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How a Branding Overhaul Can Move Your Business Forward

Business

Is your business not attracting the clients you want? Although you might think you have the perfect business idea, that doesn't explain why your growth is slowing, or your target demographics are not being reached. If your business, whether it's a startup or an established company, is suffering from these problems, then maybe it's time for a brand overhaul.


How you brand your company and present it to the public is considered to be the single most important factor in determining business success. How your company looks, feels, sounds and engages with audiences is in many ways more important than what you're actually selling. A rebrand can be just what you need to revitalize a slumping business. Here's how to do it the right way.

Rebranding Done Right

A rebrand is never a magic cure-all for your business. You need to make sure the time is right and that you're going about it the right way. The best way to do this is to follow the lead of some companies that have staged hugely successful rebrands in the last few years, as they have plenty of lessons to teach.

One of the most common reasons companies rebrand is to adapt to shifting demographics, usually in an attempt to attract younger customers. Plenty of household names are still thriving because they managed to successfully inject a little youth into their brand. Take the fragrance giant Old Spice, for example; ten years ago sales were struggling, as the brand struggled to throw off a reputation as an old, outdated fragrance, in the face of competition from younger brands such as Axe. They overhauled their brand with their iconic "Axe Swagger" ad campaign, featuring rap stars, NFL players and famous young actors using the fragrance in a series of sarcastic commercials. The brand took off exponentially as a result and is today one of the top selling body sprays in the US.

Successful rebranding does not just apply to products. Take the UK-wide bingo chain Buzz Bingo, which only recently completely overhauled their brand to become a more trendy, youthful venue. They revamped the logo and completed redecorated many of their spaces, providing more space colour and of course, hipster food staples like fully-stacked burgers and spicy burritos. The move was a huge success, and has since helped spur on a new trend of millennials heading to bingo.

A re-brand could also re-launch your food and beverage business. Take the classic American beer Pabst Blue Ribbon, which only a few years ago was seriously in the doldrums. Rather than going for an intensive marketing campaign, the brand managed to reposition itself as a staple of the young hipster night out, simply by ensuring a strong presence at some of the hippest venues and club nights across the world. With a little help from pop stars like Lana Del Rey, who famously references Blue Ribbon in her song "This Is What Makes Us Girls", the brand has enjoyed its best growth streak in history.

Follow these examples, and you'll be able to move your business forward. Targeting high spending demographics like millennials is a tried a tested winner, so doing your research and learning to connect with them is key to revitalizing your brand.

3 Min Read
Business

Five Essential Lessons to Keep in Mind When You're Starting Your Own Business

"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.

Find A Need And Fill It

I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.

Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.

Have Working Capital And Credit

There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.

I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.

Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.

My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.

Know Your Product Thoroughly

I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?

My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.

My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!

More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.

Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth

I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.

I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.

Delegate From The Bottom Up

I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.

In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.