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08 Nov

What We Actually Mean by "Rebranding"

We often help clients that are wanting to rebrand. While they usually have the right intention, they often confuse the anticipated end with the means to get there. A brand, as our creative director Dan Alton says, is a stand in word for reputation, and a reputation is earned, regardless if it's positive or negative. Business magnate Jim Clayton famously says that a reputation takes “years to build, minutes to destroy.”

While a new logo, name and customer facing material may help enlighten people as to what you want to be about, it takes time to build a dependable reputation.  

To set yourself on this trajectory, you must position your brand to stake your authority in your niche. In short, brand positioning is the process of proving why you’re better than anyone else to help your customer.

Finding Who You’re Not

With all the confusion surrounding any industry, it’s best to start with who you’re not to distill who you are.

For example, our web and branding client Clayton Bank, shares their name with other businesses in the area founded by their chairman, the aforementioned Jim Clayton, but needed to show that they are quite different from those other companies.

The 15 locations of Clayton Bank are all in Tennessee and founded on the same principles of catering to the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs alongside honest working people. So, this did not really fit with the run-of-the-mill bank image of big business and particularly wealthy accounts.

By thinning out all the things that didn’t line up with their goals and values, it became much easier for us to position CB as the right bank for their target customers. 

Finding Who You Are

In the same vein as above, we helped another bank get the nitty gritty on their brand's position. Sevier County Bank, founded in 1909, has changed very little in their principles as the small mountain town became a booming tourist destination. From loaning to start homesteads to financing tourist attractions, SCB struggled to show how rooted they were in the community.

To us, the bank needed to remember that they already had an incredible reputation that generations of Sevier County residents could vouch for, if they were able to tell their story. We gave SCB and their clients that voice through a simple microsite called SCB stories.With contributions from customers and employees alike, we repositioned SCB's brand by telling the true stories of meeting their customer’s needs, from new businesses to century old family farms. 

Now, Start

The phrase is overusd, but being authentic is truly the best way to position your brand. There is a reason that you and everyone else you work with get up in the morning, so capture that internal force and that everlasting goal. Once in existential clarity, tell that story, and tell it consistently across all ways that your customers hear about you. With the right direction and steady commitment, you will build a solid brand. 

For more on branding and telling your story, check out these studies of ours and start sharing.