What’s really involved with a rebrand

Oct 15, 2017

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When you say the word “rebrand” to entrepreneurs you’re either met with jubilation or horror. Usually, a mixture of both. Rebranding is a complicated process that most entrepreneurs don’t understand completely, but they do understand it’s a massive pain in the ass.

Because, well, let’s be honest. Completely redesigning your entire brand is a massive pain in the ass.

I know that for a fact because I have rebranded multiple times, and I’m in the middle of another rebrand.

I own multiple online businesses:

And up until I started working on this rebrand, Ysmay has been functioning as the umbrella brand. Each smaller entity is still part of the larger Ysmay brand. While this is how they will continue to operate in my business, I’m rebranding everything into its own very distinct brand, separate from the Ysmay brand.

The reason for the rebrand is this:

A couple weeks ago now I had a coaching call with a client, and at the end of the call she asked me why I call myself a web designer when it’s only a fraction of what I actually do with her. And she’s right. In my 1:1 coaching, I spend a lot of time on mindset, goal setting, strategy, and program creation. Web design is a component of what is involved, but it’s no longer the focus.

Branding myself as a web designer has been holding me back and hurting my coaching business.

As part of this rebrand, I’m moving everything web design related over here to Designerless for two reasons:

  1. It gives clarity to my Ysmay brand and allows me to focus that brand on coaching.
  2. My name isn’t on the door, so while I will always be involved with every web design project that gets done here, I don’t have to be the one doing the work. This allows me to grow my team.

This rebrand also means seriously upleveling 42Yogis and MetroSeeker. Both companies are hosted on Joomla websites, and if I’m going to be able to build out those teams, I need to move them over to WordPress as much as I can. (I can’t move 42Yogis 100% over to WordPress, but that’s a topic for another time.) WordPress has become industry standard, and so many people understand WordPress. This will allow me to bring on people to manage the day-to-day of those brands.

So now that we know a bit about why I’m rebranding, let’s talk about what goes into a rebrand.

1. Identify the issue.

The first thing you need to do is identify where the problem is. This is arguably the hardest and most time consuming part. I personally love my Ysmay brand. I love the bright colours, and the funky vibe I’ve got going on, but it isn’t serving me anymore. I’ve out grown it. It no longer reflects my business, nor does it reflect the clients I work best with. Spend some time — and be prepared to spend a few weeks — figuring out who you are, who you want to attract and does your brand best reflect that.

2. Write out the different components of your brand.

Everything you do is a reflection of your brand. Everything.

The words you use on Twitter.

The images you share on Instagram.

Even your wardrobe is a reflection of your brand. If you follow me on social media, you may notice there are only a few colours I will wear on camera, or the things I keep on my desk are in a specific colour scheme.

The reason is because everything goes to build that perception of who you are in the mind of the viewer. Everything you do — no matter how small — is a reflection of your brand because it tells your audience who you are, and how you wish to be perceived.

While it may be tempting at this stage to simply write down, “everything” you really should write down each component so you can do a comprehensive brand intake for each element, and revise each element accordingly.

Grab a piece of paper and start making notes. Make sure to take into consideration:

  • Social media bios
  • The language you use
  • Sales copy
  • Fonts
  • Colours
  • What you share on social (including the tone of your posts and hashtags used)
  • Logos
  • Blog post headers
  • Headshots
  • Who you want to attract

3. Do research on your ideal clients.

Now it’s time to do some research about the type of brand you wish to have. Start with who you wish to attract. Who are they? Where do they hangout? What do they read? What do they think about? What do they enjoy? This process takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it because without knowing who your clients are, it’s very hard to market to them.

Once you know who they are, it’s time to hangout where they hangout and read what they read. If they’re in certain Facebook groups, see if you can join those groups and just watch. Take notes about their struggles, triumphs, goals, dreams, the words they use. Everything. And start reading what they read. If your ideal client is into travel, subscribe to Travel + Leisure, and National Geographic. Inhale the articles, but pay close attention to the advertisements, especially in the print magazines. Advertisements are written carefully by a team of copywriters who know what the audience of that publication is going to respond to best.

4. Examine how you’ll evolve your brand.

Now that you know what your ideal clients are thinking about, struggling with, going through, you can go back to your list of things you need to rebrand, and write out how you will change them.

On a piece of paper make two columns. In one column write the component you’re going to change. In the second write your basic ideas of how you’re going to change it. This doesn’t have to be perfect. As you go through the process, you will make additional notes. The important part here is to just get it down on paper.

5. Start making changes.

For the things you can’t change right now, don’t worry about it too much. Make a note of your target date. For headshots, for example, you’ll probably have to book in with a photographer, so write a goal date for new headshots.

Because of the way life, and the space-time continuum works, you won’t be able to do everything immediate, and that’s OK. But for the things you can do now, start doing them now. It’s a misconception you have to wait until all the pieces are done to roll out a rebrand. While it’s ideal, it’s also going to slow down your momentum, and a rebrand takes a seriously huge amount of work. If you’re not able to keep up your momentum and motivation, it’s really easy to go, “Fuck it. My current brand is good enough.”

Three things you can do on your website to get started:

  • Change your logo
  • Change your fonts
  • Change your blog graphics

These are three things that need to be done, and you should be able to do these without having to hire out for a designer, especially if you’re using a theme like Divi.


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