Planning for Success: When Is It Time to Rebrand?
As businesses grow and evolve, they must regularly revisit their overall business goals to ensure they still align with their branding and marketing strategies. This is especially true in developing effective financial and investment brand strategy. After reviewing recent business success, firms should explore and relate these to any concurrent communications strategies. Branding can play a vital part of business success and communication is at the heart of this process. Brands should be a true representation of company values, products, services, and culture in the minds of their target market.
The first step is to evaluate the success of your current strategic business plan and how it relates your brand and its marketing initiatives. To do this, ask the following questions:
Did we accomplish our goals?
Revisit overarching goals to see where you are generating the most results. Examining sales and market share can provide significant insight into business success. This process should be both quantitative and qualitative, looking across product and service lines.
The degree you meet your business goals can be a direct result of your marketing and communications efforts. Miscommunication of company values, product and services, and culture — both internally with employees and sales people, and externally with clients and strategic partners — can impede your company’s success. If a brand promises more than a company provides, the disappointment will reflect a lack of consumer loyalty. Brands that do not convey their core strengths successfully can fall short of attracting consumers. A strong brand pinpoints and communicates key strengths from within — this can help with communication efforts and will drive consumer loyalty and trust.
Have our branding goals changed?
Re-examining your strategic business plan often reveals significant changes in direction, which no longer parallel existing communication strategies. Get feedback from your clients and partners to ensure that internal brand perception meets external reality.
Businesses often evolve. Companies must recognize value, product and service, culture, and personality changes, and these must be reflected in brand communication. There can often be a disconnect during periods of product expansion, business expansion, or change in leadership. Brands must maintain consistent connection with their loyal consumers, while expressing new values, products, services, and cultural changes to clients and partners. If you have changed any aspect of your business model, inform your consumers with regular communication plans. This can build stronger relations with loyal consumers while expanding your target market.
Are we prepared for the future?
Evaluating the changing environment, trends, competition, technology, product and service offerings can help a business stay ahead. Comprehensive competitive market analysis can lead to best practices and help you pinpoint competitive advantages and differentiate your firm.
Healthy brands evolve with their company. If your company has directional goals, you need to incorporate a strategy for brand alignment. The goal is to maintain consistent communication throughout growth and transitions. Stay ahead of change by planning effective communication strategies to keep key clients and partners involved in your business and branding evolution.
After performing the Brand Check-Up, assess the tactical marketing communication of brand identity with the target market and partners. In building on the strategic brand analysis, this step involves a micro examination, specifically analyzing company communication efforts within its Marketing Plan.
The Tactical Marketing Plan
Like the brand itself, a marketing plan is an evolving document that needs attention. Becoming engrossed in addressing temperamental fires that sap immediate resources often causes us to neglect how our overarching goals and strategy relate to specific branding, marketing, and PR efforts.
Define and update your business goals every year and track the evolution of your core message, how it’s communicated, and the effectiveness of your marketing plan. Remember, your brand begins internally and communication strategies will be more efficient and effective if you can clearly define the core message of each of your marketing pieces.
Key elements of your marketing plan should address:
- Aligning functional needs and goals for the brand with key initiatives. Begin internally by listing both long-term and short-term goals from your brand check up and aligning these with marketing initiatives. With this analysis, you can assess the most important initiatives and where to allocate resources.
- Analyzing your marketing collateral and communication strategies. Review all your materials and initiatives — make sure to consider external factors, such as identifying the needs and wants or your audience. Building on the brand perception from your check up, reach out to key clients and partners to receive feedback on specific marketing collateral and the effectiveness of its delivery.
- Finalizing your plan. Specific target dates, roles, and responsibilities ensure an actionable plan with goals, timing, and detailed expectations. This will help you execute and measure the success of each initiative relative to both brand and business goals.
The Next Step
Through exploring internal, external, and competitive issues of your strategic and tactical plans, your company will better define and express its key strengths. After a thorough examination, you will be able to assess where your brand is today and where you want it to be in the future. This process can also provide practical and emotional insights for effective communication. Small hurdles in communication methods can be solved by simply re-defining or enhancing the existing brand. This could include new positioning in sales or marketing materials, an innovative way to distribute a message, or a website content refresh. Conversely, significant changes in direction or company growth could require a full company rebrand. This process often includes a new logo, core messaging, marketing materials, press strategies, and web presence. If your company requires refining efforts or a complete rebrand, experts can help develop and execute materials to express more and truly connect with your audience. By effectively defining and leveraging your company’s brand for effective communication you can develop stronger relationships with your audience and drive additional business success. Contacting a branding agency with financial and investment experience can be a very valuable step in the process.
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