The Creative's Guide to Rebranding, Part 1: Do You Need a Rebrand?
There comes a time in everyone’s career when you begin to feel stagnant, uninspired, or unmotivated. You’ll likely feel the need to make some sort of change to achieve greater happiness and success on your own terms. For a lot of creatives and freelancers, the most monumental of these moments is when you decide to turn away from corporate jobs and go it on your own or with a small team doing something you’re extremely passionate about.
But you might feel a second big shift coming on when it comes time to reflect and restructure your personal or professional brand.
So how do you know if it’s time for a rebrand?
- Are you having a hard time reaching your target audience? Or perhaps your target audience has changed? Your brand message and value offering may be unclear or outdated, and thus in need of a rebranding.
- Is it clear how you’re different from your peers and competitors? If it’s not, your messaging and methods of communication probably need to be more thoroughly thought through, which might involve a rebranding.
- Is your visual brand strong, evocative, and consistent? If not, you definitely need a rebrand or a refresh. Note that a new logo does not equal a rebrand.
- Have you been pigeonholed as something that you have outgrown? You absolutely need a rebrand.
- Are you just simply not happy with your personal brand? A rebrand could solve your problem.
Rebrand or refresh?
That is a non-exhaustive list of circumstances, but it should give you a good idea whether or not it’s time for you to consider rebranding. Rebranding is a lot of work, so beware of the half-assed rebrand. If you want to rebrand, be prepared to go all in. If your problems are more surface level (like you’re not getting the sales, recognition, or social media engagement you were hoping for) as opposed to core level (core mission, brand values, offerings), then you might be suited to a brand refresh. A brand refresh is like a mini makeover-- your brand is still the same underneath it all, but it’s got a new haircut and spiffy updated outfit. Along with the visual makeover, a brand refresh might include a renewed content strategy and greater investments in educating and engaging with your target audience, but you’re not altering the core elements of your brand.
Welcome to Sarah's Handy Dandy Guide to Rebranding
I myself conducted a pretty drastic rebrand for my personal blog over the past few months, so throughout this 4 part series on rebranding, I will be sharing my personal experiences and strategies. I will be taking you behind the curtain and step by step through my rebranding process.
So let’s take a look at where I started and how I knew it was time for a rebrand.
This is Primal Bites. I launched Primal Bites when I was 19, during the summer after my Freshman year of college. It started out as a pet project of sorts, but organically grew into a relatively well known brand and blog in the paleo community. I had no real marketing, content creation, or social media experience prior to Primal Bites, and I never once in it’s 3 year lifespan created any sort of strategy. I just kinda went with the flow. I created recipes, photographed food, and rambled about my life. For some reason, people were into it and thought at least a few of my recipes were pretty great ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So how did I know that I was due for a rebrand?
- I wasn’t offering anything new or unique. I was just one paleo blog in an increasingly saturated paleo blogging market. My recipes weren’t revolutionary, and I recognized that there were a lot of bigger bloggers out there who were blogging full time that I couldn’t compete with.
- I had been pigeonholed as this health nut, strict paleo eating, CrossFitting machine. In reality, I outgrew the strict paleo lifestyle, quit CrossFit in favor of powerlifting and strongman, and started dedicating more time to my other interests like crafting, personal style, and reading. I changed a lot between Freshman year of college and beginning my adult life post-graduation, and Primal Bites was no longer a reflection of who I was and or how I wanted to be known.
I didn’t want to throw the towel in completely on blogging and content creation, but what I was doing could not simply be tweaked or refreshed for it to become relevant, unique, or an accurate reflection of myself. And thus, my rebrand was born.
Does any of this sound like you? Are you looking for a sounding board to bounce some ideas off of to decide if and when you should refresh or rebrand? Send me an email at sarah [at] snapfluence [dot] com and I’ll help you figure your shit out.
Already know that you're ready for a rebrand? I made a nifty checklist for ya!
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.