The Business of Rebranding in 2018; Is it Time?


Picture of company employees mapping out the process of their business re-branding plans.
Mapping Out our Business Rebranding; The Competitive Edge

 

As the title of this article implies, the question of if and when to rebrand out business entity looms large. Do you love your current business brand? Is your business flourishing, evolving, growing consistently? Today, I want to share with you ways in which we need to focus on our business entity and how rebranding can play a significant role in the sustained health of our business in 2018 and beyond.

Targeted Market Engagement

Over time, you may begin to notice subtle, or not-so-subtle changes in the level of your targeted market’s engagement in your business. Perhaps they are becoming less interested in what you have to offer, disengaged and tending to shop around more, connect in a more responsive way to your competitors. Is it all about price point, quality, less responsive to changing needs? It can be any of these issues and more.

Sometimes our customer’s perceptions of our company may change and at times not in a positive light. You should always anticipate changes in your competitor market and brand orientation as well. Let’s face it, if we and our competitors have done our homework, we know that we must always be acutely mindful of what we and our competitors are offering right out of the gate as a new startup and how we (and they) evolve over time.

Brand orientation and change can be hugely challenging and we need to refocus consistently on a changing, evolving marketplace and the model of our competitor branding. Do you have an edge in your industry, a unique product or service line that no competitor is offering? This is perhaps your most significant question as a business entity now and moving forward.

Is your business model and what it has to offer still fresh and offering great and essential customer solutions. That value cannot be understated. Our marketplace is ever-changing as are our potential and existing targeted market dynamics. Are we merely maintaining status quo with lackluster or are we consistently moving forward to meet changing customer needs head on? If we’re not doing so, it is more than likely time to shake things up and bear new fruit for a uniquely diverse range of products and/or services.

Is it time for a change, time to rebrand your business model, how it functions and distinguishes as unique and vital in an ever-changing marketplace? Is it time to infuse a new vision moving forward through a carefully conceived, designed and orchestrated design and rebuild process? These are heady questions and pose a considerable challenge for many companies. The anxiety of the very thought of ‘change’, by our very humanistic nature, imposes both positive and negative anticipation.

If your business is lagging, faltering, scaling in a downward direction with revenue expectations consistently diminishing, then the only option is to implement change. If your current approach to your business and how you reach and engage your targeted market is just not working, it’s time for a change, time to look seriously at rebranding.

I share the very same anxieties that any business owner or manager will face in the process of change; potential disconnect with our current clientele, an uneducated leap forward that may cause more harm than good. What if our new look and feel is a jumbled mess that our targeted market simply cannot relate to? Still, the even bigger and more important question should be: “what will happen to our business if we just lay back and wait and see”? That is a dangerous position to take for any business entity that is struggling and on the verge of failing. Complacency is another nail in the coffin.

Your fears about changing your business brand, its very platform, are real yet all you need do is look to the many successful corporate entities today who have gone through the same over the life of their brand, sometimes a multiple of times, who, with carefully researched analysis and planning, have overcome their adversities to move forward in a thriving revenue position, growing consistently through their perseverance.

Oftentimes, brand changes do not necessarily have to be major in scope. Sometimes it can simply entail the presentation of your product or service in a more pleasing, attractive manner, shedding competitive light on the enjoyment and benefits of what you have to ofter. We live in a solutions-oriented marketplace today where people want information fast and to the point that packs a commanding, engaging and compelling message that tells the consumer that you and your company, product or service solutions are the right fit for what they want and need.

Stay current with consumer needs. Recognize new consumer demographics with careful market research on how best to reach your best potential targeted market. Make it as easy as possible for them to find you through a highly visible website in terms of search engine visibility. Know current search engine optimization techniques (SEO) in keeping with ongoing algorithmic changes implemented by the major search engines, especially Google. You cannot wing it when it comes to website and marketing visibility.

Dispelling Product or Service Negatives

When marketing your product or services, make sure that you are acutely aware of and sensitive to any negative perceptions in the marketplace about specific aspects of what you, and your industry, offer. Such consumer sensitivities can have a significant impact on your consumer experience. Are their environmental concerns, ethical questions of product development, aesthetic appearance questions or public perception issues with a consumer’s association with your brand? Such issues can quickly become the difference between an excited, devoted customer to one who quickly looks to competitors for a more palatable solution for their needs.

Product or Services Diversification

This issue is two-sided and dimensional in nature. Trending thoughts on what a business entity offers have evolved over time. Not that long ago, the popular consensus was that we, as business enterprises, should be highly focused on one specific brand and related services. The whole thought process on that perspective was that if we were to offer too many types of our product and/or services lines, the consumer may question our level of actual expertise when addressing their problems or needs.

More recently, the growing consensus has been the lean toward a more expanded dimension of product lines and service levels, thusly satisfying a larger market, a one-stop-shop as it were, much as the benefits of the large shopping mall have been touted vs, the local corner store or strip mall/plaza.

As time-consuming as staying current with current market trends can be, market research on an ongoing basis is essential for a healthy, sustained and growing market revenue share. For the sole proprietor, extending one’s self to that higher level of market awareness is never easy. Many small business entrepreneurs often struggle along on their own devices in the hopes of somehow nailing it ad-hoc while their competitors, who are able to invest in the human resources necessary, sail ahead with a positive growth experience simply through being better informed of what the marketplace wants and demands.

We cannot be the little corner store barbershop that operates with a solitary human being providing the same old, same old to a fixed number of devoted customers and thrive perpetually; that is simply not realistic thinking in today’s marketplace.

Be Innovative, Take a Stand, And Stand Out!

If ever there was a time to grasp new and ever-evolving dynamics in the marketplace and business community, it is NOW! Some of the largest corporate conglomerates of today found out, sometimes the hard way, that we need to sit up straight and pay attention to a diverse and ever-changing consumer and marketplace or be left sitting at the curb with nowhere to go.

The name of the game today is to offer diversification and distinctively unique, exceptional products and services that our competitors simply have not or cannot offer to our huge and mutual consumers in waiting. It’s not just about satisfying a need or want; it goes way beyond that finite spectrum of consumer focus. The marketplace of today leaps at their purchases with emotional response and they are looking for what quickly grabs their attention, fits their solution-centric focus in the moment and turns their emotional crank up a notch every single time!

Standing out with products and/or services that are unique, brilliant in their conception, design, and delivery are essential factors for many in the marketplace today. Have we recognized and adjusted to the consumer’s own changing lifestyle dynamics and not only what they need in the current day but whether that product or service will satisfy their evolving solution-hungry wants and needs moving forward? It’s just not good enough anymore to simply run a supply and demand product line or service that won’t address an already changing marketplace need.

What we have to offer at any given time and place must be significant and diverse, standout and standalone in many respects. What we offer needs to speak to the people, and the more connected our business offerings are to significant community issues, the more closely connected the consumer will be. “Hey, this company has a conscience. They are making a statement and willing to stand out as an exception. I like this company’s values and their overall focus on their customers, now and moving forward. This is the kind of brand I can identify with in a positive way. They know us, understand us, want to reflect that awareness through what they offer us.” Just look at huge corporates like the McDonald’s food chain. Public outcry over what was or was not healthy and socially conscious became an enormous issue for them to address head-on or face serious repercussions from a wavering consumer at large; even the mighty fall…and fall hard.

Functionality, Relatability & Engagement

So much has been said over the past few years in terms of the consumer’s perception of a business entity; how we present ourselves, our vision and focus, our very product by design and customer delivery. Consumers of today are acutely aware of their own perspective on life and its living and they want to associate and do business with companies who share their perspective.

Be ever-conscious of the quickly changing demographics of the consumer and their product needs and objectives. Don’t distract them with a huge volume of web data that they really could care less about nor have any time pouring over. In your web content be concise, honest and straight to the point. Tell them what you have to offer, how it addresses their specific problems, needs and wants, and move them quickly to the means to connect with you whether in digital contact format or via phone, email or text. Don’t waste their time with superfluous fluff that is useless collateral and does not drive them quickly to where they want to go; their destination is the shortest and most direct route and through a clean, concise overview that speaks volumes to them in few words to the conclusion that “yes, this is exactly what I want”.

Any business entity that has a business model bent on deceit or slurry marketing jargon that aims to mislead or hustle the consumer into an unclear, murky decision to purchase has no place in today’s marketplace and the savvy consumer recognizes BS in a heartbeat. People relate to what they truly believe in and care about in life, personally and professionally; anything less is not worth their time nor attention and certainly not their investment.

At the time of this writing, Lasting Impressions Editing is undergoing a degree of rebranding and that will include considerations for a somewhat modified, expanded service line. To that end, our website is currently undergoing an exciting redesign over the next few weeks so stay tuned for updates in our newsletter (have you subscribed?) as we move forward with renewed vision and focus on our core customer services! We look to the future with excitement and optimism!

May 2018 be an outstanding year for each and every one of you. My best always,

 

Don MacIver, Owner, Editor, Writer

Lasting Impressions Editing

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© Lasting Impressions Editing 2018

Do I Really Need a Website & Blog for Business Marketing in 2017?


screenshot-donmaciverediting.wordpress.com , Blog on Website and Blog Importance-2017-10-02-18-12-01-006

WEBSITES & THEIR IMPORTANCE

  • The Lifeblood of Commerce: It has been long-established that small business entities continue to be the living, breathing life force of local, regional, provincial or state and national economies. Small business accounts for in excess of one-half of a country’s employment, a reciprocal value in terms of national sales revenues. Those very same small businesses are the force that builds and sustains communities across nations. There has been a substantial increase of self-employment startups nationally, a key indicator of economics-driven commerce yet to come.
  • Business Dependence on the Web: Small business enterprises have, over time, become increasingly dependent on the internet through their website marketing. Stores and new apps development is an integral part of the online equation. This total web dependence clearly illustrates the unquestionable importance and value placed on a website today. Nearly 100% of all small business revenue is now derived directly or indirectly through the internet medium. With the advent of e-commerce apps, the direct revenue stream through online and even inter-website apps has afforded business entrepreneurs that fully independent operational status all the more clearly and effectively.
  • Virtual Services-Based Business Delivery: Since websites became essentially a fully independent and functioning entity, especially where a business is service-based and has no physical product retail or walk-in customer services requirements, the totality of the independent online business has further become a reality. There is a host of cost and logistical savings factors which make online business ventures so appealing.
  • Industry Disruption: The onslaught of online business entities has had a significant and growing impact on the industries they are attached to. The means to remain competitive for non-internet based companies has been a tremendous issue for industry proponents to deal with. On the negative side, staffing is downsized dramatically, thereby creating challenges for those individuals displaced by the new business realities of today.
  • Consumer Value: A website is an essential part of doing business for today’s business entity whether a small startup or a large corporation. The benefits are many for not only the business but also for potential customers or clients who are searching for what a business has to offer. Immediate access to a business online around the clock has become an increasing aspect of a host of consumer demands as a viable services contender.
  • Website Functions: A website incorporates relevant product and/or services information platforms and serves as a marketing strategies vehicle. The business website is the ‘hub’ of all online marketing and advertising traffic channeling and backlinking.
  • The Website Advantage: Websites are a cost-effective means to get the business’ story out to the masses through a medium that is always accessible online where potential customers can browse at their own preferred time of day or night. Today, with technological advances, potential customers can access the internet even when they are out and about over the course of their day through any public location which has Wi-Fi internet services; coffee shops, cafes, libraries, even outdoor parks. Mobile phones are now a major mode of internet access even to the extent of requiring major web design considerations to accommodate the greatly reduced dimensions of the viewing screen.
  • Online Customer Testimonials: Customer/client testimonials on websites are a solid trust-building way to gain a potential new customer/client’s confidence in contacting the business owner to find out more.
  • Expanded Market Reach and Share: Websites affords a business greatly expanded, global customer reach beyond only local customer potential. The more potential customers that a business can reach online, the greater their capacity for increased sales volume through scale.

 BLOGS & CONTENT MARKETING

  • Customer Reach through Marketing Strategy: Affords visitors brand exposure and recognition through personalized content that is informative, entertaining and meaningful. The blog should be designed to provide content and perspective that will be of interest to the blog writer/company and the potential customer or client.
  • Brand Exposure and Recognition: The business owner can establish their own brand voice and personality through blogging. This aspect of marketing strategy is priceless as it builds trust and gains a business invaluable traction in terms of positive engagement of targeted customers.
  • Social & Pro Media Outreach: Share original content to social and professional media platforms through linking back to the original article (website) location. From there, the blog content can also link to other relevant blog content as a means to further enhance the visitor experience. Linking to other pages on the website which further support the blog topic is even further value-added engagement for blog readers.
  • Importance of a Blog: Is a blog really that necessary for a business? The main challenge is the time factor involved in effective research and writing of effective blog content, especially for a sole proprietor who does not have the staff to delegate this task to. Writing skills are a critical aspect of blogging. Can you effectively reach out and communicate in a way that informs and develops interest and the desire to find out more, to become a customer or client? The short answer to this question a resounding yes! A business blog attached to the business website is an essential component of the content marketing strategy as the singular vehicle to convey product and/or services essentials to a carefully targeted online audience.
  • Effective Blog Functionality and Purpose: Whether a small business startup or a large corporation, a blog is a website and business essential that establishes a level of authority or expertise and provides visitors and subscribers with valuable and readily usable information relative to the business’ products or services. A blog is an essential element of online marketing strategy.
  • An essential point of destination for visitors through the marketing funnel process, thereby channeling increased traffic to a business website.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Through effective blog content search engine optimization, including headings optimization, there is an opportunity for enhanced visitor engagement to attract new customers and increase conversion to sales.
  • Effective blog SEO helps to increase search engine page ranking and positioning in search engine results pages (SERP’s).
  • Lead Generation and Sales Conversion: A powerful tool for developing company brand recognition, lead generation, and sales conversions.
  • Provides an opportunity for potential and existing client relationship building through their engagement and interactive processes.
  • The Sales Funnel: Link back to your business website by linking your blog posts to all social and professional media platforms.
  • Add blog subscribing for convenience to your followers and also to establish a mailing list.
  • Blog content SEO helps increase exposure and interest through search engine results page listings.
  • Search Indexing and Site Visibility: The greater the amount of quality, informative and useful information a blog has, the greater the amount of indexing and search visibility your blog will generate and in turn the greater the amount of organic site traffic back to your website.
  • Blog Frequency: It is essential to update your blog with new articles on a consistent, scheduled basis. Subscribers come to anticipate new blog posts with regularity and a blog can help build brand loyalty through that ongoing informational connection that many subscribers grow to depend on.
  • Return on Investment: Businesses have done research on Return on Investment (ROI) from the blogging process and have found a conclusive and direct correlation of increased customer business activity in the way of purchases when quality blogging resources are consistently available and shared to its awaiting readership.
  • Inbound Link Generation: Online content marketing is a powerful way to attract quality, authoritative backlinking by industry professionals who develop an appreciation for a business’ blogging initiatives. Such inbound links is a key element of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This type of ‘referral traffic’ back to your website is invaluable in terms of increased web traffic and the trust and confidence visitors will have upon arrival to your site; they are warmer prospects for doing business with.
  • Long Tail Search Queries: Blog titles are automatically incorporated as an extension of your blog page URL (web address) which provides an immediate identification of a blog’s content for those using long tail search terms or ‘semantic’ queries as is increasingly popular today.
  • Increased Leads: Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between blog post length and lead generation. The more value-added a blog article is, the greater the perceived value to the prospective or targeted market that engages with those articles and in turn the greater the business activity that ensues.
  • Valuable Engagement and Conversation: Because blogs include the ‘Comment’ feature for readers, those comments, in turn, provide an opportunity for the business owner/writer to engage directly with each individual who is commenting. That is a powerful form of consumer engagement that is not found anywhere is in business marketing. That engagement further develops trust and confidence in the consumer and furthers the sales funnel process toward a decision to buy.
  • Content Freshness: Google loves fresh, highly informative content. This is the basis for their overall page/website ranking formula. The greater the search engine’s perceived value of the blog and site content to the benefit of the consumer, the better the page ranking and search engine results page positioning a blog and/or website will have.
  • Brand Differentiation: The whole name of the game on the internet today is how companies represent their brand in a way that differentiates or elevates them as a distinctive and better choice for the consumer. Through the production of original and highly meaningful, usable content, a business will realize increased search query traffic, prospective customer recognition, and trust and ultimately increased sales. There is a level of intrinsic value placed upon linking to authority content of other professional websites, however, to infuse highly topical, trending and informative, immediately useful information through blog content publication has value second to none.

 Connect with Customer Focus & Inclusion

In the final diagnosis and perspective, it is clear that the website and blog both have their equal and deserving prominence as essential tools in the business marketing process. From a new business startup and small business perspective, those two elements are the most effective means of audience connection and meaningful dialogue.

Above all else, remember that the current trend in business marketing today is to STOP the long-standing marketing approach of “Buy me, Buy me, and yet again buy me”. Our potential customers are sick and tired of blatant and unrelenting in-their-face selling. Our potential customers will NOT be treated like ‘targets’ and ‘prospects’ to be pushed or manipulated into a purchase.

Treating our audience with the respect and appreciation that they deserve is our first and ongoing priority. Let’s remember that we need to gain their respect and maintain that respectful confidence on an ongoing basis; after all, the life of a business is dependent on customer satisfaction and loyalty of repeat business.

The most significant burgeoning trend also addresses the matter of customer interaction. Talk to your ongoing and potential customers. Gain friendship and comfortable interaction. Show them through demonstration that you have the answers, the ‘solution’ to their problem through your product or services. AND, show them why they should pick you over all your competitors, why your solutions are better for their needs. Differential yourselves as exceptional with what you offer; don’t just say it, say why!

Marketing Content

Before you take your pitch live, remember to do extensive on and offline research. Study your website analytics data carefully; know your targeted market’s likes, dislikes, and needs, understand their problem and be absolutely sure of the ‘distinctive’ solution(s) that you offer to their problem. The next marketing solution is to present your product or services solutions as they are most relevant to your awaiting market.

Personalization is all over the internet at the moment as a key element of the sales equation. Take that time to know and understand the problems that your prospective consumer is faced with and you are already halfway to the solutions. Skip the preliminary research and understanding at your company’s peril.

Inflection of the Human Touch

Above all else, friends, in order to effectively connect with your marketing audience, shape your marketing content in a personal, human conversational format that truly speaks to your audience. Inject some humor into it! As long as you effectively deliver your message, why not put a smile on their face. That kind of emotional personal response is worth gold to any business owner and marketer and for the potential customer that feeling is the first step towards trust and a comfort level that says “let’s do business”!

 

LinkedIn, Marketing Quote, Jay Baer

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