Rebrands are the opioids of entrepreneurship.

Rebrand. A word many entrepreneurs use but don’t know that it may be hurting their business more than helping. How’s that possible? Let’s take a look.

First of all, opioids block pain, induce a calming effect, and deliver huge dopamine and endorphin kicks on-demand—sort of like what the Black Panther movie has done to me over the past two weeks (addictive, but significantly less deadly).

When your business causes problems, stresses you out like it’s tax season 24/7, and fails to create “passion highs”, what’s the typical response? A rebrand.

Rebrands deliver everything opioids do.

They temporarily mask business problems, ease anxiety, and deliver dopamine kicks like a Popeye’s 4 for $4 special when you see your new logo, brand colors, and graphics. Then a few weeks go by and the high disappears leaving you back where you started.

I promise—no one has ran your business to me, but if I’m speaking to you, you don’t need a rebrand.

You need to understand your business, the audience you serve, and the problems they need you to fix.

Rebrands are bandaids for wounds that need stitches.

Being a brand designer for 12 years this is the #1 priority for most entrepreneurs until I start asking deeper questions and discover real issues their businesses have.

Due to this, I’m bringing some of those questions and clarity into this post.

So if you hit green all the way down, do not stop. Pass go. This is your get out of jail free card to get that rebrand you’ve been wanting. But if you find yourself in the red, park it on Illinois Avenue and take a step back. It’s time to start going in a direction that produces results.

GET A REBRAND IF….

YES

You have a website, landing pages, and sales funnels in place. You are making 4, 5, or 6 figures with your business. It’s a well oiled machine but you know you can make more and elevate the reach, power, and message of your business if you invest in professional branding services.

NO

You don’t have a website that converts visitors into customers, landing pages, or sales funnels. You’re losing money more than you’re making it.

Why?

Rebrands (or branding) can’t handle the backend systems of business. It’s front-facing. Logos, brand colors, and fonts can attract the right people to the table, but websites, landing pages, and sales funnels are responsible for running coins to your bank account. Knowing the problem you solve for your audience keeps the backend well oiled and maintained. When you solve problems, you’ll always be in business. No amount of branding or rebranding will get you to that point. “Great branding generates attention and awareness. The right systems generate money.”

Great branding generates attention and awareness. The right systems generate money.

GET A REBRAND IF….

YES

You had your current brand visuals for years and know it’s time to upgrade. Your audience has been riding with you for a long time and deserve something fresh, new, and exciting. You’re ready to visually take your business to the next level and discover new opportunities you haven’t been able to see.

NO

You have a concept or idea for a business. You have not validated the business, but you want to get branding work done.

Why?

Folks spend their coins on solutions, not because your logo looks nice. Branding an idea or concept without validating that it’s going to solve a problem is an investment you don’t need to make right now.

Therefore, understand how your business solves a problem by first understanding the audience your business serves.

GET A REBRAND IF….

YES

Your mentors and coaches have told you your brand visuals need work. Your business is growing and scaling, but getting a rebrand would produce even better results.

NO

You’re not entirely sure where you’re headed. You feel like you’re all over the place but maybe a rebrand will help you focus.

Why?

You need clarity. No amount of rebranding or branding will give you that. I say this often (fight me), but you need help seeing the forest from the trees. There’s a bigger picture you can’t bring into focus and need an objective perspective to see it.

There’s opportunities and money all OVER the table. You just need help seeing them.

So what's next?

If you:
  1. Have not proven the business is sustainable and profitable
  2. Have not validated the business and determined it’s a problem-solving business
  3. Have lost all sense of direction
Put rebranding or branding on the shelf for now. This is what you do next.

Your Audience Has Problems. Solve Them.

Get that itch they can’t scratch.

Do this by going deeper than products and services.

There’s a difference between “I sell handwritten cards” and “I help others build more authentic relationships and learn how to communicate with handwritten cards.”

The first one is a commodity. You can grab a card at Dollar General.

The second one solves a problem.

It helps the person who wants to build better relationships learn how to be a better communicator.

It speaks to the problem, not the product.

But this level of understanding only comes from knowing your audience. And when I talk about knowing your audience, I mean KNOW your audience.

The Essentials to Knowing Your Audience

This is all about going under the hood.

Your goal is to uncover the culture of your brand’s audience and how your audience feels when it interacts with your brand. It’s about discovering the soul of the people who will become your brand tribe.

It’s deep.

Woke AF-levels deep and gets you thinking beyond age brackets, genders, and household incomes.

Create Your Audience’s Belief Ecosystem

You’ll want to uncover the deeper meaning behind your brand and how it impacts your audience.

You’ll discover the purpose of your brand and why it needs to exist; the impact it will make on your audience and how they’ll be transformed; and understand what your audience believes in.

That last part is essential.

It’s at that point you begin to shape and define a rallying point for your audience to go from brand to movement, but that’s another blog for another day.

Create an Audience Discovery Board

You’ll then need to put a face to these people in an audience discovery board.

Don’t just jot things down on a ‘brand avatar worksheet’ and be done with it. Give these people a face and larger presence in the life of your business.

It truly takes audience discovery to a new level.

Create a Brand Script

This is something I never knew I needed and now can’t live without.

It’s a seven-part framework designed around the elements of storytelling and outlines the journey your customer takes with you.

Can’t get that elevator pitch together? This is the tool of all tools to end those fear-inducing stutter sessions when you’re asked what you do on the spot.

Creating one of these helps you know exactly what your business is, what it offers, and why it matters.

Trust me—you’ll never not reference this once you have it.

So how do you get to THIS stage in your business?

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