Why Your Rebrand Didn't Work

One of the rituals of businesses trying to break through to the next level is the rebrand. I talk to a lot of Founders and I hear things like this, usually in a specific sequence:

"We've got a plan to really amp sales. We are doing a rebrand and are super excited. We think that's really going to bend the curve."

"We've hired a marketing firm to do a rebrand, it's a lot of money but they are really good."

"We spent a ton of money and effort on a rebrand. It looks great, but haven't really seen a bump in sales."

Not to pick on marketing and branding firms (a lot of them do great work), but unfortunately this is all too common an experience.

I believe branding is really important. But too often when sales start to level off or decline, rebranding is seen as a silver bullet boost sales. If you update the look and feel, if you have a catchy new tag line,  you will be inevitably be showered with customers.

So you pay a good chunk of money. You get a beautiful new logo, color scheme, tag line and web site. You get lots of pats on the back, but no lift. No ROI.

Spending more money and effort to get the same amount sales is not a good feeling.

What gives?

In my experience there are three issues that keep rebranding efforts from creating the desired impact:

1. Not marketing and selling from a solid foundation
Marketing will not succeed if it's not working from the foundation of Ruthless Clarity on:

  • Clear picture of the 3 levels of customer pain (direct, business, existential)
  • Clear understanding of how you solve the customer's pain
  • Customer avatar with clear catalyst to buy
  • Thoroughly mapped out customer journey from awareness to repeat purchase

Without this foundation, you won't brand will not have the impact you want. Think of this foundation as a critical pre-branding exercise.

2. Not understanding that brand is behavior
There is a misconception that branding is the aesthetic and tag line of your company. But the reality is your brand is your behaviors.

Your brand is the way you think about the world,  how you market and sell, deliver for customers, and make impact.

Your brand is likely NOT the reason your sales have plateaued, it's that your behaviors haven't actually changed. If you don't:

  • Make hard choices to focus on your ideal customers.
  • Make it Ruthlessly Simple for customers to see how you solve their pain.
  • Meet customers where they are and talk about their problems.
  • Create a clear path for them to find you and become customers.

If your behaviors aren't changing, updating your fonts, logos and color schemes won't move the needle.

Too often rebrands are activity that don't translate into meaningful action. And without meaningful action, you won't see sales improve.

3. Not emphasizing outbound sales
I may be starting to sound like a broken record on this. Especially in B2B, marketing is only as effective as the outbound sales effort. There's no getting around it. If you want to grow predictably -  you need to have a robust outbound sale effort.

Effective outbound sales requires you to learn how to quickly create relationships and communicate your value. If you can succeed in outbound sales, your marketing will also become that much more more effective.

PS Are You Ready to Break Through Your Current Sales Plateau? Let's talk. I've got just a couple of spots open for my Customer Flywheel Intensives.  Schedule here.

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Steve August
March 4, 2022