Brand transformation can often mean different things to different people. Some leaders see brand transformation as bold, quick moves as a means to shake things up. Others view brand transformation as the start of a change – a process that starts with purpose, strategy and vision, that takes shape through a series of changes to the business.
As a small and medium business owner, you may be competing against big brands with devoted customers and unlimited marketing budgets. That is why it is therefore vital to find new, innovative ways to stand out from the rest and with a solid brand transformation process of your own. A solid brand transformation process can transform your business from a small player into a successful competitor.
What Are The Benefits of Brand Transformation For Small & Medium Businesses?
Increased revenue & market penetration
Your brand ultimately boils down to customer perception, so the monetary value of your offerings is entrenched in the minds of those you serve.
One of the most measurable benefits of brand transformation for small and medium businesses is that it allows you to redefine the value customers place on your offerings and raise your asking price accordingly.
The ROI of brand transformation has been proven by research, time and again. Strong brands are more profitable, build more equity and more importantly sell at higher multiples. This is because a strong brand is more than just a sleek logo and clever tagline. It has measurably more pricing power than its competitors.
The pricing power of strong brands allows them to dominate their respective markets, revitalize underperforming assets, and insulate against competitive threats. Pricing power drives growth like few other market factors.
Improved customer satisfaction & loyalty
A key part of brand transformation for small and medium businesses is brand research, which helps you identify exactly which customers are aligned with your brand’s unique purpose and positioning.
Not only are the right customers more likely to purchase your product or service, but they are also willing to pay more, and are measurably more loyal over the lifetime of their relationship with your brand. This brand loyalty becomes exponentially valuable when your customers become brand advocates, convincing their friends and family to buy your products or services as well.
Finally, brand transformation is an opportunity to develop clearly defined customer personas, which allow you to craft compelling brand messaging specifically targeted at the right audience.
Enhanced employee productivity & motivation
The best brands have a way of attracting the best talent. Not just from the most impressive resumes, but based on the talent that is best suited to their unique needs and goals.
A strong employer brand attracts the most motivated and talented folks from the competitive job pool. It ensures you are interviewing candidates aligned with your core values and committed to delivering on your brand promise.
Brand transformation is the best way to attract the candidates who will turn into spirited employees, positively contributing to company culture and fostering trust with customers and teammates alike.
What Are The Stages Of Brand Transformation?
The first stage of brand transformation is brand discovery. Brand discovery refers to the process of studying the brand and understanding the unique value that it offers about customer needs, competition, and the marketplace. Brand discovery will disclose the strengths and weaknesses of a brand and also identify its most valuable offerings. Brand discovery is required to translate the abilities into values and to portray a brand that offers professional and emotional trust to customers.
Brand discovery will review various elements such as history, quality, target customers, vision, strengths and weaknesses, stakeholders, and market performance.
It helps to understand ‘who we are’ as in most cases, many companies think that they know everything until they feel deeply. It helps to create a unified message to present to the outside world. It will ensure that all stakeholders such as senior management, employees, sales team and suppliers are all aligned on the same page.
Another key stage of brand transformation is brand development. Brand development is a strategic process of creating and distinguishing your company’s image, products and services from your competitors. The development includes aligning your brand with your business objectives, communicating your brand with your target audience and updating or strengthening the brand if necessary.
Brand development is ongoing, with goals acting as benchmarks, signifying new ideas and products as your company grows. Therefore, your strategy may evolve through the years as culture changes and you might reach new audiences.
Ongoing brand management
Brands are living things. They should not be created in a vacuum and they certainly do not live in one. They exist in a dynamic, ever-changing marketplace with evolving consumer wants and needs, ever-increasing innovation and shifting corporate expectations. As such, brands must learn, grow and adapt.
How Can Small & Medium Businesses Transform Their Brands Successfully?
Understand your brand’s purpose & insights
Brand transformation is an introspective process and one that requires self-awareness and vision. You must look inwards and ask important and sometimes difficult questions to determine your brand’s current issue or problem.
When your business first started, you are likely to outline your purpose, mission, vision and values. However, in some cases, these may have been overlooked and never been fully established. If your brand does not have a clearly defined purpose, this may be the right time to figure out what it is.
Your brand’s purpose and insights will set the foundation and serve as cornerstones of your brand. Creating a brand purpose will serve to unify your entire organization around a single goal, ultimately enabling your entire team (employees, customers, partners and competitors) to connect better. These will help guide each decision along the way and keep your rebranding strategy aligned.
Work on a strong branding strategy
Working on a strong brand strategy is essential in your brand transformation. A brand strategy can take what people know and believe about your business to new levels. Active brand management takes a valuable asset that may now be underused and turns it into a powerful competitive weapon.
Regardless of how sophisticated your current approach to branding is, your business has a “brand” today. Simply by being active in the marketplace, your business will have a reputation, level of fame and a degree of customer relationship with your audience within the industry.
A strong brand strategy will take all that value and put it to work in new ways. It will elevate the importance and relevance of what is already known and believed about your business. It can also add in many new reasons, both rational and emotional that will create stronger bonds with customers and make your business more attractive to prospects.
Finally, a well-constructed brand strategy can be used to unite and motivate your employees. When your business has a focused brand strategy, all its working pieces would as a result generate more preference, loyalty and appeal for your offering and greater profits to your bottom line.
Build a team that can deliver the brand strategy
The key to a strong brand transformation is collaborating with a range of people associated with your business, both internal and external. However, it is also recommended to follow a general order when you finally decide to roll out your brand transformation, starting from the inside out.
Firstly, your brand transformation strategy should be communicated inwardly with employees, sponsors and donors. Ensuring that your team is properly briefed on the new brand identity and communication will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
For example, you may host a “soft launch”, which gives you an opportunity to share your new brand transformation with your inner circle before unveiling it to the world. It is also a chance to stay ahead of any issues, so that when you do go public, you can do so with complete confidence.
Create a great experience for customers
Your brand transformation should always resonate with your target audience. If your customer base is exhausted and you want to also appeal more to a younger crowd, for instance, you may need to adapt your brand to suit the contemporary trends.
Existing clients know you well and trust you. They believe in you and have already bought into the business’s capabilities and point-of-view. This means that a brand transformation could be scary for them because it seeds the question, “What does this mean for my existing relationship with you? Is what I bought changing?” You need to make sure that you have a clear client communications strategy included in your brand implementation plan.
Your client communications plan should be executed through a more personal touchpoint from the client lead within a week of launch. Introduce the brand transformation to your clients and let them know what it means for your business and how it will have a positive impact on the relationship.
It is a perfect opportunity to create a great experience for your customers, show what your brand is thinking and how it matters to them, and more importantly to inform them about the full capabilities of your business.
At Hashtaqs, we help our clients kick off the process with a 360-degree assessment that investigates perceptions of the brand across the industry. Internally, we study how the brand lives and manifests itself in the workplace. Externally, we examine how people experience your brand and how it appears in the marketplace, and then evaluate the competitive offerings.