Ahh, rebranding. So much is talked about on this topic, but sometimes the proof is in the pudding or in this case, the proof is in the case study.
IT (FIT) had been in the IT business for over a decade. Their original focus had been providing IT solutions as well as a variety of other IT-related services like website design and hosting. Based on customer needs, they changed their focus to technology management for a specific target audience – small businesses. FIT needed a brand name and branding to reflect this new direction.
FIT had to differentiate itself from its competitors. But the FIT name and brand attributes – including the company name and brand slogan “Make IT work” – no longer seemed appropriate. The brand did not ‘speak’ to their audience or communicate what they specifically do.
We worked with them to investigate how the brand might address the company’s new direction of becoming a technology management resource for small businesses.
In addition to research on industry best practices, a comparative analysis was conducted on their competition. Potential new company names were tested with their customers, and discussions with customers, management, and employees were analyzed in depth by the Creativeworks team.
Based on the competitive research, as well as best practices and Creativeworks’ marketing experience, we recommended that the “new FIT brand” feature an advisor in its core message. An advisor sentiment communicates to customers that this company is more than an expert; they can solve customer concerns on a specific topic, which in this case was coupled with technology management.
The “advisor” message was then integrated into the branding with core attributes being trust, experience, knowledge, and superior quality staff and products. Quite simply, the new brand was now positioned as “the brand to trust for all your technology management needs.”
At the time, there was no other IT service provider that focused on trust as a unique angle, or was known as being an advisor to small businesses. In this industry, these were identified as ideal and strong differentiators.
Facilitate IT changed its name to IT Business Advisors and a strong tagline was added: “Your trusted technology management team”. This further defined and positioned their brand.
Key Lessons Learned
Firstly, rebranding is also about change: change of mindset for owners, management, employees and customers so including them in the process, even minimally, is key to its adoption and success.
Secondly, when rebranding, continually check your process by asking: Does it deliver an accurate perception of their identity? Does it improve customer confidence in their business? Does it increase their profile? Will it help enhance their competitive advantage?
Lastly, rebranding is not about new colours, websites or even a new logo (although that is part of implementing the rebrand), it’s about creating a company message that employees and customers understand and can rally around.
Read what our client has to say about this experience in a press release we issued as a result of winning an international creative award for this rebranding initiative: http://www.ourcreativeworks.ca/2012HermesPlatinumAward.html
Have any branding stories you’d like to share? I’d be interested in hearing from you.