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A Proven Plan for Rebranding

October 31, 2016  - Tips for Small Business
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BevSource is small business headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota. The company is an integrated provider of beverage development, production, sourcing and logistics solutions to new and established beverage visionaries. BevSource recently initiated a rebranding effort and the company shares their insights and tips on successful rebranding.

Positioning Your Brand

Rebranding is not only a time to refresh your company's look but also its position as a brand. It is after all called reBranding. This is a time to reflect on how you stand apart from your competition and how you want to be known by your industry. It is also a time to realign your message internally. The following approach made our rebranding efforts run smoothly and successfully.

  1. PLAN

    Give yourself enough time. For our company, we gave ourselves six months and we still scrambled at the end. It will go by faster than you think. Having a plan from the very start will help your team stay organized and on track.

    • Set up a timeline or Gantt chart and put every task on it, even the quick to-do's. This will ensure nothing gets missed.
    • Set up a committee with representatives from each department. This will help make sure nothing is overlooked. Capture input from all areas: different minds with different focuses. Most of us have “departmental” blinders on. E.g. Financial is only thinking about the budget while IT is only worried about all the technological changes they will have to make.
    • Make one person accountable for each task and set due dates.
    • Have a clear budget and ask each representative on the committee to put together a budget of what they think they'll need in order to do all the tasks outlined on the timeline.
    • Not everything will go according to plan but plan for the best. No matter how much you plan, something will slip through the cracks or “derail”. If you go into the rebranding process understanding that, it won't be too scary when it does happen.

  2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK

    Research your competitors and your customers.

    • Find examples and case studies of other companies in your industry or similar markets.
    • Research rebranding guides including Google which provides great lists and articles that will help remind you of the littles things you and your team may have overlooked.
    • Analyze and study your competition to compare yourself to the competition's brand position, design, and message. Ask yourself how you can stand out. Ask for legal advice to make sure your new brand isn't something too similar to an existing brand, or worst yet, the same as an existing brand.
    • Trademark investigation to ensure names, trademarks and service marks you are considering are not registered and owned by another organization in a similar niche: www.uspto.gov.

  3. HIRE HELP

    We couldn't have done it all ourselves. We may be experts in what we do in our day-to-day operations but when it comes to rebranding, there were certain areas we needed assistance to so it was done right the first time.

    • Hire a marketing consultant unless you're in the marketing industry and have prior experience with this type of effort. They will analyze your business and your industry from the inside out. It is extremely important to find and thoroughly define your new brand position and message, and a marketing consultant is the best person to help guide you through this process.
    • Logo and website redesign are crucial and require an expert eye. This is how people will see you for years to come. Don't underestimate the time it can take to find the right look and feel for your company.

  4. SPREAD THE WORD

    Use rebranding as an opportunity to get some publicity, touch base with customers, and stir up some new leads.

    • Send a press release to get your message out to the world. Use a press release distribution service like BusinessWire or PR Newswire to get your announcement in front of the media and industries eyes. A press release will also give you content to share on your website to drive traffic and awareness there.
    • Media training should take place to help your leadership and management team understand how to best answer questions regarding all the new changes.
    • Touch base with your customers and use this announcement as an "event" to reach out to clients and industry contacts. Be sure to let you customers know ahead of time that the change is coming and be clear on how any changes might affect them. Sending an announcement with a nice branded gift is a great way to make your customers feel appreciated and "in the loop."

  5. INCLUDE YOUR STAFF
  6. Your employees will appreciate being a part of the rebranding process.

    • Schedule short update meetings to keep everyone within your company updated along the journey. These meetings will help them feel included while mitigating fears related to change.
    • Make the changes fun and celebrate milestones of the rebranding process. For example, on the day before launching your new brand, have a company party while everyone changes over email addresses, receives new business cards, and updates company files.

Rebranding is a large undertaking with lots of moving parts. This structure helped us make that process manageable, sometimes enjoyable, and a raging success.


Article Contributor

BevSource-Logo
BevSource was born when two entrepreneurial beverage industry veterans saw an opportunity to transform the way beverage ideas become reality. They had seen first-hand the complexity and pitfalls of the beverage industry, and wondered how novice beverage entrepreneurs with big, bold ideas could ever bring them to market on their own. They knew there had to be a better way than trial by fire and learning from mistakes.

To learn more about BevSource, call: (866) 956-4608, Email: customerservice@bevsource.com or visit: www.BevSource.com

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