The new brand identity. Photo: Raymond Chou/WOW 1 DAY PAINTING The new brand identity. Photo: Raymond Chou/WOW 1 DAY PAINTING

Remember New Coke? You don’t have to have tasted the new recipe to be aware of it—it’s one of the best-known missteps in business history. Branding flops like this one are proof that even the biggest, most established companies don’t get it right every time.

A few years ago, I was in the midst of my own branding crisis. My second company, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, had a totally unique business model—we offered to paint your home or business in just one day—but we were floundering. People just weren’t connecting emotionally with the brand and it was impacting our bottom line.

Although it was a painful and costly exercise, a complete brand overhaul saved our business. I learned a lot about the components of creating an engaging, emotionally impactful brand from that experience. With the right planning up front, I believe that any entrepreneur can rock branding—on the first try.

Here’s are four things you need to do to get it right.

Understand the Value of a Name

My first company, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, has a clear, memorable name, which also happens to be our phone number. But when we applied the same naming convention to our painting business, it didn’t have the same effect: 1-888-WOW1DAY! Painting was a confusing, mixed-up mouthful.

During the rebrand, I asked myself why other products and services are successful. In The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries writes: “A brand is nothing more than a name. In time, the unique idea or concept of your company or product disappears. All that’s left is the difference between your brand name and the brand names of your competitors.”

With that in mind, we changed 1-888-WOW1DAY! Painting to WOW 1 DAY PAINTING. The simpler name had two functions: It conveyed the feeling customers would get from using our service, and highlighted the unexpected timeline that made it stand out in the market.

Crowdsource Feedback And Encourage Honesty

You and your marketing team may think your logo is “the one,” but that doesn’t it’s the right one. During the rebrand, I consulted staff, business partners, and friends for honest feedback about the original logo.

Although the suggestions seemed overwhelming at first, two patterns eventually emerged. First, our blue and orange colours reminded people of college sports. In a space where college students ran every other business, we were not showcasing how our professional, uniformed painters were different. But the bigger problem was that the dominant color of our brand was bright orange—so bright that a customer described our painter’s uniforms as “penitentiary orange.” Building trust is the most important part of branding, and having painters dressed like convicts was—unsurprisingly—having the opposite effect.

Hire Experts for Execution

Let’s just say it: Creating an effective new logo is expensive! But I learned from this experience that investing in a solid brand presence is essential. We ended up consulting with two design agencies and choosing from 16 new logo designs. Over $200,000 later, it was finally right. Although the cost far exceeded our initial estimates, the results saved the business.

Not every rebrand has to be so pricey. By working with freelance design experts and web developers, you can develop professional-looking logos and sites for a few thousand dollars. But definitely hire experts—when it comes to branding, the DIY approach rarely cuts it.

Engage your target market emotionally

People are attracted to brands they can connect with emotionally, and a lot of this impact comes from the right use of shape and color.

I knew WOW 1 DAY PAINTING’s new logo had to draw an immediate, visceral response. So we chose a happy little blob of paint. It worked: People have told me they can’t help but smile back when they see our logo on our wrapped vans or on the painter’s uniforms. And we chose bright green specifically because of its association with freshness and revitalization.

In the end, the new name and logo were exactly what the brand needed to increase customer engagement. Since we rebranded, we’ve more than tripled our revenue.

• • • • •

Although redesigning can be expensive and time-consuming, it’s worth asking yourself if your brand is the best it can be. A few simple tweaks might be all that’s holding it back from becoming a household name.

Brian Scudamore is the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, the banner company for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, You Move Me, and Shack Shine. I’m a strong believer in ongoing personal and professional development and I like to show others how to use goal-setting to take the lead in their own business. I’m passionate about people, and I’ve created a corporate culture where we are all building something bigger, together. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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Did your brand ever need some re-adjustment or tweaking? Share your experiences crafting a brand by commenting below.

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