How To Refocus and Rebrand Without Starting Over
Step back. Take it all in. Take the kid gloves off. Get real. Grab a sheet of paper. Write the “Six Questions for Evaluation” on it (See below). Gather key people in a room. Start the conversation by asking yourself and your team:
- What can we celebrate?
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- What are we learning?
- What needs to change?
- What’s next?
Now, the chaser: What did you discover? What were the 2–3 major takeaways?
Do you need to focus on developing your product? Do you need to focus on improving your quality of service? Do you need to focus on engaging a customer segment? Do you need to focus on developing your team? Do you need to rethink your strategy? Do you need to align your structure to your strategy? Does something need to end so something else can emerge? Do you need to redirect time, energy, and resources to affect growth?
Consider your responses to the questions, what needs to change? And what’s next? Hidden within the collective response is where you need to shift your focus.
For starters, you’ll need to do some research. Assess at least three things:
- Organizational readiness, or what needs to be in place and what can be repurposed?
- Community / customer awareness, or what else needs to be done to create value?
- Community / customer capacity for desired response, or your anticipated return on investment.
Based on what you discover, you’ll need to set apart some prep time. You’re looking to gain clarity. Make sense of the data you collected during the research phase. Take quite action. Make internal adjustments where needed.
Begin to implement change in segments. On a practical level, change the logo, rewrite the marketing message, restructure the team, redesign the product, repurpose assets, update the website, experiment, test, and try it out yourself.
Get buy-in. Make sure key people (from decision makers to role players) are on board. Provide opportunities to give and receive feedback along the way. Actually listen. Check the sobriety of ideas and actions by discussing them. Allow people to say, I like this but not that. Three things:
- Communicate clearly and often.
- Strengthen relationships.
- Manage conflict.
Go live. Click Publish. Ship with confidence. Deliver the goods. Get to the right place at the right time. Go to work. Work the plan. Stick to the plan. Everyone on the team should have already chosen or been assigned a role, know and understand their role, and are committed to following through. You spent all that time and energy drawing up the play, now execute it.
Focus on the felt needs of the community / customer segment you’re targeting. Speak their mind. Align your marketing approach / tactics to the ways they think and act. For example, are they on Facebook all day? In the car? On the oil rig? On their smart phone? At the their desk? Meet your ideal customer where he or she is at, not where you’re at. You’ve been preparing for weeks, if not months. You’ve been using the product. You wrote the book on it. Keep in mind everyone else is just now hearing about it, trying it out, integrating it, and contextualizing it into their work / life.
After a while this what you’ll become known for. That feeling a person gets when he or she interacts with your product or service will become what they remember, what they value about your brand, and what they share with others. Your brand is equal to the experience you create.