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  • Re-Branding is More Than a Logo Change

    In preparing for this week’s blog post, I put out the question on Twitter, “What would you like to hear about this week on the topic of personal branding?”  What bubbled up was  “re-branding”.

    Great topic. Today’s economic climate is creating an interesting juxtaposition: your digital life and reputation is fast-paced, but your business growth may not be as robust.

    Every brand needs refreshing to stay relevant as markets evolve. These changes are typically aimed at the repositioning of the brand/company, usually in an attempt to distance itself from certain negative connotations of the previous branding, or to move the brand upmarket.

    What about personal re-branding?

    Re-branding could involve major changes to the brand’s logo, brand name, image, marketing strategy and advertising.  But re-branding is more than a logo change.  Don’t make the mistake some big brands may be making – changing their logos and calling it “re-branding”.

    Xerox and Pepsi are two brand giants who made the news recently by unveiling new logos.    Here’s what they had to say:

    xerox_logo

    ” The new Xerox logo is now a lowercase treatment of the Xerox name – in a vibrant red – alongside a sphere-shaped symbol sketched with lines that link to form an illustrative “X,” representing Xerox’s connections to its customers, partners, industry and innovation, and designed to be more effectively animated for use in multi-media platforms.”

    pepsilogo

    “The brand’s blue and red globe trademark will become a series of “smiles,” with the central white band arcing at different angles depending on the product. Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max will use all lower-case fonts for name brands.”

    Rule of thumb

    2623783385_9bdd78c4a5_oRe-branding is more than a logo change.  You must define your brand or be defined by others. One of the reasons  Pepsi and Xerox felt the need to change may be that they are perceived as “old-fashioned” and not relevant.  Right or wrong, in business perception is reality.

    But what about Coca-Cola?  Coke does a good job of keeping a “core brand” and developing new brands for target markets.   The question is not “what business is the company in,” but rather “what is the company known for?” What emotion does the brand evoke?  You make the call on which brands evoke emotion.

    Your re-branding exercise

    What’s helpful to considering a re-branding exercise on your personal brand is to recognize that a strong brand  transcends the product and the target market.

    The question for you is not “what market do you serve” but rather “what is your reputation, what are you known for?”  Because if you don’t define it, it will be defined for you.

    Here’s the starting point:

    1. Find out how you are actually perceived or what your reputation is. Ask a variety of people.

    2. Understand what’s important to your core target market and how your brand is relevant.  Extend that to your new target markets.

    3. Ask yourself if what you are offering is authentic. If not, it will breed only mistrust.

    4. Make sure that your message or what you deliver is consistent. You don’t want to alienate a current customer base by an inconsistent message.  That would undermine your efforts.

    Author:

    Beverly Macy is the Managing Partner of Y&M Partners and teaches a social media class at the UCLA Extension.  She also co-hosts Gravity Summit events and provides personal branding coaching.

    avatar

    Beverly is an instructor at the UCLA Business and Management Extension Program. She is one of the few educators who has a class offered by a university on Social Media Marketing. She’s also the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Y&M Partners and before that she spent 14 years at Xerox Corporation in a series of increasingly demanding sales and marketing management positions where she was awarded eight consecutive President’s Club honors. Macy began her career at Wang Laboratories in software development.

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    Posted in Brand Yourself As, Corporate Branding, Personal Branding, Reputation Management
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    8 comments on “Re-Branding is More Than a Logo Change
    1. avatar
      EXPERT
      Roger Ewing says:

      Very interesting read and right on target in terms of timing. I am in the process of rebranding my marketing strategy, not logo. A lot of folks are doing just that in this economic shift environment.

    2. avatar
      EXPERT
      Luigi says:

      I only wonder: how could we re-brand if we assume we should name our business after ourselves…
      With this in mind we can’t even develop new brands for new target markets.
      Probably Personal Branding Transition could be a good term: passing from a previous Personal Brand to another, changing focus, market, etc…

    3. avatar
      EXPERT
      Chris Perry says:

      Beverly, great points!

      If you are just starting your career, you have a lot of freedom in creating your brand (even if you are shifting your brand and brand image) because you are just beginning.

      If you already into your career, you have already started to establish your brand (whether you know it or not) and so, if you want to change it or improve it, it will take more than just using a new one-word brand or a new title on LinkedIn to re-brand yourself. You need to start backing up your new brand and image with actions and efforts to support and compliment them.

      If your business and your brand is your own name, it will take more effort on your part to shift your brand as your name may now be associated with something different from your new focus. What can be helpful is to brand your name with a tagline or a one-word brand that allows for growth or expansion so that you are not left with a brand that cannot encompass a serious or significant change.

    4. avatar
      EXPERT

      Beverly,

      Very interesting post – I think you articulately distinguished the difference between simply reformatting a logo and really re-branding a person or a company. I’d agree that authenticity is key.

      Chris brings up another thought provoking point – if you are starting out in your career, you have a lot of freedom in creating your brand, but where to start? Many college graduates have either already started establishing their reputations in the work world (specifically with online social media like LinkedIn and Facebook) – but what if the brand they have created for themselves is not what employers what to see? Do any readers have suggestions for how new job seekers should go about re-branding? How can they create a genuine image with little experience?

      Again, thanks for the great article!

    5. avatar
      EXPERT
      Chris Perry says:

      Hey Lacretia,

      I know what you mean as it wasn’t so long ago that I was in that very “boat.”

      If you have little or no experience and have no “personal brand” presence online, it’s very easy to start. If you already have started to establish a reputation online through Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., but it’s not what you want it to be for your career search and development, now is the time to switch gears.

      You always want your personal brand to represent the real YOU so you never want to brand yourself as something you’re not. You need to identify the authentic core and differentiating value about yourself that you bring to the table and that you want employers, supervisors, customers, contacts etc. to know about you and consistently communicate that across all of your career search outputs (resumes, emails, cover letters), your networking events, conversations, interviews, and your network profiles. If you are re-branding, focus your personal branding efforts on the “new” specific core value you want to communicate, integrate that into everything you do and are online and offline, and begin to build up support for your brand through new work and/or volunteer experience, online communities and networks etc.

      While experience is important in the sense that it directly supports your personal brand message, experience does not make or break the truth in your value as a contributor/leader in an organization. If you have little or no experience, focus on your strengths (in relation to your personal brand) and how they will solve the organization’s current problems, focus on delivering immediate results, focus on bringing a new millenial perspective to your team.

      Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions or ideas!

    6. avatar
      EXPERT

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks, your advice is really helpful! I think where I am struggling the most is finding what makes ME unique and creating that cohesiveness across all my career search outputs without making it too muddled or confusing, especially with my online presence, because there’s a delicate balance between highlighting specific characteristics for a particular field and pigeonholing myself into too small a niche, but I’m making progress! Thanks again for the help!

    7. avatar
      EXPERT

      All excellent points. All too often people overlook the finer points of branding. We will continue to persevere with communicating your points above to our clients in the hope that one day they will all see the light!

    8. avatar
      EXPERT

      Yes, It is universal truth about re-branding. Big brands do re-branding to redefine there trust and cover on the customer and market. thanks for the post, I really appreciate your work.

    3 Pings/Trackbacks for "Re-Branding is More Than a Logo Change"
    1. […] Re-Branding is More Than a Logo Change – Personal Branding Blog […]

    2. […] lot goes into a rebranding effort. As Beverly Macy points out in her blog, rebranding entails everything from changes to the logo, brand name, image, marketing strategy and […]

    3. […] one of  Dan Schawbel’s posts, the concept of personal branding is described as your reputation and what you are known […]

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