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Coloured post-it on green table. There a handwritten question mark designed on the first post-it to simbolise questions to ask before you reposition your brand

5 key questions to ask before you reposition your brand

Sep 3, 2021 | Branding, Tips for small businesses

Many companies (big and small) have been forced to reposition their brand in the current climate. This can be extremely stressful and challenging (and at a time when we’re anything but inspired!). There are many reasons why you might reposition your brand: it could be due to external and unforeseen factors, a result of changes in competition, or even a change in the market situation. For example, you should consider repositioning your brand if your sales have dramatically slowed down, if technology has disrupted your industry or if you see an opportunity to improve demand for your offering. 

Repositioning enables you to change your customer’s perception of your brand so that you can compete more effectively in the market.

So, what’s the difference between brand reposition and rebranding?

  • Rebranding a company means changing it’s brand identity. This includes modifying elements such as name, colours, type font, tagline, etc. If your brand were to be a person, this could translate into gaining or losing weight, changing hairstyle or colour and – why not – changing name. 
  • Repositioning a brand means changing the customer’s understanding of what the product or brand is. This usually entails changes in the brand’s promise and personality. If your brand were to be a person, this would mean changes to the person’s values, attitude, personality, etc. Examples could include a shop-based bakery now providing a delivery service, a video production company now offering remote video production services or a hotel offering extra safety and cleaning services. 

Here are our top 5 questions we recommend you ask yourself if you’re considering repositioning your business…

What does your target audience need and want right now?

It’s important to listen to your customers and figure out the problem your brand, product or service can solve. This is absolutely crucial for the success of your repositioning strategy. Survey your current customers as well as members of your target market to ask how you can better present your product or service (or what might be missing). You can:

Black text on red backgorund. Text reads: survey your target market as part of your brand reposition

Conduct an online focus group

Bring a group of potential customers together for an hour or two (10-15 people is an ideal number). Pose open-ended questions with no particular answer implied. Questions should be clearly worded and to the point; you should only ask for one thing, no more. Having a moderator (to ask the questions and engage the group) and an assistant (to take notes and look after the technicalities) can be very helpful here! You may want to incentivise people with a treat e.g. a voucher or a giveaway – it’s a nice way to thank them for their time and help. 

Run a survey

The anonymity of a survey can reveal what customers really think about your business as well as allowing them to share their ideas and opinions. Create a list of relevant questions (no more than 10) and try to keep the language simple. You can then send an email to your list of subscribers, share your survey on social media or display a banner on relevant industry websites. You can use tools such as SurveyMonkey, Google Forms and Typeform to create your survey and record the results.  

Listen to your customers on Social Media

Find public conversations and mentions and listen to what your customers say about your brand, product or service. This will help you understand what perception and sentiment people have in relation to your offer. This is a very important step for every business looking to reposition its brand. There are loads of social listening tools out there that can help you in this process e.g. Hootsuite, Brandwatch, Brand24 and more. 

Remember that you can’t satisfy everyone – but you should aim to satisfy the majority of your target audience.

Can you attract new customers through a brand reposition?

Once you’ve identified your customers’ (new) pain points and how to satisfy their needs, it’s crucial to understand how big your audience segment(s) is and whether it’s profitable and feasible to reach them.

Black text on green backgorund. Text reads: how big is your audience segment? This is somthing to consider when you reposition your brand.

To start, you should research your competitors. Who are your key competitors and how successful are they? Will you have to compete against big and established brands? Are there any weak spots in your competitors’ processes you can leverage on? 

You can also run a keyword search to gain a better understanding of your audience volumes. Think about the words people would use to search for your offer and check them out. How many people are searching for these keywords (i.e. are the volumes high)? How competitive is each keyword (i.e. are you up against big brands, huge websites and tons of paid advertising)? To do this, you can use tools such as Keyword Generator that give you an estimated monthly volume for each keyword + a list of 50 question-type queries (i.e. what queries people normally type when using that keyword). Google Trends is another useful tool that helps you visualise the popularity of a keyword over time. Alternatively, you can drop us a line and ask us to run these searches for you and list our suggestions.

What ‘added value’ can you give the customer? 

After you have researched and reviewed your competitors, it’s time to explore how you can give more value to your customers. More than ever customers want more for their money. The customer experience has never been more important and you need to ensure that you are offering the best service to your customer. Your customer has more time now to research options, check out reviews and ask their friends and family for recommendations. How can you stand out?

Go above and beyond with customer service

We are obsessed with how great customer service can transform your brand. Everyone remembers that time their day was made after a fun chat with a customer service rep or a shop assistant has genuinely asked them about their purchase. Being just ‘good’ at customer service isn’t enough now – make every conversation memorable. Are you enjoying the conversation? If you are – then hopefully they are. Can you make it personalised or ask how their day is? Can you find out more about why they are purchasing? Get to know your customer and be a good listener. They will remember you and you will retain their loyalty. 

Personality is essential

As with above – make sure to have a memorable conversation. Efficient transactions aren’t enough anymore. Etsy sellers are great at this – they always talk to you like they are your friend and there’s absolutely no copy & pasting going on. Don’t be afraid to use personality during customer conversations. This needs to fit in with your brand tone of voice – however, any brand can still be interesting and memorable (speak to us if you’d like to brainstorm this!). 

Special offers

Black text on blue background. Text reads: discounts & freebies make it easy for the customer to choose you.

These need to be carefully considered to ensure they fit with your brand – but special offers are always a great value adder. Can you offer customers a reciprocal refer a friend deal? Alternatively, can you give them a free gift for spending a certain amount? Customers expect special offers nowadays and there are websites built just to help customers find discount codes and special offers. Make it easy for your customer to choose you and give them an offer they can’t refuse.

How will you sell your product? 

We’re sure you have a long list of tried and tested sales techniques and you know just how to get your customers through the door BC (that’s ‘before Covid’). However, things are different now and you may need to review your sales and marketing tactics. We recommend you consider the following when thinking about your brand reposition:

  • Consider messaging carefully: Is it time to refresh your brand messaging? Be honest with yourself – have you been using the same rotated messages on repeat? Are you being too direct and too sales focused? Are you being original? It’s important to consider what problem you’re solving for the customer. Are you educating, empowering or entertaining? Or do you provide an essential service? We recommend you work with your creative team members or an external copywriter (or Saltoria!) to refresh, replenish and add a bit of extra sparkle to your current messaging. 
  • Choose the relevant channels: Review your analytics for your channels. Have behaviours changed? Have you had a boost on a particular channel? Maybe it’s time to focus your efforts more on Instagram? Perhaps your website needs a new section to explain your new offer in more detail? Maybe it’s time to consider video marketing to convey your message in a quick and engaging way? Check out our Marketing Audit package – this might help give you the relevant clarity in this area. 
  • Consider timings: Be careful not to rush once you’ve landed on a new position or a new idea. Consider when it might be best to launch your new offer – is now the right time or would a special launch work? Maybe you need to try it out with a few selected current customers first and get their feedback? 

Can you use technology to improve your customer experience? 

We have heard tons of stories about companies transforming their tech due to Covid. Many companies have been forced to go online for safety purposes and many have had to be innovative to compete against their competitors.

There are many tools out there to transform your customer experience and enhance the sales journey. This doesn’t always have to break the bank. Some recommendations to consider could be:

  • Can you make your booking process quicker? E.g. If you’re a coach why not use the cool app calendy so that your customers can self-book their first 121?
  • Can you ensure all paperwork is digitally managed? Whilst you might use the eye-rolling emoji here – many companies haven’t needed to switch from a paper based process as, you know – ‘if it ain’t broke’? Safety is now the priority for all transactions – so ensure you make it easy for the customer to send their paperwork electronically if this is required. 
  • Can you use email automation? There are some really neat and cost-effective email marketing automation tools out there. MailChimp for example allows you to pre-schedule and send specific emails to openers and non-openers. This is just one example of how you can boost customer enquiries or website visitors. 
  • Can your service be more online? We recently worked with a video production client to help them position their remote video production service. At the start of lockdown it was impossible to do face-to-face video recording and they needed to adapt quickly to keep their clients happy.
  • Can you keep customers engaged using texts? We are all on our phones even more often than before – we expect updates and real-time news. Can you ensure your customer is kept up to date along every stage of the customer journey?

In conclusion

We recommend you think VERY carefully when considering a brand reposition. You may want to focus on just a part of your business or one small area – then adapt (and scale up) as you see success. Involve all your team members as much as you can – we are all customers and sometimes the most original ideas come from the most unexpected people! We also encourage you to think about a risk assessment so you can weigh up the problems that might arise as a result of this change. Be bold and brave  – these aren’t the times to be treading water! 

Have you enjoyed our post on brand reposition? If you feel that your brand or service has lost its relevance and needs a reboot – talk to us. Sometimes an outside opinion and perspective is all that’s needed (you probably have the solution tucked away somewhere!). Remember – you can book a free consultation with Saltoria anytime.

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