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Branding

Is Your Brand Boring? It Might be Time to Rebrand

By: Robert Wallace

An orange... is an orange... is an orange. Unless, of course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist, a name eighty percent of consumers know and trust.

- Russel L. Hanlin, CEO, Sunkist Growers

It might be hard to admit, but if you’re wondering if your brand is boring, it probably is. I hear it all the time, “I want my brand to be like Apple.” News flash: it’s not going to happen. Apple is an outlier – a sexy, beautiful, beloved product that’s been built over decades of putting the customer first.

This concept is especially hard for B2B companies because most are inherently boring. It’s easy to look over the fence and think it would be more fun to sell the latest, glitzy B2C product to all the cool kids. But in the B2B world, we get to tell real stories about making users’ lives easier, helping a team be better at their job, maybe make or break their career, and deliver on the promises that we make. This isn't boring.

Rebranding your business can give it new life. A fresh brand can help you keep the users you have and entice new ones along the way. A brand is more than color schemes and logos. A brand is the story you are telling, the emotion you are evoking in your customers, the pain points you are solving, etc. All the best combined colors in the world will not drive revenue. Only a good brand can do that.

Looking for Examples

Let’s take Mailchimp for example. Email delivery in theory isn’t that sexy of a topic. So how do they engage me – the busy, spread-too-thin marketing VP?

They make the act of sending emails a little more enjoyable. In a recent interview, Mailchimp’s Marketing Director, Mark DiCristina, said, "Having a mascot is not a substitute for having a marketing strategy." Sure, the monkey is great, but it’s the interaction with the software (ok, and the monkey) that makes us happy.

After we hit send on our email, we get a high five congratulating us for doing something productive for the day. When we get a new subscriber that same loving monkey makes us feel popular by pointing it out and praising us for getting new eyes on our content. It helps us feel part of something more fun and creative than just sending the normal emails and counting subscribers. It’s an experience and it keeps us coming back. And it’s intentional.

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From Boring to Great

So how can you replicate this success for your brand? The process can be long, with many moving parts, but also fairly simple:

  1. Lead everything with your benefits. Don’t get in the weeds on features and tech talk. Stick with the emotion of the problem you are solving and make it clear to the customer why their life will be easier if they use your product.
  2. Show off your personality. Make the mundane fun. Engage and interact with your users to encourage and educate them as they are navigating through your product. For example, everyone hates being on hold, and most have a love/hate relationship with conference calls. So why not call out the elephant in the room like UberConference does. They created a unique, entertaining song that plays while you are on hold - making you forget for just a moment how annoyed you are.
  3. Tell a good story. You created a product for a reason, what is it and why should your customers care? Who can forget the viral marketing craze “Will it Blend?” from Blendtech. Since 2006 there have been over 140 videos with over 250 million views from people wanting to know if everything from the Apple Watch to glow sticks to diamonds will blend in their infamous blender. Sure it’s somewhat silly, but after watching a few videos, I’m convinced it can handle my kale and carrots...and margaritas.
  4. Understand who will be using the product, and speak to them directly. Too many BtoB companies focus their benefit statements on the C-suite. Sure, there is a place for this in the buyer’s journey, but the emotional connection should happen with the everyday user. It’s the user’s loyalty that you want to possess. They will be the ones engaged and selling that subscription renewal to the execs because they have a clear understanding of how you help them be a better version of their professional self.

A rebrand takes commitment. Some succeed and some fall short. If your brand is stale, it’s time to dust it off and trade it in for something that is a better representation of your awesome product.

Learn more about how brands drive revenue:

Written by Robert Wallace

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