The branding article in the September / October IPA Bulletin titled "Rebranding Your Company" by Nancy Lowther features an interview with Widen CEO Matthew Gonnering.
Recognized for its comprehensive coverage of issues and challenges facing graphic solutions providers, the bimonthly IPA Bulletin magazine features in-depth articles on technical innovations, standards, and business development in graphic communications.
Go straight to the article: Rebranding Your Company.
Here's a summary of the main points in the business branding article:
Branding is the most valuable and fragile asset to an organization.
Brands have two sides – an external and an internal. Externally, it is the perception of the products or services delivered to the marketplace. Internally, it’s a personality... a set of defining characteristics to which a company aligns.
How is Widen an example of a company re-branded? Like other traditional prepress services companies and printing companies offering prepress services have done, Widen has evolved and diversified into areas to include digital media management, digital content management, photography and premedia services. However, this goes beyond “re-branding” but also includes a company reinventing itself.
Why do companies rebrand? Companies look to rebrand if and when they say yes to any of the following questions:
- Is your revenue declining?
- Has your revenue been the same year after year?
- Have you lost customers?
- Are you losing key employees?
- Have you lost market share due to market changes and trends?
Companies must face the rebranding question to answer this one: "If we continue to do what we’ve always done, will we still be in business 10 years from now?”
How do companies rebrand? Branding goes along with a company’s Vision, Goals & Objectives and Strategies.
A Vision is how you see your ideal future. Without a vision, you may not recognize opportunities that can get you to that ideal future. Things to consider include: the perspectives from key leaders and possible roadblocks, market demand and competition. You have to interpret the unarticulated demand of the market to recognize an opportunity. Brand building involves connecting at an emotional level and establishing trust to build brand equity. Brand positioning defines where you place your products/services relative to your competition and where you place in the minds of your customers. A Vision for your brand is achieved by learning what your customers need and want to be successful.
Objectives and goals are what shapes your vision. Every employee must know what an organization’s goals and objectives are. Objectives and goals are shapes by an organization’s major strengths (core competencies) and how they can be built upon. You must not forget to look for deviations from what it is and what it should be. Goals and objectives can also be developed by categorizing products and services according to a lifecycle state—startup, growth, mature, declining, etc. Other factors in formulating goals and objectives include a gap analysis of the market, products, services, customers, employees, finances and technology.
Strategies are the action steps on how to achieve your objectives. There will be one or more actions for every objective. Marketing actions are included for most objectives. Marketing uses this information to create a marketing plan. However, this is not owned by just the marketing department. Business and technology strategies must be aligned and every employee and manager must know how to implement them.
“Marketing Your Brand” - With an abundance of marketing and customer touch points and channels, brand consistency is a major concern for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Centralization of branded content and brand asset management is critical to making sure your audience hears and sees a consistent message. Your branded content involves everything from your stationery and business cards to brochures, website, packaging, signage, trucks, how you present yourself at a dinner meeting, how the company phone is answered and how the front lobby looks. As the old saying goes: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Read the full article in the IPA Bulletin: Rebranding Your Company