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Creating and Managing an Effective Brand

Rebranding is truly a “no guts, no glory” proposition. The process carries inherent risks, but done correctly, it offers a slew of future benefits.

Top 7 Reasons Why Companies Re-Brand

  1. Informing consumers about a shift in business model (a merger, buy out, or change in business form)

  2. Reaching a different audience demographic

  3. Making over dated branding to be friendlier, streamlined, and simpler

  4. Distancing a business from a bad association

  5. Entering a larger marketplace (global, or even just a larger region)

  6. Redirecting consumers to the new direction a brand is pursuing, including what they are aiming for

  7. Correcting common misconceptions of a brand

Usually, the rebranding efforts of major corporations capture a lot of attention, while other efforts can proceed without as much media coverage. Nonetheless, rebranding is as important for small agencies as it is for huge conglomerates. Consider that if you are a large enough brand with a good amount of authority, little to no coverage or attention during a re-brand can be a good thing, unless of course, it isn't.

Proactive vs. Reactive Rebranding

Proactive rebranding comes into play when a new goal emerges, or the possibility of future problems arises. Marketing and branding expert Susan Gunelius names three situations warranting proactive rebranding:

  • Business expansion, including moving into larger, more global, markets, often requires rebranding, including consolidating products and services under one name. The result is a more consistent brand, money savings, and, often, better brand unity in all areas of the business.

  • If new business lines or markets do not mesh with existing brand identity, consider a rebrand. For instance, Domino’s Pizza is now just Domino’s, reflecting their wider array of dishes including pasta, sandwiches, and desserts.   

  • Attracting a new consumer audience may require rebranding to appeal to the new group.

  • Staying relevant in consumer’s minds motivates many rebrands. What worked for one decade may not for the next one.

Notoriety is a major motivator for reactive rebranding, although sometimes it happens due to positive occurrences. Gunelias breaks reactive rebranding into the following categories:

  • Mergers, acquisitions, and business breakups engender reactive rebranding, usually adding or removing a name to the business. On a smaller scale, when two insurance agencies come together, incorporating part of both previous names matters.

  • Businesses evolution sometimes leads to legal concerns, often regarding trademarks. While a small business’s brand may not catch the attention of a trademark holder, if it grows large enough, it likely will.

  • A competitor’s rebranding may require a responsive rebranding to keep the brand relevant while also reinvigorating the business.

  • Sometime creating distance from notoriety motivates rebranding.

Effective Branding Techniques

Successful branding is more than just “…a catchy name, snappy slogan, pretty logo, compelling packaging and advertising.”

Brand strategy is like creating mythology — stories people care about and remember. People don’t buy products, they buy personalities and meanings associated with the story of those products. People will only find meanings in brands with personality.

A brand describes all parts of a business:

  • Present a strong brand sense that encompasses the business’s mission, products provided, and the desired company perception.

  • Develop a great logo that communicates the brand everywhere it appears.  

  • Consistently incorporate brand images into advertising, company motto, and customer communication.

  • Create identifiable branding that gracefully and simply morphs with changing markets.

  • Ensure branding extends through merchandise and services, as well as any branded merchandise supplied to potential customers and contacts – your logo on that keychain may show up at the just the right time.

Building Authority

Our mission is to demystify the insurance shopping experience, so that shoppers can simply and easily find the coverage that’s right for them, and providers can inform, educate and secure new customers through a marketplace that’s comprehensive and trusted.

As more consumers look to shop and make purchasing decisions online every year, it was an easy decision to solidify our strongest brands into a unified stream to ensure that our business can build upon the authority that each of our companies possess.

Successful Rebranding

It’s important to have a plan and make sure everyone is aware of the rebranding effort, or you may run the risk of losing customers. Send out emails to all existing clients about the plan, explaining in detail how it will make for a better experience for them. Make sure to clearly line out any changes they may experience with the change, and always include a contact name and number for any questions. Don’t forget about your employees and educating them first, as they will be the core messengers and promoters behind your rebrand efforts throughout the execution of your plan.

Use your website (and other partners and websites) to spread the word through blog posts, or even consider advertisements under certain circumstances. Use social media to drum up positive buzz about the changes afoot, and entice people with contests (use all that new business merchandise as the prizes). Finally, issue a press release about the rebranding; it will provide specific information for those who already know about the rebranding, and may show up in search results or attract media attention of those who did not know about it.

Why Agencies Need Strong Branding

A brand represents trust and reputation, both essential to business success and insurance sales. There is not one set of particular tools that determine successful small agency branding. However, consider some of the following:

  • Logo design, from fonts, to images, to colors, that conveys the essence of a business is a powerful tool. Great logos include:

    • The right font for a truly timeless look

    • Great incorporation of images (or icons) with text translates to effective use on letterheads, business cards, websites, trucks, etc.

    • Color choice heavily influences the timeliness of a logo. Some recommend avoiding black, and sticking with one main color and a neutral shade. Different colors evoke different vibes, so choose one that fits.

    • The best creative titles and taglines “…convey an immediate benefit and the essence of the brand.” Think of the great ones, such as Nike’s “Just do it.”

    • Branded merchandise, according to, “…can strengthen customer loyalty and enlist fans to spread your name.” Sometimes called swag, branded merchandise reminds people of your services. The trick is finding the items that will best relay that message. Start out with smaller orders to see what appeals to people, and build from there.

    • Websites must gracefully carry the logo, design and theme, and any associated tag lines. Make sure to have redirects in place to properly transition individuals easier to appropriate new pages and contact information. Logos must incorporate well into websites, and use optimization to address:

      • Your audience

      • Your competition

      • Industry trends

      • Marketing strategy and company mission

      • Phone prompts are often the first contact a consumer makes with a business, so messages and prompts must match the brand. While some pleasant fun is fine, if you want to establish a trusting relationship with a consumer, be sure the voice and the script in your phone systems relays that.

      • Seeing a consistent logo increases trust in the brand, so carry over all branding to promotional literature and sales sheets.

The Importance of Cohesiveness in Branding

The existence of numerous game apps involving identifying logo images without any verbiage demonstrates the importance of successful business branding. Consistent, clear, and attractive branding that is immediately recognizable - no matter the format, website, letterhead, keychain or phone game - makes a huge difference in business success.

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