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Is a Company Rebrand Worth the Investment?

Why Rebranding is so Valuable for Growing and Scaling Your Business

There is a natural evolution within industries to adapt to economic changes and market trends that impact the way business is done. The “adapt or die” philosophy is especially poignant in this context, which is why a company rebrand often becomes a necessity to not just keep up, but to rise above the competition and stand out to your audience.

First, the Basics: What Does a Rebrand Entail?

Companies often start down the road to rebranding by recognizing that they need [insert brand element here; i.e. a new website, updated messaging, a better way to reach their target audience.] From there, all the multiple elements involved in meeting the stated need begin to emerge, making it clear that a rebrand is the real need.

These elements fall into two primary categories: brand messaging and brand identity. Each is critical for your rebrand as they help define your brand and its key functions:

  • what your brand is and where it is going
  • what your brand says
  • how your brand says it
  • who your brand speaks to
  • what your brand looks like
  • how you want to make people feel
  • how you want to make people feel about your brand

Building out each of these functions in greater detail is done through the creation of a brand messaging architecture and visual brand identity. These pieces are standard for any rebranding exercise, and are ultimately combined into a comprehensive brand guide that serves as a single point of truth for your brand, enabling consistency across every touchpoint.

Whatever your reason for rebranding, the components of your brand messaging and visual identity are crucial for ensuring you stand out with a differentiating value promise targeted at the right audience in the right way.

Why You Should Consider a Company Rebrand

Now that you know on a high level what a rebrand consists of, let’s talk about why it’s worth doing. And unsurprisingly, there isn’t just one reason why a rebrand is a good idea. There are many.

We’re going to share a few reasons why you should consider rebranding your company, but first, we want to hammer home the most important driver for embarking on a rebranding process: it’s all about moving your brand forward.

A rebrand is about much more than a website redesign or applying a fresh look to sales materials. A rebrand defines your company and its place in the market, and does so in a way that allows you to grow and scale without having to repeatedly reinvent your brand just to keep up.

Your messaging and visual identity are designed to evolve with your brand because they are created with buy-in from your company’s key stakeholders, and are informed by research into your industry, target audience, and competition. It is through this approach that your rebrand can sustain and support the future evolution of your brand.

With that said, let’s talk about when it’s a good idea to pursue a company rebrand:

  1. Accommodating a Change Within Your Company

    A change within your company can be any number of things: a merger or acquisition, the sunsetting or introduction of a product or service, a domestic or international expansion – you get the idea. What each of these potential changes has in common is a need to revisit how your company presents itself to the world, and who your target audience is.  ‌

    Adding a new product or service, for example, may introduce a new user group you need to reach. Additionally, expanding to a new location may require you to adjust your brand to resonate with a different culture or appeal to a new demographic. Rebranding to accommodate a change will lead to greater success for your company as you undergo that shift, and in the long term.

  2. Making a Change in Focus or Priority

    ‌For example: brands more and more are pivoting to place a greater emphasis on sustainability. For some brands, becoming more eco-aware can be a significant shift in focus and priority, but it’s one that is highly relevant and often requires a company rebrand to ensure authenticity around a sustainable promise.  ‌

    If your brand is starting to refine its messaging to reflect a new priority or focus, it’s time to consider a rebrand to help effectively communicate that story in the right way to the right people.

  3. Pursuing a More Simplified Approach

    ‌Less is more, especially when it comes to your brand. You’ll be able to communicate more effectively through a more simplified messaging and aesthetic approach; it’s the way your audience digests information and it’s the approach your competition is using.  

    ‌For companies that don’t have internal marketing teams or a dedicated marketing effort, working with an agency like Fishnet can be highly beneficial to helping execute a more simplified approach to your brand. An agency will help you identify the most important information to convey and how to convey it, and create an aesthetic that reflects your brand and helps uniquely identify it through modern, eye-catching, memorable, and engaging visual elements.

  4. Accommodating Negative Press

    While not a favorable reason to have to consider a company rebranding, it is one that does happen. Brands can take a serious hit from bad press, whatever the reason, making it nearly impossible to come back into the public eye without making any changes.  

    ‌This scenario has happened to some very well-known brands. You may remember Time Warner Cable – now known as Spectrum. The cable company under its original name became notorious for bad customer service and couldn’t quite recover from its negative reputation. It merged with Charter Communications (which was experiencing a similar problem) in 2017 to become Spectrum, a rebrand that allowed both companies to start fresh and rebuild customer loyalty.

A Rebrand Vs. A Brand Refresh

Without getting too in the weeds, it’s important to address the very important difference between a rebrand and a refresh.

A rebrand, as we have detailed, is essentially a complete overhaul of your existing brand.

A brand refresh, on the other hand, is like a makeover. The original brand is maintained but is enhanced with fresh, updated messaging and a new visual aesthetic. A company may choose a refresh over a rebrand if the need is to simply achieve an updated look and feel and none of the other elements mentioned above apply.

A quick note about rebranding: sometimes, but not always, a company rebranding includes a name change.

Brands that have equity with their audiences and aren’t struggling to combat bad press or any other major roadblock to growth may choose to maintain their name – certainly, a new brand name requires additional effort to communicate the change to your audience and build up brand recognition.

Other Important Benefits of a Company Rebranding

While we have identified the pain points that typically motivate a company to consider a rebrand, there are other important benefits that are realized from rebranding.

  • Strengthening your brand equity: A rebrand will establish consistency so your audience recognizes you and understands what your brand means for them. It also ensures your internal team reinforces that experience with the customer in how they represent your brand. A rebranding will ideally correct any brand elements that were previously taking away from building brand equity.
  • Creating brand loyalists: As a result of a rebrand, the customers you have will like you more, and you will gain new customers. And the more happy customers you have, the more likely they are to act as evangelists for your brand, increasing your visibility and ability to grow.
  • Rising above the competition: Your rebrand will give you a fresh place in the market that is well-informed by the competition. Success as a brand is in large part reliant on being able to fill gaps in the market and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Are you ready to rebrand your company? Whatever your motivation, every brand needs to take stock of its place in the market at one point or another and assess whether it’s time for an updated, more competitive, highly targeted brand message and visual identity.

Let’s talk about your rebrand. Contact us today to start a conversation.

How to Use the Right Digital Channels to Nurture Quality Leads

Strategic Tactics to Help You Generate More Sales-Qualified Leads

A consumer purchase journey is a lot like a new relationship.

You need to take some time to learn about each other, see how compatible you are, perhaps consider your options, and ultimately make a decision to proceed and commit, or back out.

To make the relationship successful, you do the right things at the right time to make a good impression.

Marketers need to woo their potential buyers in much the same way.

This means reaching them wherever they are in the buying cycle; nurturing them at every stage to ensure you stand out, building trust, and, ultimately, winning them over.

Consumers have a lot of choices, and they determine their own purchase journey in today’s highly digital and information-rich environment. So marketers must be sure there are no leaks in the sales funnel that could lead to missed opportunities.

Here are 3 easy steps to help you reach your buyers when and where it counts, and maximize conversions.

Step 1: Identify your Buyers – and Their Journey

Understanding your audience and where they are in their purchase journey is key to reaching them in the most appropriate way.

  • Create buyer personas. What type of people make up your target audience? If you know you you’re marketing to, you can better understand how they make buying decisions. Create as many personas as you need.
  • Pinpoint actual buyers and research their habits and decision-making process. Research buyers who:
    • Fit into your personas
    • Took some type of action—i.e. made a purchase, evaluated your product or service, downloaded some piece of content, etc.
  • Survey each buyer about their purchase journey. Meaning, find out what led them to look for your product or service, and their research and decision-making process.

Take the information you’ve learned and implement a plan for how you can reach your buyers more effectively, integrating digital channels toward that end.

Step 2: Use Digital Channels for Lead Nurturing

Buyers move swiftly, and marketers need to be prepared to reach them wherever they might be. A multi-channel lead nurturing strategy is key for building brand awareness, trust, and closing the deal.

  • Email—Personalized, targeted emails can go a long way in the lead nurturing process. Segment your email lists so you’re sending appropriate content to your potential buyer.
  • Social Media—Be actively engaged on your social networks. Listening, responding and monitoring will help build trust. Take advantage of social ads as well to reach your audience based on interest, location, and other demographics.
  • Retargeting—Implement retargeting campaigns based on metrics such as time spent on your site, pages viewed, or actions taken. If a user gets close to purchase but doesn’t complete it, use a retargeting ad to ensure that lead doesn’t get away.
  • Phone or Chat—People value a one-on-one interaction – now more than ever. Making your phone number readily available, or having a chat feature on your website, provides users with immediate answers from a real human, which can certainly make an impact on a purchase decision.
  • Dynamic Website Personalization—As users engage, enhance your website with strategic content to provide them with the information they need as they browse your pages and help drive their purchase decision.

Step 3: Don’t Forget About the Content.

Reaching users through multiple digital channels only works as hard as the content you’re delivering. Be mindful of your calls-to-action, and what information or opportunity you’re giving the user. Ask yourself if it’s the most appropriate way to speak to them at their current stage of the buying cycle, or if the download or offer you’re presenting is what they need to push them further into the decision-making process.

Fishnet can help execute these steps and more—contact us today to learn how our lead generation and nurturing tactics can benefit your brand.

Setting Customer Expectations is a Big Part of 2021 Business Success

Maintain Smooth Business Operations as COVID-19 Drags On by Mastering Customer Communication

Recently, we discussed on this blog how 2021 business success really hinges on hard work and a commitment to doing things differently. And doing things differently includes your approach to customer communication. 

Making Business Adjustments to Accommodate COVID-19 Restrictions

As a result of local and state mandates, businesses have had to make adjustments that change the customer experience but don’t necessarily hinder the ability to continue doing business. These adjustments, as we are all now familiar, include mask requirements, capacity restrictions, and changes to the flow of foot traffic.

We know well by now that no business in any industry has been unaffected by the pandemic, whether in a positive or negative way. The arts & entertainment industry, including movie theaters, lost big as people have been unable to gather in crowds. Conversely, the new stay-at-home culture has catapulted big retailers like Target, Amazon, and Walmart into record sales. Businesses in different industries have had to scramble to adapt their business models to a predominantly virtual environment with limited in-person interaction. 

We’ve seen the restaurant industry, a multitude of different retail outlets, medical services, and many others make adjustments to continue doing business in this new world. Whether your business is thriving during the pandemic or trying to get back on its feet, there are some easy ways to boost customer communication and drive business forward, even as we continue to socially distance.

Customer Communication Quick Wins to Foster Loyalty and Reduce Frustrations

Some changes as a result of the pandemic include shifting business hours, reservation requirements, capacity restrictions, or the elimination of in-person services. There is clearly a business impact here, but you can better weather that impact by communicating clearly and regularly with your customers to set expectations early and often.

Here are some quick wins you can employ to improve your customer communication:

  • A Daily Briefing: They do it at the White House, so why not take the same approach at your business? Leverage social media to provide regular updates about anything your customer base might want or need to know. They will have an easier time engaging with you and will remember that in the future.
  • Emails and Texts: Don’t flood your customer contacts with emails and text messages, but they are a quick, easy, and more personalized way to communicate information when the time is right. Think special offers or discounts, or a sudden change that may impact their experience. Right now, periodic emails are a great way to remind your customers that you’re being safe, clean, and respectful of COVID-19 precautions so they can be confident when doing business with you.
  • Search Results & Website Updates: When someone searches your business online, what comes up? Make sure your information is accurate if someone uses the search engine results page (SERP) to find your hours, contact info, or location. Additionally, make sure your website is updated to reflect any changes to your business.

Your Website as a Critical Communication Tool

A heavier lift, but one a lot of businesses have found to be a crucial adjustment, is to equip your website with new functionalities to accommodate eCommerce, chat, or simply more accessible information. 

Many businesses, like ski areas, have had to employ a third party to manage reservations or online purchases as in-person services become limited or eliminated.  

Online shopping, take-out, delivery, reservations, presales, customer service, safety concerns, business updates, periodic closures, and contact tracing are all services that have gone digital in a big way since the pandemic. 

In reality, even after we are able to get back to life as normal, these types of services and offerings will have also become normal, and customers will have come to expect them. 

Adopting new digital habits for customer communication today will serve you well in the long run. 

Beyond digital, there is a need to use print communications as well. For months, grocery stores have been using directional arrows in the aisles and floor guides to indicate six feet of distance. The more visual you can make an experience, especially when you are providing behavioral guidance during a pandemic, the easier you make things for your customers. 

Prominent displays of information, from your mask policy to your capacity restrictions, help set customer expectations and put everyone on the same page. 

Enhance your communications now, and your customers will have greater loyalty and evangelism for your brand well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Want some help implementing the right customer communication tools? Contact us today. 

Do Your Target Audience Research

You Don’t Really Know Your Target Audience Until You Ask the Right Questions

If you’re buying a gift for someone and want it to be something they’ll really like, you have to know at least a little bit about that person. And if you don’t know much about them, you likely would ask questions of someone who does.

Creating messaging that resonates with your target audience is really no different; however, we often skip the step of seeking out those important details about our personas.

Why is that?

While we have access to many tools and platforms (especially social media) that provide insight into target audience groups, there is far less emphasis on learning about our customers on a deeper level. Only research allows us to go beyond tools and platforms and truly understand our audience personas.

These 6 research tactics will help you get deeper insights into your target audience and empower you with the information you need to create robust content strategies that drive effective buyer journeys.

  1. Tap Into Their Challenges

If you sell a product, you know all about that product. And you want to tell prospective customers all about it, too.

But wait!

Your customers have real challenges they’re trying to solve, and they want to know how you can help solve their problems.

Maybe you sell software that makes a cumbersome process faster and more efficient. That may seem like a great value proposition, but your target customer wants to know how your product’s speed and efficiency can help them. They might be spending revenue on additional software they would no longer need with your solution. Or, perhaps they are having trouble hiring because of the system they currently use.

Be sure your messaging speaks directly to the problem your customer is trying to solve. Here are a few easy research tactics:

  • Ask existing customers for specifics on how your product has helped them. This step can be done using a survey or having your sales team reach out.
  • Include specific questions about business challenges on lead generation forms.
  • Leverage conversational marketing to identify specific challenges at the time leads visit your website or landing page.

90% of B2B marketers say the leading attribute of content marketing effectiveness is audience relevance. (Statista)

  1. Build Detailed and Robust Customer Personas

There’s irrefutable evidence that building personas, and mapping content to those personas and where they are in the buyer journey, generates results for businesses.

Customer personas today are far more detailed than ever before. It’s not enough just to know, for example, that your audience is largely made up of female owners of investment firms in New England.

Your personas should be specific to the individual so when you put content in front of them, it speaks directly to their situation. Even something as basic as knowing a user lives in Vermont versus New Hampshire can make a huge difference along their buyer journey.

Build your personas using the following criteria, and get as detailed as you can:

  • Give the persona a name and state their unmet need/business challenge.
  • Identify the action you want them to take based on that unmet need/business challenge.
  • Apply specific information to each persona based on the research you have conducted. This would typically include demographic and psychographic data, including personal preferences, behaviors, reactions to marketing activity, ethics, and buying mentality.
  • Analyze and segment your audience data so you can identify the trends that uniquely set each persona apart from another. Resources like Chambers of Commerce, industry and trade research, and even the Bureau of Labor and Statistics can provide validating or insightful data.

55% of marketers create content that is relevant to the buyer journey and/or ideal customer profiles. (Uberflip)

  1. Map Keywords to Your Target Audience

The way each of us search for information online could almost be considered a fingerprint of our individuality. If two users who own different travel agencies are searching for a specialized software solution, one might search “CRM for small travel agency” while the other might search, “easy booking software for travel business”.

If you understand that your target audience has business challenges that include managing customer relationships and cumbersome booking software, you can incorporate keywords that speak to those needs to ensure users find your content–and find it useful.

  1. Pay Attention to Feedback and Negative Reviews

It can be so easy to view negative reviews or undesirable feedback as an irritating side-effect of being in business. But the truth is, all feedback–negative or positive–is an opportunity to learn more about your customers’ experiences.

You should always respond to customer feedback, whether through your customer service line or on social media, and use that feedback to understand more about the situation and see how you can help. If a customer has a negative experience because of something that’s simple to correct, wouldn’t it be worth knowing about? A course correction that is relatively easy for your brand to make can mean the difference between retaining that customer (and providing a customer service experience they might tell others about) and losing that customer to a competitor (and sharing the negative story with others).

Suddenly, you’ve not only lost a customer, but you’ve lost potential business from anyone they talk to about their less-than-ideal experience.

However, strictly focusing on the customer feedback itself, you can use this information can help you in several key ways:

  • Learn more about the particular customer and their mindset, which can deeply inform that persona.
  • Identify gaps in your messaging based on whether their issue stemmed from a misunderstanding or confusion after engaging with your brand.
  • Discover trends among personas by assessing similar feedback, positive or negative feedback, or the type of persona providing the feedback. Then, you can be more strategic in how you message to those personas going forward.
  1. Hold an Event and/or Go Where Your Customers Are

Nothing brings customers together quite like a conference or networking event. It’s a veritable trove of opportunity to learn more about your target audience–and yet, many companies don’t prioritize hosting or attending industry events; and if they do, they often fail to execute marketing tactics that would provide more information about their audience personas.

During a pandemic, there are still opportunities to host virtual events, and even though they’re a bit different than in-person gatherings, you can provide a format that still allows you to engage with your audience and collect valuable information about them and their needs.

Whether virtual or (we hope very soon) in person, you’ll want to execute on the following:

  • Engage directly with customers by asking leading questions that delve into the information you need and want – their key business challenges, their current processes, and other information critical to building a persona.
  • Collect information from leads to ensure you can follow up with correspondence and a piece of content that demonstrates you understand their needs and can help solve their challenges.
  • View the opportunity as a long-term benefit to your business rather than trying to secure a single sale. The more you research your target audience, the better positioned you’ll be to drive greater business in the long run.
  1. Be Involved in Your Support Platform

If your company leverages a support platform, it’s a great place to learn more about your customers and fuel your target audience research. Share this information with other departments–support should not be done in a silo as it can provide critical data for sales and marketing.

Paying attention to your support platform could provide information about:

  • Which aspects of your solution or product matter most to your customers and why.
  • Where frustrations or confusion lie when using or implementing your solution or product.
  • What aspect of your solution or product provides the most value, and why.

It’s easy to use certain tools and have a social media presence and feel like you’ve adequately researched your audience. But in truth, there’s nothing more informative than speaking directly with customers to learn how they think, feel and act. Doing this type of boots-on-the-ground research will be far more effective for your business in the long run.

Want help with market research? Contact us!