The idea of branding—as a verb—often implies a simplistic application of identity as a means to staking claim. In this manner, it suggests a one-size-fits-all activity rather than a focused business commitment to learning and understanding your customer’s perception of, and experience with, the brand.
We must first acknowledge that there are plenty of ways to describe brand. In certain cases and for certain agencies or consultants, those descriptions have become their own brands. And in most instances, they are simply reconstructions of a singular theme. But staking one’s claim on describing branding is a far cry from understanding the active role of branding; of understanding what to do as well as what to avoid when your organization, your product, or your service is considering a rebrand.
So in order to most effectively prepare you in considering your rebranding effort, or to simply share what we’ve learned during ten years of serving some of the world’s most innovative brands, we offer 12 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Rebranding. We hope it serves to inspire your focus on branding as a disciplined investment in marketing and operations.
Blurring the vision of why your business is in business
Businesses exist to earn revenue, shape culture and influence action. At some point, your business identified an opportunity to fulfill a perceived need. Whether it was a void in the market or a project born out of passion, the business was hatched on a single idea. Branding seeks to plant that idea within the customer’s mind. Focused differentiation, clarity and discipline must be exercised to ensure the customer’s experience aligns with the brand’s intended story and purpose.
Not learning from outside-in
The daily internal operations of a business can create an insular culture. But it is the outward-facing brand (or brands) that are the most informative and direct links to the customer. And because your customers are sharing their experiences with and about your brand, the brand often forges a company culture in more substantial ways than the inverse. Beyond transactional, the brand can be your most valuable organizational north star.
Segregating marketing and operations
Your brand is known for something. Whether it is about its innovative products, its quality or performance, its reputation for timely delivery or its unmatched customer service. This is either the perception or experience of your customers. It is the brand. All too often, the task of branding is relegated to the marketing department. But effective branding must be approached as the most integral component in advancing the intent, purpose, operations and function of the business.
The first three recommendations are yours. For the remaining nine, we only ask for your name and your e-mail address. Why? So that we can provide you with a complete list of all twelve; a PDF that you can print or share with others. Beyond that, we will send five e-mails—one per week—designed to provide tips and tools to make your branding effort more effective. And no, we will never share or sell your information.