Rebrand & Grow

Rebrand & Grow

 “I am what I am, and that’s all I am.” 

Popeye may have said it best, that’s what most businesses get trapped into thinking after they’ve been stuck in the hamster wheel of daily survival.  Business owners can be so caught up in the daily running's, they forget to take a step outside the mess and really evaluate who they are and where they’re going.

Rebranding can be a source of discomfort at the thought of all the extra work to change logo, color scheme, business culture, promo material etc.  Or, it can be a small stab to the heart with a prideful owner- “What’s wrong with what I’ve built? I’m doing just fine!”

Perhaps your customer demographic has changed, your message isn’t resonating the way you intended, or there is a communication roadblock inhibiting sales growth. 

All of these areas need to be looked at, and often times, the act of rebranding can be the catalyst to future growth and blue sky thinking. 

At The Chocolate Season, we chose to rebrand to create an up-scale, cohesive look, enhance our product packaging, and introduce a new mascot- "The Owl".   The process also included creating a stronger e-commerce presence that could mimic the style and experience of walking into our brick & mortar chocolaterie.

How does one start the act of rebranding?

It’s no longer the change of a business card and website domain, it’s a full strategy that may take multiple phases to enact.  With all the work that lies ahead, why should you even start this massive undertaking?  Two words:  Customer Engagement

Often times if your business has been around awhile, customers can become complacent to your messaging, or you’ve offered new services but no one seems to notice because they are familiar with who you’ve been vs. who you are now. 

Casey’s General Store, for example, rolled out a new logo, first image revamp in 50 years.  Reasoning behind the rebrand, according to senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Chris Jones, was due to their enhanced services like online ordering, delivery, curbside, mobile app and larger loyalty program.  The logo wasn’t reflecting their contemporary offerings, and they wanted to have a new visual identity to match the new guest experience.  By changing the brand image, he predicts it will attract a new generation of loyal Casey’s enthusiasts to experience their upgraded services, but also grow to value the personable customer service and quality products the company is known for.

So with the carrot of customer acquisition and retention dangling in front of you, what are a few steps you can take to make this process as seamless as possible?

Create a Brand Standards Guide: These are used internally or in collaboration with vendors or partners to ensure the proper representation of the brand’s image across every marketing channel and marketing materials.  We worked with Amy Gorrek of AG Studios to refresh our logo and create a detailed manifest of fonts and artwork to set the course for our new packaging and e-commerce website.

Our goal was to give our customers the same experience on-line, as they do when visiting our retail store, where the experience of affordable extravagance could be felt with every printed brochure, product label, or web site imagery.  Shown below are some elements of our brand standards guide that we plan to utilize as touch points for years to come.

TCS Branding Guide Example

Evaluate your Website:  It’s easy to go on auto-pilot once your website has launched, your product labels are in, or you got your first sale from an email campaign, but continue striving to create new content to reinforce all the legwork put in for your rebranding opportunity! 

E-commerce is always a safe platform to invest in, and we specifically chose Aeolidia to utilize our branding standard guide to create our new website.  Experts in taking brick & mortar businesses on-line utilizing Shopify as the platform.  They helped us design a professional new site that's perfectly on-brand and told our story. 

At The Chocolate Season, the catalyst to pivot our energies to more e-commerce-focused interactions was when our city shut down multiple restaurants and venues during the pandemic. Our leadership team wanted to make sure we were broadcasting ourselves appropriately, and developing a long-term strategy and marketing focus to highlight our rebrand and all the customizable and convenient options we have for our customer base.

Make an administrative list of everything that needs to be attention:           
  • Email addresses and signatures
  • Business cards
  • Internal HR documents (handbook, financials etc)
  • Trademarks
  • Signage
  • Social Media (handles, profiles, bios, hashtags)
  • Any third party directories or publications
  • Email campaign platform and strategy (involves setting up various marketing segments & flows)
  • SEO assessment & strategy plan
  • Press/Media kit
  • Marketing materials (hard or soft copy)
  • MUCH MORE...          

Get your employees involved: After creating your new brand, set your employees up with new merchandise, shirts, stickers and pens.  Get them excited about the brand and tell them exactly why your company is rebranding and the goal you hope to achieve with it, as well as the timeline for completion, different phases you are rolling out, and have them become brand ambassadors!  This will saturate your immediate market with visuals and “third-party” feedback about the new brand in their social media networks

Communicate to your customers: How do you communicate your new messaging, brand story, identity and services to all those customers who need you in their lives? 

  • Engage with customers via email utilizing a platform like Klaviyo. Klaviyo helps streamline different customer segments, create automated flows/targeted campaigns and provide insight and data from your flows/campaigns.
  • Build a content strategy across all content categories: Brand, Talent, Editorial, Performance, and Product. Find unique ways to tell your brand story over different mediums:  info-graphics, videos, print or social reels.  Also dive into culture marketing, which is a form of content marketing that showcases your company’s culture to help consumers get to know your brand and how you interact with the world.  Not only will this help attract new consumers, but potential new employees as well.
  • One of the new ways TCS broadcasted information about our brand and origin story was through our blog Sweet Talk.  The blog is a way to provide information to our customers that may be useful in their own lives, or give a peek into some of the inspirations behind our creations.  Our Sweet Talk monthly e-news is a part of our email series that shares recipes, fun facts about chocolate and gives you updates on the latest and greatest with our team and business.
  • We also diversified the team with the addition of a social media lead, who’s main agenda is to stay current with all the reel trends, create new content, diversify messaging amongst several platforms and respond to social media inquiries.

We hope you are able to absorb all this information and find ways to mold it to your own business.  There are many types of assets out there to help a business find their way in their rebranding journey, take some time to brainstorm all the ways a rebrand can help you grow…and remember,

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”  -Winston Churchill