What small business owners can learn from the Google rebrand

Kate Jones
@kateljnes

Google unveiled its new logo this month and though barely perceptible to some, the news made headlines around the world. It’s part of a radical rebrand credited with increasing the tech giant’s shares by 7 per cent.

Overhauling a company’s image takes more than designing a new logo. Brand experts say it can take months of planning to execute a successful revamp.

Most businesses rebrand to reposition themselves in their market or to preserve a stake in their market. However, many small business owners don’t know where to get started, says Peter Engelhardt from marketing agency Creative Brew.

“I’ve dealt with a lot of small businesses, and they don’t understand branding or rebranding,” he says.

“They may think it’s about the colours in the logo, and while that comes into it, it’s often the last step.”

Here are Engelhardt’s top five tips to get started on a successful rebrand.

Positioning

Consider your organisation’s position in the market and how it needs to change. A rebrand should take aim at this new territory, says Engelhardt.

“Taking a new position in the market means you have to think about where your business can specialise,” he says.

“Consider things like which keywords you’re using.”

Know your competition

No rebrand is complete without researching what market rivals are offering, Engelhardt says.

“Really assess what your competitors are up to, because you might be able to leverage yourself on something they don’t do,” he says.

“This might be as simple as a money-back guarantee.”

Most companies are good at talking about what they do or sell, but aren’t good at talking about what problems they can solve.

Assess value

A primary purpose of a new brand is to advertise the value your business provides to customers.

“Most companies are good at talking about what they do or sell, but aren’t good at talking about what problems they can solve,” he says.

“They’ve got to switch that and work out what value they offer the customer. Consider changing the logo and put a strap with that message underneath.”

Simplify

Less is more when it comes to revamping your company’s brand. Consider measures such as cutting back the content on your website and simplifying your company’s mission statement.

Know your ideal customer

Updating your brand may require revising your target market. Match your rebrand to your ideal customer and be aware of their tech-savvy standards.

“Work out what sort of personality your company wants to project,” Engelhardt says.

“Customers are very choosey – very aware – and they go online for a slick, simple experience.”

Kate Jones

Kate Jones writes for the business and money sections of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. She also writes for The New Daily, TAC, RMIT and is a news writing tutor at Monash University.

Image: Derek Finch, Flickr Creative Commons license

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