I talk to many coaches who are redoing their website and consider their project as “rebranding” but there is a lot more to a rebrand than just redoing your website, and the difference in results are huge.
In this episode I talk about what the differences are and why rebranding is a much more sophisticated process – and how YOU can make the most of your efforts.
“I’ve hired a photographer, I’ve hired a copywriter, and I’m hoping you can help me redesign my website to bring it all together for my rebrand”
Not long ago a very respected colleague contacted me because she was rebranding and wanted help with her website, but at first glance it sounded like she had it all figured out and just needed a design. Since I no longer offer website design as a service, I passed on the project.
Just a few minutes after we hung up it hit me, she didn’t have it all figured out. While she thought she was “rebranding” what she was really doing was “redoing her website” and without actually going through the branding process BEFORE hiring all of those providers, she was missing a big piece of the puzzle.
Isn’t redoing your website also a rebrand?
Believe it or not, the two are very different and today I’d like to share with you what I wish I had the opportunity to share with her.
Are you a victim of website shame?
Honestly, that’s why many of us focus our efforts on the website. It may feel like the worst house in an upscale neighborhood, and we want something really flashy and pretty, a site that really draws people in and works for us. Because it’s what’s out there representing us, we feel a sense of urgency to get it right.
Websites are made up of content and graphics.
When you update your site, those are what you’re concentrating on – updating the look and feel, perhaps changing out the layout, rewriting or adding content – you get the idea. You might even change your logo or your colors, or tighten up your offerings and pricing. It will certainly look and feel different which can feel like a fresh start with your “brand” but this is just one piece of a larger picture.
Your brand is the message that underlies everything you’re putting out there with your marketing – including the website.
Who you are, what you do, why you’re the right choice for the right people. These are all pieces of your brand and must be clear at every touch point of your business.
If you don’t know what your brand is ahead of time, and what the message is that you want to convey then it’s more difficult to be consistent.
- Your copy writer will ask you a series of questions to get what they need to write copy.
- Your photographer will ask you different questions to decide what kind of photos to create.
- Your website designer will ask you yet another set of questions to help guide the design.
Each piece is done in isolation, and depending on what mood or mindset you’re in at the time, you may answer those questions very differently.
This is a surefire recipe for what I call a Frankenbrand, where the different pieces of your brand are pieced together, but aren’t quite consistent with each other.
When you rebrand (or even branding for the first time), you make the decisions ahead of time about how you want to show up, the feeling you want people to have when they interact with you or your website, the message you want to be known for. These become guidelines so when you answer all of those questions so your team can do their jobs and everything comes together as part of a whole.
While redoing your website doesn’t rebrand you, rebranding does involve making changes to your website.
As you can see, branding is very intentional. When you start redoing your website without already having made definitive choices about your brand, it’s like changing the paint color without thinking of the impact you really want, or the purpose the room will serve in the long run.
If it’s rebranding you’re after, you need to step back and make sure you know what your brand is, and how every element of your website and marketing will be in alignment and support your unique brand.
This is why when I work with my clients, I make sure we do the needed deep work around branding.
You’d be surprised to know that even Frankenbrands can yield valuable insight into a person’s true brand. You just need to know where to look and the right questions to ask. That’s where an outside perspective can be so invaluable.
Based on the work we do, I actually put together a brand reference guide that can span upwards of 30 pages. it’s a clear roadmap with everything from their key messages, their brand personality, and essentially all my client needs to ensure their branding is powerful and delivered consistently. It also serves as a reference for service providers such as their copywriter and website designer to make sure their team is in complete alignment.
Are you redoing your website, or are you rebranding?
By now, you should know your website is a product of your brand, not the other way around. The true process of rebranding takes a bit of pre-work to decide what you want, and extends well beyond the launch of a fresh website as you consistently deliver your new message and begin to shift how your market looks at who you are and what you do. By contrast, simply optimizing your website will look nice, but won’t drive the perceptional and business shift you may be looking for. Anything worth doing is worth taking the time to do well.