Transformation is an integrative part of evolution. And who would be the winners of this process? Those who manage to adapt to the change and take advantage of it. The current global situation has clearly proven that as a fact as well. Thus, in case you have been postponing to move your brand to the next level, then it might be high time you did it.
But what exactly is brand transformation and how to get started? Let’s disclose the basics in the next few lines and have those questions answered.
What is brand transformation?
Honestly, it’s much more than upgrading your logo. Brand transformation is a complex approach that may take months or even years to execute. The duration is flexible and strictly personalized – it is determined by the final achievement of the desired result which should include a positive shift in the way customers think and feel about the brand.
Brand change involves 4 main steps:
Brand definition can include anything from mission and vision statements to brand attributes, tone and voice. The secret lies in the way you perceive you brand! Think of it as a person – the more details you use to depict it, the easier it will be recognized by its target audience.
Visual language is a powerful tool to build brand identity and stand out from the crowd. Choose your symbols, colors and fonts wisely, because they will be part of your whole communication arsenal – brochures, banners, website layout, emails, business cards, etc.
Brand guidelines guarantee consistency in any aspect of communication. Whether you are writing a newsletter or designing a package, styling should be identical. Thus, spend as much time as needed to meticulously describe all essential details in your brand book.
Adjusting your brand to current trends and customers’ needs is a lifelong progression while foreseeing them is true mastery. The ultimate challenge is to manage to sustain a fruitful connection between continuity and change in order not to lose the “soul” of your company – your brand.
How to know if your brand needs transformation?
Change is inevitable if you want to be not only present on the market, but also flourishing. As Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
But before you set your mind on it, ask yourself the following questions first:
- Are you witnessing reduction in clients and/or increase in employee turnover?
- Do you find it hard to expand to new markets?
- Are your services/products subject to negative feedback?
- Has the brand fallen behind new industry trends?
- And most importantly – why?
Next, explore further your brand and unravel each sign it sends. The more you reveal, the more convinced you will be that it’s time for action!
Certainly, not all indications must be negative. Let’s assume your company is performing well. You are working on a new product and you want to announce the novelties about brand with its launch. Why not take the opportunity?! It can be a win-win situation!
How to proceed?
Say, you’ve decided that you are ready for the change as external or internal factors triggered a negative effect on your business, which is already noticeable from afar. It’s crucial to understand that you should not undertake just any transformation at all cost. You are late anyway, since your business is stuck in a downturn. Hence, it’s better to take your time and plan your reframing steps carefully, instead of proceeding with no clear direction and further confusing your customers. Try to figure out why your brand needs to change, when you can initiate it and what the final goal would be.
The last question, which requires the most efforts to get answered is how you are going to do it. And now you have to secure well the three T’s:
Employees are the best brand ambassadors and that’s why it’s imperative to pick the right executives to lead the process.
Also, a successful brand can only be (re)built if the entire staff is involved, correct?! For this reason, be prepared to demonstrate organizational and inspirational skills to win even the biggest sceptics on your side.
Your brand is your culture – don’t rush it! Lay the foundations for transformation correctly. You’ll know you’ve done the job right when your managers give you the best tools to be used and necessary deadlines to be met in order to accomplish the revival of the brand effectively.
It’s all about transformation, isn’t it? If you are not quite sure yet, treat your brand as a human being. Bringing it to life might not be easy, but it’s much harder to help it grow and develop so that it can become a unique addition to the market. To do it well, make sure your brand is authentic, transparent, purposeful and honest. Also, do listen to customers closely – the ones who are most unhappy can be your true guides in times of change.
Most importantly, don’t wait for the need of transformation to appear. Instead, try to plan ahead. Of course, it’s easier said than done. But with the right team on board, nothing is impossible.