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Spice, for example; ten years ago sales were struggling, as the brand struggled to throw off a reputation as an old, outdated fragrance, in the face of competition from younger brands such as Axe.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.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.