Founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting
In business, as in life, change is the new normal—and it’s vital that your brand is able to keep up with the evolving needs of consumers, especially those who are new to or unfamiliar with your business. If you’re struggling to keep up and reach new audiences, rebranding can be the answer.
The good news is, you don’t need to overhaul your entire brand to reach customers who don’t know you yet. Instead, focus on the individual areas where you can freshen up your brand and offer something new that will allow you to branch out to the audiences who you have yet to connect with.
When looking to attract new customers, your tone and voice should be one of the first things you examine. At its core, your branding is a conversation with your customers. And like with any conversation, you need to tailor what you say to who you’re speaking with.
Take it a step back and think about it in real life. You might be sarcastic and playful with your friends, but respectful and serious during a work meeting. Similarly, if you’re a millennial brand that’s now targeting female millennials specifically, you need to consider how they talk and what they want to hear.
Once you’ve settled on a voice and tone, choose specific words that describe your new messaging. These words act like guideposts, helping to ensure you’re maintaining your new voice. Check out this tone-of-voice words guide to get started.
To reach new customers, you may have to shift to new platforms and try new types of content. You probably already know that, but what you may be forgetting about is the broad spectrum of content you have at your fingertips, both digital and otherwise. For example, you may want to consider:
And within all those options comes the next question: What are we talking about? What does this new audience want to see from us? Product videos? Behind the scenes photos? Inspirational posts?
When you put these two things together, you have one potential rebrand strategy that allows you to not only reach that audience, but speak their language. The question is, how do you figure out what that strategy looks like? It’s all about competitor analysis and target audience research. Here are a two resources to help you facilitate that if you need a refresher:
A style change can totally alter how people see you, and an imagery overhaul can do the same thing for your company. Even if you’re happy with the vibe your current image presents, a change can draw new attention. More importantly, if your image has never shifted with the times, customers may start to tune it out.
With your rebrand, you want to bring a fresh brand image that appeals to modern audiences. This is a good time to look to trends. For example, 99 Designs said these are the branding design trends for 2020:
When rebranding your image, combine the trends with your message to find the best combination: one that resonates with new audiences and tells your story. Remember that once you have your new brand image, you need to update every area of your business, from marketing materials to your website. Consistent brand presentation increases your revenue by 33 percent on average.
Putting a face to your brand can be a great way to humanize your company. It helps you forge a deep connection and makes customers see you as more than just a “brand.” For example, HealthMarkets a 35-year old business, needed to rethink their product offering and brand to evolve with consumer needs. CMO Michael Stahl explains:
“With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, HealthMarkets needed to change the way we did business to meet the needs of our customers. In making the various digital transformation changes to our business practices, we also wanted to promote the HealthMarkets brand in a way it hadn’t been before.”
Using audience research, they were able to launch their direct-to-consumer product and promote it with a “spokesperson we knew would resonate with consumers,” says Stahl. HealthMarkets announced Bill Engvall as this person in September 2018, allowing them to reach their new audience.
If you don’t have the budget for a celebrity spokesperson, don’t forget about social media influencers. These influencers often have a more personal-feeling relationship with their fans, making the trust that much deeper. Plus, micro-influencers or even brand ambassadors, can also be more affordable.
If you want to win over a new audience, let them get to know you. Social media is a great place to do this. In fact, 69 percent of marketers curate loyal relationships with customers through social media marketing. To do so, there are a few key engagement pillars to keep in mind:
The more you talk, the more you can provide a space to emotionally connect with your brand, which leads to a loyal following of customers, old and new.
If you don’t have the time or budget, rebrand your business in pieces. Focus on imagery if you have the resources, or messaging if that works better with your budget. No matter what, the key is to know which new audience you’re targeting and understanding how to reach them with the right message, great imagery and even a spokesperson. When done right, you can successfully shift your brand and grow your business.