Have you ever thought about rebranding your plumbing business? Maybe you’ve added services such as HVAC and electrical. Maybe your company has changed ownership or merged with another company. Or maybe it’s just time for a change.
But before you take the plunge, consider this: Rebranding is a complex process full of pitfalls for the unwary business owner. Changing your name, logo and image have broader implications than you think. Done right, rebranding can bring your business more clients and position you for future growth. Done wrong, it can be a disaster.
“Branding often is confused for a logo and style guide, when a truly strong brand is one that connects the company and its employees with customers, and is ingrained in the service or products provided and consumed,” said Kenneth Nahiginan in the Forbes article, “When Planning to Rebrand, Remember These 8 Factors.” “When rebranding, it is important to ensure that the company or organization is becoming better, and not just different.”
While there are plenty of public relations endeavors you can implement in-house, rebranding is one I strongly recommend you don’t try on your own. There’s a saying that goes, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur.” A professional public relations agency can steer you away from the common hazards of rebranding and make sure your new image benefits your bottom line.
What’s in a name?
Your company’s name is one of the most important assets you have. Changing it has huge implications for your customers, your employees and your future growth. If you’re looking at a name change, consider what appeals to your target audience, what will differentiate you from your competition and what best sums up who you are as a company.
Rebranding professionals will conduct market research and make recommendations based on your company’s location, history, competition, ideal customer and many other factors that can inform how much — or how little — you change your name.
Another consideration is to ensure there is room to grow in your name. Don’t make your new name so specific that you can’t add more products or services later.
Get a pro for your logo
Your new logo and color palette will become the face of your company, so it’s not a good idea to cut corners here, either. A web-based logo service might get you something usable and attractive, but it won’t come with the experience and market research that a rebranding agency brings to the table.
Your logo and color scheme need to do a lot of jobs. They need to communicate what your company does and evoke a positive emotional response in your target audience. They need to set you apart from competitors. Remember that these elements will be everywhere, from the front of your building to your work vehicles, from your website to your business cards. Making all those changes is a huge expense, so it’s best to get it right the first time.
No lawsuits, please
Litigation and copyright infringement are other hazards of rebranding. Avoiding lawsuits is another way to see a return on investment when you go with a professional rebranding agency. Your great idea for a new company name and logo might be taken, and it might be taken by a company with enough clout to take you to court over it.
Copyright law is more complicated than most people realize. You can get into real trouble for something as simple as using a color that someone has trademarked in your industry.
Imagine spending all the time and money to rebrand, to change signage, letterhead and website, to wrap your vehicles, to embroider new work shirts for your technicians. Imagine all of the tasks and changes to be made, such as buying a new domain name, redesigning your website and informing your customers of the change.
And now imagine receiving a cease-and-desist letter.
Using an online service to create your logo is risky, too. Often these companies are located overseas and have little knowledge of U.S. copyright law. Some may even sell a logo too similar to someone else’s to you, so be sure to vet any service thoroughly if you choose to go that route.
A rebranding public relations agency will research your company’s new name and logo to make sure no one else is using them. This information might not turn up in a Google search, so it’s best to ask a professional for help. That way, you can have some peace of mind when you make your first printing order.
Stand out from the crowd
There are many other reasons why rebranding should not be undertaken lightly. For example, professional rebranding will involve search engine optimization research to help set your plumbing company apart from the competition in online search results.
If target keywords chosen in your rebranding are too close to your competitors, search engines will use variable algorithms to prioritize the results — and your company might not get the placement it deserves. Professional rebranding will put SEO experts to work for you, boosting you to the top of the search results.
When it’s time to rebrand, do your research and hire an agency that is the best fit for you and your company. I recommend finding an agency with plenty of experience in the home services industry. Its team of professionals will know the forces shaping your industry, upping the chances they will get your rebranding project done right and get you the maximum return on your investment.