Re-Branding Your Craft Product – Why?
Most craft brands start with little to no budget for branding, and that’s OK. As a new business, you’ll spend most of your time representing the brand yourself, and letting it evolve with you. You’re pushing the business forward with clients, and giving the product your personal touch.
In a recent issue of Barista magazine, they explored some local craft coffee producers, and the reasons they found re-branding to be beneficial.
The article starts by touching on a common problem most small businesses will face. That’s the creation of the brand itself. Most of the time you’ll just create things as you need them “bit by bit”. The time between a logo, website, swag, marketing materials and packaging could be years – and this creates the first problem of growth:
“…Last year (the owners) began to notice the “bit by bit” methodology had produced a scattered brand identity… (the owners) felt the brand deserved the same level of care and sophistication that distinguished the company’s coffee.”
The brand was all over the place. There were quite a few versions of logos, and the identity was really getting lost in the clutter. This lead to a lot of inconsistencies across packaging, signs and merchandise.
The second major problem companies face as they grow, you’ll spend less and less time making that personal connection, and it’s up to the brand to do that work for you. If the brand is the first and only impression of your company, does it really communicate what you’re all about?
In the early days of a brand, it’s easy to control how people discover and interact with you. As you grow, that funnel is much harder to control. It’s not so much about you going out and grabbing people, it’s about people discovering your business on their own terms. In most of these cases, your brand is all they have to go by.
A re-brand can help focus these efforts and allow you to create a connection with your potential client.
Lastly, with so much competition in the market, are you really differentiating yourself? Other than a logo – what makes your product different? Why should I try it?
As the Barista Magazine article points out, the re-branding for one coffee roaster in particular had profound effects:
“(The owners) received nationwide attention, largely attributed to better brand recognition, distinguishable packaging, and the launch of a new website.”
Re-branding gives you the opportunity to align your brand with what you’re currently doing. It’s really easy to outgrow your current brand, and just rest on past success. Re-branding can invigorate new life in to a product that is no longer seeing much growth. Re-branding is what led to the resurgence of Pabst Blue Ribbon:
“There are several rebranding books available but there’s no rebranding manual. That’s because it wouldn’t be helpful to advise all companies to court the bike-messenger demographic.
That’s what the Pabst Brewing Company did in the early 2000s, and its lager, Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR), is a powerhouse again because of this and a few other savvy moves. Each rebranding effort must — by design and by necessity — be unique to the brand that embarks upon it.”
If you haven’t taken the time to revisit your brand since inception, why not have a look. You never know what you might learn.