12 Considerations to Make Before Changing Your Brand Image

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What’s your best piece of branding advice for companies that are trying to pivot or change their image?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Jonathan Long1. Don’t Drift Too Far Away

If you opt for a radical change, you might lose a large percentage of your current customer base. It’s possible to make a significant branding change that allows you to maintain enough of your original image to hold onto current users while still creating a “new” image. A subtle change is less risky than a complete makeover.   – Jonathan LongMarket Domination Media

Elliot Bohm2. Be Authentic

When changing a company’s image, it’s important to choose an image that feels right for you and your employees. Otherwise, you run the risk of the company having an ill-fitting personality or being unable to keep up that image.   – Elliot BohmCardcash.com

Andrew Thomas3. Get an Outside Perspective

When changing your image or product offering, it is imperative to get an outsider’s perspective on your branding plan. When you start a company and shift your image or strategy, your discernment can fade while your bias for your first creation skews your judgment of the second. Board members are great for this, as are mentors and advisors. If you can afford it, a branding agency can help.   – Andrew ThomasSkyBell Video Doorbell

Josh Sprague4. Go All In

Do it fast, do it complete and do it thoroughly. This isn’t something to phase in. If it’s a new slogan you’re after, make sure it’s everywhere, including print, digital, posters in your office, business cards and bumper stickers. Get your content machine churning out the new image, reasons for the change, and most importantly, follow through on the message.   – Josh SpragueOrange Mud

Brittany Hodak5. Think About 10 Years From Now

When pivoting it’s important to think not only about the past and present but also about the distant future. Is your pivot positioning your brand too narrow to grow? Is the name/identity broad enough to support future growth, but also specific enough to address your core values and current vision? Ask yourself if you think an image will still stand up in 10 years before making any change.   – Brittany HodakZinePak

Justin Graves6. Focus on Your Ideal Customer Profile

Before making the pivot, you should spend time on these questions: Who are my ideal customers? What are their use cases, pain points and similarities? Your rebranding should focus entirely on building a brand that connects with these specific individuals.   – Justin GravesInfegy, Inc.

Shalyn Dever7. Be Consistent

When you rebrand, make sure to keep everything consistent. Your company should build a set of brand standards for content, storytelling and images, and the brand standards must apply to every piece of collateral.   – Shalyn DeverChatter Buzz

Alan Hart8. Define Your Core Purpose

Limit yourself to three to seven words that describe your core purpose in a statement. This does two things: 1. Strips away the use of business lingo and gets to the core, and 2. If the business can’t decide on this common statement, then you know you have more than a branding problem. You have an alignment issue.   – Alan HartAvid

Derek Hunter9. Be Certain if any Changes Are Needed

Ask yourself why you’re changing at all! Are you reacting to your competition? That’s a terrible idea. Is there a gaping hole in the market that such an adjustment would be advantageous to your company? Go for it! You should have a solid reason to change. The market should immediately be able to recognize why you pivoted, and, if you’re changing just for the sake of change, that’s a fool’s errand.   – Derek HunterWilliam Roam

Charlie Gilkey10. Amplify What’s Most Unique About Your Company

To change your image, you’re going to have to radically cut or add something to your brand. Otherwise, you’re just an incremental iteration of what you werebefore. Find whatever is most unique about your company and radically amplify that. Make it the base upon which you build the brand, not the flavor you add on top of the brand.   – Charlie GilkeyProductive Flourishing

Christopher Kelly11. Go Big and Broad

Stand next to the biggest thing you can find. Move past communicating explicit product and feature benefits, and align yourself with big, ambitious goals that your clients and team can get behind. Not only will you win hearts and minds, but the broader positioning also gives you enough room for enduring success.   – Christopher KellyConvene

Alfredo Atanacio12. Don’t Operate Under Assumptions

Market research must be a paramount concern. Make sure to take into consideration your target market. If you haven’t performed a market study, you need to do so to better understand how to attract the attention you want and find out where you should direct your efforts moving forward. This will help you achieve better results and create an image that matches your company’s vision and mission.   – Alfredo AtanacioUassist.ME


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

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What will replace Facebook? Six considerations

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what will replace facebook

A question I often receive in my classes and talks is “What will replace Facebook?”

It’s a natural question. We look to history to see the progression of upstarts replacing established companies — didn’t Facebook replace MySpace? — and of course assume there is a new idea out there somewhere waiting to unseat Facebook as the leading social network.

But that is not necessarily the case. What will replace Facebook? Here are six factors that will determine that question … and the company’s future.

1. The cool factor

Facebook’s biggest vulnerability is that it would fall out of favor with its core audience. If it ever becomes “uncool,” its marketshare will slip away quickly. This is one reason why Google+ struggled to be mainstream. It was Tom Hanks when it needs to be JayZ.

So what is hot today? Instagram. WhatsApp. Guess who owns these? Facebook. To remain relevant, Facebook will certainly build a war chest to continue to buy platforms that are siphoning off customers and ad dollars. A smart strategy.

I think it is possible to remain relevant generation to generation. Look at Coca-Cola. Without changing the product, it has remained vital across the generations for 120 years! Can Facebook stay cool? That needs to be their number one priority.

2. The switching costs

It is far easier to change houses than to change social networks. Facebook has become a convenient hub for photos, videos, games, family, and friends. It is literally a timeline of our lives. It would be hard to give that up.

To move to another network, you would have to move all of that or start over. Not easy.

Research shows that even Millennials are diversifying their social media use but not leaving Facebook entirely. The switching cost is a huge advantage for Facebook.

3. The investment

Facebook has spent billions of dollars on software development and the extraordinarily complex processes that make it work. It has billions invested in mega-datacenters.

Facebook works really well on a massive scale. Even if you don’t like HOW it is designed, you have to admit it functionally works. Duplicating that technology and infrastructure would be an immense challenge. They have such a head start … and the gap widens day by day, patent by patent.

4. The psychology of choice

In most other places in our life we enjoy having a choice. We like lots of brands in the grocery store or may shop around town to choose between different car companies.

But when it comes to social networks, we seem to only have the bandwidth for one.  We don’t need another Twitter. The one we have works fine.

We don’t need another LinkedIn. That niche has been filled.

And we don’t need another massive social network.

5. The leadership

Here are characteristics of Mark Zuckerberg that will solidify Facebook’s long-term success:

  1. He knows what he doesn’t know. He is an urgent learner and can see his own weaknesses and vulnerabilities as a leader.
  2. Zuckerberg has surrounded himself with outstanding business leaders, not just friends and sycophants
  3. He has committed to long-term strategies and investments, even when the decisions are not popular with Wall Street
  4. He is obsessed with a vision and has a unique financial arrangement to assure he will be the leader of his company long enough to see it through.

Facebook is a well-run company and it is being built to last.

6. The future

Facebook made an investment in 2014 which I predict will prove to be one of the most impactful technology alliances in history. It bought the immersive augmented reality company Oculus (not Oculus Rift which is the company’s headset).

This is a topic for an entirely different post, but let’s just say that Oculus has patents that can potentially transform the way we connect, become informed, and entertain ourselves … just as Facebook did in the last five years.

Facebook is preparing to re-invent itself in amazing new ways.

Perhaps “what will replace Facebook” is the wrong question. A more interesting question is “How is Facebook replacing itself?”  Perhaps the Era of Facebook just beginning?

What do you think?

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