12 Considerations to Make Before Changing Your Brand Image

Personal Branding

What’s your best piece of branding advice for companies that are trying to pivot or change their image?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Don’t Drift Too Far Away

“If you opt for a radical change, you might lose a large percentage of your current customer base. It’s possible to make a significant branding change that allows you to maintain enough of your original image to hold onto current users while still creating a “new” image. A subtle change is less risky than a complete makeover.”

Jonathan Long, Market Domination Media

2. Be Authentic

“When changing a company’s image, it’s important to choose an image that feels right for you and your employees. Otherwise, you run the risk of the company having an ill-fitting personality or being unable to keep up that image.”

Elliot BohmCardcash.com

3. Get an Outside Perspective

“When changing your image or product offering, it is imperative to get an outsider’s perspective on your branding plan. When you start a company and shift your image or strategy, your discernment can fade while your bias for your first creation skews your judgment of the second. Board members are great for this, as are mentors and advisors. If you can afford it, a branding agency can help.”

Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell

4. Go All In

“Do it fast, do it complete and do it thoroughly. This isn’t something to phase in. If it’s a new slogan you’re after, make sure it’s everywhere, including print, digital, posters in your office, business cards and bumper stickers. Get your content machine churning out the new image, reasons for the change, and most importantly, follow through on the message.”

Josh Sprague, Orange Mud

5. Think About 10 Years From Now

“When pivoting it’s important to think not only about the past and present but also about the distant future. Is your pivot positioning your brand too narrow to grow? Is the name/identity broad enough to support future growth, but also specific enough to address your core values and current vision? Ask yourself if you think an image will still stand up in 10 years before making any change.”

Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

6. Focus on Your Ideal Customer Profile

“Before making the pivot, you should spend time on these questions: Who are my ideal customers? What are their use cases, pain points and similarities? Your rebranding should focus entirely on building a brand that connects with these specific individuals.”

Justin Graves, Infegy, Inc.

7. Be Consistent

“When you rebrand, make sure to keep everything consistent. Your company should build a set of brand standards for content, storytelling and images, and the brand standards must apply to every piece of collateral.”

Shalyn Dever, Chatter Buzz

8. Define Your Core Purpose

“Limit yourself to three to seven words that describe your core purpose in a statement. This does two things: 1. Strips away the use of business lingo and gets to the core, and 2. If the business can’t decide on this common statement, then you know you have more than a branding problem. You have an alignment issue.”

Alan Hart, Avid

9. Be Certain if any Changes Are Needed

“Ask yourself why you’re changing at all! Are you reacting to your competition? That’s a terrible idea. Is there a gaping hole in the market that such an adjustment would be advantageous to your company? Go for it! You should have a solid reason to change. The market should immediately be able to recognize why you pivoted, and, if you’re changing just for the sake of change, that’s a fool’s errand.”

Derek Hunter, William Roam

10. Amplify What’s Most Unique About Your Company

“To change your image, you’re going to have to radically cut or add something to your brand. Otherwise, you’re just an incremental iteration of what you werebefore. Find whatever is most unique about your company and radically amplify that. Make it the base upon which you build the brand, not the flavor you add on top of the brand.”

Charlie GilkeyProductive Flourishing

11. Go Big and Broad

“Stand next to the biggest thing you can find. Move past communicating explicit product and feature benefits, and align yourself with big, ambitious goals that your clients and team can get behind. Not only will you win hearts and minds, but the broader positioning also gives you enough room for enduring success.”

Christopher Kelly, Convene

12. Don’t Operate Under Assumptions

“Market research must be a paramount concern. Make sure to take into consideration your target market. If you haven’t performed a market study, you need to do so to better understand how to attract the attention you want and find out where you should direct your efforts moving forward. This will help you achieve better results and create an image that matches your company’s vision and mission.”

Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME