In case you didn’t notice, I am in the process of rebranding my company.
What started almost four years ago as a solo mompreneur with a desk in the corner of her bedroom who was writing web pages has evolved into a digital marketing company with a team of people in San Francisco, Canada, Romania, and South Africa who deliver branding, digital strategy, website design and build, conversion optimization and UX, SEO, PPC/AdWords, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing and automations.
And, so I wouldn’t go crazy, I moved my office out of my bedroom. . .but that’s a story about entrepreneur sanity that I’ll save for another day.
Why Colibri Digital Marketing Rebranded
Anna Colibri, writer & digital marketer, says “freelance solopreneur,” and it doesn’t fit the reality of what my team is accomplishing for our clients. It isn’t the kind of brand identity that will best help us find our ideal clients as we continue to grow. I made the decision to create a new brand, Colibri Digital Marketing, and create two websites: a business website for Colibri Digital marketing, and a more personal website that could house my blog for the Anna Colibri, writer & digital marketer brand.
I wanted two websites because my original website, annacolibri.com, gets a steady flow of traffic and also has some page authority that I used to boost the new website, colibritestdivi.mythemecloud.io. Not only that, but I want to grow my personal blog, #CrazyBeautiful, so I can successfully publish my personal writing in the coming years. An author site will help me develop my writing career. This is the kind of decision-making you, as a business owner in the creative and entrepreneurial worlds, will have to make. Each situation, like each brand, is unique and has unique considerations that will make the transition more or less easy. The important thing is to start with the end result you want in your mind, so that your actions support your goals.
SEO and Rebranding
Your website is your virtual office, and how it appears to potential clients, along with their user experience, is an important part of brand perception. Your website is also connected to other parts of the web, and that makes contemporary rebranding more complicated. You have to consider both the look and feel of your website, and the way in which it is connected to other parts of the web, which is really search engine optimization (SEO).
If, for example, you are leveraging review sites like Yelp, or you have verified your business with Google, you need to make sure that you have updated your information on all your platforms. In terms of SEO, you need to make sure that all of your citations are current, and that your back links all redirect. It can be a lot of work, and you may be cleaning house for a long time after you change your brand.
The Rebranding Process
I wish I could say that I have the whole thing tied up with a bow, and that I had, as of this writing, already achieved the holy grail of branding, which is brand consistency, but, like so many small companies, resources are limited and we at Colibri Digital Marketing have kept our focus on our clients throughout the process. We made our major moves over the holidays, and our are now moving the rebranding process forward step-by-step.
When you are a small company, you can’t be afraid to be imperfect! When it comes to certain aspects of the business, you need to go for “good enough” and “get it done.” Then, you can refine and iterate as you go. If you wait for perfect, you’ll never launch, and you’ll never move forward.
One way to guide the process is to prioritize based on your analytics. I know that I get a lot of leads through Yelp, so I prioritized updating my Yelp business page to reflect the new brand. I also knew that Google Places is important for my business and for search in general, so updating that was one of the first things I did. Take a look at where your clients are coming from, and make changes based on where you get your leads and who you would like to attract.
A strategy is a game plan. At Colibri Digital Marketing, we want to provide long-term, monthly digital marketing services to triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) businesses. We’re proud that we offer a lot of value, and we know that offering the quality of services we want to offer requires that we attract businesses that are serious about making an investment in their digital marketing. Our rebranding strategy, or game plan, is focused on meeting the goal of attracting businesses with whom we can form solid, long-term collaborations.
Our core question was: How do you make the move from being a company that writes web pages and does small projects here and there to a company that plans, builds, and manages brands so they thrive in the ever more competitive digital marketing space? Our strategy was to build slowly, adding services and specialists as we grew until we solidified our basic services. Now, we’re in the process of continuous improvement to ensure client delight (I love client delight!).
Our rebranding strategy was made easier by the fact that “Colibri” is my name and also my brand. Although we, in effect, split the brand, you can still find me or Colibri Digital Marketing on both websites. For example, I put a prominent link on annacolibri.com for people who get there and are looking for digital marketing services, not for a blog about contemporary spirituality!
Let’s get down to the steps you’ll need to take to rebrand your company, if that’s what you decide to do.
Below you will find the basic steps you’ll need to take to rebrand your company.
- Determine your goals and business reasons. Why are your rebranding? How will it help grow your business?
- Research your own business. Determine your offerings now and in the future. Take a look at your competitors. Do a SWOT analysis to figure out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Research your clients. Look at your client list and figure out which clients give you the most enjoyment (Yes! You should be having some fun.) and the best ROI.
- Write a creative brief. The point of the creative brief is to keep everyone on the same page throughout the process.
- Put together your brand elements. They include: name, vision statement, mission statement, brand values, brand essence, brand personality, brand position, and tagline.
- Create your visual identity. This includes a logo you love.
- Put together your brand guidelines. This a style guide that includes fonts, colors, logo specifications, and usage.
- Update your website. This kind of goes without saying, yeah?
- Update your digital/online presence. This means checking your link portfolio and making sure everything is up-to-date and no links are broken and that your citations are correct. it also means updating your social media profiles.
- Create a brand promotion plan. This is optional. Rebranding is a good opportunity to promote your business if you have the time and budget.
- Create marketing collateral. This means updating business cards, brochures, and more.
- Ongoing marketing. You’ll need to continue to plan, advertise, and add appropriate content to your website and social channels the reflects your new brand.
- Launch. This means unveiling your name, logo, and slogan and begin to tell your audience the story of how your brand reflects what you stand for.
- Maintenance. Consistently deliver your brand. This is important, and it is hard to do.
- Iterate. Recognize that life, and business, are works in progress. Stay alert and stay flexible.
As a leader in your company, it’s your job to manage this process and keep your brand vision a central focus for everyone involved.
On a personal note, the Colibri Digital Marketing rebrand, I am pleased–and relieved–to say, has had good results. I shared the new logos on Facebook, and got great feedback. The new name has also helped me rank better on Yelp and Google places.
Making all these changes, and taking a hard look at Colibri Digital Marketing’s strengths and weaknesses, audience, vision, mission, and position, has given me a lot of clarity about where I want the business to go and how I want to communicate. I think you’ll find that rebranding, although it is an effort, will make a big difference for you both personally and professionally.
Questions about rebranding? I love questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
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