It’s a common theme for entrepreneurs to spend an immense amount of time – and even money! – on their first website, only to forget about it as the business picks up. This can actually become detrimental to the digital health and searchability of the business. Think of your website as a living, breathing plant — it continually needs water and sun if you want it to grow your brand. When considering a rebrand, it is absolutely imperative that you plan to revamp and optimize your company website.
Websites Have a Shelf Life
Your website is the digital storefront for your entire brand, often serving as the first touchpoint for your potential customers. The backend of your site should be easily accessible to layman users to make it easy to update key points of your business. (e.g. hours of business, new phone numbers, etc.) Unfortunately, due to the perceived complex nature of a site, business owners can become too intimidated make these necessary changes. If this is the case, we can almost guarantee you need a new website. There are dozens of professional website and content management platforms designed for users with absolutely no prior design experience.
Focus on the User Experience
It’s no secret that online users’ attention spans have grown shorter and shorter over the years. In an effort to keep readers engaged and moving through your website, you’ll need to evaluate the user experience (UX). How many tabs or menu items does the visitor have to click through to get to the information the need? Does your website function well on mobile devices? Can the user quickly find contact info? It can be tempting to use flashy videos or photos, but always remember that the user’s journey should be simple and easy.
Don’t Forget About Copy
Web copy should be just as streamlined as the design experience, written in short succinct sentences that briefly outline your offerings with plenty of calls-to-action (CTAs). As you’re evaluating your current website, read through every single line of website verbiage. You may be surprised at how much your brand language has changed. Consider your SEO strategy (or lack of strategy), and how you can fix that with content adjustments and ongoing contributions.
A subpar online presence will negatively affect your business in a variety of ways. As you’re considering a rebrand, your website redesign should be the centerpiece of your marketing efforts.
Consistency in your brand messaging is key in communicating your core offerings. Even if you’ve defined your unique value proposition, this won’t be clear to your target audiences if your marketing materials don’t reflect it. As you’re evaluating your need for a rebrand, gather every piece of marketing you use or have used, and prepare to take a close look at each item.
Start with Your Logo
A business’s logo is the cornerstone of the brand, the starting point in creating that instant recognition among your target audience. However, the design process can cost quite a bit of time and money — two things budding entrepreneurs find are in short supply. Think about how you would do your logo today, knowing what you do now about branding. Now think about how you could put those ideas in place to give it an updated look. Remember, a rebrand doesn’t mean trashing your logo. Simple font and color hue adjustments can make a big impact.
Move on to the Marketing Collateral
Up-to-date marketing materials are important for every business, regardless of whether or not sales are involved in the day-to-day success of the venture. Gather up all of your collateral – brochures, pitch decks, direct mail – and review the messaging and overall design. Are they communicating the brand effectively? Is the message the same across each marketing piece? Does it have the correct address and contact information? It helps to sit down with all materials at once to get a top-level view of your marketing program.
Finish with a Complete Audit of All the Rest
A marketing collateral audit doesn’t only refer to sales materials; take a look at every item that contains your company name or logo. This includes items like business cards, pens, signage, stationary and envelopes. You might be surprised with just how many outlets your brand touches! Not only should you look over everything for accuracy, but also think about necessity. For example, branded USB drives were all the rage 10 years ago, but today this will make you look outdated.
After conducting your audit of all marketing materials, you’ll probably be surprised at just how much your business has evolved since its startup days. Still don’t know whether or not you need a rebrand? Take our quiz!
Brands grow and change over time, morphing from the humble beginnings of an early stage startup to a full-fledged business. You’re proud of your success story, but how well are you sharing it with others?
From subtle changes in your core offerings to complete shifts in products and leadership, a rebrand will let your customers and network know who you are today as opposed to who you were before.
If you’re unsure whether or not your brand could use a refresh, fear not! We have put together a quick quiz to help you think about the different aspects of your business to assess whether a rebrand would be beneficial.
1. Do you have a clear target audience?
You may have known who your customers were when you launched, but now it’s just….everyone?
2. Is your brand consistent across all channels?
Think about whether or not someone who looks at your website will have the exact same impression as someone who is holding your business card.
3. Has your brand changed over time?
This can mean a shift in product offerings, culture or even leadership.
4. Does your brand look attractive to potential recruits?
Consider how you’re attracting top talent to keep your business growing.
5. Have you updated your marketing materials?
Take a look at all of your marketing materials, starting with your logo.
5. Is your website working for you?
Ask yourself whether your website is an asset or a liability.
Congratulations! Your brand is in great shape, demonstrating all of your core values and offerings to the appropriate target audiences. Have you thought about how to expand your reach even further? Check out a few suggestions on how to boost your email marketing campaigns or launch a social media ad campaign.
You already know what we’re going to say. You might have spent $10,000 on a website eight years ago, and now you’re afraid to touch it. Maybe you have your 18-year-old niece making “graphics” for social media that aren’t quite aligned with your messaging. No matter what your reasoning, it’s never too late to refresh your image. Stay tuned to the Fetch blog for our series on how to make your brand work for you.