brand that shortened its name to match what customers called it, was Wilkinsons, who since 2014 have been known simply as Wilko. At the time, a spokesperson was quoted as saying “[We are] migrating to Wilko as the popular and endearing name that our customers have given us.”

Listening to your customers is essential, not only in rebranding, but in everyday business. We have met many companies who say “we know what our customers think”…but do they really know?

As part of our brand audit, we often carry out customer research and sometimes the feedback is surprising for companies, but it allows them to address any issues that are raised.

How often do you ask your customers for feedback?

To show that your brand is trustworthy, reliable and approachable, think about how you can best reach out to your customers and listen to their comments.

If you need any help in this area, as always, we are here if you’d like to chat.

Until next time,
Gemma

 

*https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2017/04/25/arianna-huffington-ok-huffpost-name-change-rebrand/100875490/

How to Get Your Brand Noticed at Exhibitions

How to Get Your Brand Noticed at Exhibitions

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If you have a brand identity to be proud of, you want to display it at its best in every instance. One of the largest formats it will be used in, is at events and exhibitions, where passers-by will automatically form a perception of your company based on your visual identity. It may be the difference between whether they decide to stop and talk to you or not.

From your logo, brand identity and style of your exhibition banners, through to your choice of banner and material type; they all create that important first impression. The people on your stand also represent your brand, so it is essential that they are reflecting your brand’s personality and values.

A few weeks ago, Hyphen exhibited at the Love Business Expo at Donington Park and we wanted to showcase our dynamic new branding so that we would be easily noticed amongst the other exhibitors. We know that our brand style, with its bold geometric shapes and bright colours stands out, so we kept the designs simple, to let the brand identity do the talking. We also chose a unique exhibition stand, to show our creativity, which can be seen in the image below. The front panel of the bridge allowed us to bring the key information right to the front of the stand so it would really get noticed and read by visitors. We completed our stand with a branded desk and cube seats to create a consistent brand image across the whole stand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few tips on displaying your branding at its best at exhibitions:

  • Ensure your exhibition materials are consistent with your branding guidelines and all your other marketing materials.
  • Don’t have too much text on your banners – people don’t have time to read it.
  • Avoid information too low down as it’s likely you will be standing in front of it.
  • Choose one main message for your banners/stand.
  • If you want to have promotional giveaways, choose items that are relevant to your brand.
  • Don’t fill your stand with clutter. Try it out beforehand in the correct space and decide what items are essential and what could be left behind.

If you are looking to make a big splash at your next exhibition, Hyphen can design something unique that will attract attention, whilst still adhering to your branding guidelines. We can also make recommendations for the best type of banners and materials for your brand style and manage the printing and production of exhibition stands and display material.

If you need any help with making the right impression at your next exhibition, please contact us.

The Importance of Having the Right Online Presence

The Importance of Having the Right Online Presence

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With a large percentage of the population heading to the internet, rather than a local store to do their shopping, it is increasingly important for retailers to not only have an online presence but to provide the right online services for their customers.

For a business to successfully target all its potential customers, it is essential to have an online presence, as around 64% of internet users are signed up to some form of social platform. Customers expect to be able to get instant and effective results by comparing prices and quality, searching for discounts and buying the item they want, all from the comfort of their own home or on the go. If your brand isn’t present during multiple stages of the customer’s path to purchase, you will be limiting your reach and missing out on a large number of customers.

A recent example of this would be the loss of the Leicester store Fenwick, which has been trading in the city since 1962. The store is planned to close by the end of March with a loss of nearly 100 full-time jobs. The Fenwick Group chairman, Mark Fenwick, was quoted in the Leicester Mercury as saying “The challenging trading environment and gradual loss of footfall has made it impossible for us to find a way forward that enables the business to trade successfully.”

After reviewing the brand for ourselves, we believe that although the business was active on social media, both Twitter and Facebook, and had a website that provided a wide range of information for customers, they didn’t take into consideration what their customers needed from them online. If the company had invested in a full online shopping system, then we believe that they could have retained more business. Having an online shop also allows you to track how your customers arrive at, interact with and exit your website through Google Analytics, allowing you to adapt your website to suit the needs of your customers.

It is important that every business stays on top of current consumer trends as well as conducting thorough research into their customers and their expectations of the brand, to formulate their marketing/ business strategy. By doing this, you will have gained insight into what your customers want from your business and can effectively put measures into place to keep your current customers satisfied, as well as looking to gain new ones.

Conducting a brand analysis and formulating a strategy can be outsourced to a branding/marketing agency, who specialise in such operations, which can save you time, money and reduce associated risks.

If you need to take the leap into the digital world or to take the next step for your online presence, give us a call today on
0116 232 5931 or email us on hello@yourhyphen.co.uk

 

Until next time,
Sian