Embrace the Spirit of Renewal
Spring is upon us, carrying with it the spirit of change and renewal, and there’s little more emblematic of that spirit than new ownership taking the reins of an established business – setting out to make it their own. But, there’s more to putting a new spin on an existing brand than merely announcing “Under New Management” and calling it a day.
Broadly speaking, when talking about new owners of established businesses, there are two groups to consider, each with their own motivations and their own challenges to face.
First are those who have purchased successful businesses with high brand equity. You might think this would be a foolproof scenario, but new owners in this situation should still be mindful of a few basic points:
Big Changes Aren’t Always Necessary
Since the business is doing well, there probably won’t be any big moves required of the new ownership. Instead, the focus should be on adding polish while identifying and accentuating the brand’s strengths.
Take a Peek Under the Hood
Even a successful business can find room for improvement somewhere. Look for ways to tighten things up behind the scenes to improve your customers’ experience, by addressing issues like website speed and functionality, inventory management, or response time to customer queries.
Recognize the Existing Brand Equity
You’ve bought this business because of its success. So, respect the pillars of brand equity that have led to that success – not just the aesthetics of the brand, but the underlying brand story as well. Stray too far afield, and you risk alienating a loyal, built-in customer base.
Facing a different set of challenges are those who have purchased failing businesses and are looking to rebuild brand equity that is declining or damaged. A few words of advice for this group:
Identify and Fix Weaknesses
Your number one priority should be obvious – correctly identify why the previous ownership failed, and fix their mistakes. Don’t assume a radical shift in branding is necessary. Sometimes businesses fail because of bad decisions that are totally independent of branding and marketing efforts.
Focus on Outreach
Initially, your marketing strategy will have to incorporate a fair amount of damage control and reputation repair. You’ll need to keep focus on regaining customers’ confidence and trust as you steer the business back to a position of strength.
Don’t Take Re-branding Lightly
If you find it’s necessary to undertake a full-fledged re-brand, it’s essential to do your homework beforehand, and execute the roll-out of your new brand smoothly and consistently across the board. Take care to avoid common re-branding mistakes to keep your rebuild on a steady trajectory.
Whatever your reasons for buying a business, Rosie’s Creative can help you hit the ground running with a marketing strategy tailored to your needs and goals. We identify strengths and weaknesses, interpret data, and provide valuable advice to prepare you for the challenges ahead.