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5 steps to rebranding your business without breaking the bank

Rebranding your business is never an easy decision, but it can be an easy process. Check out this simple, five-step guide to rebrand your business on the cheap.

You’re doing an inventory of your business’ digital downloads and online products for sale. 

Then, as you scroll the pages of your site’s products, you discover a bad taste in your mouth.

Your branding is stale and in serious need of a refresh.

Sure, your brand has been working fine up until now, but there’s something mismatched about the way your messaging and imagery line up with your current (and future) business. 

Don’t worry, though. Rebranding your business doesn’t have to be daunting or costly, especially with the five straightforward steps to rebranding your small business we have for you today. 

Before we dive into the steps on how to rebrand, first things first. Let’s figure out if it’s time for you to rebrand your business.

How do you know when it’s time to rebrand your small business?

To figure out if it’s time to give your brand an overhaul, check if your business meets one of these four signs it’s time:

  • Your brand needs to stand out from your competition

  • Your brand looks outdated

  • Your brand is evolving (i.e., going international, outgrowing your original mission, expanding product offerings, changing your business model) 

  • Your brand has a poor reputation

Any of these rebranding reasons ring a bell?

If so, you’re on the right track. 

The good news is you can rebrand your business without breaking the bank. Here’s how.

5 steps to rebranding your business

#1. Conduct market research

The first step to rebranding your business without spending a huge chunk of your budget is to conduct market research. 

By doing your due diligence on the front-end and thoroughly researching where to go next with your brand, you’ll save a lot of time and money that would otherwise go toward repeatedly revising your new brand. 

There’s a reason why the market research industry has grown steadily for a decade and reached over $47 billion in global revenue -- it works.

The most important audience to do research on is your existing customers, so ask them about your current brand first. 

For instance, to conduct customer research, you can run polls, send surveys, or deploy questionnaires that ask questions about how they perceive your brand. 

Ask them some of these essential branding questions (rephrased to suit your customers’ lingo, of course):

  • What are your biggest problems with current market offerings?

  • Why do you buy from our brand?

  • Where are we lacking?

  • What and how can we do better?

And, plain and simple, ask them: What comes to mind when you think of our brand?

The research doesn’t stop there, though. Once you’ve surveyed your customers, you can turn to prospective clients, partners, team members, and anyone else who’s familiar with your brand for their perspectives. 

To survey your audience, use free tools like Typeform, SurveyMonkey, or Google Forms to create your surveys. Then simply send a link to your form to your various contact groups.

If you don’t have your audience’s contact info yet, you can use tools like Hotjar that allow you to host feedback polls directly on your site.

Another option is to hop onto your social channels and ask questions there, whether in social posts, direct messages, or in comments. 

Regardless of the way you obtain your market research, the point is to glean as much insight as possible about the current way people perceive your brand. 

Then, from there, you can clearly define what you want your future business to look like, starting with your mission statement.

#2. Revisit your mission statement

Once you’ve gathered insights about your current brand perception, it’s time to compare and contrast that with your mission statement. Then update your mission statement to match your business’ new direction and purpose.

The reason why you should renew your mission statement before working on any design work is simple -- you’ll have a better chance at successfully rebranding. 

Put another way, you’ll have a clearer understanding of your new brand before updating any creative assets or messaging -- or even product offerings -- which makes your rebranding effort more intentional and accurate the first time around.

In the same way that 70% of projects, 80% of first businesses, and 95% of product launches miss the mark because they don’t clearly define their goals, it’s vital to define your new mission statement first. 

An iconic example of a mission statement update that changed the way the brand produced everything from products and user experiences to ads and color schemes is Apple. 

Its original 1977 mission statement informed everything it marketed back then, which was predominantly in the personal computer space:

“Apple is dedicated to the empowerment of man -- to making personal computing accessible to each and every individual so as to help change the way we think, work, learn, and communicate.”

During the 80s, Steve Jobs updated it to include a more diversified set of products:

“To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”

As you’ve likely witnessed, updating the brand’s mission statement had a huge impact on the way Apple presented itself to the world in every way from its branding effort to its sales revenue.

The lesson here is to update your mission statement and use it as a foundation for your rebrand. That way, your branding effort is consistent across the board -- a key branding tip that can drive your revenue upward by 23%.

OK. Now that you have your updated mission statement in hand, you’re ready for the fun part -- redesigning your brand. 

#3. Revamp your logo and creative assets

Your next step in rebranding your business is to design updated creative assets, starting with your logo. 

To give your logo a refresh, choose from a range of logo-maker tools like GraphicSprings, Logaster, or Designhill.

Another option is to use design tools like Canva and Venngage, which include templates that you can edit.

For instance, check out some of Venngage’s logo templates.

When redesigning your logo, consider incorporating these modern logo design trends:

  • Minimalism - Keep it clean and simple, just like Citibank’s latest logo rendition.

  • Flat gradients - To spice up your logo, use a flattened (a.k.a., solid without extraneous treatment like shadows or halftones) color gradient, like Mozilla does in its most recent logo version.

  • Icon next to text - Include an icon next to a clean typeface of your business name, just like Slack does.

Wondering how to pick your colors? 95% of the top brands use one or two colors in their logo, and 35% of the top-performing brands mix in the color blue.

If you want to hire a professional designer to update your logo, check out sites like 48 Hours Logo, where you can run a contest for its designers by submitting details about your new logo as a contest project. 

You can even upload an image of your current logo and submit directions on which details you want to update. The beauty of 48 Hours Logo is new designs are presented quickly, and you don’t pay for your new logo until you choose your favorite design and award a chosen winner. 

Once your logo is rebranded, it’s time to use it in your other creative assets -- both new and old. 

This means you should take an inventory of all of your current creative assets and update them with your new logo everywhere, from your website and email signature to your online courses and best-selling digital products.

While it may seem like a tedious task, there’s an upside. The advantage of selling digital products (vs. physical) is you can update your digital files without imposing a huge production lull and be up and running with new products on the frontlines in no time.

As far as your new products and creations, it goes without saying that you simply design everything with your fresh rebrand in mind. 

Check out how Airlines PNG gave their brand a refresh.

They updated their logo (and name) everywhere, including on their large aircraft. 

Much more modern, right?

Basically, use online tools and services to modernize your logo and align it with your business’ new direction. Then apply your new look and feel to all of your creative assets.

Including your newly rebranded logo in your creative assets is only the first half of crafting your new offerings, though. The other half is to nail your new messaging that goes along with it, which is our next step. 

#4. Update your core messaging

After you’ve designed a new set of creative assets, it’s time to complement it with new messaging, which you can do by first revisiting your core messaging.

An effective way to do this is to keep your new mission statement in mind and focus on rephrasing your most important content, so it’s aligned with your new mission and purpose.

A great place to start is your tagline. 

For instance, Airbnb changed its tagline from “Feel ordinary with us” to “Belong anywhere,” which changed its messaging focus from a forced sense of belonging in someone else’s home to highlighting the community around the home.  

Take Uber as another example. 

When Uber updated its tagline from “Everyone’s private driver” to “Get there. Your day belongs to you,” the updated slogan allowed the company’s message to focus on serving its audience, making customers feel significant and unique.

And as Uber expanded its business to include offers within the food, freight, biking, flying, business, and employment verticals, that sense of audience-first focus has served them, and their customers, well. 

They apply this approach to their drivers, too. 

Today, the site’s core messaging focuses on its drivers and features its most recent message refresh, “Get in the driver’s seat and get paid,” on Uber’s homepage.

When updating your core messaging, a couple classic questions to revisit and ask yourself when defining your brand identity are: 

  • What problem are you solving for people?

  • How do you want your customers to feel when they think of your brand?

From there, you can weave the same focal point of solving your audience’s problem into all of your messaging.

After that, it’s time to do the exciting part: re-launch.

#5. Relaunch your brand

Finally, it’s time to relaunch your brand. 

While your new audience members and prospective clients need no re-introduction, it’s wise to communicate the launch of your business’ rebrand to your existing audience. 

Why? It gives you a chance to manage your audience’s expectations.

Something that, sadly, most businesses miss by a lot. So much so that 80% of companies believe they’re providing a superior customer experience, but only a measly 8% of customers agree.

So, it’s a smart move to loop in your customers with any changes to your business. 

Plus, announcing your rebrand launch to your audience provides them with something exciting to anticipate.

You can send a series of emails leading up to your relaunch to build anticipation of your rebranded business. Include the reason for your brand’s update, details on the benefits of your business’ new direction, and specifics on what’s to come.

Once you’ve built up your audience’s anticipation, you can even offer a special offer, just like Hulu did when they announced their rebrand and new site experience.

You can follow in the footsteps of Hulu and invite your audience to be exclusive beta-users -- a great way to leverage your rebrand as an opportunity to make more sales.

Take it a step further and personalize your emails, which is a special touch that can add dollars to your bottom line. In fact, a whopping 80% of customers are more likely to buy products and services from your brand if you provide a personalized experience.

On top of sending your personalized emails, post about your rebrand launch on your social channels. 

When rebranding your business on social media, it’s important to address the changes and explain to your followers why you decided to rebrand and what the changes mean for your audience. 

It’s also vital to promote your freshly branded content to your audience, so they can enjoy and experience the benefits of your rebranded business. 

As far as what to post, if you’re looking for a ratio, post 50% celebratory and 50% explanatory content.

In sum: 

Relaunch your brand by announcing to your audience the reason for your rebrand and the benefits they can expect from the update. Send out the news update through personalized emails and social media posts.


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Refresh and revitalize your revenue by rebranding your business

If your sales are slumping or you’re experiencing a struggle in your business, a rebrand could be the answer to your problems.

Here’s the low-down for rebranding your business:

  • To find out if it’s time to rebrand your business, figure out if your business needs to stand out from your competition more, looks outdated, is evolving, or has a poor reputation that needs fixing.

  • If it’s time for a rebrand, follow five steps, the first of which is to conduct market research. Collect feedback from your customers, prospective clients, colleagues, and team members about how they perceive your brand.

  • Once you’ve gathered your data, rewrite your mission statement and get clear on your business’ new purpose. Only then is it time to work on creative assets, starting with your logo.

  • With fresh designs in hand, match your new look with updated core messaging.

  • Finally, relaunch your brand by keeping your audience abreast of the latest details, news, and reasons for your rebrand and explain how they’ll benefit from the update.

Feeling reenergized to give your business a rebrand? Great -- get going while you have the energy boost. 

And if you don’t have a platform to easily brand (or rebrand) your website yet, get started for free today on Podia to manage all of your branding, marketing, and sales from one seamless dashboard.

About the author

Cyn Meyer is a content marketer for Podia, an all-in-one platform where online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites – alongside their creators – thrive. Cyn also enjoys playing music, helping retirees live active, healthy, engaged lifestyles, and hopping into the ocean.