Lipstick on a Pig


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I am so sick of companies spending valuable dollars on rebranding. Why would anyone think that the key to powering breakthrough success is a new logo and color palette?

It’s ridiculous. We spend TONS of money, time and resources re-coloring that logo, rebuilding materials, changing the website and revamping the building. What a worthless exercise. As if that’s going to solve the revenue problem we’re facing.

Every single time I work with a company that has a revenue problem (turnaround or start-around), that’s hired a new CEO, or whose had some market embarrassment – the cry to rebrand is top of mind.

Sometimes I think it’s executive ego, sometimes it’s flailing in the face of a storm, sometimes it’s because no one knows what else to do to fix the problem. So – change our colors like a chameleon, or shape shift our company, hoping our customers and prospects will forget those problems if we look different.

  • Do we really believe that the new logo and colors will drive revenue? Or make folks forget that nasty product of customer service debacle?
  • Do we think customers will throng to our doors just because we changed our name?
  • Do we really believe anyone cares what colors we use on our website????

I’ve worked with over 150 clients in my career – and in many cases the cry for rebranding was so loud it was deafening. Early in my career I went along with it….it was the way we’d always done things. But then I saw the light.

Rebranding is expensive. It’s wasteful. And it’s rarely the solution to the problem the business is facing.

Have a bad rap about a product or company incident? Step up and address is head on. Tell the truth, put your cards on the table and move on. People will forgive if you handle it correctly. Changing your name and logo doesn’t change what people know…although it can make you look pretty untrustworthy.

Hit a wall, floundering to find a profit -and your whole industry knows it?
Changing that color scheme doesn’t change your reality. Instead of spending the resources on the rebranding – spend them on revenue focused actions, on new sales folks, a new distribution strategy – an upgrade to your offering. Those actions will have a much better chance of improving your situation than that new purple logo with the dancing widget on your fancy new website.

Moving into a new market opportunity, expanding or shifting your focus? Don’t dump your history. There’s tons of value in that brand you created in the other space. Bring it with you instead of starting over. A new or modified brand takes a long time and lotsa dollars to establish – spend those resources on the new market and not cosmetics.

But a new brand energizes the company. Do you think that a shiny new logo or bright colors will generate excitement in the downtrodden troops? Don’t kid yourself. That brand will cause grumbling when folks are stretched thin, the company is in a tight spot and everyone is wondering why the dollars are going to rebranding instead of hard-hitting revenue generation.

I’ve always said that advertising is for ego in many tech markets. So is that new brand. Forget your ego, forget the colors and logo and new business cards.

Focus on delivering Customer Value in terms of your offering and your service – that’s the fastest way to fuel your business success. Leave the coloring to Crayola…

Photo courtesy of Flickr and gisele13

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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