I’ve been telling you already in my first blog post that we are not dealing with the typical young entrepreneur here…This startup has a leader that cannot stand still for too long and needs changes in order to evolve. So he approached me and said he has an amazing idea but he needs to make sure people understand it. The first thing I thought was: he needs a startup rebranding strategy. It might sound big for a startup, but that’s exactly what it is.
Do you think rebranding is scary? Think twice.
Of course the process becomes much more complicated and complex in their case but hey, when having a startup, it’s not rocket science. You need to deal with a much smaller audience, inform a lot less stakeholders, and write less content. If you ask me, change is inevitable, no matter how big or small your business is. How you handle it though, that’s something that differentiates you from your competitors. Asking Robbert, he says “If you, as a startup owner, stick to the same ideas since the beginning of your project, that means something is wrong. You’re stagnating. Maybe you shouldn’t even be an entrepreneur”. So according to him, it is vital to have a head that’s exploding of fascinating ideas that can change your current brand. And by change, he means improve. When talking about big companies such as Starbucks for example, they need to revitalize their brand; When referring to startups, they need to stand out. Do not be afraid to keep on working on your initial idea and add to it continuously. The fact that you own a startup and not Starbucks is a major advantage in this case. A startup rebranding strategy doesn’t involve major investments, a costly agency, a long implementation phase, and dealing with internal audiences (thousands of employees for example).
So what do you need to do when you know that changing the concept of your startup is going to be necessary sooner or later as you are bursting with ideas?
- Truly understand why you make the change
If you find it hard to fit your brand into a distinct position, then your idea is still blurry and that’s the point when you should stop and reconsider. Your long term vision of your strategy might get distorted.
After Robbert informed me that his new concept, LIVE, is going to basically replace Groovidi, I suggested that the whole team sits down over a nice cup of coffee, and organize the big shift he wants to make. We described our current situation, identified what components needed change and what we expect to achieve with the change. What I found out was that LIVE is actually rooted in the same concept as Groovidi, only it is going to target a much bigger audience and will satisfy much more of the consumers’ needs (since Groovidi’s issue was the niche market and limited audience).
- Improve your brand positioning
After you settle on a concept, start collecting ideas of how you can transmit and communicate it to your public. Make quick mockups, brainstorm and come up with unique selling points. Check out your new competition. A rebranding strategy for your startup should communicate clearly what it stands for and what are its core values.
Applied to Groovidi, we started browsing for competition and trying to find out how they position themselves, what are their USPs, what are they putting their emphasis on, and what is their mission and vision. Knowing what our competition is up to helped us identify gaps that we can concentrate on. A good startup rebranding strategy begins with solid research.
- Focus on your brand culture
Even though a startup doesn’t exactly have the exact number of employees as Nike, it doesn’t mean that there is no culture within the organization. Whether we are talking about 3 or 15 people, they need to understand the brand that they are part of and what it stands for. Your brand needs to be understood first of all internally, then make it known to external stakeholders.
At Groovidi, the team thought that a visual rebrand can also add to our startup rebranding strategy. The logo and name were changed and the results definitely led to enthusiasm in the team and a positive culture change.
- Let the world know of your change and success
I am going to make a reference to my previous blog post and say that communication is key in the startup rebranding strategy as well. Open communication with your public is especially important now to your business as you need to make sure that they understand what you’re going through. Don’t be afraid of judgement. The loyal ones will stick with you no matter what. Your job is to make the change clear and exciting for them. And in the end, the point is to get even more followers and appreciation.
Groovidi needs to start communicating the changes that it’s going through by picking the right channels. Twitter, facebook and the website itself are the best tools in our case. It is also important to let your audience know of what other think about your rebranding. And by others, I don’t mean your mother, I mean investors, stakeholders, shareholders, people that actually matter to your business. Share their appreciation or any closed deals you’ve had some far, as that is some nice proof that you’re on the right track. This is an interesting article that gives precious advice.
Change is good. Don’t stay for too long in your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of failure, because it can only lead to good things: gaining experience. So don’t forget, understand the core need of making the change, improve your brand positions, don’t ignore your brand culture, and share the good news with the world. Voila, the simplest startup rebranding strategy. Make is easy and unique.
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