I’m a career marketer with almost 20 years of experience being part of large marketing and communication teams. so I’ve been around the topic of branding forever. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about it. But Andy Brenits made me think about branding in a new way.
Andy, of Brenits Creative, is one of the creative professionals I’ve met since I moved to the Phoenix metro 18 months ago. Recently, I attended his Know Your “It” Factor branding workshop. That’s when I was reminded that a small business owner, like me, needs to care about branding, too. It’s not just for Corporate America, where I spent most of my marketing career.
I asked Andy if he’d share some of his branding expertise on my blog, and he graciously agreed. So … here we go with a lightning round with Andy on the topic of branding.
Brand in a Nutshell and Brand Drivers
Melanie: How would you explain the concept of a company’s brand to an elementary-aged student?
Andy: Your brand is what someone says about you when you’re not in the room.
What are the typical drivers for a company to want to refresh its brand?
– Losing out on new business and not understanding why.
– Your identity and marketing look dated compared to the competition.
– There has been a change in your business, like a merger or change in mission/vision, and your positioning needs to reflect the new direction.
Misconceptions About Brand
What’s the biggest misconception business owners have about a rebranding effort?
Two misconceptions immediately come to mind:
– That rebranding will magically fix all the reasons revenue is flat or declining. Sometimes there are deeper operational, product, customer service or cultural challenges that branding can deeply influence — but not 100% fix.
– And that branding is a quick fix. It’s not. Branding takes time.
Elements of a Brand (Hint: It’s More Than Just a Logo)
What elements are included when a company updates its brand?
While there is no catch-all package, rebrands can include new positioning (a deep understanding of your place in the market and what makes you unique), messaging (how to communicate your uniqueness to your target market) and identity (logo, website, marketing, naming, etc.).
Is there are “branding refresh lite” option where a company might take on a smaller rebranding effort? If so, what is entailed?
I wouldn’t phrase it as lite, but doing any of the elements I just mentioned independently is possible. But I don’t recommend just redesigning a company logo (brand identity) without some exploration of your positioning. Positioning and messaging are strategic, while identity is a visual expression of positioning — and that work tends to be more tactical.
Brand Change Best Practices and Parting Advice
Is there a best practice for how/when to inform customers, prospects and vendors about a company’s new brand?
I think it depends on the industry, size of the company and customer expectations to determine specifics for communicating the rebrand. But there are some basics you should consider like PR, email, social media and more. There are too many marketing tactics to consider mentioning here, so you would have to choose the ones that are most appropriate for your audiences. Additionally, part of branding is storytelling, and a rebrand has a story behind it. So you want to tell that story in a compelling way that gets you attention.
Any parting advice for a company owner mulling over making a change to his/her company’s brand?
Consider why you’re looking to rebrand your company — and if you can commit enough resources to pursue it. This isn’t just about the monetary cost, but also the time it will take for employees, stakeholders and employees to understand and embrace a new brand. Brand-building takes time. Your brand is your reputation, and it takes time for people to build an opinion and have expectations of your products and services.
Andy, I appreciate your time and the expertise you shared about branding!
Happy to be part of your new Creative Pros series, Melanie.
You can learn more about Andy and the branding work he does at Brenits Creative here.