There are many reasons you may want to do a brand refresh. For instance, your business could be dealing with:
- Changes in how business is done (the arrival of the internet in every facet of daily life)
- Poor consumer perception
- Changes in your mission and values
- Core business offering has changed
Perhaps, you started a business trimming trees. As your business grew, you were getting more questions about where trees should be planted and what other details should go into landscape design. You studied, created successful designs, and have several satisfied clients referring you to new clients.
You’ve had so much success that you’re looking to reinvent your business and change consumer perception on a bigger scale. You want to re-envision your brand as a landscape designer who places emphasis on trees.
If you were this tree trimmer, and we were sitting in a coffee shop or on a Zoom call, the first thing I’d tell you is “Congratulations! Can I have your business card?”
After I’ve told you to be proud of what you’ve accomplished, these are the three things I’d recommend you consider when starting a brand refresh.
Start with Your Customers.
You’ve stayed in business and done really well because you solve problems for your ideal customer.
- Who are those ideal customers?
- What are those problems?
- Why do they buy from you instead of other companies?
In this case, your target audience may have changed from homeowners with older homes to homeowners with new homes who need completely new landscaping. You may have also found a secondary niche with luxury property management companies building new apartment communities.
The shared problem for both target audiences is the desire to have a beautiful outdoor space for the residents to enjoy and perhaps for others in the area to envy. In one way or another, we all want to be the Joneses and not be the ones keeping up with them.
I’d suggest interviewing your customers to ask them what problem they experienced, and how your service helped them solve it. How did they feel before working with you and how did they feel after working with you? Consider using a survey service like peaksurveys.com. They specialize in help businesses of all sizes conduct surveys to understand customer perception.
Review Your Messaging
After you’ve interviewed or surveyed clients, use the language they use to update your messaging.
You’re no longer a tree trimmer, but you’re a custom landscape designer who places an emphasis on the right trees for the right spaces. When you interviewed them, maybe your clients used words like “restful” or “tranquil” or “trustworthy.” Make sure you use phrases like that on your website and marketing materials.
If your ideal clients use those words to describe your business, it serves to reason that there are prospective clients out there who are looking to feel that way when their problem is solved too.
Remember people are buying a feeling. They’re not really looking for new maple tree for their backyard. They’re looking for the memories of their kids jumping in the leaves in the fall or the shade of a big tree for hosting barbecues or the simple idea of a nicer yard than the neighbors.
Think like Apple. Apple sells what someone can do or become with their products then talks about the specifications of the latest gadget. Lead with how your clients will feel after buying your services. I’ll say it again and again, those who serve their clients will win. It’s not about you.
To develop messaging for your business, Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand has been invaluable for us to help guide clients.
Update the Visual Identity
After you know your messaging, your visual identity will probably need an update to match. A good design agency will help you think through your messaging and visual identity in tandem.
When I say visual identity, I’m referring to your logo, business card, letterhead, brochure, email template, and website. Anything that is a foundational first point of a contact for a potential customer.
If you know that your clients use words like modern, sophisticated, and trustworthy when describing your services, your designer should try to visually communicate that in your visual identity.
This is a good time to look at what your competitors are doing and where you fit in the market.
For a landscape company, your first color choice may be “green.” There is a good chance your competitors are also using some form of green. You may still want to use a green, but can you stand out by switching things up.
To convey modern, sophisticated and trustworthy, maybe black becomes the predominant color and green is an accent. Or maybe your designer finds a way to use a rich brown to reference the trees you build your designs around.
There are 100s of ways to develop your visual identity. Make sure that it speaks to your potential clients and that it represents you well.
Next Steps for a Brand Refresh
After you’ve established your messaging and visual identity, now it’s time to start communicating it. You’ve spent months with this process. You might be tired of it all by the time it comes to launch it to the world. Realize that it will probably take double the amount of time for your messaging to catch on in the general market as you would like it to. Think of it like a marathon and not a sprint.
The next steps for launching a brand will require another blog post, but add these as possible options to your launch strategy:
- New website
- A blog post describing the new brand
- A special on one of your services
- Teach a class in the community
- An email series to your email list
- A social media sequence over several month
- An open house if you have a location
- A giveaway to collect email address
- Ads or flyers in appropriate places (newspaper, Google, social media)
What else would you add to the list?
Small Business Basics
At Corporate Three Design, we love working with small businesses. We know all of the things you have to do to refresh your brand can be overwhelming. To make things simpler for our clients, we put together a package of the foundational pieces you’ll need to launch. Our Small Business Basics package includes:
- Strategy and Consulting
- Logo (black and white and color versions)
- Business Cards and Letterhead
- Email Tool and Email Template
- Basic WordPress site to grow on with 2 years of hosting
If you’re looking for help with a brand refresh, send us a message. We’d love to help you grow.