This week on NVTC’s blog, Elizabeth Harr of Hinge Marketing discusses 12 signs that it’s time for your technology company to rebrand.
Your technology firm’s brand is your most valuable asset. But many firms don’t make effective use of their brand or — worse — don’t have a well-developed brand in the first place.
To begin, let’s discuss just what your technology firm’s brand is all about. Branding is a large concept, but can be broken down into a fairly simple and digestible equation:
Your brand = Your reputation x Your visibility
Your brand is the totality of how your audience sees, talks about, and experiences your firm. This combines everything from your firm’s visual branding—like your logo and web design—to each idea, strategy and interaction you use to connect with prospects and clients.
Yet having a strong brand isn’t just about making your firm more recognizable to potential clients. In addition, a well-developed brand can help your technology firm accomplish the following:
- Attract clients more easily by generating more qualified leads and closing more sales
- Attract potential future business partners
- Command higher fees than competitors with weaker branding
- Attract top talent to work at your firm
- Set a higher standard for the daily operational performance of your firm
But despite all these advantages, if you’re like many technology firms, you’ve probably been able to grow without having a well thought out brand development strategy. Your growth has come fairly naturally, thanks to your referral network and the acquisition of a few major contracts.
However, this passive strategy is rarely sustainable over time. To continue growing or to accelerate your growth, it’s time to start making your firm’s brand work for you.
12 Signs It’s Time for Your Technology Firm to Rebrand
If you think your technology firm may be ready for a rebrand, but you aren’t quite sure, here are 12 questions you can ask yourself to help make your decision:
Are you getting fewer leads than in the past?
When your leads begin decreasing, it may be a good sign that your brand is no longer resonating with prospects. Rebranding can help your firm appeal to your audiences.
Are you entering a new market?
Entering into a new market is the perfect time to start fresh with a new brand. You can reestablish the strength of your brand alongside your new competitors.
Are you introducing new services?
When your firm goes through a significant change, you want to make sure your brand still reflects your firm’s new focus. If it doesn’t, it may be the perfect time for a rebrand.
Has your firm’s growth slowed or stopped?
This could be an indicator that it’s time to switch things up with a stronger and more carefully developed brand that clearly communicates your expertise and capabilities.
Have new competitors entered the marketplace?
A changing marketplace and new competition may mean your current branding will no longer do the trick. Undergoing a rebrand can help you stand up to changing demands.
Does your visual brand look tired compared to the competition?
If all of your competitors have moved forward with a strengthened brand, you don’t want to be left behind. Your firm’s visual branding elements (like your name, logo, tagline, and colors) communicate your brand and should be reviewed periodically for updates and consistency.
Do you struggle to describe how your firm is different?
Having a specialty or something to differentiate your firm from the competition is an important part of connecting with your target audience. A well thought out brand is the first step is portraying what makes your firm special.
Are you losing a higher percentage of competitive bid situations than in the past?
This is a strong indicator that it’s time to make a change. Measuring your current success against past victories can provide valuable insight into how your firm is continuing to grow.
Has your firm changed significantly since you last adjusted your brand?
Growth and change are inevitable—just make sure your brand continues to grow and evolve along with your firm.
Are you struggling to attract top talent?
In order to be a top technology firm, you need to have top talent working for you. If a weak brand is keeping your firm from attracting top employees, it might be time to rebrand.
Have your clients changed considerably?
You originally developed your brand with a specific client base in mind. And now those clients have changed. Their challenges and needs might have changed — and they may be searching for service providers differently. Your firm’s brand should change with them.
Are you trying to figure out how to take your firm to the next level?
If you’ve been asking yourself how you can accelerate your firm’s growth or reach the next level of your potential, a fresh rebranding could be the right place to get started.
If you nodded along to questions on this list, then you have your answer: it’s time for a rebrand. While it may initially be a challenge to get your firm executives and decision makers on board for your rebrand, an honest assessment and clear-cut plan can help overcome any initial internal reluctance. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the benefits of rebranding will be well worth it.
Elizabeth Harr is a partner at Hinge, a marketing and branding firm for professional services. Elizabeth is an accomplished entrepreneur and experienced executive with a background in strategic planning, brand building, and communications. She is the coauthor of The Visible Expert, Inside the Buyer’s Brain, How Buyers Buy: Technology Services Edition and Online Marketing for Professional Services: Technology Services Edition.