Is rebranding your automotive business the right direction for your company?

How do you avoid the stress and anxiety of a rebrand when you have been using a specific brand for such a long time?

How do you approach a rebrand that creates positive feedback and praise?

In this episode, Dennis Michael helps you make the right decision for your automotive company so you can decide if your company needs a rebrand or not.

Podcast Transcript:

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this or a magic formula. That’s going to create 100% positive feedback once you’re on the rebrand. Well, Welcome to Pacenotes. The podcast that helps automotive aftermarket leaders create clean entries through all the branding and business obstacles that lie ahead. I am your host, Dennis Michael.

Now, today, we’re going to talk about rebranding.

Is it for you? Do you need to do it? Well, let’s start at the beginning. You got to understand companies evolve as they get older and wiser. I mean, that’s, that’s probably a given consumer personas are going to change with the markets and environment. As, as come as companies evolve now, great companies that are nimble and astute to see these changes, they’re going to make adjustments to their business, to keep their momentum going. Now, part of that company’s change could be rebranding their business. And sometimes a rebrand is going to go over well with the public. And other times it’s going to create serious consumer backlash.

Now we have seen this happen when a rebrand creates a mob with pitchforks and torches. Do you remember the gap or JC penny or Airbnb or Pepsi?

When they rebranded the mobs were formed.

Masses began to express their hatred for the logo and everything else about their rebrand. And what was worse was that some companies got so scared of the backlash that they reverted back to their old branding. Whereas others just, just totally avoided the noise and powered through and continue to be successful far after their rebrand.

Now just watching these situations unfold can be stressful enough.

Now, I don’t know where you’re at your time, but you might be thinking or flirting with the idea of rebranding. And you know, just what I told you about these rebrands might be discouraging for you. So how do you avoid a negative situation like this and how do you avoid the stress and anxiety of a rebrand when you’ve been, you know, using a certain logo and a certain tone and certain persona for such a long time. And how do you approach a rebrand that creates positive feedback and praise?

Well, I’m going to help you make that right decision for your automotive company. So let’s start with some questions first. Now the caveat of this is you, the answers you provide to yourself from these questions, they’re going to require a lot of self-reflection and you have to be brutally honest about yourself with yourself, with these questions.

And if you’re struggling with this exercise, you know, enlist the help of somebody else. Okay? So the questions that you need to ask yourself and answer yourself, start with this.

Why do you want to change your brand?

Have your consumers changed?

What is your brand communicating to your target audience?

Do you want to attract a different customer and has your company changed focus?

These questions are deep and yes, they’re going to require honest dialogue between you and your business partners. If that’s applicable, got to understand something, the intent for rebrand should be business-based and nothing more. It should never, ever, ever be for personal reasons, or simply to keep up with trends.

I’m going to get salty here for a minute because I despise trends and you’ve seen this and it just blows my mind. How many brands out there jumped on the Sans serif, typeface bandwagon with their logo designs, with their branding, everything they, they totally went see, quote, unquote, simplistic when no it wasn’t. And you look at their old logo design and compare it to their new ones. It’s so goddamn boring. It’s brutal.

Listen, don’t get caught in the hype. Don’t make a rebrand for personal reasons. I’m going to guarantee you this soon enough, these companies that hopped on those bandwagons are going to revert back to a more unique branding.

It will happen. They will find somebody who was smart enough to say, Hey, you know what? That serif typeface in that brand persona we had built was working so well before. Let’s go back to it, but maybe we tighten up that look a little bit. So ask yourself why, why are you rebranding? Why do you think a rebranding is good for you?

If you’re going through a transition and you feel your current brand is no longer serving its best interests, you might be ready for a rebrand. You have to answer those questions honestly, before you do anything else. So do me a favor before you even pull the trigger, sign a check, answer those questions, honestly, because you will find the answer in, in the answers that you provide.

So say, you know, now, you know, you need a rebrand. How do you do it? Well, after you figured out why you were changing your brand and you’re doing it for the right reasons, you need to figure out, well, how does this work? How do I do it the right way?

So one thing, one idea that you can, you can use that’s easily done for yourself is send surveys to your clients and employees, your clients and employees are, are going to help you understand how they feel about your current brand. And when you sift through the results of the survey, you can compare their answers to your current brand. And what it’s going to do is it’s going to help you assess your current position compared to the perception of those.

You serve your clients and your employees. Another way to do it is to audit your brand. Now this will help you come to a conclusion on rebranding in a far more detailed manner. It will feel overwhelming. You might feel a little bit discouraged. You might get scared. You might get excited, but an audit is going to give you all of the details that you need in order to create the right course of action for your future. And it will tell you if a rebrand is right for you or not

What an audit is going to do is it’s going to begin with understanding your future goals and who your desired target audience is. And then from data, the auditor’s gonna assess your brand compared to your goals, the competition, and your desired audience.

It will include a positioning, matrix, strengths, weaknesses, and trends analysis of your brand, your complete brand matrix. It will recap all the findings with your next steps to rebranding. If you like, what you see now, if you want to get an audit done, you can get this done through an agency or a studio or branding specialist.

And if you’re having troubles,trying to find someone, you know what, send me an email, send me a message, you know, through my social media or whatever. And I can, I can help you help direct you in the right areas so that you find the right person. Now let’s go back to the question of how do you approach a rebrand so that you get positive feedback and praise?

Well, I’m going to burst your bubble here. There is no magic formula.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this or a magic formula. That’s going to create 100% positive feedback. Once you on a rebrand, you’re going to piss people off and you are going to make others happy. Some people will be completely surprised with the change, whereas others are going to be indifferent.

One thing you need to understand about people for the most part, we hate change. People hate change, and we’ve seen this time and time again, change polarizes people, but does it matter? No, it doesn’t do these people need to know you weren’t going through a rebrand. Well customers, no, I would let your employees know what’s going on just by simply saying, Hey, we are rebranding our business and here’s why we’re doing it done. That’s all they need to know. And again, your employees don’t have to like it, but they should know where you were taking your company. And honestly, you might be pleasantly surprised by the feedback from your employees after rebranding your business. And I can remember a situation when I used to be an employee and I rebranded a company that I worked for.

It was amazing. The, the rejuvenated energy and excitement from the employees was absolutely electric. It was like, they all secretly knew why they were doing their jobs, but they needed the visual reminder of why they worked for this company. The end result was amazing. It was positive feedback and set the tone for the future company. And I also saw this another past client of mine where, you know, she just had been in business for 10 years and those 10 years were great, but she was going through transition. Her target audience was getting younger. And unfortunately her brand didn’t reflect the target audience and getting, having them being attracted to her business and what ended up happening. She wasn’t attracting that audience. So she had to rebrand herself and she was very reluctant to rebrand.

She put up a huge fight about it, but after it was all said and done, and she told her employees about it and started telling your clients, this is like a crazy extreme circumstance. Literally within days, she was attracting that younger target audience for her business. It was insane. It was so cool. So in order for a rebrand to work, you have to believe in yourself and you have to believe in your company’s future. If your intentions are sincere and honest for making a change to your company’s brand, really, how can you be faulted? Once you have launched your rebrand? You know what, let your customers and your consumers know why you made the change, because honestly they have a right to know, and you can share the story of your rebrand and what it means for the future of the company. And again, some of them are going to like it. Some of them are not, but it doesn’t matter. You’re doing it for the right intentions.

And if you want it to go one step further in telling them why you made the change in and showing them why, why don’t you document the whole process with video and afterwards, share it with the world, but whatever you do, don’t get caught up in the chatter and the negative talk from a few people. This is, this is, this is a bad, bad idea. You, you got to understand the negative comments may simply be trolls looking to create a fight.

Okay? They probably weren’t aren’t even your customers anyways, just believe in your brand and believe in yourself and believe in the future vision that you have for your company, know that what you are doing is for the long-term success of your business. What you may find is eventually those who were your biggest critics will see your vision and they will become your biggest fans once again.

But again, this is the most extreme of circumstances for the most part, rebranding your company for the right reasons is going to be met with positive support. So is a rebrand, right? The right direction for your automotive business. Ask yourself why do you want to change your brand? Have your consumers changed? What is your brand communicating to your target audience right now?

And does that align with your future? Do you want to attract a different customer and has your company changed focus? The answers you provide are good and give you the future direction to create continued success.