Tune in to the most recent episode of the Church Butler Podcast where in today’s episode we are discussing the 6 reasons to rebrand and what this means for your church or business.
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So welcome today. It is Friday. It’s time for another Church Butler Lunch and Learn. My name is Kenny Jahng. Thank you so much for joining me. These have been fun. This whole series of lunch and learns. I’m getting the ideas from you for messaging me, direct messaging me, sending in emails, posting stuff onto our boards here. This is something that we want to serve you as much as possible directly, so we want real life questions, real life examples. This is a call, a shout out. If you have a question, if you have a conundrum, if you have any decision point coming up for your team in terms of social media in particular, or just general digital communications, please let me know what it is because I can usually help bring in other experts or other peers that have gone through that process already and we can hear a little bit about what they’re thinking as they go through the process so that you’re better equipped to make those decisions as you face them.
So today, one of the things I wanted to do is I wanted to share a conversation I had two times this week. One was through a Facebook thread and a discussion forum. Another one was offline with a coaching client and the question came up in terms of when is the right time to rebrand. Now, there’s some popular wisdom out there that basically says the time to rebrand is you should wait every seven to 10 years at the most. You shouldn’t really look at rebranding more often than that. You’re seeing the rebranding happen on a regular basis for larger brands. Some of them are minor updates, like how Google has evolved their Google logo and brand identity mark over the years. Some have evolved like Dunkin Donuts has gone to Dunkin as they’ve gone further. There’ve been legacy brands that you’ve seen gone through changes as their organizations have grown, right?
Boston Chicken is a great example. They got to the market and the quickly went sideways in terms of their product offering to meatloaf and turkey and other things, so they could be called Boston chicken anymore, so they went to Boston Market. Why do you do these brand changes? How do you do them? All those things. There’s sometimes confusion as to what to do. My response recently in one of the threads has been that, you shouldn’t think of rebranding from a calendar perspective. That’s actually not the best way to do it. You know why? Because your consumers, your audience is not thinking about your brand and say, “Oh, it’s been six and a half years. It’s time for them to rebrand.” No one’s keeping track of your brand in that manner, right?
So it’s kind of like email newsletters. One of the things that we see with clients is that clients get really obsessed and blocked in that say, “Hey, we have a monthly newsletter. It’s put out on the Wednesday. First Wednesday of every single month”, or “it’s put out on the first of every month, or it’s put out on the 15th of every month”, and they drive their internal teams nuts because they’re trying to get all of the information together from the different teams, the different contributors, different sources of information into the form factor that package called the newsletter to ship it. Now it’s totally true. It’s totally right for that person who’s in charge, who has ownership of that newsletter to be the task master to get all the other departments who are not thinking about the newsletter every day to get on the ball and get the contributions in.
But at the end of the day, not a single one of the persons on your list, whether you have five people on your newsletter list or 500, 5,000, 50,000. It doesn’t matter. None of those people woke up today saying, “Hmm, I’m really looking forward to that email newsletter that this brand is putting out because today is the day”. No one’s thinking about it, and if you miss it, no one’s going to wake up tomorrow thinking, “Wow, they don’t have their things together. They usually put it on the 15th. Today’s the 16th, today’s the 17th and where is their newsletter? I’ve lost all confidence in their brand.”
So one of the things that I really want to share with you today is that we should not be tied to the calendar. You really need to think about strategic intent and the reasoning behind you making any of these decisions, especially when it comes down to rebranding your organization. Okay, so here’s six particular reasons that I’ve came up with, that I think will help you filter, give you a lens to think through a decision process as to whether or not it’s important enough now to go through that rebranding process or not. Okay. So, here are the six reasons why it’s time for you to rebrand.
So one, has your mission changed? There’s a difference between mission and vision. Vision changes and gets updated much more often than the mission of the organization. If you’ve done your mission well, that should be something that’s almost timeless. Now, many times organizations outgrow their mission or the mission shifts. Sometimes it’s when the new leader comes in, the new CEO, a new president, a new lead pastor, a new executive comes in and there’s a significant shift in the mission of the organization, but that’s the litmus test. Has your mission changed? If the fundamental mission of your organization has changed, a rebrand is actually something that you probably should be reconsidering at this point or considering at that point.
Number two is when you have made the decision as an organization to go after and reach a brand new demographic, a larger vision to serve more than the current audience. Are you going after a significant tangible demographic that you haven’t served before? And if you’re strategically making a shift to serve this new audience or include them in who you count as your community, as your audience, then rebranding that exercise can really help support that shift and let you make that story really intuitive and invite that new demographic into the journey of your brand’s impact.
So that’s another reason. Number three is if you have a negative event or if you’re living with baggage, if there’s a perception out there that you’re constantly trying to shake. If one of the FAQ is attacking in a preconceived notion or objection that you need to overcome, sometimes you need to shake that baggage loose. Rebranding and this is where a big gap between the old and the new brand might serve you well instead of just a tweak, iteration or evolution of that brand. This is one of those times where you should really consider taking the brands and not just evolving it, but restarting it almost, taking some of the core elements and making sure those survive so that there’s continuity. But a lot of the other things surrounding the brand personality that you might want to completely reboot basically.
Reason number four that it’s time to rebrand is that it might be that you are a pioneer or your brand has served you well and it might articulate who you are pretty well, but there might be copycats, there might be other peers, there might be competitors that have come into your market space and the people in your ecosystem have a hard time differentiating who you are. When that happens where you don’t have the distinctiveness anymore, then that’s something that I think you can actually take that opportunity to say, “What we’re going to do is everyone is zigging, let’s zag”, or vice versa because this is one of those things where you might benefit from the increased exposure of education for the category, but if you’re not reaping the benefit of becoming the differentiated leader and cleaning house for the category when you were there first, then that might be a sign that you really need to look at rebranding as an exercise.
Okay. Number five. Reason number five to rebrand is if you’re having trouble attracting the best talent for your staff, for your volunteers, even for donors, if these audiences are not flocking to you, you might not be sitting there with the best brands for the given time. A new brand positioning might be the fix needed to bring new momentum, new fuel to the fire. It might actually help you articulate better what your mission and vision is so that people get attracted to it. A lot of times, one of the things that happens is that people start to understand that when your brand turns to something that serves the people empathetically versus, as we say in StoryBrand, versus the old stodgy way where you are the hero, where it’s attractional and you are the figurehead, then those types of departures in positioning sometimes is what’s helpful to attract the right audience of supporters and champions for the brand. So if you want to change the affinity level or the depth of affinity that people might have for your brands, rebranding might be the solution to help make that happen. I can see that as a very instrumental thing if you’re finding lackluster involvement or attractional nature from your supporters, donors, volunteers, et cetera, customers.
And the last one on the list, the sixth reason why you really don’t need to rely on your old brand and it might be time to make a departure and look at rebranding and that is if your brand doesn’t make sense as you grow into new markets, into new offerings, and geography, new locations, right? If you’re reaching new audiences, new places, new things, that’s when you can either own it as a legacy story or evolve and reboot the brand there. That example is the Boston Chicken market, right? So Boston Chicken came to market first. They grew into a new offering and they actually grew into new geographies outside of the North East, New England area. And so they had a conundrum, what should they do? And so they actually did both. They evolved the brand to go from Boston Chicken to Boston Market. So it has a wider definition, but they also took what they had and they owned it. That it was from Boston, that it wasn’t just a marketplace offering for fast food, fast casual, but they had the legacy story that it originated in Boston and that’s where it’s coming from.
So there are many different ways for you to take your brand and move it to a different place. But I think it shouldn’t be based on a calendar. It should be on strategic intent. And hopefully some of these reasons are, or some of these six items on the list will give you a lens or a filter for which to evaluate your own circumstances as to, “Hey, is it time yet? Is this the reason that we should be using to to move the brands into a different space?”.
So I’d love to help you out. We’ve been involved with brand projects across the board with small organizations and large institutions that are national and international, but these six fundamental reasons apply to all sizes of organizations. If your team needs help to go through that process and actually take the leap of making a brand change, I’d love to help be part of the conversation. Let’s talk, reach out to me, DM me, and in the meantime put your questions down here below because we’d love to share. The best way for everyone here to learn is peer-to-peer exchange of circumstances and really seeing it from other people’s point of view, how they’re going through the decision process and seeing the WHYs behind the WHAT before you even try to figure out the HOW. Again, let me rephrase. You have to understand the WHY before you do the WHAT and understand HOW to do it, so let’s get involved in conversation here.
Let me know if you have any specific ones and I also want to hear if this episode in particular has been useful for you? Do you want to hear more content like this on our Lunch and Learn sessions? Please reach out to me. I love hearing feedback. They call it social media for a reason. We’d love to have you reach out and share your experiences, share your feedback, what resonated, what didn’t. I’d love for you to even potentially get on a followup interview if you actually disagree with me on any of the topics, today’s topic or any other things. I’d love a head to head discussion where we have a respectful, healthy debate between any of the things that I’m putting out here together. So we want to learn and grow together.
I’m Kenny Jahng. I’ll check you here in the next episode of the Lunch and Learn from Church Butler, but in the meantime, remember, be social, stay social. I’ll check you out next time.