The Rebrand journey begins
I have been in the business world for so long, I don’t know where I heard of rebranding. Maybe it was in college classes — I went the accounting path but also took many other businesses classes so it could have been those marketing classes. Or, maybe it was from my colleagues — I did work closely with sales and marketing departments, so maybe it was from those meetings. Or maybe it was from all the time I spent googling and learning how to create my website. Either way, I kept thinking “I am right. There is a path to rebrand and strengthen my brand. Wait . . . I am not finding help . . . am I right?”
Yes! There is a path to rebrand. I finally got on the right road. But, I had detours. And some of those detours were caused by professionals who have careers in the creative business fields–the ones I had assumed were experts.
This post hopefully will give you insight if you are going down the path of rebranding. Here’s my journey. It is from the perspective of a non-marketer, a non-advertising specialist, a non-website developer, a non-social media guru, and a non-logo designer. This is me, a business person who started her own business with years of business/accounting experience, but had to find creative business help and ultimately the path to rebrand.
Let’s start at the beginning, so you can understand some of my detours — which may help you if you decide to brand or rebrand.
Detour – Social Media help with cute messages
First stop: Social Media contractor. She said she really understood social media. She didn’t ask anything about my website or other marketing activities; she didn’t mention branding. I thought “OK, she knows about social media posting, so let’s give it a try”.
But this ended up being a waste of money.
I didn’t realize it then, but … she didn’t have any real direction or plan. She just posted on social media. She posted quick cute images and inspirational messages. Once in a while she’d post a sentence about my accounting firm but nothing of real substance.
So, what was my consistent message on social media? Nothing really except that I was a positive person with cleaver image posts.
Lesson: I wish I would have continued to search for branding help instead of starting with a declared expert on social media who was just going to post. I could have learned about social media and even used it but it was too early to pay for that service since since she had no cohesive plan.
There was no direction. I moved on.
Advertising firm wants me to start with Google Ad-words
Next stop: Advertising agency. This sounded like a great idea. But this firm wanted me to spend money yet was not offering any branding meetings.
I talked to the advertising company over the phone and I was hopeful. The woman agreed that it was good to start with branding. But then her plan: she wanted to sell me a new website, their SEO services, and start advertising with google ad-words. I tried to bring the conversation back to a branding project and said: I thought we need to start from a core understanding and create a solid plan. But she digressed again and talked more about google ad-words and “pay-per-click”. I asked how should I come up with an advertising budget without a clear brand and path. She said I could send her a quick email on I have branded so far and she or her staff would spend an hour or so on it and give me opinions.
By now I was a year in to owning my own business. I had a website and logo as a start but no cohesive brand or marketing plan. I didn’t think an hour of her time would be enough for her to figure out my branding and strategic marketing direction before she jumped in to Google Ad-words. In addition, I had heard from colleagues that the cost of Google Ad-words can add up quickly especially if you don’t lay out a path.
I didn’t go with this firm. I kept looking.
Marketing firm wants to jump in
Next stop: Marketing firm. I thought this must be the way to go. But …
I was hopeful because they would actually meet face-to-face. I liked them. Both the man and woman talked about the importance of branding!
I eagerly waited for their bid. It came; but the bid was not for a branding project like we discussed. What? It was for a new website and monthly posting on social media. I kept reading the bid. Wait, in the meeting we talked rebranding with the possibility of later hiring them to post to a certain social media platform. But the bid was NOT for branding and instead for them to create a website and post to a social media platform. The weird thing: the platform was different than what they recommended in our meeting.
Did they change their mind or did the forget what they said in our meeting?
I emailed them and asked about a branding bid. The woman replied that they want to bid on posting because they have “posting packages” — I could pay them to post and start buying Facebook ads.
No. I had recently hired social media posting services with no direction and was still feeling the sting of wasted money. I wanted a branding project first. I moved on.
Yea! Rebranding is possible!
I continued and hit a few more brick walls. Exhaustion set in and I paused the idea of rebranding. I threw myself into client work, researching new software, and a million other things. But rebranding…that was on hold.
And then I got renewed hope.
I went to a seminar for accountants who wanted to think outside the box and grow their company. I met a firm that was one of the sponsors. But I realized, that’s not the first time I heard about them. I had already seen a webinar that they participated in.
I kept “running” in to them. I read a great article on LinkedIn and the author was going to do a free 4-week webinar in partnership with this same firm. I signed up.
Yes! The firm believes you need to bring together your values, your direction, your ideal client, etc. They believe that a logo and color change may be needed but that they first need to understand your business so they can help you in the best way. They believe in getting clarity before you buy Google Ad-words or Facebook ads or spend more money on a website. They believe businesses should post information of substance and not only clever phrases. They think a branding plan is important.
I finally found “the” firm to help me brand. Stop by my next blog as I continue my journey to rebrand. . .