Why and How to Rebrand

Your brand is what people say when you leave the room. – Jeff Bezos

Your brand is your reputation. Branding positions you. Marketing brings the two together to share an effective story. 

But … what do you do when it’s just not working? You’ve been around for decades, people know your brand, they know what to expect; they get you. But it just doesn’t feel right. It isn’t growing. It feels like somewhere along the road, it’s become something different.

Like life, brands grow.

Eventually, pants won’t fit. When this happens, a church typically decides to take one of the following courses of action:

  • Stay the course.
  • Fix it now.
  • Fix it later.

The problem is, none of these options work. If you stay the course, you are hoping that whatever you did in the past will carry you into the future. But hope is not a strategy. If you fix it now, then you run the risk of rushing the process, ostracizing history and failing to create ownership over a new solution. Fixing it later isn’t a solution, but rather a guaranteed slow death. Life is growth, and waiting until the last minute to get things done only gives you a minute to live.

“Then what do I do if I know I need to do something, but have no idea how to do it?”

If you are a church that is in this place, take a breath.

We’ve been there before. In fact, we’ve been there the past few months. We’ve had this amazing brand for almost four years now. As it’s grown and morphed, we’ve narrowed our focuses of services and figured out who our perfect client is. We’ve stopped taking on basic design clients and moved into our expertise of web services, marketing, brand management, and coaching. It’s what we are really good at, and it’s why most of our clients come back for more.

Over this same period of time, we realized like a lot of you have realized for yourselves, that who you are today is not who you were years ago. From the scope of services to the look and feel of your brand; everything. The pants no longer fit.

Knowing who you are is a great place to be in. 

Two months ago we made a mistake. We should have known better. We teach and preach these things, but sometimes the things we know we ought to do are the things we forget first. You see, we rebranded our logo better reflect who we are and where we are going. We thought we killed it. We thought it reflected us. We thought it toed the line and made people want to lean in.

We were wrong.

We created a brand that just didn’t make sense. Sure, we got it. But we are not the ones who matter. Yes, you need to be happy with where you are and how you are being presented, but in the end, you need to be memorable to your audience … for all the right reasons.

We were really wrong.

What we thought was the new us, was at best confusing and at worst, just plain bad. And you know what? We are going to own it. We’re also going to share with you the mistakes we made and how you can avoid being wrong when rebranding your church.

Before you start this project, remember: 

  • You are rebranding your look, not your history.
  • You need to build ownership in the design process, not after the fact.
  • You need to test the prototype on your audience before you launch.

When we decided to brand, we knew how to rebrand. We can do that stuff in our sleep. But for a short moment in time, we forget why we needed to rebrand: to create a more compelling story for our audience to engage with. We made a crucial mistake by not understanding our audience, and thus set the train off the tracks from the beginning.

How to Rebrand in Five Simple Steps

Understand + Sketch + Decide + Share + Own = Success

  • Understand: Your mission, your history, your audience, and your future.
  • Sketch it out: Start with the end in mind, but know there are multiple steps from concept to validation.
  • Decide on a path forward: Select a single path forward to create a final solution.
  • Share it with your audience: Receive criticism and either move forward or sketch again.
  • Own it: If your efforts are validated by your audience, then you can transfer ownership from a select few (team) to the masses (your engaged target audience).

We made mistakes. But we righted the ship. 

We stopped. We listened. We made a change.

It didn’t matter that we thought our rebranding concept was great, because our audience thought is confusing. That’s it; that’s all we needed to hear. So we stopped the full rollout of our new brand and went back to the sketching process. We listened to critical insight form a select few in our audience. We refined the concept until people got excited and our team was proud. Now we have a brand that is eternal. It stands alone. It’s fun, articulate, and defined. Bottom line: it’s us.

No one can be you but you. 

Listen to our story and create a better one for yourselves. See where we were when we started in 2014, where we went wrong in mid 2017, and where we got it right in November 2017. We know who we are and where we are going. If you know the same about you, there is no height you cannot reach.

1 Comment

  1. […] Does it mean it’s too late to change?  […]

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