Hands up: how many of you out there are still wearing disco leisure suits?
While you may still have one of those bad boys hanging up in a closet somewhere (hey – it’s a great Halloween costume), we doubt that any of you are Saturday Night Fever-ing it on a regular basis. That’s because you know that what was once fashionable and cutting-edge is now dated, passé and even laughable.
And what’s true for personal fashion is true for company brands as well.
“Think of some of the most iconic brands, like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Apple,” says Rachel Fox, Creative Director at Sage Age Strategies. “Over the years, they’ve rebranded in order to remain relevant in an ever-changing marketplace. Sure, there are lots of things that have stayed the same as they rebranded, such as the recognizable Apple shape or McDonald’s Golden Arches, but every so often, they update to a fresh look and feel while still remaining true to who they are as brands.”
Before we get too much further, let’s make one thing clear: your brand is more than just your logo. According to the article, “4 Ways to Know When It’s Time to Rebrand Your Business,” your total brand is all about the message you’re sending, the voice you use when communicating with customers and the way you “act” in marketing, advertising and interacting with customers.
The bottom line is your brand is one of the biggest influencers for your business. It’s what customers see and experience about you, and if it’s not delivering the message you want to be sending, or worse, if it’s not relevant to your targeted customers, it can have huge implications for your business (and not in a good way).
Chances are that you put a fair amount of thought and expense into creating the brand you have now, which makes the decision to rebrand a difficult one. But for businesses that have been around for a number of years, it’s always a good idea to look at things with a critical eye from time to time – and that includes questioning if your brand is doing the job it should.
Signs That It’s Time to Rebrand
Rachel says that knowing when it’s time to rebrand is more than half the battle. Here are some signs she points to that can signify it’s time to hit the drawing board:
If you feel embarrassed to hand out your business card. According to the Brawn article, “Five Signs it’s Time to Rebrand, ”if handing over your card makes you hesitate because of the outdated colors, the Comic Sans font or other cringe-worthy reasons, it may be time to take a hard look at what your brand is communicating to potential customers. It’s never a good sign if you feel like you have to explain – or worse, apologize – for your brand.
If you aren’t connecting with your target audience. Your brand should be an accurate reflection of the heart and soul of your community. If your brand is communicating something that doesn’t appeal to or attract your ideal residents, then it’s a good idea to ask why. Reevaluate exactly what you are trying to communicate and who you’re communicating it to. If those things don’t line up, it may be time to rebrand.
If you’ve simply outgrown your brand. Forbes says that businesses must adapt or die, which speaks to the old adage that the only thing constant in life is change. As we age and grow, our tastes and outlooks can shift, and so does the marketplace. If you’re in business long enough, your company will outgrow its brand at some point. And a brand that feels outdated or still communicates who you were 25 years ago won’t do you any favors.
Rachel suggests that senior living communities take a look at their current branding with a critical eye and see how it measures up with the demands and needs of today’s seniors. “Baby Boomers are a lot different from the generations before them. They don’t want a place to just live out their remaining years. They want a vital, active and inspiring retirement – and today’s senior living brands need to speak to that.”
Rebranding Like a Champ: Turn to Trusted Experts
A successful rebrand can infuse your marketing and presence with relevance, energy and differentiation. But If you feel like you need a rebrand, where can you turn? Much like with a wardrobe makeover, we recommend turning to the experts.
At Sage Age Strategies, we are brand development and positioning experts. We can help you look at your brand in a new light and make sure the message you’re delivering is a positive, successful and appropriate one. We’ll help you create a value-based, consistent brand that has the look, feel, tone and uniqueness that will help you stand out from your competitors and resonate with your target consumers.
As an example of what we do, let’s look at one of our clients, Pathway to Living®.
Pathway to Living® is an operator of senior living communities in the Midwest, recently developing new senior living communities in the region while adding management contracts to emerging senior living communities within overlapping market areas. As it entered the market with these new communities, Pathway to Living® wanted to make a statement with powerful new brands.
As Pathway to Living® flagship communities, the new names, brands and voices had to make an impact and communicate Pathway to Living’s philosophy of “aspiring to something more.” Brand identity would have to stand alone, yet also complement the Pathway to Living® corporate brand.
For each community, the new brands have successfully resulted in elevated awareness and have helped Pathway to Living enjoy leadership positions within crowded markets. Sage Age continues to work with Pathway using the established brands and brand messaging to focus efforts on strategies that ensure long- term success. As Pathway continues to explore its next phases of growth, Sage Age is working closely with the leadership team as a strategic long-term marketing partner.
“Your brand strength is at the heart of your community’s success, sustainability and growth, so you want to make sure it’s solid,” says Rachel. “At Sage Age Strategies, our marketing experts can help you find your unique position in the marketplace while ensuring that your marketing and messaging is completely in-line with what your brand is presenting.”
If you need assistance in rebranding or any areas of senior living development and integrated growth strategy to improve your business results, we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our proven strategies that have transformed other senior living communities like yours.
Sage Age Strategies is a multiple-award-winning strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Jason McCloud at 614.795.7373 / firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us on our website at https://www.sageagestrategies.com/.
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