How to re-brand your consulting business?
Updated: May 4
If you are an entrepreneur, you might be considering doing a brand refresh, or a brand overhaul for your business.
Let's dig a bit deeper into what that would involve, and whether it's right for you.
The goal of re-branding
The goal of rebranding is to essentially create a new and differentiated brand identity in the minds of your current customers, investors, prospects, competitors, employees, and the general public. The re-brand should support your core message, while connecting with your audience in a new and authentic way.
Why re-brand your business?
You see, we as people re-brand all the time when it comes to our personal life. We see the need to make changes. We change our jobs, homes, diets, wardrobes – all for the purpose of bettering ourselves. Sometimes these changes happen over time. Sometimes they are more immediate, like a doctor telling us that we need to lose weight, or else it would result in further health-related ramifications.
As the saying goes, “out with the old, in with the new.”
Yes – these changes are vital for our personal growth. That being the said, what about the growth of a flourishing business?
Just like life, businesses also evolve over time. And when you look at your business now, you realize that you're not in the same place as you were when you first started.
But guess what? That is a good thing!
Rebranding a company is an opportunity for change. This isn’t something that forces your hand – it isn’t an ‘adapt or die’ situation, it’s an ‘adapt and flourish’ scenario.
Many, business owners see the need to rebrand their business as some sort of failing on the part of their brand, but that isn’t always true.
As in the case with our client urbanMetrics Inc, a Toronto consulting firm composed of 6 business partners, that deal in urban planning strategy for private real-estate developers as well as municipalities. They've been running a successful consulting practice for over 35 years. Their brand identity has served them well for over 10 years. But now they've outgrown it, that it started looking a bit dated - especially in this day & age of mobile, digital, and social media.
This is a sign of success rather than of failure. We helped them create a better version of themselves, by emphasizing their strengths and filling in their blind-spots. Their new brand helped them communicate what they do, and who they do it for. It helped them establish trust and credibility in the minds of the current clients, as well as new prospects.
Let’s look at 4 reasons why you may decide it could be time to rebrand your business:
1. The direction of your business has changed.
Wish we could all stare into a crystal ball and predict the trajectory of our business. But the fact is that we can only plan so far ahead when it comes to the future of our business. Even though the heart of our message stays the same, we naturally grow as business owners, perfecting our skills and honing our talents, creating a natural change of business direction.
Take our design agency, Rayvn. When we first started in 2018, we would take on any design project that came our way - everything from brand identity design, to package design, to website design, to retail design. Then the pandemic hit. Corporations were laying off their staff. The people who lost their jobs started setting up their own independent consulting businesses. This gave us the idea, that we could be the design agency to help these independent consultants to create their brand identity, website, and social media content to attract their ideal clients. We helped them set their business up for success. And it worked.
2. You’re attracting the wrong clientele.
Getting requests and offers from people that do not fit your target audience is a big sign that something needs to change. A one size fits all just doesn’t apply in best business practices. It’s vital to brand your business to reach the right clientele, as opposed to every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there.
3. Your branding and designs are outdated.
Vintage outerwear and products like old record players, polaroid cameras, and brogues are very much "in" right now. But vintage computers and websites built in Flash that don't work on mobile? Not so much. That's when you know it's time to do some brand-botox to revive the face of your business, meaning a whole revamp of the nature of your brand - the way it looks, sounds, and acts like to your ideal clients.
4. Your old brand doesn’t meet the needs of your audience.
When it comes to your business, your customers & clients are the core. It’s their ideas, their needs and their aspirations that are your foundation. If you don't have customers, you don't have a business.
So when your brand promise & ethos do not line up with theirs, the relationship between you both is severed. That’s the time for some brand therapy to reunite both sides of your business.
This year alone, at Rayvn, we've helped knowledge based consultants all over the world pivot in their business despite the uncertainties and business challenges that a pandemic year like 2021 brought.
Here are some of our clients that we've helped re-branded this year:
Normand - Law Firm (USA)
Sally Hogshead - Best-Selling Author & Keynote Speaker(USA)
Legacy Life Project - Video biography & documentary production studio (USA)
LIFE with Arwen - Financial Advisor & Women's Keynote Speaker (USA)
Kayan - Digital Marketer (Israel)
Dr. Peyo - Cosmetic Orthodontist (Spain)
Christos Nikas - Instagram Business Coach (Greece)
At Rayvn, the biggest thing we do for our clients is work on their brand positioning & client clarity. Sometimes our clients are so entrenched in their business, that they need the help of an outside consultant to provide a fresh perspective. As they say, "It's hard to read the label, from inside the jar".
Since we are outside the jar, we're able to see your business the way your ideal clients would see you. Once we establish the positioning & get client clarity, everything else falls into place. It gives us the guidelines to create your logo, your website, marketing collaterals, and social media content.
Let us explain how our branding & design process goes, using the example of urbanMetrics Inc.
STEP 1: Discovery
This is a 1 hour deep-dive recorded interview (via zoom) where we'll get to know everything about your business - where you are, where you've been, and where you want to go. We will ask you a series of questions where we will get to know all about your customers, your competitors, your industry niche, and your long term goals for your business.
Since urbanMetrics had 6 business partners, it was vital to hear all their opinions and point of views, to make sure that we were all on the same page.
STEP 2: Strategy
We will take a week to go through all the material that we've gathered in Step 1. We will do our own research, and validate our findings. We will then get back to you with a brand strategy to attain your business goals. This direction will include a unique brand positioning for your business, 3 look and feel mood-board options, and voice & tone that your business needs to communicate to appeal to your target audience.
For urbanMetrics, it was their collective wisdom that was their strength. The fact that they had 6 business partners who came from different backgrounds and offered different point of views was their differentiator. Their brand archetype was that of "The Sage" (a brand that seeks the truth & wisdom in all things). They wanted to keep the orange colour, because they had built equity in that over the years, but they wanted the orange to be more impactful. Being a Bay Street consulting firm, they wanted their brand identity to be sophisticated & clean, but still have a sense of humanity. A minimalistic & dignified moodboard was what they went for.
STEP 3: Design
Once you have signed off on a mood-board direction, we start the brand identity design process. This is where the brand strategy becomes visible. We create 3 logo design concepts, and showing how they manifests as website & marketing collateral:
Design option 1
Design option 2
Design option 3
Design option 3 was what urbanMetrics went for. The shape of the symbol represented that of a document. Creating important documents like Impact Analysis, and Economic Development Studies is what they are known for. Their symbol also represents that of a building - clearly showing that they are in the realm of urban planning. We designed the symbol to be distinct and compact enough to fit the size of a social media profile pic. We also tweaked the orange colour to make it more saturated & eye-catching than what they had previously.
A good brand identity should establish the following:
Clarify your brand’s message and ethos
Identify your audience and clientele
Make the services you offer clear
Reach and engage your audience
STEP 4: Development
Once the client chooses a brand identity design, we proceed with developing the corporate stationary, website design, social media templates and brand guidelines,
Stay true to your brand's mission
Whether you decide to rebrand your business or not, keep in mind what you want out for your business. Never lose sight of why you went into business in the first place and what it means to you. Being original and artistic will work in your favor, but authenticity and consistency are what matter most. You want your audience & your team to know and put faith in you: the awesome business entrepreneur.
Hi, I'm Denny Kurien. I'm the Creative Director & Co-Founder of Toronto branding studio, Rayvn Design. We build brands that turn expertise into profit.
My goal through my blog is to clarify and simplify the elusive idea of "branding," and share practical tips and tangible steps to help businesses find their unique brand voice, and help them attract their ideal clients.
Our strength has always been in working directly with the founders of startups and small businesses, in helping them materialize their vision for their premium brand. If you want to elevate your service-based business, attract high-paying clients, and create a waitlist worthy brand experience, then check out our prices, and if we fit the bill — then book a 15 minute consultation with us to see if we are a good fit to work together.