Thursday, 28 November 2013

Rebranding, Why you should do it and how you should do it.

Ladies and Gentlemen… Test match Cricket is here! To celebrate the next 3 months of emotional exhaustion and hopefully celebration, we at Digerati, are running our own series to be used as light-reading during lunch breaks of the Cricket. This 3 part series on effectively rebranding a business will endure the entire summer of Ashes and will be aimed at growing your business, while Mitchell Johnson grows his moustache. 

Now when experts mention rebranding, most business owners immediately think of changing a logo to look ‘fresh’ and modern. But rebranding is more than a logo; it involves the product offerings, the shopping experience and marketing strategies, all to reposition a business within the market to enable the business to reach their full potential. This may be by appearing more eco-friendly, more established, higher class, or even just appearing more affordable. 

If there’s one thing that small businesses do brilliantly, is that they understand their business and why they do what they do. If there’s one thing that small businesses don’t do brilliantly, it is position their brand within a market and sell themselves correctly.   In order to do this, your business needs to understand not only its current consumer base, but its DESIRED consumer base. Your current consumer base may not be the right one for your product, as your offering may resonate much better with a different target audience. 

In a very brief nutshell, this is how you rebrand successfully: 
  1. Understand your product offering, and understand who would want to buy it to identify the most profitable target audience
  2. Position your business and product in the market to reach, and resonate with these consumers 
  3. Make loads of money and take over the world!

Effective rebranding can basically re-create who you are, what you do, and how good you are. Don’t believe me? For this month’s example, let’s have a look at one of the best rebrands ever conducted… Apple.

Believe it or not, Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy a matter of 15 years ago. Sales were falling, and they needed a completely different edge. Their products were deemed inferior and sub-par, and they basically went from zero to hero with a few small strategic decisions. 

Ask anyone who knows anything about computers, and Apple products really aren’t anything special. Ask just about anyone in the normal population, and they’ll practically lose themselves with excitement over Apple products. Why? Because they are perceived in the market as the ultimate product – prestigious, user friendly, and innovative. 

To achieve this, they ‘went against the grain’, so to speak, deciding to make a very dry and technical computer industry, personable and fun by adding some colour and some sleek design. Apple separated themselves from their competitors by positioning themselves as the underdog company that is for the people, fighting against multi-national conglomerate companies and the message resonated with the consumer base - kind of ironic now that they are one of the most dominant brands in the world. 

But in the end, it’s about designing your brand, to make sure it resonates with the right type of consumers, and finding a point of strategic advantage over your competitors. Apple decided to chase consumers who usually wouldn’t be interested in computers and technology, but by making their products LOOK simple, easy and attractive, a whole new market emerged – a market that Apple has dominated ever since. 

Take nothing away from how innovative some of the Apple products are, but the core advantage they have over their competitors, is they know how to make their products desirable, driving demand. As a result, they have gone from being perceived as inferior, and ‘behind the times’, the now be seen as the leading innovator in technology and marketing. 

Part 2 of the rebranding series will hopefully recap some the second Ashes Test with another comfortable win by the Aussies, as well as what to consider when rebranding for success.